There’s something special about wearing sunglasses with a suit, and it’s hard to define what it is.
It could be that the situations that call for wearing a suit with sunglasses are usually pretty special themselves; think outdoor summer weddings or days at the races. Even just wearing sunglasses with your work suit suggests the weather is hot and sunny.
Or, it could be how frequently Hollywood A-listers are pictured in this combo. The weather in LA and a seemingly endless supply of tailored suits mean stars get the chance to rock the combo more than the rest of us.
Whatever the reason, you’re sure to look great when you pair suits with shades. We’ve produced this list of times when hollywood stars paired suits with shade to great effect. Hopefully, it will inspire you!
Wearing Sunglasses with a Suit: Basic Rules
When choosing to pair sunglasses with a suit, you have a few things to think about. First is the design. Naturally, you want to stick towards the more formal end of the scale. This means choosing a classic shape, like a Wayfarer or a Persol, rather than a shield or a wraparound style.
The second choice you’ll have to make is the color. In most cases, you’ll be better off choosing a muted color over a color that stands out as choosing a brighter design risk overpowering the rest of the outfit.
Of course, as with all rules, these are made to be broken (as our last choice shows). If you have a pair of sunglasses that don’t match what we’ve said above and you know they look great with your suit, then go ahead and rock them. If not, however, you may be better off sticking with what we’ve said.
Jon Hamm as Don Draper: Grey Suit with Gold Aviators
Mad Men has a ton of examples of how to wear sunglasses with a suit. So many, in fact, that it probably deserves an article of its own. The best example, however, is when Don Draper paired these gold-framed aviators with dark lenses with a light grey suit.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort: Tortoise Ray-Bans with a Pink Suit
The Wolf of Wall Street was an absolute delight for anyone into 80’s fashion. For us at The Boardwalk, it was a delight due to the moment Leonardo DiCaprio stepped onto the screen in a pink pastel suit and these tortoise Ray-Bans. The Ray-Ban 4147 has a similar shape to classic Wayfarers but is slightly larger and squarer. While Leo wears them with a pink suit in the movie, we reckon they’d go well with a more conservative suit color too if that’s more your thing.
Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown: Blue Lens Persol 714 with a Grey Suit and Blue Tie
The Persol 714 are a classic and as such will go well with pretty much everything. If you want to take things to another level it really doesn’t get much better than when Steve McQueen paired the iconic glasses with a grey suit and blue tie (and shirt) in the movie The Thomas Crown Affair.
George Clooney as Danny Ocean in Ocean’s 11: Person 2420s with a grey suit and white shirt
Ocean’s 11 was perhaps most famous for its a-list cast. However, it also had an a-list sunglasses line-up, with the Goliath sunglasses worn by Elliot Gould a real standout. Unfortunately, we aren’t sure how well they would go with the average suit, meaning George Clooney and the Persol 2420s he wore with a grey suit are the ones that make this list. Persol no longer makes the 2420. However, the 2454 has a similar shape, lens color, and metal frame.
Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club: Oliver Peoples 523 with light-colored suits
If you looked at the Ocean’s Eleven picture above and wondered why we ignored Brad Pitt, this is the answer: Tyler Durden’s Oliver People’s 523 sunglasses in Fight Club. Pitt wore the iconic red-framed glasses throughout the movie, often without a suit. However, we reckon they looked at their best when the actor paired the glasses with a suit. He actually did this twice, once with a white pinstripe suit and yellow shirt, and once with a white suit. Oliver People no longer makes these sunglasses but they can be picked on eBay.
Next up: Sunglasses Icon: John Lennon