Shades are the New Black


Sunnies, sunglasses, shades, eyewear, frame candy: whatever you call it, fashion-wise you can’t deny that it’s the new black. In the 70′s I bought my first pair of shades. They were less than five bucks. They were purely for glamour purposes and I thought I was looking rather model-like in them, of course. No protection blocking out harmful ultraviolet rays mind you, but it didn’t matter-it was all about matching my outfit; they were an accessory. Nowadays however, although most online retailers still list shades in the “accessories” category of their websites not only is no outfit complete without a pair of shades, but the shades itself can in fact make the outfit. Throw on a pair of jeans and a tee or a cashmere sweater and a flirty skirt, top it off with a pair of shades and-voila! Ultra fabulousness.

I had gone years without owning a pair of shades. After years of squinting in the sunshine and using my hand as a sun-visor I relented and made my first purchase of designer shades about 8 years back. I’ve never really been a shades person, they just seemed so trivial and the fact that people often left them behind at movie theaters, restaurants and doctor’s offices helped prove my theory that they lacked any genuine importance. In search of the perfect shades, however, I walked into the department store and made my way over to the eyewear section. Before I could even reach the counter I saw them: Jackie O style, wrap around, tinted, un-tinted, rimless and even shades littered with rhinestones. I dove in, tried on at least a dozen pairs and finally found the best pair that not only flattered the shape of my face, but protected my eyes.

Erinn Morgan from All About Vision says, “fashion aside, sunglasses serve an important purpose: protecting eyes from the harmful rays produced by the sun.” She goes on to say, “ideally to best protect your eyes shades must block out at least 85% of ultraviolet (UV) rays to be effective.” Thankfully, with the bevy of designers now making affordable eyewear available in a host of complimenting styles, from $20 to $150 and up you can be sure to find a pair to fit your fashionable budget that is guaranteed to not only accentuate your face, but to dress up a casual outfit in thirty seconds flat. Shades are definitely the new must have black and everybody should own at least one good pair.

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