What do Kaia Gerber, Jack Nicholson, Britney Spears, Lakeith Stanfield, Elton John, Rihanna, Jeff Goldblum, and Gloria Steinem have in common? It’s not the fact that each and every person on that list would make an excellent dinner party guest—it’s a sustained affinity for rainbow-hued sunglasses. After decades of trend cycle recycling, we’re ready to call it: tinted glasses are always cool. They’re also the perfect way to transition your style from summer to winter without breaking the bank.
From June to August, rainbow lenses are insouciant to the max—they fit in among other bright, playful in-and-outs like friendship bracelets, beaded necklaces, goofy-kitschy bucket hats, and neon activewear. But unlike spaghetti-strapped tanks or fraying cutoffs (which both require bubbling heat and a slick glaze of sweat to make sartorial sense) tinted sunglasses never really stop being appropriate. Which means you can pair a pair with bare arms and legs right now, for the last lingering dog days, then keep them around to add a playful pop of color when all you really want to wear is black turtlenecks. Suddenly your fall wardrobe feels fresher and a little retro-cool. And you didn’t even need to place a gut-wrenching Shein order (or splurge on the latest designer trend) to achieve it.
Colorful lenses don’t do much in terms of dimming, which is why you won’t look ridiculous as sunsets creep in earlier. But, and not that it really matters, they can actually provide some unique vision benefits. Blue and purple lenses can help make edges look sharper, which is why they’re often recommended in foggy or super bright conditions. Rosy lenses help increase your depth of field, while yellow or orange lenses are preferred in low-light. Red and yellow lenses also filter out blue light, which you may already know contributes to eye strain (purple and green lenses do too, albeit a little less so). That’s why nighttime mode on your phone has a yellow-orange tinge.
Ready to get on board? You might choose a lens color that looks best with your face (the makeup approach), or one that looks best with your wardrobe. In terms of shape, rounds add a nod to mod, aviators are so 70s, angular silhouettes are purely 90s, and wraparound or frameless styles embody tacky-cool Y2K… Forget the changing seasons—you can change your whole vibe with just some different framing. If you’re looking for a place to start, here are some RGB options we love:
Photos via ITG