Throwing Shade: 50 Sunnies for Under $50

By popular demand, our big summer annual sunglasses article returns! This year includes plenty of fresh favorites as well as reinvented classics.

Sunglasses, like all fashion, have their ebbs and flows. Some seasons, only three or four trends emerge, dominating the landscape of our faces with little variation. Other seasons, though, it’s all about fresh takes and variety, so much so that it can leave us in a bewilderment of what’s in or what’s out.

As you probably already know, this year is the latter. While there are some definitives on what’s waning – i.e. time to put away those thin and understated frames so coveted last year – this season is a variable charcuterie of styles, from avant garde and metaverse-inspired to the “make it statement, but fun” angle. There are super sporty, retro-futuristic visors, super saturated color and of course everything oversized.

So let’s get our editors take here on what’s what, and help you navigate this year’s most popular summer trends-of-the moment that deserve that most coveted real estate on your face…


We’ll lead in with one of the biggest to dominate all year long, the Sporty look. Once reserved for athletic pursuits only, this season we’re all popping on those snug, high-wrap and often rimless shades to pair with our everyday fits. Here’s five of our editors favorites that channel that “my other car’s a Cannondale” vibe without breaking the bank…

Blenders, Eclipse in Rose Rocket $35

(on Sale NOW from $59)

This slick pair of wraparounds with their polarized pink lens and ‘burnt rose’ metallic frames are perfect for edging up your fem florals.

Zenni, Red Sport A101 $17.95 (on Sale NOW from $39.95

With a slimmer, rimless profile these smoky mirrored frames have marathon girl written all over them.

Knockaround, Campeones in Rubberized High Voltage $45

Bold and bright, these yellow-to-blue fade lens sunglasses have plenty of extras that even the non-sporting groups can appreciate. Including anti-fog, impact-resistance and UV400 protection.

adidas, Sport Unisex SP0003 Sunglasses $32.99

(on Sale NOW from $235)

Like taking your fav Y2K pair of sunnies and morphing them into sports glasses. Rimless crystal pink lenses and milky transparent frames.

Tifosi, Swank Sunglasses $17.50 (on Sale NOW from $25)

Finally, for the sporty-curious, these sunnies have all the elements of the sporty look, but in a more classic sunglass silhouette.


Those super sharp, triangular cat eye sunglasses of season’s past (a la Le Specs) can still rock a room, but this season we’re softening things up. Rounder, larger lenses are giving us more real estate to play with. But make no mistake, they’ve got cat class and they’ve got cat style…

Marc Jacobs, Cat Eye 53mm Sunglasses $49.99

(on Sale NOW from $160)

These handsome tortoiseshells from Marc Jacobs really are the cat’s meow.

Lacoste, L912S Cat Eye Sunglasses $49.99

(on Sale NOW from $239)

Sexy cat eye with a preppy twist, courtesy of Lacoste.

Zenni, Plum Premium Cat-Eye $25.95

Hand-polished acetate in plum and brown tones, this look is pure luxe.

adidas, OR0010 54mm Sunglasses $39.99

(on Sale NOW from $120)

Subtle cat eye with a sporty twist? These translucent grey and brown tinted lens sunnies from adidas give you the best of both worlds.

Swarovski, Tortoiseshell Cat Eye with Crystals $49.99

(on Sale NOW from $230)

Because just like cats, we love our shiny things.


It seems we’re taking our protection from the paparazzi seriously, as this season we’re going all in on some serious eye hardware. Bold mono-lenses and utilitarian level shield sunglasses are all over the place, from runways to sidewalks.

Blenders, Falcon in Prodigy Doll $35

(on Sale NOW from $59)

“Fierce and fun” is how Blenders describes these marvelous pink-mirrored sunglasses. We couldn’t agree more.

adidas, Shield Glasses with Logo $39.99

(on Sale NOW from $195)

For when you need a little logo in your life, these smoke and silver sunnies will do the trick.

