15 best sunglasses for women in 2023
Protect your eyes and turn heads in 2023’s hottest sunglasses
It’s a new day. The sun is shining brightly, and you’ve decided to embrace the great outdoors. Don’t forget your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Maybe you need a new pair, but aren’t sure which 2023 sunglasses trend is best for you.
Have no fear: There are plenty of options from which to choose — from retro cat-eye frames to pink-tinted lenses, to keep you looking stylish and comfortable in bright conditions.
Many labels and fashion emporiums have dubbed the “twist on a classic” a go-to criterion for eyewear fashion in 2023. Some brands have even incorporated Bluetooth speakers into their frames.
Do you dare to try the trend of “retro-meets-modern” or will you better connect with technology in your frames? Either way, you’re sure to find the sunglasses of your dreams (or of your comfort zone) below.
The latest and greatest sunglasses trends for women in 2023:
1. Bug-eyed specs
One word that could be used to describe the trends we’re seeing in the best women’s sunglasses in 2023? Unique. And it’s definitely a phrase that comes to mind when looking at one of the latest hits in the world of shades: bug eyes.
Yes, bug eyes. Think space-age, astronaut-chic. If you’re a fan of designers, think Paco Rabanne or Andre Courreges. These statement shades are rounded and oversized with a hint of ‘60s glamour, and while a bit zany, you can get away with wearing them with anything.
Note: If you are on a budget, some of the best designer sunglasses for women can be found at discount retailers or on sale at your favorite department store. Even though designer sunglasses are desirable, your frames don’t have to be expensive to provide style, protection and comfort.
Try the Sheila XL Round Frames from EyeBuyDirect for $39 (before modifications).
2. The “active type” (best running sunglasses for women)
Whether you are a cyclist, outdoor enthusiast or just enjoy a walk around the block from time to time, keeping your eyes protected as you move under the sun is crucial. The best active sunglasses will depend on your go-to outdoor activity.
According to Runner’s World, the best running sunglasses for women have the following characteristics:
Ultraviolet protection of UV400 or higher
A snug fit so that they don’t fall down as you move (but make sure they’re comfortable!)
Sturdy and durable materials that also provide a lightweight feel (think polycarbonate)
Full face or wrap-around coverage
The color of your glasses’ tint is also important. Experts recommend a pink tint for activities such as hiking trails or golfing because they improve contrast, lighter tints for shady settings, and dark tints for runs that take place in intense heat and sunlight.
Note: Just because a lens is dark, doesn’t mean it will provide greater protection from damaging UV rays. UV protection is provided by a chemical on the lens; not by its tint.
Do you encounter high humidity during outdoor workouts? Try the Rudy Project Propulse sunglasses, equipped with vents on the lenses and temples to fight fogging.
SEE RELATED: What are performance sunglasses?
3. Bluetooth audio sunglasses
Technology has advanced yet again. You can now connect your smartphone to your sunglasses via Bluetooth and play music from them as you exercise. It’s a great advancement for those who struggle with headphones or earbuds, or for those who like to play music as they run with a buddy.
Bose, Soundcore and Razer are among the many brands delving into the trend. You can find frames in their lines that are water-resistant and even some that have interchangeable frames, in case you wanted to change up your style.
Audio glasses range in price from about $30 to $200.
The Bose Tempo frames are some of the highest rated. Get them on Bose.com.
4. (In)famous aviators
Aviator frames seem to have their moment every season, even though some claim them to be an “infamous” or unfavorable style. But in 2023, expect to see different stylistic takes on the frames, from gold and yellow-tinted lenses to thick, dramatic rims.
If you’re one for timeless trends and sturdy shades, the best aviator sunglasses for women tend toward Ray-Ban brand frames. But if you’re not ready to splurge, the style is classic enough to find at discount retailers and online at affordable price points.
Want something a little more unique? Try half-moon frames (also called D-frames). These sunnies resemble aviators, but without the signature bar between each lens.
Dare to try D-frames? Check out the Front Runner frames from Quay Australia.
SEE RELATED: How should your Aviator sunglasses fit?
