Fashion Lifestyle

Sunglasses Are the Apex of Accessories

Sunglasses are the accessories that fashionably protects your eyes from harmful UV rays; everyone should own a pair.

Photo: Reuters

Sunglasses are near the apex of accessories, just below the hat; they must be aesthetically pleasing without sacrificing practicality. Donning a pair can give a voguish look while protecting eyes from injurious UV rays. It’s a win-win. So don’t wait; choose sunglasses that match your personality.

Cool Conservatives

Ray Ban, Oakley, and Carrera are staples of the classic yet modish UVscreening eyewear. They are relatively inexpensive for branded spectacles; in the $200 range. Visit your local optometrist franchise or e-search through Asos for craftily selected and reasonably priced items. Ray Ban made waves with their aviator sunglasses. Classic choice. On the other hand, Carrera and Oakley offer moderately funkier options.

Hollywood Glitterati

Paris Hilton popularized these oversize, too rich to care sunglasses; practical shields against the flashes from Paparazzi. This look flatters all types of faces; don’t let the fashion police tell you otherwise. Opt for audacious brands like Tom Ford, Chrome Hearts, and Roberto Cavalli; a few labels that churn out the biggest and boldest. Websites like Amazon are great places to start your collection; as if you were going to stop at one pair.

Aspiring Artists

Go on Etsy (the eBay for art junkies) and view handmade, arty sunglasses. Be blinded by the “Rhinestone Studded Sunglasses” with plenty of bling (very Lady Gagaesque), or discover the “Steampunk Brass Goggles” with its out of this world look. However, both pale in comparison, at least in dark rooms, to the “Light-Up Glasses”; customarily made for ravers and glow stick fanatics. Connoisseurs with avant-garde tastes should visit the stylized site Gilt, which offers many niche brands. Look out for Linda Farrow; they periodically collaborate with respected artists and top fashion designers to produce limited edition pieces; which, are decidedly quirky.

Brand Name Lovers

Designer insignias on the sides of your frames send a powerful message to persons in visual range. The crème of the crop, the best luxury brands, have perfected symbol and font size. If you identify as naughty but nice, opt for logos by Gucci or Dolce & Gabbana. Perhaps you’re more of the sexy but sophisticated type; then give Prada or Armani a go and see what bites. The square G’s of Givenchy look mesmerizing but posh. Burberry, Lanvin, Balenciaga, and Saint Laurent tend to print their names smaller, so they are more about being restrained but playful. You can buy these stamped glasses full price at upscale department stores for typically $300 to $400. But if you’re not picky about trying on before buying, then there are plenty of online fashion outlets with generous sales where you can buy a pair (or three) at a more affordable price range of $90 to $150.

Star Trekkies

“Sometimes geeks can be chic,” said Anna Wintour of Vogue USA. Too true. Thus, aficionados of science fiction and space couture should most certainly try the mono-lens sunglasses. The coolest come from the houses of Christian Dior, Tag Heuer, and Martin Margiela; a pair of subdued blue Dior is worth every cent. Alternatively, go on Etsy and look up “Incognito Futuristic Style Robot Sunglasses Customized with Gold Studded Spikes”; it does everything but fire lasers.

Fashion Mavens

Vintage designer sunglasses are for those inclined to shrug off the trends, yet remain timelessly chic. Head straight for bygone pieces from the houses of Versace or better still, Chanel; the ones with the gold, interlocking CC logos on the sides are glamour alert. However, good tastes isn’t cheap, so expect to pay upwards of $400 for items in good to very good graded condition. On the other hand, these glasses’ 80s-90s character, rarity, and exclusivity usually excel on the cost per compliment spread sheet. Checkout vintage site Depuis1924 or for slightly more economical alternatives, go to peer-reviewed site Ebay.

Gatsby Impersonators

For those with rambunctious spending habits and glitzy taste, gaudy sunglasses are the way to shine. Cartier, Bulgari, Chopard, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co. have literally nailed it when it comes to decorating their chichi jewellery eyewear with variegated gemstones and precious metal plating. Their shades are ostentatious and bankrupting, the haute couture of sunglasses; one pair will lighten your wallet by at least $500. Hefty price tags aside, these sunglasses are investment pieces, and will thus retain their value as the years go by; kind of a like a Birkin handbag by Hermès.

Those were a few personality to sunglasses relationships. Remember, confidence shines through no matter how dark and adorned your shades are, so pick one (or three) that best complements your attitude. But wear them over your eyes where they belong, not back to front on top of your head; because that sight is an eyesore.

By Boripat Lebel

Boripat Lebel is a research coordinator at the Unit for Social and Environmental Research at Chiang Mai University. He authored the eBook “A Vomit of Diamonds.” Boripat can also be found on LinkedIn .