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The Shape of Summer: Sunglasses at Coachella Music Festival

Turns out, the shades that we hide behind when running errands without makeup or avoiding paparazzi (real or imagined) are still effective for standing out in a crowd. Case in point: Coachella. In that sea of youthful seraphim taking fashion risks, there were any number of startling new frames.

Beyond the basic cat eye or aviator, designs are getting increasingly playful. Glitter, patterns, sweeping angles, tinted lenses—all appear on the new styles. These aren’t simply utilitarian sun shields but rather statement pieces worn front and center, on your face.

Here are some of our favorite new ones, as seen on Coachella festivalgoers.

Concentric Cat Eye

Kiernan Shipka

Festival images by Kristin Yamada

Actress Kiernan Shipka slid on a pair of these frames, with circular lenses enveloped in a wiry cat eye. The interlocking geometric shapes create a striking outline, yet it doesn’t threaten to overpower the face.

Shop our picks:

MARC JACOBS 56mm cat eye sunglasses | Fendi 53mm sunglasses

Aviators with Tinted Lenses

Tinted aviator sunglasses

The aviator is an enduring frame because of its flattering practicality: Comfortable and light yet oversized enough to be instantly stylish. Add a pop of color with tinted lenses for a subtle burst of personality.

Shop our picks:

Smith Optics Serpico 66mm polarized sunglasses | ELECTRIC AV1 58mm sunglasses

Octagonal Frames

Octagonal sunglasses

When the usual shapes just won’t suit, pick up a polygon. This play on the standard circular outline lends a bit of an edge. Oversized and fashion-forward, these shades are a sophisticated way to look different.

Shop our picks:

Quay Australia Kiss & Tell 60mm sunglasses | Karen Walker Star City 63mm octagonal sunglasses

Clear and Round

Round crystal sunglasses at Coachella

Neutral sunglasses needn’t lack personality. Oversized shades in a crystal-clear frame look fresh and clean with anything.

Shop our picks:

SUNDAY SOMEWHERE Charlie 52mm sunglasses | Chloé Jayme 54mm retro sunglasses

Bold Tortoiseshell

Tortoise sunglasses at Coachella

Tortoiseshell frames are a summer classic. But this season we’re seeing strong shapes in exaggerated flecking. In all ways, the trend here seems to be go big with chunky frames and in-your-face patterns.

Shop our picks:

Valley Marmont 52mm cat eye sunglasses | Illesteva Holly 51mm sunglasses

White Sight

White frame sunglasses

Especially if you have a nice summer glow, white sunglasses can accentuate your coloring. Keep the shape of the glasses clean for a classic look that nevertheless stands out from the throngs of black and brown frames.

Shop our picks:

Karen Walker One Astronaut 49mm sunglasses | Ted Baker London 55mm cat eye sunglasses

Rosy Outlook

Vintage peach sunglasses at Coachella

Vintage ladylike frames can play up your feminine style or provide a counterpoint to an androgynous look. We love peach or pink frames that, like the white sunglasses above, can complement your complexion.

Shop our picks:

kate spade new york narelle 51mm sunglassesLinda Farrow 54mm retro sunglasses

Glitter Glasses

Glitter sunglasses at Coachella

Put on your party look with a festive pair of shades. A slight sparkle in the sun adds glitz to any outfit. The sprinkles of glitter in the styles below stay safe enough to be worn at events outside of the adventurous festival circuit.

Shop our picks:

kate spade new york 55mm cat eye sunglasses | Fendi Orchidea 49mm cat eye sunglasses

Floral Frames

Floral sunglasses at Coachella

Plant some petals on your face with shades bearing a bouquet. These floral-print sunglasses resemble a colorful tortoiseshell pattern at a distance, but at close range they provide a pretty surprise.

Shop our picks:

Gucci Flora 53mm retro sunglasses | Maui Jim You Move Me 60mm polarized sunglasses

Sharp Focus

Cat eye sunglasses

If you have a flair for the dramatic, try incorporating some seriously angular cat eyes into your summer look. The outrageous style of these glam shades doesn’t stop at their pointed outer peaks: Many make good use of luxurious materials to take the high style even higher.

Shop our picks:

Fendi crystal 52mm tipped cat eye sunglasses | Gentle Monster 52mm retro sunglasses

Split Screens

Split aviator sunglasses by Christian Dior at Coachella

A simple and classic wire frame is always in style. Pick up ones with sweet contrasting stripes on the lenses to add an interesting layer.

Shop our picks:

Christian Dior Split 59mm aviator sunglasses | SUNDAY SOMEWHERE Vito 57mm sunglasses

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