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13 best women’s sunglasses for every type of face shape

No good outfit is complete without a great pair of shades

<p>From Prada to Ray-Ban, here you’ll find the timeless and stylish sunnies you need  </p>

From Prada to Ray-Ban, here you’ll find the timeless and stylish sunnies you need

The power of a great accessory should never be underestimated – a standout pair of shoes add a statement to a dowdy outfit, while jewellery turns your look into something sparkly. But really, when outdoors, it’s sunglasses that hold immense transformative powers.

As an integral part of any fashion aficionado’s wardrobe (case in point: Anna Wintour’s large, round designs and Karl Lagerfeld’s dark black glasses), shades have become a sartorial staple. But finding the right pair for you is no mean feat, particularly when you consider different face shapes.

Toby Attdrige, head of product at sunglasses brand Taylor Morris, recommends that if you have a square face you should look for a “larger, rounded frame”, which will soften the strong lines of the face. And if you have an oval face, it’s “best to accentuate the natural elongated curve of the face by contrasting it with a completely round, wider frame.”

However, “if you have a rounded brow and a softer jawline,” Attdrige recommends that “you should always opt for a rectangular frame” because the “acute lines of the frames will give a balancing contrast and keep your face beautifully in proportion”.

Last but not least, if you have a heart-shaped head – a face that is thinner at the bottom than it is at the top – Attdrige recommends that to fully accentuate this, you should “go for something which is wider at the top of the frame and thinner on the lower lip”.

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In terms of designs to look out for, we think anything goes, and we’d always recommend opting for sunglasses that are timeless. But if trends are your main focus, rectangular silhouettes are seemingly everywhere, so too are bright and bold colours and futuristic designs.

Consider your search for the perfect pair of shades over because we think we’ve found the crème de la crème from the eyewear world. From high street picks to designer sunglasses, angular to round, there’s something for every face shape.

How we tested 

Saving these for sunny days, we kept an eye out for trends, but also noted the need for each pair to be timeless, as we’re all about investing in classics that will stand the test of time. Of course, it was important that they also provided the necessary protection to our eyes. These are the ones that shone brightest.

The best sunglasses for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – James Ay mirage: £135, Jamesay.com
  • Best for classic design – Bloobloom pal: £95, Bloobloom.com
  • Best for a pop of colour – Sun Buddies Ethan in pink: £125, Sunbuddieseyewear.com
  • Best for giving back – Bottletop x Togetherband eyewear the rae: £40, Togetherband.org
  • Best retro design sunglasses – Jimmy Fairly Scarlett: £129, Jimmyfairly.co.uk
  • Best cat eye sunglasses – Asos Design recycled frame chunky flare cat eye sunglasses: £12, Asos.com
  • Best white sunglasses – Sunday Somewhere calypso: £191, Sundaysomewhere.com
  • Best Prada sunglasses dupes – & Other Stories squared thick frame sunglasses: £27, Asos.com
  • Best circular sunglasses – Taylor Morris bonchurch sunglasses: £160, Taylormorris.com
  • Best rectangular sunglasses – Finlay & Co Kendall: £150, Finlayandco.com
  • Best designer sunglasses – Prada PR 23YS sunglasses: £345, Sunglasshut.com
  • Best Seventies-inspired sunglasses – Quay total vibe sunglasses: £49, Quayaustralia.co.uk
  • Best unisex sunglasses – Ray-Ban 0RB2180: £128, Ray-ban.com

James Ay mirage

Best: Overall

Rating: 9.5/10

Dedicated to creating timeless silhouettes while focusing on sustainability, James Ay’s sunglasses are made from plant-based materials. And, in keeping with the brand’s ethos, the packaging is made from recycled and recyclable materials – the hard box is made from uncoated paper, while the sunglasses are in a recycled leather sleeve, and as for the cleaning cloth, it’s made from plastic bottles. And it’s not just about using eco conscious materials, for one pair sold, the brand plants a tree using Climaider.

With so many different designs on offer, it was difficult to choose our favourite. But for us, this bold, statement pair stood out to us the most. Owing to the fact they’re wider at the top and thinner at the lower lip, they are an ideal pick for accentuating heart-shaped faces. You can tell these have been well-made since they feel sturdy when they’re on your face. Plus, it offers a particularly striking silhouette that made us feel far more put together.

