Few items can alter your look as easily as eyewear. A smallish pair of sunglasses can make you look like Hailey Bieber, while a pair of wire-rimmed glasses will help you fit in with the Dimes Square crowd. But finding a pair that both suit your style and sit comfortably on your face is a challenge. To help you discover glasses (of all kinds) that are worth your money, we’ve put together a list of the best eyewear we’ve written about before on the Strategist, from blue-light-blocking glasses beloved by Reno 911! star Kerri Kenney-Silver, to the readers so thin that they fold into your wallet, to sunglasses that won’t slip down low nose bridges.
We talked with stylish and bespectacled women to find the best eyeglasses for women, including bold frames but also these neutral (but still stylish) clear-framed ones. “The crystal color makes it easy to go with anything I am wearing — and they’re not too overwhelming during a Zoom meeting,” says photographer and director Mei Tao. Plus, they’re easily customizable — available in medium and wide widths, as well as a variety of lenses and prescriptions.
We also found cool-person-approved eyeglasses for men, and many of the people we spoke to recommended Warby Parker. But Elliot March, co-founder of the luxury design brand March and White Design, decided to turn his Ray-Ban sunglasses frames into regular glasses, because “the frames are affordable and durable, and the design is timeless — you can never go wrong with a classic.” (We learned you can also just get prescription Wayfarer eyeglasses without having to swap out lenses.)
If you need help reading rather than round-the-clock eyewear, our editors are longtime fans of these from Look Optic. Designed by Oliver Peoples alums, these readers are more stylish than the ones you might pick up at the drugstore as well as more durable. For two months, New York Magazine managing editor Ann Clarke wore the Sullivans, and to her surprise, “They are just … solid. They’re not lighter, they are not heavier, they just fit me well, and they don’t tip to one side.”
If you’re looking for reading glasses that are less clunky but still high-quality, these 0.12-inch-thick ThinOptics are for you. When folded in half (yes, they fold), they’re thin enough to tuck into most wallets or a keychain holder from the same brand.
Many of us have spent the better part of the last two years staring at computer screens, so there’s been renewed interest in blue-light-blocking glasses to help with digital eye strain. The bad news is that experts say that there’s little evidence that blue-light-blocking glasses reduce eye dryness or itchiness — but they can help with your mood and quality of sleep, especially if you’re glued to Netflix before bed. These Uvex glasses are the ones that Cathy Goldstein, an M.D. and clinical associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center, uses in the lab as part of her own clinical studies. And she tells us that “It’s shown when you use these the light doesn’t suppress your melatonin, and it prevents a phase-shift and it can improve sleep.”
If you’re looking for more aesthetically pleasing blue-light-blocking glasses, these come highly recommended by Kerri Kenney-Silver, writer and star of Reno 911!. Within days after she started wearing the Wrights, she noticed a difference in her sleep — “I’ve been conking out faster, sleeping more soundly, and waking more refreshed” — and she said she’d stopped squinting when staring at screens. Kenney-Silver also notes that the frame’s “androgynous vibe” is tempered by the rosemary crystal hue, while “the larger shape frames my face nicely.”
Based on the more than 58,000 five-star reviews, this is one of the best pairs of blue-light-blocking glasses to buy on Amazon. One reviewer wrote, “I didn’t think much of these glasses at first, but after a good four-hour run of staring at the monitor … I knew these were as good as what they claim to be.” Another reviewer said, “I do believe that they help alleviate eye fatigue and other negative effects of blue light. I can sleep better now. Damn blue light, good-bye!” Bonus: The lenses don’t have a dark or yellowish tint, unlike some other blue-light glasses.
When we asked our writers and editors to share their favorite sunglasses, Ray-Bans came up three times. They’re a classic for a reason. Writer Chloe Anello is hard on her sunglasses — “I leave them in my car for weeks on end, toss them into my bag without a case, and stretch them out by pushing them up on top of my head,” she says. But these aviators have survived at least four years of wear “without feeling like they’re no longer in style.”
Prescription sunglasses can be notoriously expensive, but with Lensabl, you can keep the frames you love and replace just the lenses for under $100 without leaving home. That’s according to Mia Leimkuhler, the Strategist’s manager of audience engagement, who got new anti-reflection and scratch-resistant lenses with 100 percent UV protection for her Stella McCartney frames for just $77.
When one Strategist reader asked for sunglasses for low bridges that wouldn’t slide down her face and weren’t crazy expensive, we responded with these from Le Specs. They’re a favorite of podcast host Vanessa Hong because they’re not only fashionable but fit her face and frame perfectly.
To find some stylish options that look expensive but aren’t, we consulted seven cool women for actually good-looking pairs, all under $100. Katonya Breaux, founder of Unsun Cosmetics, recommends Quay Australia Honey Frames because of their cat-eye style. These are Katonya’s “No. 1 choice” for cat-eye shades because they’re oversized and made from a stainless-steel frame that has slightly reflective, category-three UV-protection lenses.
These Izipizi sunglasses are sturdy enough to travel the world with but not too expensive, in case you lose a pair like stylist Joel Moore did in Puerto Rico. Plus they’re lightweight and have UV protection, all for under $200. We also found lots of other stylish-yet-inexpensive sunglasses for men.
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