Understanding What Sunglasses Match Which Outfits
Having a killer set of shade, or several, is good, but knowing how to use them is better. Beyond offering excellent protection for your eyes, sunglasses are a statement accessory for all outfits, from casual to business to parties and more.
Unsure how to match your sunglasses to your outfit? Here’s a basic guide for getting it right and showing off your style with your shades.
Consider the Outfit’s General Style and Timing
Your outfit’s general style - casual, business, formal, etc. - is the first factor that should go into determining which set of shades you pick up for the occasion. You’ll want to consider both the outline of the glasses and the material that the frames are made of.
There are a few guidelines you can follow to make choosing the initial shape of your sunglasses easier.
- Formal looks can work well with more neutral, classic shapes (such as square or round frames). If you find your attire needs a bit more of a punch, gravitate towards a bold acetate to create a powerful look. If your shirt, tie and shoe combination is just right, top it off with a clean metal frame in order retain the balance.
- Business casual attire allow you to get away with a modern look, it all depends on what line of business you are in or the event you are part-taking in. As a rule of thumb, always gravitate towards the more conservative option of the two; you never know who you will meet or run into. All shapes and materials are up for grab, more than anything, pay closer attention to the amount of hardware the frame has or the lens tint. You want to be the life of the party, but it's not classy when your face looks like one.
- Sportier and more casual looks are where you can consider adding unusually-shaped frames and fun colored lenses. The same underlying rule applies, if your top and bottom combination already feels adequate, balance things out with a clean design in metal and acetate. For example, opt for a classic and clean style if you have a floral button-up shirt with some navy corduroy pants. If you are wearing a grey t-shirt with black jeans, opt for a bold pair of sunnies to make it the staple in your attire.
Of course, these aren’t hard-and-fast rules. If you happen to have a set of unusual glasses that pair well with your work outfit and you want to make a statement, then go for it. Having interesting designs in your sunglasses can take a boring outfit to the next level.
As a quick note, while metal and plastic frames are fine in almost any situation, consider the level of activity you'll be doing while wearing the sunglasses and the environment you're going to be in. Metal frames on an active day can provide more comfort thanks to their weight, making them less prone to sliding. When it comes to chunky acetates, best to wear these when you know you'll be sipping down gin and tonics on a Sunday afternoon.
Finally, you should consider the timing of the event when deciding whether or not to wear sunglasses with the look in the first place. Sunglasses are usually inappropriate for late evening and nighttime events. Light tints can be pulled off, but our suggestion is to go with light pastel colored lenses.
Match the Color to the Overall Color Palette
Once you’ve decided what silhouette you’re going with, you can determine what color your frames should be and what finish you want for the lenses.
Ideally, you’ll have at least one set of black, translucent, or tortoise acetate frames that you can work into most of your formal or business outfits as an accessory that isn’t going to draw too much attention but will make the look more complete and functional.
- Black is your staple; go to color any day, any time. An infinite number of outfits will go with a pair of black sunglasses. With that said, no two black sunnies are alike. Opt for one that stands out amongst the sea of Ray-Ban's and Persol at the event. For example, the Jacques Marie Mage Dealan or an Eyevan 785.
- Translucent acetates are a fun addition to any wardrobe but require a bit more skill to master since they could throw a business or formal outfit out of balance. Two solid options are the Ahlem Champ Mars or the Eyevan 644. Bland colors will be best for when you need to dress up, while bright translucent acetate sunglasses will be best for a casual attire.
- Tortoise has been around since the beginning of time. The color is highly versatile and can add color and sophistication thanks to the beautiful patterns on the acetate. This color works best on those with brown or lighter hair, but that's not a rule, just a suggestion.Here we leave you with the Jacques Marie Mage Molino and the Johann Wolff Carousel. Two frames in very different budgets but both will do a solid job and make you look your best.
When it comes to metal, opt for silver or gold as your go-to for metal frames and add variety with a black or matte black. You generally don't need to worry about mixing the color of the frame with your jewelry. There's nothing wrong with wearing a discreet silver necklace with a pair of gold sunglasses. Now, if you wear rings and bracelets in addition to a chain, we suggest you try and match the color. Two solid choices for metals to add to your collection are the Akoni Europa and the Eyevan 787.
For your lenses, what color you choose doesn't matter; what changes things is how light or dark these lenses are. If you are dressing up, opt for dark lenses. Be it blue, green, burgundy, or grey, as long as they are dark, you are doing it right. As for light lenses, to pull them off correctly, best to choose them when the situation calls for it. For example, dull, overcast days or at night, when the event you are visiting suits it. Wearing these on a bright day can add fun to your outfit, but you can risk looking like you are trying too hard.
In a nutshell, glasses that are colorful both in frame and lens should probably be reserved for casual and sporty outfits, as they’re statement pieces that will draw lots of attention.
Experiment with Placement
When you’re outside, you’ll obviously be wearing your sunglasses to protect your eyes, but when you’re inside or when it gets late, the placement of your frames can be another element of your style that can add to the outfit’s overall appeal.
You may choose to store them in your shirt or jacket for a more professional appearance or hang them from your collar for a casual look. When selecting the pocket route, we find it nice to leave one temple folded over the pocket, allowing you to accessorize your outfit while benefitting from added grip thanks to the clasp you've just created. You might also opt for a neck strap or chain which can act as an extension of the accessory and functionally keep you from losing your glasses at a large or long event. These can be made of a variety of materials, from fine chains to thicker fabric, and come in many different designs.
Details make a big difference, especially when it comes to fashion. Including your sunglasses in the overall design of your outfit can help you make it feel more complete and cohesive, and can go a long way toward improving your overall style.
Styling starts with having the right pair of sunglasses available to you. If you’re looking to build your shade collection, look through our lineup of impeccably designed and professionally curated sunglasses. We have a wide variety of shapes, colors, tints, materials, and finishes that are sure to match any outfit and add a sophisticated, classic element to your style.
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