The first “sunglasses,” worn by the Inuits, were made from flattened walrus ivory, with slits carved in them—you know, Kanye Style—just large enough to see through. They didn’t block UV rays, but they did reduce the glare of the sun off the snow. In the 1920s, sunglasses with actual lenses had become associated with the Hollywood glam life, when silent film actors wore them between takes to save their eyes from the hugely bright arc lamps on set. (Fifty years later, guys like Keith Richards also wore shades indoors, but odds are that had more to do with pupil size than ambient light issues.)
But enough with the history lesson—how do you find the right pair for you? Obviously, start with what catches your, um, eye. But there’s more to it than that, because for a pair to really look good on you, they need to match your face, not just your taste. Here’s our handy cheat sheet for what styles look best with what types of face.
A broader forehead, with a face that narrows down toward your jaw, demands frames that follow the same general trend—wider at the top tapering downward. Translation: aviators are your friend.
If your face is symmetrical, but on the long and relatively narrow side, look for rectangular shaped frames, whether pure rectangles or wayfarer style. They’ll balance out the proportions by accentuating width.
If you’ve got fuller cheeks and a rounder chin, Rule No. 1 is to avoid round specs, which will only accentuate the shape of your face. Instead, grab a pair of wayfarers or aviators (note: either teardrop or squared-offs style look equally great).
One final word of advice: Remember that this is just a starting point. The most important element of style is confidence, so whatever shape you choose, go out there and own it.