Definitive Proof That Everyone Looks Good in These $180, Kate Middleton-Approved Sunglasses

They’re classic—and just the right amount of fancy

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kate middleton wayfarer II sunglasses universal
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There are certain items that members of the royal family choose to wear that instantly reach icon status. For example, Princess Diana’s bike shorts, Meghan Markle’s white button-up, Kate Middleton’s wrap dress (yes, I’m talking about the one from her engagement to Prince William back in 2011). But there are also certain royal accessories that catch our eye and do the same: At least, that’s how I felt when I first saw Kate don her Ray Ban Wayfarer II classic frames ($180).

The year was 2019, and the then-Duchess of Cambridge was pictured wearing what became a signature pair of frames at Wimbledon, where—as patron of the championships—she made several appearances. She wore a Suzannah London shirtdress, Emilia Wickstead and more, but still, the main item that caught my eye were her Ray Ban sunnies, a bit rounder and slightly more feminine than their classic Wayfarer shape.

Rachel Ray Ban Wayfarer II
Rachel Bowie

In the years since, I noticed influencer after influencer raving about the new (yet still totally classic) design. I polled friends who invested in them before me—including my co-host of the Royally Obsessed podcast, Roberta—who swore they were worth it. With Wimbledon (but also summer!) coming up soon, I decided the timing couldn’t be better to try them out.

I would define my face shape as “round”, so opted for the “average” size, but it’s worth noting they come in a few different fits (narrow, average and wide). Kate’s preference—according to reports—is the spotted Havana, but there’s a range of color options (black, tortoise, brown) to choose from as well. (I of course mirrored Kate’s color choice.) And...I love them. I wear them everywhere. They’re so flattering—whether I’m wearing them with jeans to the playground or pairing them with a dress for a weekend brunch. But they also feel a bit fancy? They easily upgrade any outfit.

Still, I wondered: Does the round frame with a hint of a cat eye look good on everyone? I brought my pair to the office to put them to the test. With three willing volunteers—thank you, Marissa, Catrina and Nakeisha—ready to try them out, there were some concerns: Namely, the rounder shape. But overall, all three testers were pretty pleased with the result.

catrina yohay ray ban wayfarer II
Rachel Bowie

Tester #1: Catrina

Face Shape: Round

Typical Sunglasses Brand Worn: “Since I have a rounder face, I prefer more angled or structured sunglasses with a square frame. My current favorites are from Meller, Illesteva and Le Specs.”

Thoughts on the Wayfarer II: “I was surprised by how much I liked these! The lens is a bit larger and rounder than what I usually gravitate toward, but they were flattering, comfortable and versatile—the kind of pair you could throw on for any occasion, no matter your outfit.”

marissa wu ray ban wayfarer II
Rachel Bowie

Tester #2: Marissa

Face Shape: Squoval. “My face is a short oval, but doesn’t taper as much on the sides, especially at my cheeks, which are more straight.”

Typical Sunglasses Brand Worn: Kate Spade. “They are a gentle cat eye situation meaning they’re more rounded on the bottom instead of wide and a bit oversize.”

Thoughts on the Wayfarer II: “I like how the lens tapers out into the frame vertically, alluding to my preferred cat eye shape. I also love the tortoise shell. One complaint: They are only offered in a ‘high bridge’ fit, so I’m not sure if I’d invest since I have a low bridge. In general, I do think the shape is pleasant and they are a bit similar to the my beloved pair from Kate Spade.”

nakeisha campbell rayban wayfarer ii
Rachel Bowie

Tester #3: Nakeisha

Face Shape: Oval

Typical Sunglasses Brand Worn: “I’ve been wearing just one pair—an aviator style from Marc Jacobs. But I am on the lookout for a cute pair of cat eye frames.”

Thoughts on the Wayfarer II: “I was pleasantly surprised! I typically don’t go for rounder shapes when shopping for sunglasses, but now I realize I can pull it off. I find it challenging to shop for sunglasses that fit both my face shape and skin tone, but these shades looked so fashionable and flattering and they check both boxes.”

Summer style = unlocked. Also, credit to Kate—we’ll trust your sunglasses recommendations anytime.

Rachel Bowie Headshot

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...