5. Face-flattering frames
Not sure where to start when shopping for new sunglasses? Consider what might be the most flattering on you.
The best women’s sunglasses for small faces tend to include nose pads to prevent them from sliding down your face and spring-loaded hinges to keep the glasses’ arms in place. The oversized trend can be difficult for those with petite faces, but brands such as Kate Spade New York and Ralph by Ralph Lauren seem to have great options.
Small faces can suit small frames well, while larger faces may be more flattered by bold aviators or dramatically angular frames.
In the end, though, it’s what makes you feel most comfortable and chic.
Stumped by what looks good on your face shape? Fret not; we have additional recommendations for sunglasses for those with:
These Suncloud lenses were deemed best for small faces by Bustle.
SEE RELATED: How to pick the best sunglasses for your face shape
6. Polarized lenses
Any style of sunglasses bears an upgrade to polarized lenses. Why? Polarized lenses have many benefits because they are chemically treated to reflect light that is reflected horizontally and absorb light that is reflected vertically. They can help:
Provide better visibility when driving
Enhance colors and contrast in outdoor scenery
Get the look and the protection with Oakley Holbrook polarized sunglasses.
7. Rose-tinted glasses
Have you ever been told by a friend to “take off the rose-tinted lenses?” It’s a saying used to remind someone that they are being overly optimistic or naïve about something.
But in the optical world, rose-tinted glasses are encouraged. Pink and rose-tone lenses are a hit with all ages, and they can be as sophisticated as they are spunky.
Plus, the tint can actually help increase the contrast of your surroundings, which can make your views a bit more appealing. This is especially helpful for those who spend a lot of time outdoors either hiking or exercising out in nature.
Besides just looking cool, there are benefits to other colored lenses as well. For example, green lenses can help reduce glare and eye strain on bright days. And purple lenses can help enhance your color perception.
The No Cap frames from Quay Australia are the perfect combination of 90’s vintage and rosy glam.
8. Oversized and “extra” trendy
Year after year, oversized frames prove to add an undeniable sense of glamour that works for everyone. Designers such as Gucci, Prada and Chanel are among the lengthy list of those who have embraced (and will likely continue to embrace) the dramatic fad.
Because they take up a lot of room on your face, oversized sunglasses may also help protect you from sun damage more effectively than smaller frames. Just make sure that you’re flaunting sunnies with 100% UV protection.
If you have a particularly small face, try on a few pairs, whether using a virtual try-on or in-store, to see if the frames will flatter you.
Take notes from these Sculpted Signature Square frames from Coach.
9. Vintage and retro sunnies
Retro and mod pieces are on every trendsetter’s radar for 2023. While many of the trends we’ve listed look at reinventing the classics, there’s something special about keeping vintage and vintage-inspired pieces in their original glory.
One example of these frames include round go-go dancer-inspired glasses. You can always keep it classic with a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers, too.
Don’t be afraid to look through old family photos taken at the beach or at old Hollywood glamour photos and movies for inspiration. And be sure to scope out your local vintage store or costume shop — you’re bound to find some of the most unique and genuine finds there.
Live out your go-go fantasy in these vintage-inspired Ashtray cat-eye frames.
10. Cat-eyes both big and small
In the last few years, we’ve seen the trends for tiny cat-eye glasses and oversized cat-eyes going head-to-head. Now, we’re seeing an equal array of both trends. And the fast-paced fashion world has proved that both are “in.”
Just ask Jennifer Lopez, an icon of glamour. She’s been seen recently sporting a classic pair of cat-eye sunglasses (though she often sports oversized square shades as well). Or Rebel Wilson, who always brings a sense of youth and fun into her look.
Do you prefer big or small cat-eyed frames? Whichever you pick, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll look and feel fashionable. And if you want to feel a little more bold, look for a pair with more defined corners or an exciting color.
These J.Crew Bungalow sunglasses keep the cat-eye look classic and on-trend.
11. LBFs (little black frames)
You’ve heard of an LBD (little black dress) — now get ready for LBFs (little black frames)!
