Your Guide to Round Sunglasses

I was interviewed by The Idle Man to provide fashion advice for men looking to invest in round sunglasses. Read the transcript below.

The original piece can be found here.

On the fence about round sunglasses? The iconic style has made an updated comeback for SS16, and this guide to round sunglasses might just inspire you to pick up a pair for yourself.

Read more Men’s Style Guide features. 

No sartorial wardrobe is complete without a timeless pair of sunglasses. It’s a must-have accessory for sunny weather, and is equally useful during the colder months for UV protection. But, if you’ve been reading some of our other sunglasses posts, you’re probably already aware that choosing sunglasses can be a tricky and time-consuming experience.

The search for that elusive, perfect pair of sunglasses means taking into consideration your face shape, your hair and skin colour, and the vast array of sunglasses styles available. Of the latter, one of the most popular types this season are men’s round sunglasses.

Round sunglasses provide a vintage look with a hint of eccentricity, but they are quite versatile with formal and casual outfits.

– Aleczander Gamboa, Freelance Writer, Editor and 2016 Fashion Writing Finalist for Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’s Cultural Program.

round sunglasses for men
PHOTO CREDIT: ASOS | Persol

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Men’s Round Sunglasses

Making the rounds (pun intended) across some of the biggest players in SS16 menswear, round sunglasses have been featured with colourful tints at Mochino and with wide, futuristic bridges at Giorgio Armani. Round glasses are a great way to add variety to your wardrobe.

Their unique shape sets you apart from other sun-and-style lovers, and the diverse styles of round sunglasses available mean you can rock as outrageous or as unassuming a look as you like. And, if you choose the right pair of round sunglasses, you could rack up some serious style points in the process.

Sunglasses For Face Shape

Before investing in round sunglasses, it’s absolutely imperative to consider the shape of your face first.

– Aleczander Gamboa.

As with buying any type of sunglasses, it is important to consider whether round sunglasses are going to suit your face shape. The distinctive shape of circular sunglasses – a curved frame that is as wide as it is tall – means it can become strikingly obvious if you pick the wrong type of frame for your face. To avoid looking awkward in your sunglasses, stay away from round sunglasses if you have a round or diamond face shape, as they can work disproportionately with your features.

Smart-casual street style for round sunglasses men
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

Will Round Sunglasses Suit My Face?

Round sunglasses for men work best with the following four types of face shapes: Oval, Square, Heart and Oblong, for the following reasons:

  • Oval face shape: Oval faces are characterised by their balanced features and rounded chin and forehead – and envied for their ability to suit almost every type of sunglasses. Feel free to experiment with different styles, and mix it up with smaller or larger frames.
  • Square face shape: Characterised by their strong jawline and wide cheekbones, square faces are softened by round sunglasses while still highlighting your facial features.
  • Heart face shape: Heart face shapes have wide foreheads and narrow chins, and work really well with round sunglasses as they add balance to the often-tricky shape.
  • Oblong face shape: Oblong faces are longer than they are wide, and is often accompanied by a long, straight jawline and a long nose. Round sunglasses in larger styles give your face balance without minimising your features.
Street style for round sunglasses men
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

Sunglasses Styles

When it comes to round sunglasses men’s styles, there are six factors you’ll need to consider: the style of the frames, the material of the frames, the colour or pattern on the frames, the tint or colour on the lens and the size of the lens.

Most sunglasses are made of metal – they’re also known as wire frames – or plastic – which are also known as acetate frames. Brands tend to stick to solid colours for wire frames such as gold, silver, bronze, black or white. Plastic frames, however, offer room for more adventurous designs including the ever-popular tortoiseshell and dark woodgrain finishes.

Tinted round sunglasses for men
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For the frame colour of your round sunglasses, burgundy, emerald, caramel and navy are all sophisticated choices that go well with a formal outfit. When it comes to lenses, you can choose soft roses and caramels for a muted look or go retro with neon blues and greens and it can really amp up the summertime vibes.

