Cool Hunting Picks for Protective, Stylish Sunglasses

Wherever you face glare, these shades block harmful rays without sacrificing aesthetics

Sponsored by LensCrafters

UV rays from the sun can affect your vision—even when you’re wearing sunglasses. Because the sun’s rays reflect in all directions, it can be difficult to avoid damaging sunlight and glare, which can distort your depth perception, color perception and more. When shopping for sunglasses, LensCrafters‘ Dr. Mark Jacquot suggests looking for those with a level of UV400 or higher: they’ll filter out 99.9% of UVA and UVB light, which damages your eyes and can lead to vision problems. For this reason, LensCrafters believes it’s super-important to wear sunglasses in summer and winter, as all year long UV rays can cause macular degeneration (which is damage to the retina that can lead to vision loss) as well as cataracts.

If you’re looking for an added layer of protection, polarized lenses offer an easy fix—it’s essentially an extra coating on sunglass lenses that reduce glare as well as harmful UV light. And for those who need a prescription in their sunglasses, getting polarized Rx lenses is the best way to go. All sunglasses carried by LensCrafters offer 100% UV protection and nearly all can be polarized with an Rx, meaning you don’t have to forgo style for practicality or protection. With summer in full swing (and many in the southern hemisphere shredding across blinding snowfields), we’ve selected six of our favorite styles from LensCrafters. From classic aviator styles to retro-vibed designs and statement-making picks there’s a pair of shades here (and at LensCrafters online) for every budget and every age (even kids).

A brand whose origins lie with fighter pilots and race car drivers, Persol has embodied Italian eyewear craftsmanship since 1917. Now one of the most well-known brands in the market, Persol makes a Classics line featuring slim, square silhouettes like these ($230). With the only visible branding being the Persol arrow at both hinges, these are unassuming in the best possible way—classic black with green lenses—and won’t ever go out of style.

Slightly smaller than their classic Aviators, Ray-Ban’s Cockpit ($175) sunglasses—with the lenses blocking as much light as possible from the most angles—are still classics. The shape and size means these shades suit all genders.

Blending the perfect amount of retro vibes with today’s high-quality materials, Ray-Ban’s “Clubmaster” shades ($175) are well-suited to all genders and face shapes. Inspired by the era when the design first appeared—the 1950s—these sunglasses are made for those who want to embrace their inner Buddy Holly or bookworm (or both). With adjustable nose-pads and thin metal temples with plastic end tips, they are also comfortable for long days in the sun—especially thanks to the mirror blue polarized lenses which improve clarity and reduce strain.

Inspired by the iconic Noir styles from the ’40s, these Miu Miu sunglasses ($390) aren’t for the faint-hearted. The big, round acetate shades are a little Jackie O with a modern twist, sure to make a serious style statement. With ultra-thin gold temples, they steer clear of becoming too gaudy and heavy, but their large size means extra protection from UV rays sneaking in the side.

Tortoiseshell gets a refresh with these oversized Tory Burch frames ($175). Blue lenses and brown tortoiseshell frames speckled with random splashes of color make it less “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” and more “brunch in the East Village.” The large lenses offer extra protection from UV rays.

For a truly high-fashion eyewear option Prada’s Cinema Metal Evolution sunglasses ($280) deliver a dramatic silhouette and nuanced craftsmanship. From the oversized round lenses (offering around 99% protection from UVA and UVB rays) to the black frames and golden flourishes, these also make a summer statement.

To find out what kind of sunglasses are right for you and to get a more precise Rx, LensCrafters’ new Clarifye eye exam is a new way to have your eyes checked. It can gather five times more information about a person’s eye health and see changes that have occurred over a span of time. For more comprehensive and understandable information about your vision health, it’s an exam that can genuinely change your quality of life.

Images courtesy of respective brands