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Aside from their obvious practical uses (which we won't go into, save to mention that the clue is in the name) sunglasses exist for one purpose, and one purpose alone: to make the wearer look cool. Well... cooler, at least. In this respect, they're one of the most transformative, potently stylish items that a man can own.

And you can see why - they come pre-loaded with all the right cultural connotations. Consider Mr Marcello Mastroianni in , Mr Jean Reno in Léon: The Professional, and the King of Cool himself, Mr Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair, who all used sunglasses as a way of amping up their rebellious on-screen personas. Compared to spectacles, which suggest intelligence and respectability - think Mr Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, Mr Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent, and, latterly, Mr Ben Whishaw as Q in the James Bond franchise - sunglasses are, literally and figuratively, their shadier cousin. There are just as many examples from the music world to support this theory, and while we're not saying that wearing sunglasses will turn you into one of them, it's certainly a start.

We've picked out six of our favourite pairs of sunglasses that are sure to pack a stylish punch; click through the gallery, above, to see them all. Leather jackets, biker boots and skull T-shirts are all very well but if you're looking for an easier way to add instant attitude to your look, we suggest reaching for a pair of these.

Words by Mr Chris Elvidge, Senior Copywriter, MR PORTER

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