Round Sunglasses: Fashion Spotlight

Posted by Top 10 Shades at

Round sunglasses have been making a big comeback. Nearly all of the major brands carry round sunglass styles, with the variations having to do with the overall size, colours, materials and embellishments, and temples.

In terms of categories, we can broadly place them in either the "retro" or "modernised" camp.

Retro Round Sunglasses

The traditional or retro look of round glasses is exemplified by quasi-messianic figures such as John Lennon, Steve Jobs and Mahatma Gandhi, who all wore corrective round metal frames. 

John Lennon retro round sunglasses

Mahatma Gandi cool shades

Steve Jobs round glasses like Mahatma Gandhi

In general, these retro frames are associated with creative, artistic, bohemian personae. Some famous people who currently favour the retro round look include comedian Jerry Seinfeld, recording artist Miley Cyrus, and Victoria's Secret model Candice Swanepoel.

Jerry Seinfeld round glasses

Miley Cyrus and Candice Swanepoel in round sunglasses

Ray-Ban Round Sunglasses

Turning to specific models, Ray-Ban's "Round" is one of the most popular retro styles, and come in a wide variety of colours and lenses. The classic model, Ray-Ban RB3447, remains the most popular while other recent modifications feature folding frames (Ray-Ban RB3517), cool colour/mirrored ("flash") lenses (Ray-Ban RB3447 112/Z2), or are clad in leather (Ray-Ban Round Craft RB3475Q).

Ray-Ban Round RB3477

Ray-Ban Round RB3477 sunglasses

Giorgio Armani Round Sunglasses

Giorgio Armani's AR6016J is a classic round design. This model is also available in a Havana (tortoise) finish, with either brown or green lenses.

Giorgio Armani AR6016J

Giorgio Armani AR6016J round sunglasses 

Prada Round Sunglasses

Prada has a recently-released women's model, the 06QS Journal, which is notable for it's 3-dimensional temple construction and thicker overall frame.

Prada PR 06QS

Prada PR 06QS round sunglasses 

Persol Round Sunglasses

Persol's take on the round form is at once thoroughly modern, yet conveys the brand's origins as a eyewear-focused design house obsessed with quality optics. The PO3046S features a composite metal and acetate frame, and is available in several different frame and lens combinations.  

Persol PO3046S

Persol PO3046S round sunglasses

Doubled-Bridged Round Sunglasses

One simple design change that modernises the classic round shape is the addition of a double bridge, and such models are carried by Carrera, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Giorgio Armani, and Gucci. The upper bridge evokes an 'aviator' type effect so, while the lenses are still round, these models create a hybrid type of impression. Overall, they are a more sporty type of look.

Carrera 6008

Carrera 6008 round sunglasses for cycling

Marc by Marc Jacobs MMJ 415/S

Marc by Marc Jacobs MMJ 415/S round sunglasses

Burberry BE4177

Burberry BE4177 round rubberized sunglasses

Giorgio Armani AR8007

Giorgio Armani AR8007 round sunglasses

Gucci 4252/S

Gucci 4252S techno color superlight sunglasses 

Oversized Round Sunglasses

Oversized round sunglasses feature prominently in the SS2015 collections recently unveiled in the Autumn 2014 Fashion Weeks, for instance in the new Marc by Marc Jacobs ready-to-wear collection:

Marc by Marc Jacobs Round Sunglasses

The luxury fashion brands have also modernised the round look with with bolder, oversized styles.

One of the most noteworthy is Prada's 27NS "Minimal Baroque" with its unique scroll-like temple:

Prada PR 27NS

Prada 27NS minimal baroque sunglasses

Miu Miu, the sister brand of Prada, has their own take on the revamped oversized round form, with their 13NS model. Some variants are in transparent frames and others feature glitter finishes, giving this model a high-fashion appeal.

Miu Miu 13NS

Miu Miu 13NS oversized round sunglasses

These isolated product photos make it difficult to judge the relative size of the frames, so here's what these models look like on a typical Asian face:

Prada and Miu Miu oversized frames on Asian face

Should You Choose Round Sunglasses? 

Round Sunglasses and Face Shape

Most of the fashion experts advocate "offsetting" one's natural face shape with a compensating frame shape. For instance, if you have a round face, you should opt for a squared frame. And if your face is more square, rounded frames will suit best. However, this is merely a guideline and we're not convinced that it's universally true. For one thing, most people have elements of round, long or square facial features. And for another, one's hairstyle also has a strong impact on the overall impression of face shape. In general, it's best to try on a few different styles and shapes and judge for yourself (or together with a trusted fashion-forward friend!).

To illustrate this point, here are some looks by the fashion icon Alexa Chung. Her squared jawbone gives her face an overall squared impression although her face is also elongated. 

Alexa generally opts for round sunglasses: 

However, this is not always the case, as she's seen here (left) in rectangular frames in what is a more natural and casual setting rather than a photoshoot aimed for dramatic appeal. But it's quickly back to the round form (right) where she's modelling Miu Miu's Noir collection, model 13NS.

Round Sunglasses and Sizing

Finally, another important point is the relative size of the frame with respect to your face. Some manufacturers create their designs in different lens sizes, and even in a modified frame shape to better accommodate typical Asian features. This latter type of design, known as "Asian Fit", generally has a narrower bridge which enables the frames to sit better on the typical Asian face. To learn more about Asian Fit, please refer to our blog post on this topic. 

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