Aviator sunglasses are one of the coolest ways to shade your eyes; they're embraced by rock stars and anyone who wants to look like a rock star. Aviators get their too-cool-for-school vibe from the Top Gun-esque flyboys that made them famous in the 80s, and now you too can master the super hip deadpan in these babies. The style has been revived for years now, and so many labels have taken some liberties with the classic design. We prefer the most basic style however because it's timelessly cool and won't bend to trends. Therefore, these perfectly shaped and shaded Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses ($129, Saks Fifth Avenue) would be a good investment. We also truly adore these Selima for J.Crew Aviator Sunglasses ($275, J.Crew) because the wire looped between the eyes and around the ears feels antique, authentic, and wildly chic. If you're the careless type (read: you sit on/lose/generally dismantle sunglasses like it's your job) then perhaps opt for one of our cheaper options. As long as you keep the near-perfect style of the two aforementioned sunglasses in mind, you can't go wrong! UrbanSpec's ProAviator Sunglasses are particularly cool with the mirrored silver shades ($19.99, Amazon.com), and both Old Navy (search "aviator") and Forever 21 offer aviator options for under $10 ($9.50 and $8.90, respectively).
Are you self-conscious about a facial feature or two? Don't worry, because the breadth of oversized sunglasses will downplay any little imperfection you assume you have. First made insanely popular by the Olsen twins who wore everything enormous, these sunglasses give the wearer a sense of anonymity (perhaps the reason for their popularity with the uber-rich, famous... and stylish). The ultimate in oversized are these fashionably bug-eyed Rock & Republic Hornet Glam Oversized Sunglasses ($250, Nordstrom). Your friends could practically do their makeup in your lens. We would argue the price is worth it, since they're multi-purpose, but for those sunglass-sitters out there, we also found these Isaac Mizrahi for Target Oval Sunglasses ($14.99, Target) and the Adi Designs Thick Frame Fashion Sunglasses ($14.99, Overstock.com). But ringing in at under $10 again is Old Navy with its Oversized Tinted version ($9.50, search "oversized tinted").
The Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses were first made famous when Audrey Hepburn donned them in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the style has experienced a major resurgence recently due to its starlet-appeal. Everyone from Kirsten Dunst to Chloë Sevigny have been seen sporting them around town, making them one of the most famous styles ever (it even has it's own Wikipedia page). Keeping this in mind, we don't think you can go wrong with the original. These Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarer Sunglasses ($139, Nordstrom) come in both classic and crazy colors. You can also try however these Blackout Sunglasses ($14, Urban Outfitters) or the UrbanSpecs Wayfarer Sunglasses ($9.99, Amazon.com). Lulu's Fashion Lounge even offers a pair called the I Love the 80's Sunglasses ($7), perhaps in homage to the style's revival after Tom Cruise wore them in his brief-baring scene in Risky Business.
If you practically live in uber-cool hoodies, sneakers, and skinny jeans, you should try a pair of 80s retro sunglasses to tip the look over into transcendent street chic territory. One of our favorite designers, Karen Walker, perfected the style with her cult-worthy eyewear line. Our two favorites were these tortoise-colored Invisibility Sunglasses ($170, Gargyle.com) and the more outrageous TV Eyes Sunglasses ($170, Barneys). Since Walker eyewear frequently sells out, we found other options, such as the Spitfire Bearded Gent Sunglasses or the Striped Aviators, ($39 and $18, respectively; both Urban Outfitters). We guess Kanye West is also a fan of the style since Lulu's Fashion Lounge contributes to the trend with these Kanye Sunglasses ($8); there's no need to be a golddigger to afford them either. Whatever you choose, the key for this look is the flat bar across the top of the lens, and the thicker and more graphic-colored, the better!
The trend toward white framed-sunglasses first coincided with the resurgence of the wayfarer, but since then it has spread to all styles. Also this season, wild colors join the ranks of white for of-the-moment styles. We found the Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarer in red and white ($140, Saks Fifth Avenue) as well as these glam Marc by Marc Jacobs White Sunglasses ($99, Zappos.com). However, these options from Wet Seal ($7.50), Forever 21 ($5.80), Old Navy ($9.50, search "aviator"), or MetroStyle.com ($12.99) are all brilliant choices for light, spring-appropriate hues.
The Wacky Frames
Your sunglasses can be the perfect medium for trying something a bit more avant-garde since they're a small accessory and can be easily removed if need be. We love a good wacky frame, whether it's completely out there like the numerous styles at Slowandsteadywinstherace.com, or a bit more subdued. On the higher end, we think these Dolce & Gabbana Oversized Frame Sunglasses ($275, NET-A-PORTER.com) are ingenious. They're cleverly designed to look upside down when they're really right side up. These F5574 Sunglasses also have a similar topsy-turvy appeal ($5.80, Forever 21). You could always prep for the upcoming Speed Racer movie with these glam wraparound Roberto Cavalli Cicno Sunglasses ($289.99, PopularGlasses.com), or you could opt for the equally chic Large Framed Sunglasses ($7.50, Wet Seal). Finally, these Pink Moon Glasses ($20, Urban Outfitters) have a cool, metal wrap detail around the large, rose-colored frames.
Whether you go for all out drama or opt for something more subdued, we hope you found a pair of sunglasses that fit your personality and complement your spring wardrobe perfectly.
-- Lindsay Sakraida