Blenders, Millenia X2 in Rush Express $35

(on Sale NOW from $59)

These flat lens beauties are a literal color explosion. The frames start with bold red that fade across the frame arms into orange, purple, blue, and black, and the lenses grab your attention with their aqua champagne rainbow. Impossible to ignore, why aren’t these already in your cart?

adidas, Sport Unisex Shield Sunglasses $39.99

(on Sale NOW from $185)

If minimalism is more your thing, you can still make a bold statement with these black-on-black shield sunglasses. Sleek and chic they’ll hug your face in style.

Tifosi, Sizzle Sunglasses $35

When the color combo is called Crystal Peach Blush, you know you’re getting something special.


The name says it all. This season rectangles rule, and they’re coming in hot in unabashedly thick frames. The beauty of these is they work for any face type, though if you have a round, heart-shaped or oval face, you’ll really shine in a pair of them.

Bertha, Rectangular Sunglasses in Cream $29.99

(on Sale NOW from $85)

At 55mm size, these creamy cuties are large enough they should be paying rent on your face. The dark, smoky gray lenses juxtapose deliciously with the latte cream colored frames.

Kate Spade New York, Fenton Sunglasses $39.99

(on Sale NOW from $188)

These cool, blue and gold customers are pure polished Americana…in sunglasses form.

Blenders, Sydney in Coral Summer $49

These crystal beauties are giving us big tropical-island-sunrise energy…

Zenni, Blue Quartz Tortoiseshell $17.95

(on Sale NOW from $35.95)

These chunky, hand-polished acetate frames are made for the artistic and the audacious.

AQS, Unisex Jules Rectangular Sunglasses $39.99

(on Sale NOW from $149)

Can a neutral be bold? These sunglasses from AQS say – absolutely.

Bertha, Rectangular BRSIT106-1 $49.99

(on Sale NOW from $215)

A classic combination of pink and black, with just a touch of gold to luxe it up.


Continuing in the spirit of this sunglass season’s mantra of “Why do what you can overdo?”, the oversized aviator isn’t just trending, it’s flourishing. Classics are still always welcome, but if you’re really looking for a fresh take? Go 54mm+ or go home.

Blenders, A Series in Heavenly Shine $49

At 58mm, these playful peachy aviators aren’t just big…they’re impactful.

Zenni, Premium Green Tortoiseshell Aviators $35.95

The combination of lush green tortoiseshell and luxe goldtone hardware make these sunnies instantly luxe.

Carrera, Hot65 Aviators $39.99

(on Sale NOW from $375)

These white hot mommas are throwing major Lou Miller (aka Cate Blanchett) vibes at us, and we’re here for it.

Simplify, Sullivan Unisex Aviators $39.99

(on Sale NOW from $275)

Oversized aviators plus deconstructed twist equals sexy pilot from the future.

Zenni, Translucent Fade Aviators $19.95

Truth be told, we love a good two-tone, and these sleek gray-to-transparent with complementary dark green lenses are pretty stunning.


Move over, colorful lenses (okay, but not too far bc you’re still getting plenty of love). This season we’re doubling-down on making our frames just as bright. Current running favorites are hot reds, bold blues, cyber lime and fondant pinks, but there’s a veritable rainbow of options for you to find your favorite.

Bertha, Miranda Polarized Sunglasses $29.99

(on Sale NOW from $85)

These blood orange beauties by Bertha are bringing the heat.

Zenni, Square Frame in Acid Green $19.95

One thing is for sure with these sunnies, you’ll have a hard time not finding them.

Sixty One, Twinbow Sunglasses $49.99

(on Sale NOW from $200)

With bright cobalt blue on the front of the frame and white & blue colorblocking on the arm, these polarized wayfarers have a bit of a nautical vibe.

Bertha, Margo Polarized Sunglasses $49.99

(on Sale NOW from $185)

Another big and bright pair by Bertha. These amethyst-hued sunnies are color saturated from frame to lens.

Zenni, Pink Cat-Eye Sunglasses $19.95

A great way to sport this year’s Color of the Year (that would be Magenta) for under twenty bucks!


