The Men’s Guide To The Slickest Summer Shades

Whether you’re just starting to get out and enjoy the weather, or you’ve been camped out on the beach all April, you need to protect your eyes.

If combating eye damage wasn’t enticing enough, think of the aesthetics. Who doesn’t look cooler in shades?

Okay. Maybe that one dad in the white Oakleys, but that’s it.

We’ve compiled a list of the best men’s sunglasses for summer. Everything on here comes in under $100, so get ready to enjoy your summer like the budgeting wiz you are.

$: Matte Tort Round Sunglasses by Profound Aesthetic

Let’s face it. There isn’t really any color more versatile than tortoise shell. While Profound Aesthetic offers the style in a few different colors, this is our pick. The subtle round shape breaks away from the typical square wayfarer shape, without looking too non-traditional. We love the John Lennon/ Harry Potter with transition lenses look, but your average joe doesn’t want to make that much of a fashion statement with his face. An acetate frame means these will stand up to (some) abuse. Don’t go overboard, but these are quality shades at an affordable price, not bargain bin. They’ll last. The list price for these is $78, but they’ve been known to go on sale for as low as $30. Act fast.

$: Daily Sunglasses by NEFF

What’s that? You drained your bank accounts on a beach trip and now you’re too broke to drop $78? It happens to the best of us. We have you covered. Depending on the color, you can get these shades for a huge bargain. With a variety of styles to choose from, you can look as wild or as plain as you want. Blend in, or stand out. While you’re probably not buying the holy grail of quality at this price, they do come with 100% UVA & UVB blocking lenses. For the ultimate in thrifty protection, scoop these up on Amazon before you’re fry your retinas.

$: Frogskins Sunglasses by Oakley

We sometimes have fun at Oakley’s expense. Wearing sports shades to lounge on the beach, complete with those weird wire straps is not a good look. But when it comes down to it, they’re the choice of middle-aged men everywhere because of one thing: quality. When you buy a pair of Oakleys, you have a solid company standing behind. That’s why we were excited to come across the Frogskins. The classic casual shape you love is now available from the brand you trust.

$: Dipsea 48mm Polarized Sunglasses by SUNSKI

Depending on how bold you feel, SUNSKI offers you too options in their Dipsea design: black/gold, and “Frosted Sky” (clear frames with blue lenses). The clear frames are gorgeous, and if you’re looking for a powerful accent to your wardrobe, pick these up. If that’s not for you, the black frames with gold lenses are a down-to-earth choice. With a slight lean towards circular, these are definitely a pair that stands out either way.

$: 1012/S 54mm Polarized Sunglasses by Polaroid Eyewear

Close behind Wayfarers in the classic shades game are the Clubmasters. Unfortunately, any pair of Raybans is going to set you back a bit. For an elegant solution, consider these beauties made by Polaroid. These browline glasses feature a light gray lens with a slight frame, and a dark tortoiseshell design. For a retro style that won’t bankrupt you, this is a good choice. Polaroid Eyewear has a pretty solid selection overall, and they’re all very affordable.

$: Fort Knocks by Knockaround

Knockaround is a (relatively) new comer to the eyewear game. Since 2005, they’ve been putting out affordable sunglasses with solid style. The Fort Knocks, as with most of their catalogue, are based off the Wayfarer design. They’re available in huge amount of colorways, so they’re perfect for whatever style fits you. Plus, they’re affordable enough that you could buy a couple. Because of that, however, don’t expect these to hold up forever. The companies goal was to provide style at a low cost. But if you have as much trouble keeping up with shades as we do, Knockaround might be your best friend. Our favorite was the matte black.

$: Mason Sunglasses by Banana Republic

If Wayfarer and Clubmaster knockoffs aren’t your thing, it can be hard to find quality choices at a low price. That’s the case with aviators. You can probably attribute that to the fact that aviators are far more easily damaged than their chunky counterparts. If you’re looking for something wireframed, it’s smart to go with something a little higher end. Take a look at these Masons from Banana Republic. With a light, subtle gray lens, you avoid the mirrored lens Topgun trap. At $98, these barely make the cut. However, you’re going with a trusted brand. It’s hard to make a durable pair of aviators, so go with quality.

$: Jennings by Warby Parker

Warby Parker is probably best known for disrupting the prescription glasses market, providing fashionable frames and lenses at a tiny cost. They also have a tremendous selection of sunglasses. While the real value comes with the cost of prescription lenses, some of their styles are worth picking up without them.
The Jennings come in three different colors, but we’re particularly fond of the Striped Beach. It’s a very light, almost imperceptible tortoiseshell. At first glance, it looks almost wooden. A truly unique pair.

$: Maui Matte Sunglasses by Kapten & Son

Yet another pair that bareky makes the cut is the Maui Matte by Krapten & Son. What makes this design unique is the combination of plastic and wire, in a much different way than browlines. The tortoise shell plastic around the lenses is rounded to give a more fashion forward look. The gold arms and bridge give a look of sophistication, while drawing attention to the bulky lens frames. At $99, these aren’t exactly your rough riding shades, but sometimes you need that elegant edge.

$: Rivet Walnut Wood Sunglasses by Tmbr

Our last pair features something we always love seeing in any product: wood. If you’ve tried to find wood sunglasses before, chances are you’ve struggled to find anything affordable. Tmbr has a catalogue featuring designs ranging from $50 to &100, made with wood and bamboo. Our choice is the Rivet. A basic browline shape with wooden frames is something you don’t see quite as often as Wayfarers. We can appreciate that.