Sunglasses, swim shorts and sangria — these are the s’s of summer. But just like there are recipes for fall and winter sangrias, you can — and should — continue wearing sunglasses after the beach cabanas have closed. There’s the style benefit: sunglasses, simply put, are cool. But the best sunglasses for winter also serve an important function in protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 80% of UV rays penetrate clouds, making it critical to protect yourself on even overcast days. And just like you swap out your light summer shoes for sturdy boots, it can be worth switching out your summer shades for specs that better suit cooler climes.
The best sunglasses for winter and fall will have a lighter tint, letting in enough light while blocking harmful UV rays. Black or dark brown lenses are great for summer, but they can be too severe and light-restricting on overcast days. A lighter lens or a colored lens will be better suited for gloomy days. There are plenty of overcast days that still feel very bright, so having sunglasses for fall and winter will keep you from squinting and straining your eyes. Plus, many lighter tinted lenses are also colored, so you can literally look at the world through rose-colored lenses on a gloomy day.
One feature to look out for when shopping for fall and winter sunglasses is polarization. Polarized sunglasses reduce glare, a particularly important feature if you’re near any snow or bodies of water. Plus, the lower trajectory of the sun tends to make glare even worse in fall and winter, so it’s crucial to have reliable sunglasses that cut through glare when driving in the cooler months, too. These are some of our favorite options right now.
1. Persol Polarized Sunglasses
Persol was the preferred brand of the iconic Steve McQueen. Despite being a classic brand, the exaggerated aviator shape does take some confidence to pull off. These have tortoiseshell-colored temples and blue lenses. They’re also polarized.
2. Moscot Lemtosh Sunglasses
Founded in 1915, New York-based Moscot is one of the most storied eyewear brands in the US. Plus, Moscot has been a family-owned brand since its founding. The Lemtosh is the brand’s most iconic frame, and it comes in a ton of different colors. This option has a transparent frame with light green lenses.
3. Le Specs Hercules 56mm Aviator Sunglasses
Australian eyewear brand Le Specs is one to keep on your radar — their glasses are affordable and stylish. The Hercules Aviator tweaks the teardrop shape of the classic aviator silhouette, giving it a more modern shape. But the orange-tinted lenses give these shades a 70s-inspired look. If you prefer to keep it classic, these glasses are also available with green lenses.
4. Oliver Peoples Cary Grant Round Sunglasses
BEST COLORED LENSES
Many of Oliver Peoples sunglasses riff on classic frames worn by American icons like Gregory Peck, and in this case, Cary Grant. These have a rounded, but not too round shape that’s pretty much universally flattering. They have a greenish frame with red shades, a clash that somehow works. But when you’ve been in the game as long as Oliver Peoples, you can get away with it.
5. Ray-Ban RB3669
BEST RETRO GLASSES
These winter sunglasses from Ray-Ban have a rectangular shape that evokes the 90s, while the yellow lenses call to mind the 70s. These feel like the kind of shades Brad Pitt might have worn to the Oceans 11 premier. Plus, the blue-light blocking properties of yellow lenses make them great for overcast weather.
6. Jacques Marie Mage Dealan Sunglasses
Jacques Marie Mage has become one of the most popular luxury eyewear brands in recent years for its elevated take on the classic wayfarer shape. These winter sunglasses have a transparent frame with light-brown tinted lenses.
7. Warby Parker Cooper
Warby Parker made its name on simple, unobtrusive eyewear, but the brand hasn’t been afraid to loosen up in the last few years. The Cooper style has circular lenses with a brow/top bar but no bridge, making for a unique twist on the aviator-inspired style. These lenses are on the darker side compared to others, so they’re best suited for those sunnier cold days.
8. Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses
BEST TWIST ON A CLASSIC
The Wayfarer is one of the most recognizable frame styles ever produced, which is why this blue version is a welcome twist on the ubiquitous style. These sunglasses for winter and fall have a transparent blue frame with matching blue lenses.