What Style Of Sunglasses Suits My Face?

As mentioned, it’s important to take into account your face shape when choosing sunglasses. When it comes to round sunglasses, there are several key styles to look out for:

Aviator Style Sunglasses

Channel your inner Maverick with Aviator sunglasses. Although traditionally teardrop shaped, brands such as Tom Ford do offer round Aviator sunglasses. Often featuring wire frames and gradient lenses, Aviators are great for oval and square face shapes.

Aviator sunglasses look
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Clubmaster Style Sunglasses

Ray-Ban’s classic Clubmasters were popularised by Bruce Willis (remember him?) and have since secured their place in the Classic Sunglasses Hall Of Fame. The iconic style traditionally has a browline frame designed to mirror the wearer’s natural brow line, and is accompanied by a thinner frame around the rest of the lens.

clubmaster sunglasses look
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Don a pair of round Clubmaster sunglasses and you’ll be able to command instant recognition with a stylish twist. Round Clubmasters retain the classic brow line design while switching things up with circular lenses encased in a thin, metal frame. Round Clubmasters are highly versatile and can suit oval, heart, round and square face shapes. If you have a large or prominent jawline, opt for a thinner brow line frame for balance.

Styling Tips For Round Clubmaster Sunglasses

Aleczander Gamboa recommends styling round Clubmaster sunglasses with casual outfits to counteract the retro vibe that can become overwhelming with a more avant-garde outfit. A simple t-shirt or a buttoned, short-sleeved shirt are all you need to complement your round Clubmaster sunglasses. Add jeans or chinos and pair with sneakers to complete your casual look.

Outfit grid clubmasters round sunglasses
SHOP: Sunglasses | Chinos | T-Shirts | Trainers

Vintage Round Sunglasses

The term “vintage round sunglasses” can be applied to any eyewear that has a ‘50s, ‘60s or ‘70s vibe. If you’re a dedicated fan of all things vintage, you might even be able to find styles dating as far back as the 1920s. Most vintage round sunglasses have thicker rims and many feature double bridges within a wire frame.

You might also find a wider range of materials being used such as thick, faux leather trims. Thanks to the wide range of time periods that qualify as “vintage”, there’s plenty to choose from when it comes to vintage round sunglasses. This also means it’s much easier to create a unique look that incorporates the old-school, slightly eccentric vibe that vintage round sunglasses naturally exude.

Styling Tips For Vintage Round Sunglasses

Vintage round sunglasses are quite versatile when it comes to styling. You can go the formal route and add an old-school angle to your cocktail suits, or create an indie feel by pairing your vintage round sunglasses with a loose t-shirt and jeans.

You’re particularly guaranteed to stand out from the crowd if you can pair your vintage round sunglasses with a square or angular face. The circular lenses work to accentuate your features, giving you a chiselled look worthy of any catwalk.

Outfit grid vintage round sunglasses
SHOP: Sunglasses | Bomber Jackets | Jeans | Trainers

Retro Round Sunglasses

There are several avenues you can explore when it comes to retro round sunglasses. You could channel your inner John Lennon with rose-tinted lenses surrounded by a thin wire frame. Or why not go the steampunk route with a thicker frame adorned with futuristic metallic accents?

vintage round sunglasses
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As with vintage sunglasses, retro sunglasses can represent a wide range of time periods. That being said, recent retro styles are most likely to take inspiration from ‘50s and ‘60s style rock and roll fashion. You’ll most likely find thick plastic frames with tortoiseshell or all-black designs alongside wire frames with black accents.

Styling Tips For Retro Round Sunglasses

When it comes to styling your retro round sunglasses, why not continue the old-school vibe by following a retro route with your outfit? Double denim is a great choice, finished with a comfortable Oxford shirt underneath.

If you’d rather go the formal route, a suit can hold its own against the coloured lenses found in most retro round sunglasses. Just make sure to avoid matching your shirt, tie or pocket square to the colour of the lens as this can come off looking too forced.

