Sunglasses: Key Styles

| TOP TO BOTTOM | Ray-Ban Clubmasters, Ray-Ban New Wayfarers, Persol 0649 Aviators, Oliver Peoples Sheldrake | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

When building a collection of anything, you should always start with the basics. What are those staples and key pieces that will always work hard for you and keep paying you back? Long time readers should have a pretty good handle wardrobe basics at this point—peruse the Style Guide for some inspiration—and you should take that same approach when building up your accessories collection. Here, I break down four key styles of sunglasses.

1. Brown Classics

Sunglasses: Key Styles - He Spoke Style

| PICTURED | Ray-Ban Clubmasters

A pair of classic shades in brown are an absolute must. Brown is super versatile, which, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, is one of the key elements to consider when deciding what to add to your collection. I wear my Clubmasters more than any other pair of sunglasses I own.

My pick online: Ray-Ban Classic Clubmasters, $150

Budget-friendly alternatives: AJ Morgan ($30) or ASOS ($15)

2. Badass Black

Sunglasses: Key Styles - He Spoke Style

| PICTURED | Ray-Ban New Wayfarers

If you’re only going to have two pairs of shoes, you should have a brown pair and a black pair. Same with sunglasses. There’s nothing like the classic badass cool of a simple pair of black wayfarers. When I’m planning to head out on my bike, these are usually the first ones I reach for.

My pick online: Ray-Ban New Wayfarers, $130

Budget-friendly alternatives: Reclaimed Vintage ($39) or ASOS ($15)

3. Aviators

Sunglasses: Key Styles - He Spoke Style

| PICTURED | Persol 0649 Aviators

Aviators are another classic style, but they can be something of an acquired taste. Having a fairly narrow face, I have to admit that I’m often envious of the ability of people with “regular” sized faces to be able to pull off a wider variety of styles, especially aviators. Luckily, there are plenty of sizing options so all you’ve got to do, if you’re like me, is spend a little time trying a few options on until you figure out what size is right for you.

My pick online: Persol 0649s, $370

Budget-friendly alternatives: Ray-Ban Original Aviators ($145) or ASOS ($15)

4. Fun & Funky

Sunglasses: Key Styles - He Spoke Style

| PICTURED | Oliver Peoples Sheldrake

It’s up to you to decide what fun and funky means. And it’s your personal comfort level that will determine just how fun and funky you want to be. My advice is to stay away from brightly colored frames—think, neon—as well as mirrored lenses. Instead, go with a clear/opaque frame in a muted color. Fun and funky doesn’t have to mean flamboyant.

My pick online: Oliver Peoples Sheldrake, $405

Budget-friendly alternatives: Hans Kjøbenhavn ($145) or ASOS ($23)

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo.


Chime In

  • Vaughn

    Love your blog (as you know). Going to have to disagree with you here on one thing — the Persol 0649’s are not “aviators”. Nordstrom doesn’t call them that, despite having other Persol’s (and other brands) mis-labeled as aviators. Per Wikipedia, “aviator sunglasses feature oversize teardrop-shaped lenses and a thin metal frame.” defines them as “eyeglasses with metal frames, and often tinted lenses, contoured to suggest the goggles once worn by aviators.” Merriam-Webster: “eyeglasses having a lightweight metal frame and relatively large usually tinted lenses.” Etc. Aviators, by definition, have a thin metal frame. Arguably, Paul Smith’s Cosway are still “aviators”, but only because it retains the thin wire “bullet-hole” bridge. Large tear-drop lenses do not aviators make. Persol’s 2424S’s are aviators, and they come in a 56mm lens, which should fit narrower faces. I have the opposite problem – a GIGANTIC head (used to have to special order my 7 7/8″ military covers). The Ray-Ban 3293’s in 67mm are about the only ones I found to fit me…

    • Brian Sacawa

      Cheers, Vaughn. I’ve seen these Persols called aviators elsewhere, but I always appreciate being corrected if I’m not correct. I actually tried on a pair of classic Ray-Ban aviators and found that the 55mm fits my face pretty perfectly. I may have to pick them up in the near future.

  • Mihir Shah

    In terms of accessories, the Ray Ban Wayfarers are my go to sunglasses for every occasion. I love them. I also love the design of the clubmasters but those don’t fit my face very well. Bummed about that. They’re the ultimate Don Drapper glasses.

    It terms of just wardrobe basics – my go to staples are : J. Crew Chambray shirt, J. Crew dark rinse jeans, Mark Mcnairy suede longwing brogues, Club Manaco chino suit, Levis slim trucker jean jacket. not to mention all the Ludlow suits I’ve snatched up in the last year.

    I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad thing, but about 75% of my wardrobe is J. Crew. Yeah, I know I need to diversify, but their stuff is really good for the price.

  • Andrew S.

    Brian, not sure if you’re familiar with Allyn Scura Eyewear but they have quite a few winners in their inventory. Specifically these AO Pilot aviators in gold ( or silver ( are really great budget options. The construction looks flimsy, but after five months of unfavorable wear and tear, they’ve held up splendidly.

  • aaron

    The black ray ban wayfarers are classics and work with anything- they’re definitely my favourite.

    • Brian Sacawa

      Definite classics. Cheers, Aaron.

  • Matt Ridout

    Great selection of glasses – I’ve got the Ray-Bands New-wayfarer’s, slightly smaller in size than your usual designs, look great!

    • Brian Sacawa

      Thanks, Matt. Yeah, the New Wayfarers fit well.