FOR THE PRAGMATIST
South End Eye
With more than 40 years of combined experience in the industry, Mary Keenan and Michele Zuccala don’t want to make customers choose between their prescription lenses and their shades: hence the exam room on the bottom floor of their neighborhood shop, which opened in 2009. Book an appointment with optometrist Laura Martin, then head upstairs to the cozy shop to try on sunglasses from what Zuccala refers to as the “micro-brews of eyewear,” including Dita, Masunaga, Barton Perreira, and Ovvo.
Must-Buy: Ovvo “Style 3641” surgical-steel-and-titanium sunglasses, $481.
681 Tremont St., Boston, 617-391-0088, southendeye.com.
FOR THE ATHLETE
The Boston Sunglass Company
Once known for its selection of luxury fashion labels, this petite space in the lobby of the W Boston has recently shifted its focus from the runway to the great outdoors, building a sportier inventory of Costa sunglasses designed specifically for fishing and surfing and Oakley styles perfect for when you’re swinging the bat. Need a few more pieces for your next excursion? Take a peek at the clothing rack, with a curated selection of activewear, as well as the hip Fjällräven backpacks.
Must-Buy: Costa “Blackfin” polarized sunglasses, $169.
100 Stuart St., Boston, 617-800-9383, hdosport.com.
FOR THE FASHIONISTA
More like a high-end boutique than a sunglasses store, Vizio stocks only the most well-known luxury brands from around the world, including Etnia, from Barcelona, Face à Face, from France, and Lindberg, from Denmark. The sleek Brookline Village shop hosts regular trunk shows throughout the year to showcase the latest and greatest, with savvy staffers eager to help you pick out frames that showcase your sophisticated style.
Must-Buy: Lafont “Thirty” limited-edition carved-acetate sunglasses, $769.
11 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-739-4141, viziooptic.com.
FOR THE INDIVIDUALIST
Searching for a style you won’t spot on anyone else? Swing by one of See’s two local outposts. Richard Golden and his brother Randal opened their first store in the Back Bay in 2001, and despite expanding to more than 40 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, the duo continues to produce eyewear from high-quality Italian acetate, French titanium, and Danish aluminum in incredibly small quantities. The store’s inviting open-shelving concept, meanwhile, makes it easy to try—and try again—before you buy.
Must-Buy: “7124” acetate sunglasses, $99.
115 Newbury St., Boston, 617-236-0105; 1276 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-868-1500; seeeyewear.com.
FOR THE BON VIVANT
From lawn games to polo matches, there’s a frame for every way you summer at this North End shop. Carve out a little extra time to comb through the considerable selection of performance lenses from Maui Jim and locally made Randolph; noteworthy designer frames from Prada, Céline, and Tom Ford for al fresco soirees; and more-casual, patio-friendly styles from Ray-Ban and Quay. The store even carries an array of unique cases, so all of the pairs in your beach bag will remain scratch-free.
Must-Buy: Randolph “Concorde” gold sunglasses, $190.
329 Hanover St., Boston, 617-523-3005, soloptics.com.
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