Interested in the latest micro-trend coming out of our obsession of transparent frames? While things ‘in the clear’ are still going strong, we’re seeing growing interest in adding a little texture into the mix. Florals are favored, but other inspirations such as

Blenders, Presley in Miss Wild $44

(on Sale NOW from $59)

With a fun mix of pinks, orange, purple and violet, these cat eye shades show off some serious flower power.

Zenni, Floral Rectangular Glasses $12.95

Tiny tendrils of flowers on the vine mix with some abstract shapes, turning these floral cuties into their own work of art.

Bertha, Aaliyah Polarized Sunglasses $49.99

(on Sale NOW from $185)

Speaking of abstract, these clear frames take on a whole new level of interest thanks to plenty of peachy icicle slivers.

Zenni, Brown Rockrose Sunglasses $35.95

With a bit more structured of a pattern play, we love the tiny silver spheres suspended in these brown transparent frames.

Zenni, Champagne in Red $45.95

Striking streaks of lipstick red weave their way through these charming sunnies.


Some say it’s a paradigm shift in the fashion world, but personalized fashion was around long before crowdsourcing and TikTok. For those who always opt for the “you do you” lifestyle, here are five options that prove stylishly unique doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag.

Iris Apfel x Zenni, Serengeti Making Waves $45.95

There are fashionistas and then there are fashion icons. Iris Apfel? IYKYK already, no cap.

Roberto Cavalli, Orange Embellished Sunglasses $39.99

(on Sale NOW from $140)

Just a touch of embellished decadence takes this already intriguing coral-hued pair of sunglasses and turns it into something quite unique.

McQ by Alexander McQueen, Embellished Cat-Eye $49.99

(on Sale NOW from $259)

Sure, you’ve seen Rhianna and Nina Dobrev sporting the embellished version in black, but you don’t want to just follow the trend…be the trend in this daring and darling lavender version instead.

Zenni, Premium Pink Geometric $35.95

If you thought last season’s heart-shaped sunglasses were bold, kick things way up with these pink-tinted, cloud-shaped sunnies. Fun and avant garde, these would be a spectacular edition to your next music fest fit.

Sixty One, Xperience Unisex Polarized Sunglasses $49.99

(on Sale NOW from $200)

Speaking of music fest worthy sunglasses – who needs sparkly embellishments when your entire lens is one big kaleidoscope of carnival colored crystal? For those concerned, you can see just as well in these as a regular pair of sunglasses, and they’re even polarized for 100% UV protection to boot.


Virtual reality is inspiring us big time this season, from psychedelic metallic colors to innovative welds. If it looks like something your otherworldly avatar would sport, then you’re doing this trend right.

Blenders, Buttertron in Flashin Passion $35

(on Sale NOW from $59)

These super-saturated violet shades don’t hold anything back in terms of bold.

AQS, Ivy Polarized Sunglasses $39.99

(on Sale NOW from $149)

These acid green mirrored lenses combined with bright metal teal understood the assignment completely.

Hedgehog, Future Cycle Sunglasses $11.99

Like something straight out of an online game.


Sustainable is so much more than a trend, but this season we’re really seeing several sunglasses brands step up to the challenge. Whether they’re made from bio-degradable products or recycled materials, this one is definitely one that’s got our attention.

Spectrum, Stroud Unisex Sunglasses $29.99

(on Sale NOW from $250)

Love a gorgeous wood grain? Why not get the real thing? These frames are carved from actual rosewood.

Earthwood, Misty Polarized Sunglasses $37.99

(on Sale NOW from $200)

Another great option are these zebra-inspired, white washed frames that are made of sustainable, eco-friendly bamboo.

ReMakes by Zenni, Oceana Sargasso $39.95

Finally, we have these fantastic shades made of 100% certified post-consumer plastic. These are part of a new line of sunglasses by Zenni called ReMakes. They’re even shipped in eco-friendly packaging!

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