As part of our ongoing partnership with Sunglass Hut, we asked three Highsnobiety staff and sunglass fanatics to talk us through their collections and about their passion for shades.
Like sneakers or bags, sunglasses are an easy way to elevate and add a little extra to your outfit. Needless to say, having just one pair that you break out season after season definitely doesn’t cut it in our books and anyone with the slightest interest in fashion should have a rotation of shades to suit the mood, outfit, or occasion.
Investing in a collection can seem daunting though, especially if you’re one of the clumsy and forgetful among us and are prone to leaving your shades on the beach or scratching them up. But having a selection of shades to work into your outfits can add serious style clout, whether that be by bringing a classic touch to a bold outfit or leveling up a clean look with an eye-catching design.
To dive deeper into the topic of sunglass collecting, we visited three of our staff at their homes and asked them to talk us through their personal collections. Scroll on down to see what styles they swear by and for tips on building your own collection of shades.
Stella Richter – Art Director
Talk us through your sunglasses collection. I have a variety of colors and shapes, but generally, they are all very matrix reloaded ‘90s raver vibes, ranging from the tiniest of the tiny raver shades to colorful racing sunnies.
Do you have any go-to brands? I am really loving what Oakley is doing at the moment. I even rework some shades to elevate them even more by working with clay or rhinestones. I love a good statement so for me, the bolder the better.
What do you look for when you buy a new pair of shades? Mainly, that I like the shape, the colors and that it fits my face. I usually get this 'oh yes, baby' feeling, when a pair really suits me. Then I take it home and love it forever.
Stella, art director
I usually get this 'oh yes, baby' feeling, when a pair really suits me. Then I take it home and love it forever.
How do you work a pair of sunglasses into your outfit? Sometimes sunglasses are the first thing I pick and then go from there, seeing which pieces go well with them. Sometimes it’s the other way around and I need to find the perfect sunglasses to complete the look. I usually feel like an outfit is unfinished without sunglasses.
Why do you think it’s important to have a solid selection of sunglasses? For the diversity of course. One pair can go so well with this dress that you adore but can destroy your sporty casual outfit. A plain outfit, consisting of a plain white shirt, a pair of jeans and sneakers, may seem boring, but as soon as you add funky sunglasses to it, it's a look. Also, you just look fucking cool with shades on! It's just a fact!
Any tips for readers looking to branch out on their sunglass selection? Always go for a style that you feel very comfortable in. Sunglasses can give you power, 'cause they just look so fucking cool. But only if they actually suit you, otherwise they can make you look like a joke. Never buy a pair of sunglasses just because someone else has them and try to make them work for you even though they obviously don’t.
Finally, sunglasses indoors and/or at night – yes or no? Hmmm… I have had this conversation a bunch of times, but I have to say, it’s a big fat no no! Unless you're showing off your collection, of course.
Atip Waranuks – Fashion Director
What was the first pair of sunglasses you really invested in? The first pair that I can really remember investing in was a pair of Randolph Engineering Aviators, which was back in 1988. They were amazing straight arm polarised lenses as endorsed and used by the USAF [United States Air Force]. It was post Top Gun and I wanted to channel my inner Maverick.
Which criteria do you consider when buying a new pair of sunglasses? The main thing for me is finding the style that will fit my face, as I have quite a wide head! Sometimes the ones that you lust after just don’t fit or look right. You know right away the style that will work for your face shape.
Do you have any go-to styles or brands? Aviators or wraparounds, then classic shapes. At the moment my go-to’s are my Oakley Frogskins, the lenses are amazing and no one can see where you're looking… Carrera vintage aviators, Persol oversized, Retrosuperfutre's are also high on the list.
Any tips for styling sunglasses? Sunglasses are like trainers (aka sneakers), you have to find the ones that work with the outfit. You can’t really go wrong with Oakley or classic frames.
Atip, fashion director
Sunglasses are like trainers (aka sneakers), you have to find the ones that work with the outfit.
Sunglasses are becoming an increasingly important and playful accessory, why do you think that is? Like watches, trainers or anything to do with an expression of self and style, these things become an extension of your personal style and taste. I’m personally a hoarder, well, a collector, so like trainers, I want to build up a collection so that I have a range to choose from to suit the mood or fit the occasion, whether it's a wedding or a festival. That way you're accessorized and always ready to hide or impress.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start building a collection of shades? Invest and buy what you love, not what’s trending. Your style and taste will always change so it will make for a more interesting and lasting collection if you so choose what you love.
Ufuk Inci – Senior Producer
Talk us through your sunglass collection. I have a pretty classic approach to sunglasses, but I do like to have a variation. We're talking about aviation and military-inspired frames, or even frames inspired from '50s or '60s Americana shapes, but with a subtle twist to them.
What was the first pair you really invested in? The first pair I invested in was Dior Homme aviator sunglasses from Hedi Slimane's last collection in 2007. I was super young and still in high school and saved my money to buy those, but I did lose them a few years later on a vacation...
Why do you think it’s important to have a solid selection of sunglasses? It’s nice to play around, you tell stories by wearing a certain shape or color. People tend to underestimate the power that accessories have in creating great outfits – they can add another layer and elevate even the most basic look. Sometimes I just feel like wearing a pair of blackout sunglasses, and another day I want to feel like a filthy rich millionaire and opt for sunglasses with golden metal frame.
Ufuk, senior producer
People tend to underestimate the power that accessories have in creating great outfits – they can add another layer and elevate even the most basic look.
What do you look for first when buying a new pair of sunglasses? First and foremost a comfortable fit, and I hate sunglasses that look and feel badly made. That doesn’t mean that they have to be expensive, but they should have a certain quality to them.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start building a collection of shades? Know your face and pay attention to the quality of the sunglasses, and definitely make sure they are comfortable. I’d also try and get some variation so you can actually switch things up.
What are your thoughts on bold shades trends such as Matrix-style or oversized sporty sunglasses? I’m more of a classic type when it comes to sunglasses, but you do you and I do me. If you are into that and you can rock them, enjoy, it’s just not my thing.
Now, check out our guide to buying the right sunglasses for your face shape.