Outfit grid retro round sunglasses
SHOP: Sunglasses | Denim Jackets | Jeans | Shirts

Black Round Sunglasses

Black round sunglasses are characterised either by the fact that the lens is tinted completely black or because the frames are predominately black. Some black round sunglasses feature an all-black design which can be a striking look, especially when it’s ultra-sunny.

Keep in mind that black doesn’t necessarily mean safe – paler complexions may feel overpowered with black round sunglasses, particularly if it has a thick frame. A marbled or tortoiseshell design that’s predominately black is a great alternative for paler skin.

Styling Tips For Black Round Sunglasses

As mentioned above, black round sunglasses are highly versatile when it comes to styling. You could create contrast by pairing the sunglasses with a white or pastel-coloured outfit, or create a seamless symmetry by donning a black leather jacket under a casual t-shirt and jeans.

Black round sunglasses are also comfortably at home when paired with a black tuxedo or formal suit. Our look below combines black round sunglasses with a black jacket and jeans to complement, and a crisp, white shirt for contrast. You could also add a white fedora to really amp up the contrast.

Outfit grid black round sunglasses
SHOP: Sunglasses | Bomber Jackets | T-shirts | Boots

White Round Sunglasses

White round sunglasses are one of the most distinctive types of round sunglasses – reserved only for the very brave. They also tend to be one of the rarest types of round sunglasses, so you might have trouble finding the perfect pair to flatter your face shape and skin and hair colour.

White round sunglasses usually sport an opaque white frame which is accompanied by a darker lens. You’ll find that white round sunglasses with a thin frame often give the appearance of silver wiring, while thicker frames have more of a plastic or acetate look.

Styling Tips For White Round Sunglasses

Why not play up the white frames of your white round sunglasses with white jeans or chinos, paired with a darker t-shirt or shirt? Another great way of mirroring your white round sunglasses is by donning a white or light-coloured t-shirt with denim or dark-coloured jeans and a pair of white trainers. For a more formal look, stay on trend with beige suit that’s paired with a sky-blue shirt and a navy-blue tie, or a crisp white shirt with an open collar.

Outfit grid white round sunglasses
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Cheap Round Sunglasses

Of course, round sunglasses needn’t come with a heavy price tag. There are plenty of cheap round sunglassesavailable that are as affordable as they are stylish. Some of the brands that are available through The Idle Man store include Trip, Jeepers Peepers and Consortium – all of which offer stylish round sunglasses under £30. And, if your mind is set on owning a pair of top-brand round sunglasses, don’t forget to take advantage of the sales to nab a bargain.

Product grid cheaper sunglasses
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Whether your chosen round sunglasses men’s are a high-end brand or a cheaper model, they can last for years as long as you give them the care and attention they deserve. It’s important to clean your sunglasses regularly to keep them looking their best. And, as the video below explains, it’s also important to make sure you’re using the right products and techniques to get the best results.

Your Quick Guide to Round Sunglasses

  • As with any type of sunglasses, you’ll need to take into account your face shape, hair and skin colour when buying round sunglasses.
  • Avoid round sunglasses if you have a round or diamond face shape as they can make your face look disproportionate.
  • Round sunglasses look best on oval, square, heart and oblong face shapes.
  • Style round Clubmasters with a casual outfit, vintage round sunglasses with either a casual or formal look, and retro round sunglasses with a retro or indie vibe.

On That Note

During your search for the perfect pair of round sunglasses, don’t forget that the most important thing when buying any new item is to make sure it matches your style and what you already have in your wardrobe. Finding a pair of sunglasses that not only suits your face shape and skin colour, but also suits your personality and personal style is truly a match made in style heaven.

That being said, you can never go wrong with a classic. So if you’re a newbie to round sunglasses, Clubmasters, vintage styles and neutral colours are a great way of testing the water without drastically changing your personal style. Now that you know what to look for when it comes to round sunglasses, why not take a trip to The Idle Man store?

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