With summer just around the corner, what better time to talk about the ultimate summer essential…. Sunglasses, of course! With so much choice on the market, with every colour, style, construction method and even ethical purchasing offered, MFM is here to guide you through the very best of the best when it comes to picking out your key accessory this season.
Sunglasses really can do wonders for not only an outfit, but also the individual. A female once wisely told me that a good pair of sunglasses could elevate a 4 out of 10 into an 8 out of 10. Better pick the right pair then gents!
Like a lot of men’s fashion, sunglasses tend to rely on the classics when it comes to shape. Within this article, we’re going to split it into three categories, picking what we think are the best ‘Wayfarer’, ‘Aviator’ and ‘Keyhole’ shapes. We’re also going to show you the best way of incorporating these into your outfits.
A good pair of sunglasses should be versatile, stylish, built to last, and more importantly, protect your eyes from the sun. Although the original Wayfarer from Ray-Bans really can’t be beaten in terms of classic style, there is a wealth of similar styles from other brands that have strayed down a slightly different path and have something interesting to offer.
Below we’ve chosen a pair of Shaun’s California sunglasses in a beautiful light tortoiseshell to go with our poolside look. Shorter length swim shorts have made a huge resurgence, mainly thanks to Mr Daniel Craig in the recent Bond movies. So we’ve chosen these cropped shorts from Robinson Les Bains that look like old school court shorts, and therefore work perfectly with a polo shirt, like this one from AMI. We’ve finished the look off with some sandals from Zara; they are more structured than flip-flops but won’t look ridiculous if you decide to lose the polo shirt. A stylish retro watch from Casio is a classic touch.
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The Aviator has forever been associated with masculinity, whether that be Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry, Tom Cruise in Top Gun or even Mad Men’s Don Draper. The Aviator has permeated menswear for well over half a century and is one of those styles of sunglasses that can really become a focal point of any look.
Below we’ve chosen some sunglasses from Black Eyewear, a brand that draws its influence from Jazz musicians of the 60’s. We particularly like the heavy frame style, which pulls away from the mirrored lenses and metal frames we associate with the ‘Aviator’ style. Here we’ve created a summer look with a Rock n Roll edge, but have avoided it being cliché by using Navy as our base colour rather than the usual black. The perforated bomber from Reiss is going to look great all year round but is lightweight enough for the hotter months. We’ve contrasted the relaxed look of the Henley from Gant and the boots from Red Wing by using some semi formal cotton/linen blend trousers from All Saints.
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The keyhole frame style is interesting as it straddles a few different styles. The two most famous Keyhole styles of all time have to be Steve McQueen’s Persol 714’s and the glasses worn by Gregory Pecks character Atticus Ross in To Kill a Mockingbird. The keyhole name is a reference to the shaping of the frame above the bridge of the nose, and as mentioned above can be found in a variety of frame styles, however given how iconic this detail is, we thought it would be fitting for it to have its own category.
We’ve so far covered a great poolside look with our Wayfarers and given you some great outfit ideas for something with a little more edge with our Aviators. For the keyhole style, we’ve gone sartorial, giving you an outfit that will carry you through from day to night and guarantee you are the best dressed at any occasion. This look is incredibly versatile and will not only look great at casual events, it’s actually an outfit you could wear to a much more formal gathering.
With a market full of so many different styles and shapes, why not go for something a little more daring? We love these champagne coloured sunglasses from Bailey Nelson. They are stylish and fashion forward, but neutral enough for you to be able to pair them with a wealth of different outfits.
Double breasted blazers have a certain debonair feel to them and this stone coloured piece from Reiss is no exception. We’ve opted against a shirt and tie for this look and have instead used a beautiful dark teal roll neck from Gucci that is breathable and lightweight, keeping you cool during those warm summer evenings. Paired with stone coloured chinos, a handsome pocket square, both from Reiss and finished off elegantly with leather and suede tassel loafers from Zara this is a look that says ‘style-savvy and sophisticated’.
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TO WRAP UP…
The ‘perfect’ pair of sunglasses is obviously completely personal to yourself and with a wealth of frame styles, lens tints and a dizzying array of details, finding the perfect pair for you may take a while, but as with all advice we give on MFM, take your time and invest in some great quality sunglasses that will last you years, not weeks.