Bloobloom pal

Best: For classic design

Rating: 9/10

In a world where accessories are thoughtlessly produced at lightning speed, Bloobloom has come to the rescue, creating ethical eyewear at affordable prices. The brand offers full transparency by producing a true cost breakdown behind the price of each of its designs. Better still, it’s all about giving back too – thanks to its pair for a pair initiative, for every pair purchased it donates one to someone in need.

It’s not just a considered brand though, because BlooBloom has nailed the formula for the perfect pair of classic shades. From the moment you unpack a pair of BlooBloom’s sunglasses you know you’re in for a treat. The box contains the shades in a leather case, a microfibre cleaning cloth, and even a small screwdriver for tightening the frames.

As designs go, these are a pair that we’ll reach for time and again – they’re smart enough to wear for special occasions, but also ideal for the everyday. The lenses are polarised, making them a great choice for driving, too, and you can also get this design with prescription lenses.

Sun Buddies Ethan in pink

Best: For a pop of colour

Rating: 8/10

Specialising in premium, handmade frames, it’s safe to say we’re obsessed with this Swedish eyewear brand, Sun Buddies. In terms of trends, colour is huge news, so if you’re looking to tap into it, these are a great choice that can still be worn long after the trend dies down.

Despite offering a pop of colour, they’re still timeless and offer a fun option for many a summer to come. The bright pink thick frames are contrasted with fairly dark lenses, so when it comes to a pair of statement shades, you cannot go wrong with these. And owing to the slight cat-eye design, these are a particularly great choice if you have a heart-shaped face and will work to accentuate the cheekbones. What’s more, the leather case they arrive in means you’ll be able to keep these looking like-new.

Bottletop x Togetherband eyewear the rae

Best: For giving back

Rating: 8/10

Finding products that give back is one of our favourite things to do here at IndyBest, so we were pleased to discover Bottletop’s #Together eyewear collection. For the uninitiated, the Bottletop Foundation supports disadvantaged young people across the global community, with 100 per cent of sales being donated back in to the charity.

As for these shades, the design is timeless and they feel far more high-end than the affordable price tag suggests. Owing to the softly angular shape that’s at play here, we’d recommend that these are best for those with an oval face.

The frames are made from recycled materials, so they serve as a good choice if you’re looking for something more eco-conscious than fast fashion designs. Better still, for every pair purchased, the brand will donate money to protect 25 people from river blindness.

Jimmy Fairly Scarlett

Best: Retro design sunglasses

Rating: 8/10

Jimmy Fairly knows a thing or two about sunglasses and, since we first discovered the brand, it quickly became a go-to. The rectangular shape is seemingly everywhere this year, and the brand has nailed it with this retro-inspired design by making them look cool, yet not too trend-led. The proportions are just right – the frames are thin and contrast against the thick arms, while the lenses aren’t too dark – so you’ll be reaching for them year after year.

Should you want an alternative to tortoiseshell, the design comes in green and black. It’s also possible to order them with prescription lenses. And, as an added bonus, Jimmy Fairly is all about giving back – in partnership with Restoring Vision, a non-profit global health organisation, it donates a pair of reading glasses to someone in need.

Asos Design recycled frame chunky flare cat eye sunglasses

Best: Cat eye sunglasses

Rating: 8/10

You don’t need to spend hundreds in order to get a great pair of sunglasses, and this Asos pair proves just that. Having been part of our accessories bounty for many years, and despite costing just £12, they’ve stood the test of time. The bold shape makes them a great choice if you’re looking for a cat eye shade that will go with every outfit and work for every occasion (particularly, if you’re hiding tired, hungover eyes). They arrive in a cloth pouch that can be used as a cleaning cloth.

Sunday Somewhere calypso

Best: White sunglasses

Rating: 8/10

If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional black or tortoiseshell, these shades from Sunday Somewhere are a great choice, and the design scream French girl chic and practically transported us to the southern coast from the moment we put them on.

Initially, we were concerned that the contrasting white frames and dark lenses would make them a little OTT, but on arrival, we were thankfully proved wrong. The lenses are a browny colour, so slightly seethrough and very stylish. Owing to the large, oversized shape, these are an ideal pick for someone who has an oval face.

& Other Stories rectangle sunglasses

Best: Prada sunglasses dupe

Rating: 8/10

If you’re looking for a very affordable alternative to Prada’s thick-framed sunnies that are seemingly everywhere at the moment, high street brand & Other Stories has come to the rescue with this on-trend, yet timeless pair of shades. The chic design is versatile and stylish, while the chunky frames make them feel high quality. Owing to the width and angular shape, if you have a rounder and wider face, these are a great pick. And as high street shades go, we think that these are a pair that you will go back to season after season.

