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Types of Sunglasses: Style Names, Shapes and Frame Types

Types of Sunglasses: Style Names, Shapes and Frame Types

By Meredith Marmurek 

 

Are you looking for new sunglasses? Have you seen some sunglass styles you like but don’t know what they’re called? Read on the learn different types of sunglasses style names, shapes, and frame types, then shop Foster Grant to find the best sunglasses for you.   

 

Types of Sunglasses: Style Names 

 

Pilot 

Pilot-style sunglasses is an iconic design that has been around since the 1930s. These classic shades are known for their thin metal frame, double bridge, and teardrop lens shape.  

 

Blade 

Blade-style sunglasses have a futuristic look and an edgy design. This is a lightweight, semi-rimless frame style. This means the lenses are held in place by a thick top bar and nose bridge, and there is no frame around the rest of the lenses. 

 

Cat Eye 

If retro glamour is your vibe, consider cat-eye sunglasses. These frames have rounded edges at the bottom and chic upswept corners that mimic the shape of a cat's eye. Cat-eye sunglasses were popularized in the 1950s and ‘60s by Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and other celebrities. 

 

Butterfly 

Butterfly sunglasses are similar to cat-eyes but a little smaller on the inside edge near the nose and larger at the outer edges. They got their name because their shape looks like butterfly wings. 

 

Club 

Club sunglasses (also called browline) are a combination of metal and acetate with a thick top bar and thin lower rim around the lenses. This style was popular in the 1950s and ‘60s, but has remained a staple in many eyewear collections due to its timeless design. 

 

Way-Style 

Perhaps one of the most popular eyewear styles, way sunglasses are a long-time favorite, and their popularity only grows over time. This square-shaped sunglass style often has a thick plastic frame with a broad top bar and pointed outer edges, which provides a universally-flattering aesthetic.  

 

Wrap 

Wrap sunglasses are a sports enthusiast’s best friend. This type of sunglass shape wraps around your face to help shield your eyes from sun, dust, and wind. Polarized wraparound shades also reduce glare to help you see better when you’re out near reflective surfaces.  

 

Shield 

Another option to consider if you play a lot of outdoor sports is shield sunglasses. This sunglass style has a lightweight one-piece lens that fits close to your face and is available with a full or semi-rimless frame.    

 

Types of Sunglasses by Shape 

 

Geometric 

If you like to stand out from the crowd, geometric sunglass frames could be for you. These frames give you a fun and edgy look with unexpected shapes like hexagons, diamonds, and hearts. You can go dramatic with an oversized plastic frame or more obscure with a smaller metal frame.  

 

Oval 

Oval sunglasses combine classic round and rectangle shapes for a curved frame that’s always stylish. The soft lines of oval sunglasses are especially flattering for people with angular facial features.  

 

Rectangle 

If you want a clean and sophisticated look, try a rectangular frame. This frame shape is wider than it is tall and the corners can be sharp or rounded. You can choose from plastic or metal frames and different lens colors to show off your style.  

 

Round 

Round sunglasses are a great choice if you’re a fan of bohemian style. This timeless shape is often associated with John Lennon and the 1960s — especially when coupled with a wire frame. A round frame is the perfect way to express your free-spirited approach to life. 

 

Square 

Square sunglasses are popular because they’re so versatile. Square frames are as wide as they are tall and come in both big and small sizes. Like rectangular sunglasses, the edges of a square frame can be sharp or rounded. 

 

Alternative Types of Sunglasses Frames 

If you already wear glasses and would prefer not to switch to a separate pair of corrective sunglasses when you go outside, we have a few other options for you to consider: 

 

Fits Over 

Our Fits Over sunglasses are an affordable alternative to prescription sunglasses. These polarized shades can be worn alone or over your eyeglasses or readers for convenient sun protection.  

 

Our Fits Overs are available in the following styles and shapes: 


  • Aviator 


  • Cat eye 


  • Club 


  • Oval 


  • Rectangle 


  • Round 


  • Square 


  • Way 


  • Wrap 

 

ClipOn  

Another option to consider is a pair of our ClipOn sunglasses. They are lightweight and attach easily to your prescription eyeglasses or readers. We offer three types of clip-ons: 

 

  • Rimmed clip-ons – These clip-ons are for use with metal frames. They have four small coated metal prongs called Gentle Grips that attach to the outer edges of your lenses and glasses frame without damaging them. 


  • Rimless clip-ons – Designed for plastic and other thick frame materials, rimless ClipOns also attach at the corners of the lenses and frames with Gentle Grip technology.  


  • FlipUps – This style attaches at the nose bridge of your eyewear so you can flip it up or down depending on when you need to use it. 

 

Sunglass Styles with 100% UVA-UVB Protection 

The most important reason to wear sunglasses is to protect your eyes. All of our sunglass lenses have 100% UVA-UVB lens protection and are scratch-resistant. Many are available with polarized lenses so you can also reduce glare in style. 

 

 

SOURCES: 

  1. Everything you need to know about sunglasses. All About Vision. March 2021.* 
  2. Oval glasses for men and women. Eyebuydirect. Accessed December 2023.* 
  3. Wraparound sunglasses: When are they the best fit? All About Vision. January 2020.*  

 

 

The sources listed here have been provided for informational purposes only. The citation of a particular source does not constitute an endorsement or approval of EssilorLuxottica products, services, or opinions by such source.  

 

*Like Foster Grant, Eyebuydirect, All About Vision, and AAV Media, LLC are affiliates of EssilorLuxottica.