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Where to Buy Sunglasses in New York City

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Sunglasses, the accessory that simultaneously has the power to protect its wearer from crow's feet and make them look instantly cooler, are a necessity any time of year — but never more than in the long days of summer we're in right now.

Whether you're looking for a pair of statement-making shades this season or opting for something a little more low-key and minimalist, we're here to help you tackle Brighton Beach days and Prospect Park picnics with a solid pair (or four) of sunglasses to carry you through the season.

Below, we've mapped out 21 shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn for finding the perfect pairs. In the interest of streamlining, we've left off the places you've probably already thought of, including Sunglass Hut, department stores (and their discount locations, like Saks Off Fifth), and chains like H&M and Urban Outfitters.

Scroll below to see our list, mapped out from north to south.

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Warby Parker

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This Upper East Side store inside a century-old pharmacy is the most impressive-looking of all the e-tailer's NYC locations. Also impressive? The selection of frames that fit so many face shapes and start at $95.
Photo: Driely S. for Racked

Oliver Peoples

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One of the city’s best uptown eyewear options (there's a Soho store, too), this Madison Avenue store carries plenty of sunglass styles that manage to be on-trend without being too trendy. Look out for the brand’s sought-after collaborations, which currently include frames from Isabel Marant, The Row, and Byredo.

Morgenthal Frederics

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Last year marked the move of the New York City-based brand's lower Madison Avenue store — other stores are in Soho and at Columbus Circle — to the Carlton House at 680 Madison Avenue. What hasn't changed is its selection of high-quality sunglass frames made of buffalo horn, acetate, or titanium with normal-people names like "Ian" and "Claudia."

Ultimate Spectacle

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Looking for a solid multi-brand seller outside of a department store or a big national chain? Try on Lexington Avenue's Ultimate Spectacle for size, which skips over seen-everywhere designer eyewear in favor of names like Westward Leaning, Illesteva, The Row, Karen Walker, and Wildfox.

Fabulous Fanny's

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Opening the apothecary-like drawers of this famed East Village eyewear shop is like digging for buried treasure. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to go through the one-of-a-kind vintage styles to find which pair — or pairs — suit you best.

Surreal Eyewear

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Surreal carries new and vintage frames from lesser-known international brands you'll be hard-pressed to find outside of the West Village shop, as well as its own house label. Head here when you're looking to go beyond the aviator.

Selima Optique

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One of four Selima Optique locations in the city, this one — dubbed Bond 07 by Selima — also carries contemporary and vintage clothing alongside its contemporary and vintage frames. Other locations include the Wooster Street flagship, the Sucre jewelry and eyewear boutique on Christopher Street, and the Upper East Side store, which trends a bit more high-end.
Photo: Driely S. for Racked
The German shop was one of several high-end eyewear brands that >pounced on Soho three summers ago, and has stuck around as a favorite due to its no-nonsense layout (white walls and frames, that's it) and the staff's dedication to finding your best fit.
Photo: Courtesy of Mykita
Summer 2014 marked the debut of this Los Angeles favorite in New York City, whose sleek sunglass styles expertly straddle that city's see-saw between big city and beach.
Photo: Dita
This New York City stalwart is available in fancy places like Barney's, and Dover Street Market, but head to its Lower East Side birthplace for the true Moscot experience. Go classic with sunglasses from the Originals collection, channel your inner grandma with the Retired line, or celebrate the brand's history with frames from the 100-Year Anniversary collection.
Photo: Tiffany Yannetta for Racked

Retrosuperfuture

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The Italian brand set up its first flagship just down the block from harbingers of cool Opening Ceremony at the end of 2013, and it stays true to its name with sunglass frame shapes that are both retro and futuristic (oh, and super, too).
Photo: via

Anne et Valentin

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The French brand debuted its second New York store in Brooklyn in 2015, with vibes that feel more like a chic living room than an eyewear store. The sunglass selection here isn't for someone who's looking to blend into the background.

Brooklyn Spectacles

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The brand that used to be found solely in optical shops just opened its first location last year in its founding neighborhood of Williamsburg, which is also the only place you can find their limited-edition mirrored collection this season.