Find your favorite frame style (or 5) in matte, glossy or glittery black, and flaunt them dressed up or grinded down. The great thing about plain black frames is that every single designer and merchant tends to offer plenty from which to choose. All you have to decide is what style frame you want, and what the rest of your outfit looks like.
Fashion gurus like Caroline Maguire, fashion director at Shopbop, agree that LBFs are suitable for everyday wear. And although you may favor a certain pair, you can never have too many.
Peep Caroline Maguire’s favorite little black frames: Gucci Guillochet Plaque sunglasses.
12. Classic tortoiseshell
Famous faces like Meghan Markle flaunt tortoiseshell in a variety of both colors and frame styles. Fit for a princess (even though Markle technically isn’t anymore), this pattern is a go-to for both royal events and casual strolls through the park.
But isn’t tortoiseshell a busy pattern? Maybe so, but it has a way of acting as a neutral and adding a bit of pizazz to your outfit at the same time. Even in different shades: brown, red, blue, yellow or gray, it serves the same purpose.
You can find tortoiseshell in round, rectangular and square frames, among other shapes. If you’re as much of a fan as we are, you may even consider a pair of tortoiseshell eyeglasses with clip-on shades.
Get the Illesteva Palm Beach Sunglasses worn by Markle to the Invictus Games.
13. Fun with shapes
A little geometric flair never hurt anyone.
Designers like Marni and Karen Walker debuted pointed butterfly-shaped frames, a nod to science fiction with a hint of futuristic fashion. Other labels such as Coco & Breezy feature bold square-shaped frames in their current lines.
If you’re feeling extra daring, try a kitschy set of shades in the shape of hearts, flames or a mismatched pair with one circular lens and one rectangular.
Get some sunny inspiration from these exaggerated Marni frames.
14. Jewels and charms
Diamonds and gems aren’t just for your jewelry anymore. Look for sunglasses that have rhinestones and flashy bling — but don’t worry about looking too hard, because this costume-meets-high-fashion trend is here to stay.
Vogue calls charmed sunglasses “the definition of eye candy” and reminds us that the beading looks chic anywhere on the frames, from the temples to the stems. But the bling doesn’t have to stop there. If you prefer to be dripping in jewels, look for decked-out eyeglass chains to complete the look.
Just make sure you have a case to keep the precious gems protected.
Craving some eye candy? Try the Emerald City Glitter sunglasses from Meghan Fabulous.
15. Prescription, but make it fashion
Want to wear sunglasses but need vision correction? A pair of prescription sunglasses can help with that. Many people are not keen on contact lenses but need UV protection and want to partake in the latest eyewear trends.
Prescription sunnies allow you to get the full benefits of just about any sunglasses without having to deal with the ins and outs of putting contacts on your eyes just to wear shades.
And with so many online eyeglasses retailers offering prescription sunglasses, the options are endless. Many, like EyeBuyDirect and Eyeconic, have virtual try-on features, so you can see how they will look on you before you commit to ordering. Many celebrity eyewear lines also have prescription sunglasses available.
Hilary Duff’s line with Muse features many fashionable prescription sunglasses, including the round Anna frame.
Embrace ultraviolet protection in every frame
No matter what pair of frames you decide on, there’s one important feature to insist upon: ultraviolet (UV) protection. Protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays can prevent damage. And you can do it in style, no matter what style of frames you set your heart on.
Be sure to protect your eyes with more than just stylish specs — get a comprehensive eye exam each year to make sure your vision is in good condition.
We understand that you may have a comfort zone when it comes to fashion. Not sure what you’re drawn to or want to try something new this year? Try our quiz: Which sunglasses fit your personality?
SEE RELATED: Get inspired by these 7 eyewear influencers
Tips for choosing the best sunglasses. American Academy of Ophthalmology. June 2021.
How do I protect myself from ultraviolet (UV) rays? American Cancer Society. July 2019.
Best Bluetooth audio glasses and sunglasses for 2022. CNET. January 2022.
10 pairs of stylish sunglasses to up your shade game this summer. Forbes. June 2021.
Page published on Thursday, April 7, 2022