The Basics a Gentleman’s Basic: Sunglasses

USAAF pilot standing in front of aircraft engine and wearing sunglasses.
There is no more practical accessory than sunglasses. They protect your eyes from the harsh light of the sun and possibly debris. Yet, many men don’t know how to choose and wear them. 


Like all other fashion, there are many different styles for different tastes and situations. 

Sports Sunglasses

Sports are distinguished by their plastic frames and lenses, both designed for durability. They come in a wide variety of colours, and various styles. Many also include a strap to prevent them from being lost if they fall off. They’re extremely casual, really only suited to wear with practical attire and street clothes.&


So named for their association with pilots, aviators have large lenses, typically mirrored or black, and polished metal frames. They aren’t as rugged or casual as sports sunglasses. They’re most suited to being worn with casual or informal attire or military or police uniforms. 

Eyeglass Mounted

These attach to prescription glasses, turning them into sunglasses. These should be as close as possible to being indistinguishable from ordinary sunglasses. The other options for men with corrective lenses are prescription lenses in conventional sunglasses, contact lenses under non-prescription sunglasses, or automatic darkening lenses. 

Eyeglass Style

Any style of glasses that can be used with corrective lenses can also be used as sunglasses. Usually these styles will use black or mirrored lenses, but other colours are far from unheard of. 

When to Wear

This should be easy but it is worth mentioning. Sunglasses should generally only be worn outside during the day, but more importantly when the light is too bright to be comfortable. It’s also okay to wear sunglasses in a car, on the bridge of a ship, or anywhere else with largely unimpeded natural light. 

When you take your sunglasses off the best thing to do with them is put them on a table or other suitable storage place for accessories, but this isn’t always in option. Until you reach the more formal end of casual attire, it’s acceptable to hang them off your clothes or from a neck strap, or lift them up your face and rest them on top of your head. Regardless of what you’re wearing, it’s best to keep your sunglasses out of sight when you’re not wearing them.


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