Like a modern-day talisman, sunglasses can impart glamour, convey mystery, and hide those sad, tired under-eye bags we all dread. Plus, they offer protection from the sun’s harmful rays; they might as well be magic wands! No day is complete without fabulous shades, which is why each member of our editorial team is fiercely loyal to her favorite pair. Whether you’re channeling Audrey Hepburn, Anita Ekberg, or just a dazzling version of yourself, these brands have it made in the shade.
Vicki Santillano, Staff Writer
I love sunglasses, but I have the hardest time finding a pair that loves me—or, more specifically, loves the shape of my face and doesn’t make me look like an insect or an ’80s-era soccer mom. That’s why I’ve held on to my DKNY sunglasses for so many years. The minute I tried them on, I knew we were meant to be. The über-black lenses and classic frame with a modern twist make me feel as glamorous as Audrey Hepburn every time I wear them, even if I’m sporting jeans and a tee instead of an LBD.
Renae Hurlbutt, Editorial Assistant
I’m not what you’d call a big spender when it comes to accessories. The most expensive pair of sunglasses I own came from Forever 21 and probably cost me a whopping $10. But I do aspire to classier accoutrements, and what’s classier than saving the planet? These chic tortoiseshell shades from Modo’s Earth Conscious Optical (Eco) line are made from recycled plastic and metal, and for every pair sold, the company plants a tree. Eco also makes it easy to donate your old frames, by including a self-addressed envelope with your sunglasses case. At $129, they’re a little pricey, but so darn smart that I’m inclined to shed my cheapskate ways—eventually.
Allison Ford, Staff Writer
When it comes to sunglasses, I can’t help but live above my means. My eyewear wardrobe is stocked with precious YSL, Oliver Peoples, and Valentino specimens, but the line that really gets my heart racing is Roberto Cavalli. I’m all about big frames, dark lenses, and pretending that I’m a movie star going incognito, so these fashionable, brazen glasses (like my favorite modern tortoiseshell frames) are all I need to pretend that I’m cavorting around the streets of Rome in my own personal La Dolce Vita.
Bijani Mizell, Editorial Assistant
When I was little, my mom used to tell me, “You’d lose your head if it weren’t screwed onto your shoulders!” Aside from the fact that her statement is biologically impossible (sorry, Mom), I am a chronic loser—as in, I lose everything. I find it difficult to justify expensive purchases, but I’ve found my savior in H&M’s $5 aviator sunglasses. I refuse to step outside without these glamorous shades; they look just as amazing as those that cost one hundred times the price. Last year’s favorites were knockoff Ray-Ban Wayfarers, but I’ve outgrown the hipster thang. Aviators are classic, stylish, and once they’re on, I’m instantly transported to Jackie O’s private yacht in Capri. Ciao ciao, darlings!
Rebecca Brown, Editor-in-Chief
Recently, I was on the Champs-Élysées (I love saying that), coveting the goods at Louis Vuitton Paris, where I found the Most. Beautiful. Sunglasses. Ever. I just knew that I would be a better person if I had those sunglasses. I loved them so much, I gave them a nickname: George the Cinq, because of the George V Metro stop right outside the store. Unfortunately, they cost about $490 more than I usually spend on sunglasses, so George and I were cruelly forced to part ways. But I’m going back to Paris this summer, and I’m already plotting ways I can earn an extra $441 (the new, lower conversion rate) so that George the Cinq can finally find his rightful home on my face. Realistically, my budget will probably force me to stick to my $8.99 H&M shades. But at least George and I will always have Paris.
Nicole Deterding, Partner Coordinator
I never used to have a favorite pair of sunglasses, or even a nice pair. I would just buy a cheap $8 pair that I would wear until I lost or broke them. But three years ago, I bought the most amazing pair of Valentino sunglasses, and they’ve been my favorite ever since. They’re a pretty plum color, with Swarovski crystals on the sides, and I’m all about things that sparkle … oh, and I guess they’re a good shape for my face. I have yet to break or lose them, knock on wood.
Annie Tucker Morgan, Editor
If I were left to my own financial devices when selecting sunglasses, I’d be forced to buy every pair from Walgreens. Fortunately, I have friends in high places, and one of them hooked me up with a free pair of shades from an ultra-hip, Los Angeles–based eyewear company called Dita. The style I got, Wonderlust, has 24-karat gold in the lenses and was worn by Heather Graham in The Hangover, which makes me feel extra-glamorous—even though I sometimes feel like the glasses make me look like a ’70s mom. They’re too big to be my everyday go-to, but when I need to hide my under-eye circles from the paparazzi, they’re a lifesaver.
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