A Guide to Buying the Perfect Sunglasses

Look your best with a new pair of sunglasses.

a selection of sunglasses
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With summer in full swing, it’s time to think about an accessory that is both practical and stylish - yep, you guessed it, we’re talking about sunglasses. Whether you fancy huge Paris Hilton-esque sunnies or prefer to keep it simple with some aviator specs, buying the perfect pair of sunglasses can be time and money-consuming. 

From The Sunglass Hut to Vision Express, choosing the perfect pair of sunnies doesn’t have to be an ordeal. If you want to discover some handy tips and tricks that will make your hunt for the perfect pair of sunglasses just that fraction easier, read on. 

Consider your face shape

woman looking at herself in a mirror

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One of the first things to consider when buying a new pair of sunglasses is your face shape. While many people already know which face shape they have - whether it be oval, square, long or heart-shaped- it's also pretty common to have no idea. If you’re one of the latter, take lipstick or an erasable whiteboard pen and trace the outline of your face in a mirror. 

There are seven basic face shapes: oval, round, square, diamond, heart, pear and oblong. Hopefully, the mirror outline will correspond with one of these shapes. The next step will be to work out which style of sunnies suits your newly discovered face shape and to discover which ones are definite no-nos.

Choose the right style for your face shape

Oval: Did you know that the oval face shape is considered the ideal shape? Sported by the likes of Rihanna, Beyonce and Kim Kardashian, consider yourself lucky if you’re someone with this face shape. Your wide forehead, curved chin and prominent cheekbones make your face fairly harmonious, meaning that you could look great in a wide range of sunglass styles. 

However, your delicate features mean that oversized sunnies could look way too big on you, so consider avoiding wide styles with prominent frames. Instead, go for the understated glamour of sunglass styles such as cat-eye, rectangular and aviator.

Ray-Ban Sidestreet Sunglasses in Gunmetal, RB3183, £148 (was £185)

Square: Another popular face shape, some celebrities rocking the square face look include Jennifer Aniston, Billie Piper and Olivia Wilde. Characterised by an angular jawline and a wide hairline, the features of square faces tend to be similar-sized lengths. 

While strong features are undeniably a facial attribute, many people seek to gently soften their square features by reaching for the accessories. Round sunglasses are the perfect style to balance square features, as round or oval shades will work to minimise the effect of sharp edges. 

We would recommend avoiding rectangular sunnies, as these could work to accentuate your face shape. Indeed, any style with sharp corners should be avoided. 

Ralph by Ralph Lauren RA 5160 Sunglasses, £91

Round: Sported by celebrities such as Mila Kunis, Selena Gomez and Drew Barrymore, the round face shape is characterised by a rounded chin, wide cheekbones and soft edges. The perfect pair of sunglasses can give a lengthening effect that minimises its round nature.

Oversized sunglasses, rectangular sunglasses, square sunglasses and cat-eye sunglasses are all considered flattering for this face shape. Rounded and narrow frames should be avoided as they may accentuate the roundness of the face. 

Heart-shaped: Rocked by celebrities such as Naomi Campbell and Halle Berry, heart-shaped faces are characterised by a wide top third and a narrow bottom third. People with this face shape often seek to balance out the width of their forehead and the narrow nature of their chin. 

Some sunglasses styles that would suit a heart-shaped face include cat-eye, rectangular, square, aviator and geometric. 

Osprey Sunglasses Salerno in Orange, £55 (was £110)

And if all this talk of accessories has got you in the mood for a beauty refresh, check out this guide to beauty products on a budget.

Consider your skin tone

woman wearing sunglasses

(Image credit: Getty Images)

 So, you’ve worked out which sunglass style is perfect for your face shape, but what about your skin tone and hair colour? These are two important aspects to consider when on the hunt for a flattering pair of sunnies, but they can often be overlooked. 

People with light-coloured skin with warm undertones will benefit from choosing frames made of darker shades of gold, green or brown, whilst people with cool undertones should opt for dark shades of blue or pink. These colours will work to balance your facial features beautifully. 

People with medium-toned skin may want to consider choosing striking colours such as orange and red, or cool shades of blue, green and grey. This is because they have the flexibility to explore both light and dark colours as a result of their versatile skin colour. 

