Our team have tried and tested sunglasses bought online to help you shop for your summer holiday. Even better, most of them are sustainable brands.
If you’re in and out of lockdown, self isolating or just hate shopping, finding the perfect sunglasses can be tricky.
By now we all know the saying ‘Buy better, buy once’ but it can feel a bit daunting to splash out on a good pair of long-lasting sunglasses when you’re not sure if they’ll suit you.
This is where we come in. The Euronews Travel team have scoured high and low to find the best tips to finding your perfect pair and have used digital try-on tools to judge just how good they actually look in person.
Coral Eyewear - The sustainable start-up
Price range : €177.95 - €201.95
Coral Eyewear is the brainchild of 21-year-old British student George Bailey and we love the story behind the brand. George was worried about the damaging effects of discarded fishing nets so came up with the idea to use them to make glasses and sunglasses. He now runs the company with his Dad, a consultant to the eyewear industry.
Made with the Earth in mind
Coral’s products are made from regenerated nylon, mostly recycled from old fishing nets and carpets. This makes them really flexible, so it feels like you could bend them, drop them, sit on them (it can’t just be me that does that) and they wouldn’t break.
Coral have embedded sustainability into every part of the business. All their packaging is plastic-free, with mine arriving in a lovely cardboard tube with a soft case for the sunglasses. They have the virtual try-on feature to reduce the waste created by returns and refunds.
How to find the perfect pair
Founder George Bailey says face shape is the most important factor when choosing sunglasses to suit you, along with thinking about where or when you’ll wear them. If you want them for sport, you’ll want to choose a different fit to if you want them for everyday use. The company has a handy blog post (https://www.coraleyewear.com/blogs/news/which-sunglasses-will-suit-me) to help you choose which sunglasses will suit you.
The verdict from Ruth Wright, Head of Lifestyle Verticals:
Trying on online was quick and easy because it didn’t need to take a photo, like other websites do. It just accessed your camera within the website window and imposed the glasses onto your face.
I tried out a pair of the Ocean Blue Ocean Edition. I opted for a bright colour as I always just buy standard brown or black frames. They’re great for at the beach with a bright coloured bikini, but I probably wouldn’t wear them out with a more formal outfit.
Karün - Support local communities
Price range : €59 - €199
Karün is a B-Corp based in Patagonia that links nature conservation with rural empowerment through product innovation.
The brand creates high-quality eyewear in a very different way; using reclaimed, natural and/or noble materials and working alongside local communities in Patagonia as a way of empowering them to protect their wild territories.
Different types of waste, like fishing nets, ropes and metals, and naturally fallen trees are collected by local entrepreneurs. These materials are then recycled and turned into long-lasting sunglasses, ensuring the highest standards in quality and performance.
What’s more, when your Karün sunglasses are at the end of their life, you can send them back to be recycled and get a discount on your next pair.
Choosing for your face shape
There is a general rule that to give balance and proportion to faces, the shape of the frame should be in contrast to the shape of the face.
With that theory in mind Karün suggests angular sunglasses for those with round or oval faces and rounder glasses for those with square or triangular shaped faces.
Whilst it can be fun to virtually try-on all of Karün’s offerings, they do have a filter search system which helps you narrow down your search to find the right frames for your face and needs.
You can choose to filter by Frame Shape (Cat-eye, Square, Round, Rectangle, Aviator or Sporty), Use (Urban, Sport or Outdoor) or by Face Type (Narrow, Standard or Wide).
And if you still don’t like what you order, Karün offers a 30 day return policy with free postage.
The verdict from Hannah Brown, Digital Producer:
I ordered the Pinguino Havana Brown sunglasses and I’m really happy with them. I love that they’re made from recycled sea plastics.
I was a bit sceptical of the virtual try-on feature and was concerned the size and scale might not be correct for my face. But when the glasses arrived they looked identical on my face as they did on the virtual try-on feature. The glasses arrived in a cardboard box with a handy glasses case made from recycled leather too.
The virtual try-on was really easy to use. You can either opt to upload a photo or use your camera live and look at the glasses on your face from all angles. I virtually tried on almost all Karün had to offer and only found one style on the website that the try on feature didn’t work with.
The sunglasses are really lightweight but feel like good quality. I went for a fairly classic shape but with a slight twist which made them suit my face much better than previous sunglasses I have tried in this style.
Silhouette - Super stylish
Price range : €155 - €597
Since 1964, Silhouette has been producing eyewear in Linz, Austria, guaranteeing high quality and exquisite workmanship using the finest materials.
Are they worth the money?
We’ve all bought cheap sunglasses in the past which often break quickly, but better quality glasses always come with a higher price tag. The big fear with an expensive pair, though, is losing them. So is it worth investing in a good quality pair?
“Whilst cheaper sunglasses may be tempting to repurchase each summer to keep up with fast fashion trends, investing in a quality pair will ensure they last year on year,” says Perry Moore, Managing Director at Silhouette.
“High quality frames, such as those made from SPX like our Sun Lite range, are crafted to last thanks to their flexible and durable nature. Priding ourselves on classic design, Silhouette frames are also set to stand the test of time and remain on-trend each summer, helping to contribute to the movement towards slow fashion and avoiding throwaway trends.”
Which frame is right for you?
Here’s some of Silhouette’s top tips to finding the right frame for your face:
An oval face shape is the most versatile when choosing eyewear. Look for frames that are as wide as the broadest part of your face to add angles and balance the gentle curves of the oval shape.
If you have a heart-shaped face, choose frames that are as wide or slightly wider than your forehead. This will add balance to a narrower chin.
Angular, squared frames are the best choice if you have a round face. Their sharp, clear angles balance out the soft, round shape of your face and give your face a longer, narrower appearance.
A triangular or trapezoidal face is narrower at the top, with a broader chin. Add width to the narrowest part of your face by choosing frames with a strong brow-line. Full-rim or half-rim frames, especially cat-eye shapes are a perfect choice for adding definition to your face shape.
Round or oval frames add softness to square faces. Thin frames will soften strong features and softer, neutral colours also help elongate your face shape.
You can read Silhouette’s face shape guide in more depth here.
Silhouette’s virtual try-on feature was easy to use. It glitched the first time I tried it but refreshing the website fixed the problem. I tried on 4 or 5 pairs virtually, before settling on the Sun Lite model, in Vintage Havanna/black frame colour.
They’re really lovely sunglasses. Very lightweight and they look and feel premium. Unfortunately I didn’t think they suited me “in-person.” My own sunglasses are square-shaped and I think this is what suits my face, rather than this round design. But don’t be put off by my experience as they are gorgeous sunglasses.