There are two good reasons to take sunglasses with you on your next vacation. One is obvious: to protect your eyes. Wherever you may be traveling in the summer months, chances are it will be warm, sunny, and bright. Along with your sunscreen and a good hat, if you’re going to prevent eyestrain and discomfort—especially if you come from a place that isn’t normally all that sunny—you’ll need a good pair of sunglasses.
The second reason may be less obvious to some, but may be even more important to others: when you’re on vacation, you want to look good. Squinting every time you step out of the shade doesn’t look good, anyway, but you can make yourself look even better by picking the right style of sunglasses.
One advantage of sunglasses is that unlike other accessories, they’re not quite as trend-driven. You can pick out an expensive, stylish pair that goes with almost any outfit and be comfortable that you’ll still look good in them for years to come. That being said, however, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t trends in sunglasses, and this year is no exception. Three styles are receiving particular emphasis this year, and all are decidedly retro in style. Your preference may well be determined by which decade in the past you prefer to imagine yourself living in.
Care to step back into the late fifties or early-sixties? Like to imagine yourself in bright floral or animal prints as an extra in a Fellini movie or on Mad Men, or maybe as Audrey Hepburn? Then this is the style for you. Designers such as Christian Dior, Giles, and Jeremy Scott are emphasizing the look this year. Just remember that if your face isn’t shaped like Hepburn’s, long and oval, you may end up looking like a dowdy librarian rather than a movie star.
Perhaps you’d rather be a little more modern? Or maybe just look like a hippie? Round sunglasses, based on the specs Lennon wore, are getting a lot of attention this year from fashion houses such as Prada and Armani. The frames come in a number of ranges of thickness and color. Good, again, for those with thin, oval faces (who, let’s face it, look good in just about anything), and for square faces–the round lenses tend to soften the edges.
Bold and Huge
Yet another ‘70s trend: sunglasses that look as if they might fit on two faces rather than one. These sunglasses tend to have the most varied style, and come in a variety of outrageous, avant-garde shapes and colors. Available from Jill Sander, Fendi, and others, you’ll have plenty of choices in terms of matching them with your face shape and in reflecting your personal taste and style. You can be relatively formal, or go all the way into Lady Gaga territory. It’s up to you.
Sara Roberts is a content contributor for Just Eyewear, an eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses retailer.