Taylor Morris bonchurch sunglasses

Best: Circular sunglasses

Rating: 8/10

London-based brand Taylor Morris designs vintage-inspired shades with a contemporary twist, and should you be looking for a pair of circular shades that aren’t the Ray-Ban design that just about everyone has, look to these. With a thin and dark frame, they’re a great pick for someone with a square face. Despite being lightweight, they feel, and more importantly look, high-end. If you’re looking for a pair of sunglasses that will elevate any outfit, these are the ideal pick.

Finlay & Co Kendall

Best: Rectangular sunglasses

Rating: 9/10

Each pair of Finlay & Co. sunglasses are designed in London and handmade in Italy, with the brand offering engraving, as well as prescription lenses on every pair of shades. And while we’ve included two different rectangular sunglasses in this review, if you’re looking for a classic, rounded option that’ll stand the test of time, these are the ones to choose.

From the moment we took them out of the box, we could tell how well made they were – they’ve got a weightiness to them that you don’t tend to find from designs at high street brands. The thick frames feel sturdy on the face, and unlike some of the other rectangular sunglasses we tried during testing, these are fairly wide, making them a great pick if you have a more round face. You’ve got the option of four different colours too, black, dark brown, red and of course this butterscotch shade – each one is as timeless as the last.

Prada PR23YS sunglasses

Best: Designer sunglasses

Rating: 8/10

As soon as we saw Hunter Shafer (Euphoria’s Jules) wearing these designer frames, we had to give them a whirl. Our round-faced tester leans towards oversized sunnies for the perfect fit, and this wide, high bridge style did not disappoint.

Pairing classic details with modern design, the sunnies feature the colour of the season in the form of green tortoise shell print. We loved that the bolder details were exclusive to the arms, giving the glasses a statement side profile while remaining versatile enough to pair with different outfits. The reworked Prada triangle logo is large enough to be instantly recognisable but is weaved into the print, thus not being too shouty. These shades feel high quality and robust, as you’d expect for the price.

Quay total vibe

Best: Seventies-inspired sunglasses

Rating: 8.5/10

Quay sunglasses are a favourite for a reason: they offer premium quality at an affordable price with a plethora of styles to choose from. As fans of the gloriously oversized frame, we plumped for this classic square shape in the Seventies green and brown colourway.

As someone who often struggles with finding the right fit when it comes to eyewear, thanks to prominent cheeks and a round face, our tester can always count on Quay frames to look flattering and feel comfortable. The wide arms make for even more of a statement and the hardware feels sturdy.

Quay’s frames also come in a handy case and cleaning cloth for extra protection. We’ll be stocking up on all three colours in this style.

Ray-Ban 0RB2180

Best: Unisex sunglasses

Rating: 9/10

Ray-Ban has been protecting our eyes since 1937, and there are few timeless styles as recognisable and still as popular as the catchily named, Ray-Ban 0RB2180. A more interesting and rounder shape than the brand’s signature Wayfarers, these still feature the rivets on the front of either side but instead sit flat on the face. They’re super lightweight and don’t have nose pads which can sometimes dig in after wearing glasses for a long time.

Although these frames come in a range of colours, from black to grey and light brown, we love them in the colourway “striped red Havana”, which is similar to a tortoise pattern if, like us, that’s your go-to. We also like the dark brown lenses – which are complete with the “Ray-Ban” signature on the top left – and feel they give excellent protection from the sun, so you’re not squinting on sunnier days.

They come in two sizes, 49 or 51 which is the lens width. We think the latter is the most ubiquitous, but to ensure you find the right fit for you, Ray Ban has a nifty sizing guide, which covers everything including bridge gaps. Thanks to their shape and tones, we think they go with most outfits and occasions too, so you’ll always be reaching for them when the sun’s out.

Our favourite thing about them? They’re unisex and suit practically everyone. All Ray Bans come with a carry case and a cleaning cloth too.

The verdict: Women’s sunglasses

With a seriously stellar line-up of women’s sunglasses here, it’s not an easy task choosing our favourite. But James Ay’s mirage shades took the top spot. From the moment we took them out of the box we were impressed, not only are they a sustainable option, but they’re also a timeless design that you’ll want to wear all the time.

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