Spring is finally here, and the sartorial implications are staggering. Soon it will be time to mothball the woolens and air out the linens, and the best way to get prepped for this style shift is with a new pair of shades.
We consulted Olie Arnold, Style Director at men's fashion powerhouse Mr. Porter, who recommended these six essential pairs to slip on.
He advises to kick things off with an all-time classic. "There are certain products that we like to refer to as The Essentials, staples that should form the foundation of every man’s wardrobe," Arnold tells Maxim.com.
"In my mind, there is nothing more essential than a pair of gold framed aviator sunglasses. You don’t have to be Tom Cruise in Top Gun to wear these shades. They’ll look as good in the city as they do by the pool or in the cockpit. Ray-Ban might be the most well-known for their aviators, but these Cubitts bridgeless aviator-style frames feel particularly fresh to me this season." Buy here: $160
Speaking of movie stars and sunglasses, "Gregory Peck and Steve McQueen arguably put tortoiseshell shades on the map with their respective roles in To Kill A Mockingbird and The Thomas Crown Affair," Arnold says. "These folding Persols" – McQueen's favorite – "have that timeless warm amber hue that will look good on most guys," and Eyevan makes a nice pair as well. Buy here: $320
Next, "let’s not forget those round frames John Lennon made so famous," Arnold says. "These retro-feeling sunglasses are the most natural shape for covering the eyes, making them a flattering choice for most face shapes. I’m a fan of Garrett Leight and Moscot takes, which will certainly add some serious sophistication to your look." Buy here: $310
Kicking things up a notch, "An unusual color or material can really lift an outfit and help you stand out," Arnold notes. "We’ve been seeing a lot of ‘wow-factor’ sunglasses out there this spring, from brands like Gucci, Balenciaga and Prada. If you like the aviator look, but want to try something more colorful, these '70s inspired yellow-lensed aviators from Gucci fit the bill." Buy here: $435
Maybe you want a bit more detail in your shades. Arnold has you covered. "Instead of looking to the past, Balenciaga, Prada and Thom Browne searched to the future for inspiration with these glasses – and we are here for it," he says. "Balenciaga and Prada’s rectangular twist on the aviator style feels like they could be worn by Neo from The Matrix, while Thom Browne’s mesh eyeshield glasses feel like they were meant for Mad Max," and require a Hollywood-size budget. Buy here: $1,712 (yikes)
Finally, "if the futuristic look is a little too out there, you can still take some risks to up your sunglass game," Arnold opines. " I’d recommend trying a mirrored lens. The transparent frame paired with the blue mirrored lens on these shades from Mr. Leight" – inspired by '70s Californian style – "are bound make a bold impression." Buy here: $665