What Your Sunglasses Say About You

April 14th, 2015

Sunglasses are a real character builder. Or at least they play a large roll in the character that you play to others. They’re front and center and they can literally change the shape of your face. So before you buy your next pair of shades, think about what you might be saying to the world.

With that said, here are some popular sunglass shapes along with what what they might be saying about your style.

Plastic Wrap-Arounds – Mr. Outdoorsman

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Wrap-around sunglasses are great for hiking, outdoor sports, and playing golf. They can also double as safety goggles. Think of them as equipment. Probably not ideal for a suit and tie or a date in the park.

Wire Aviators – Mr. Classic Americana

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These are the official shades of the All American guy. The jeans and t-shirt guy (although they can look great with a suit too). They’re called “aviators” because they were originally developed to protect the eyes of pilots in the American military. This particular pair was made in America and has the wrap-around ear pieces to keep them locked in place – a design created for fighter pilots who had to fly upside down.

Chunky & Square – Mr. Designer Streetwear

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Chunky square frames are often associated with rapstars, or guys trying to live rapstar lifestyles. Usually seen paired with high-end designer streetwear, a lot of black, and unnecessary leather. It’s a bold, in your face, “I’m getting mine” kind of look, which can be cool if done with at least some air of subtlety.

Small & Round – Mr. Intellectual

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A petite round frame in black is smart, sophisticated, and a bit dandy. It has a European, perhaps French, feel. If not borderline snobbish, it’s a smart look that’s intriguing because of it’s understated simplicity and delicate scale.

Dark Browlines – Mr. Madison Avenue

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Browline glasses are old school. Retro. They were the gold standard for style in the 1950s and 1960s. Think Don Draper. The style’s popularity rose to the point that browline glasses (and sunglasses) accounted for half of all eyewear sales in America in the 1950s. As a result, many famous figures wore browlines, including activist Malcolm X and movie star James Dean. It’s a smart, slightly serious style that has a timeless appeal. 

Round & Colorful – Mr. Hippy Vibes

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If your frames are round and not metal, black or dark brown, then chances are you have a hippy side. An expressive side. A creative side. A free-thinking side, perhaps. If they also have light colored lenses, then you probably do some experimental drugs from time to time as well. I’m just kidding, of course…but all good jokes have truth in them.

Oversized Cat-Eyes – Mr. High Fashion

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An oversized frame in a cat-eye shape is not a timid look. It’s bold, slightly feminine, and very fashionista. It’s a look that is subtlety, but purposely, meant to look expensive and refined. Usually paired with pieces to show ostentatious wealth, or at least the potential thereof.


On a final note, I wanted to give a shout out to our model/actor Will Howe. He absolutely nailed each of the characters in this piece, during a quick shoot with very little direction.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by Alex Crawford. Styling by Dan Trepanier. Modeling by Will Howe

  • JH

    What brand of shades is Will wearing in the Mr. Intellectual photograph? They’re killer.

  • http://www.alphapeople.org/ Julien

    I need to know… What’s that shirt Mr. Hippy Vibes is wearing? It looks amazing!

  • Broodles

    Great stuff, agreed on the comments about Mr. Howe. Nailed it.

  • Darren

    Great post. What are those brownline glasses?

  • Addy Odutola

    i want to be able to master the art of style but i need some tips, i posted a picture for help in this matter. Also I love this blog I visit it everyday im thinking about tarting my own but I currently live in the south (Alabama) and style is not really represented very well here it’s actually looked down upon, but I’m trying to change the stigma about us.

  • Jeanscuffed

    If he can actually see that there’s any prune juice around lol

    • AdamE

      With those you have full range of visibility… Dignity, that’s another issue altogether…

    • AdamE

      But a post on the old man glasses would have been amazing just to see how you would style Will’s hair for it… not to mention the high waist pants, braces and ill fitting shirt…

  • Mark

    What is Will’s hair styled with in the last look?

  • JoeFromTexas

    These faces! Solid gold.

  • TO

    This looks to be the result of a game called “how many ways can you style Will’s hair?”. What an enjoyable post! Had a lot of fun reading this one- some of these styles I really like I think you don’t see enough (small and round, round and colorful) and one you see much too often (plastic wraparound). I can see myself looking back at it and trying some of the different hairstyles for myself, though I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to make them all look good like Mr. Howe. Bravo!

    • tommyjohn_45

      Seriously! I have two hair choices.. Long or short. From there, it does what it wants and there’s no changing it.

  • Miguel

    The faces on will are hilarious, they actually represent each type of person to the fullest, great post guys.

  • Max BornInTheNineties

    Really fun post! You should do more like these, I like the humour.
    Though I’m pretty sure Don Draper wears metal frame Randolph Engineering Aviators.

    • TO

      @ Max BornInTheNineties: Don is also representative of “Mr. Classic Americana”. I heard at one point that Americans rated him as the most popular figure in their country and he is a fictional character as we all know.

      • Max BornInTheNineties

        That’s so interesting! I do American Studies and until you mentioned that fact I’d never really thought of Don Draper as perhaps a symbol or even an American icon.