Steven Alan Optical

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While Steven Alan's New York outposts have carried at least some of the brand's eyewear styles since it launched in 2013, a dedicated optical store didn't exist until last year. The Boerum Hill shop carries its full range of sunglasses, along with select pairs from Thierry Lasry, starting at $165. Other locations include Williamsburg, the West Village, and Nolita.
Photo: Courtesy of Steven Alan Optical

See Eyewear

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See's Smith Street store is its fourth in the New York City area and first outside of Manhattan. Their sunglasses, handcrafted in Europe and the USA and mostly priced at $99 with polarized lenses, are perfect for those who like to remain a little mysterious — unlike most designer labels, all of their frames are logo-less.
Photo: See Eyewear

Illesteva

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Visit the Italian-made company's first store that feature a "Build Your Own" sunglasses bar, allowing customers to mix and match frames and candy-colored lenses for a personalized look, in addition to its selection of ready-to-go shades.
Photo: Courtesy of Illesteva

Ray-Ban

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It's crazy to think that the ultimate American sunglass brand didn't have a flagship store until the end of last summer — and luckily, it came to New York City first. Head to Soho to shop Aviators in every single color, along with a collection that's exclusive to this store.
Photo: Ray-Ban

Vint & York

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Looking for "new vintage?" The New York-based company takes inspiration for the 1920s for its frame styles, but they're made of modern-day acetate and are all priced at $129.
Photo: Vint and York

Italia Independent

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The brand's first-ever American store (can you guess where it's originally from?) offers a multitude of shades and frames. Be on the lookout for sunglasses in velvet, glitter, and denim varieties.

Gentle Monster

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This four-year-old Korean eyewear brand opened its first North American store this year, where you've given a taste of "Korean hospitality" right from the spare entrance — a staff member will personally greet and walk you through the collections, housed in an architecturally intricate setting against back-lit walls.
Photo: Courtesy of Gentle Monster

Garrett Leight Optical

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You'd be hard-pressed to find a simple black frame with black lenses here, but you'll probably be too enamored by the shades of pinks, greens, and blues in unique looking frames (most of which are in the $300 to $400 range) at this brand's California-cool outpost on Grand Street.
Photo: Courtesy of Garrett Leight

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Warby Parker

Photo: Driely S. for Racked
This Upper East Side store inside a century-old pharmacy is the most impressive-looking of all the e-tailer's NYC locations. Also impressive? The selection of frames that fit so many face shapes and start at $95.
Photo: Driely S. for Racked

Oliver Peoples

One of the city’s best uptown eyewear options (there's a Soho store, too), this Madison Avenue store carries plenty of sunglass styles that manage to be on-trend without being too trendy. Look out for the brand’s sought-after collaborations, which currently include frames from Isabel Marant, The Row, and Byredo.

Morgenthal Frederics

Last year marked the move of the New York City-based brand's lower Madison Avenue store — other stores are in Soho and at Columbus Circle — to the Carlton House at 680 Madison Avenue. What hasn't changed is its selection of high-quality sunglass frames made of buffalo horn, acetate, or titanium with normal-people names like "Ian" and "Claudia."

Ultimate Spectacle

Looking for a solid multi-brand seller outside of a department store or a big national chain? Try on Lexington Avenue's Ultimate Spectacle for size, which skips over seen-everywhere designer eyewear in favor of names like Westward Leaning, Illesteva, The Row, Karen Walker, and Wildfox.

Fabulous Fanny's

Opening the apothecary-like drawers of this famed East Village eyewear shop is like digging for buried treasure. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to go through the one-of-a-kind vintage styles to find which pair — or pairs — suit you best.

Surreal Eyewear

Surreal carries new and vintage frames from lesser-known international brands you'll be hard-pressed to find outside of the West Village shop, as well as its own house label. Head here when you're looking to go beyond the aviator.

Selima Optique

Photo: Driely S. for Racked
One of four Selima Optique locations in the city, this one — dubbed Bond 07 by Selima — also carries contemporary and vintage clothing alongside its contemporary and vintage frames. Other locations include the Wooster Street flagship, the Sucre jewelry and eyewear boutique on Christopher Street, and the Upper East Side store, which trends a bit more high-end.
Photo: Driely S. for Racked

Mykita

Photo: Courtesy of Mykita
The German shop was one of several high-end eyewear brands that >pounced on Soho three summers ago, and has stuck around as a favorite due to its no-nonsense layout (white walls and frames, that's it) and the staff's dedication to finding your best fit.
Photo: Courtesy of Mykita

Dita

Photo: Dita
Summer 2014 marked the debut of this Los Angeles favorite in New York City, whose sleek sunglass styles expertly straddle that city's see-saw between big city and beach.
Photo: Dita

Moscot

Photo: Tiffany Yannetta for Racked
This New York City stalwart is available in fancy places like Barney's, and Dover Street Market, but head to its Lower East Side birthplace for the true Moscot experience. Go classic with sunglasses from the Originals collection, channel your inner grandma with the Retired line, or celebrate the brand's history with frames from the 100-Year Anniversary collection.
Photo: Tiffany Yannetta for Racked

Retrosuperfuture

Photo: via
The Italian brand set up its first flagship just down the block from harbingers of cool Opening Ceremony at the end of 2013, and it stays true to its name with sunglass frame shapes that are both retro and futuristic (oh, and super, too).
Photo: via

Anne et Valentin