People with darker skin tones often suit frames of bright gold, brown and other neutral shades. These shades will work to accentuate the rich tones of your skin, whereas a white or light-coloured frame may wash you out. 

Crystal Green Sunglasses by Oliver Bonas, £26

Consider your hair colour

Hair colour is equally an important factor to consider when looking for the perfect pair of sunglasses. 

People with light hair such as blonde may want to consider going for a pop of colour when choosing the perfect sunglass frame. Shades such as green, blue and brown will both complement and stand out against your hair, meaning that you’ll be spotted from miles around. 

Again, people with medium-toned hair will be pleased to hear that they have a certain amount of flexibility with the sunglasses they go for. Warm shades will stand out nicely against their features, but purple, white and silver will look equally as stylish. 

Dark hair is another versatile shade when it comes to sporting a new pair of shades. Striking shades such as black, white, red, green and blue can look amazing paired against your shiny looks, whereas pastel hues can look good but maybe slightly underwhelming. 

Colour Pop Acetate Sunglasses by Boden, £30 (was £75) 

Check out the sales and promo codes

woman wearing sunglasses

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By now you’ve worked out the sunglass styles and colours that suit your features, so it's time to splash the cash. However, there’s no denying that many sunglasses are priced far out of reach of the average budget. And with the cost of living crisis in full swing, many of us are unwilling to fork out a small fortune for the perfect pair of specs. 

This is where shopping the sales comes in handy. Vision Express runs sales during seasonal periods such as Black Friday and Christmas, but it also runs sales throughout the year where customers can grab a pair of sunglasses at 50% off. It also often runs offers such as 20% off sunglasses when you spend over £150, 20% off for key workers and 20% off for students.

Sunglass Hut also offers students 15% off, as well as running promotions such as 30% off your second pair of sunglasses, 50% off selected styles and free delivery and returns. Shoppers can also check out the ‘Clearance’ section of the Ray-Ban website, where stylish sunglasses can be found reduced by up to 50%. 

And don’t forget, check out MyVoucherCodes to find all of the best sunglasses promo codes and offers in one place. Simple!

If shopping for sunglasses without breaking the bank sounds like your cup of tea, check out this article on how to accessorise on a budget this summer. 

Look after your sunnies

This may go without saying for many people, but looking after your sunglasses is essential if you want to get the most out of your money. Even high-quality sunglasses don’t last forever, but there are a few steps you can take to extend the life of your shades as much as you can. 

It may be tempting to keep your sunglasses on top of your head, but we would recommend storing your shades in a good-quality case instead. Sunglasses can easily get crushed or sat on, so a hard case will hopefully prevent this. Also, cleaning your glasses with a soft cloth is a great way to keep them looking their best - it may be tempting to clean them with the fabric of your t-shirt, but this can lead to scratches over time. 

Buy second-hand

a truck advertsing a thrift shop

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Buying second-hand is one of my favourite ways to make some stylish savings. Useful second-hand apps such as eBay, Depop, Vinted, Vestiaire Collective, Grailed, Preloved, Poshmark and Etsy are great places to snag an excellent deal on a new pair of sunnies. 

If you’re after some shades that are on the cheaper side - £15 and under - I would recommend checking out Vinted or eBay where you can grab high-quality sunglasses and still have change from £20. Alternatively, Vestiaire Collective, Poshmark and Grailed are handy if you’re looking to bag a pair of designer sunnies for a reduced price. 

To find out more about buying second-hand, check out this article about how much money you can save buying second-hand clothes.

So, this guide to buying the perfect sunglasses should have you on the way to looking your very best in the sun. With British weather being unpredictable at best, we hope you’ll be able to wear your new sunnies all year round, come rain or shine.  

Mazy Wyeth


Hi there! My name is Mazy and I’ve been a part of the vouchers world since November 2022. After studying English Literature with Creative Writing at university, I realised that I would love to incorporate writing into my career - so here I am! 

You could say that I have a mild addiction to online shopping, specifically second-hand shopping; you probably won’t find me spending thousands on a brand-new outfit, but you will find me deep into a browse of my favourite second-hand clothing apps, including Depop, Vinted, eBay, Preloved and Vestiaire Collective.