Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Importance of: Sunglasses

"It goes without saying that a good pair of sunglasses with UV protection is an essential in any wardrobe, any day of the year, or you can do damage to those pretty eyes. They'll also keep you from squinting, which causes wrinkles and is never a good look. But a pair of sunnies at-the-ready can do so much more. Big sunglasses camouflage a late night. They're great when you need to hide for any reason, if you're tired, or if you're not in the mood to be social. They make a heck of a better statement than a grumpy face or bloodshot eyes and tend to work on most facial shapes."
- Rachel Zoe

     At this point in time you should already have a lot of fashion slang memorized like skinnies, glossies, and sunnies -- skinny jeans, fashion magazines, and sunglasses, respectively. Today's -ies lesson is about the importance of sunnies. Like owning a good pair of a classic black pump, everyone should own at least one good pair of sunglasses and preferably one that you didn't get from the accessory section of Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters. The way I feel about sunglasses is the same way I feel about shoes -- splurge on them and never buy the cheap, plastic imitation ones. Although, I admit that when I was a teenager, I was victim to this fashion felony [confession]. My first big square-framed sunnies were from Forever 21 and I did own imitation wayfarers from Urban Outfitters, but after I broke so many consecutive pairs, I knew I had to start getting the real deal. You're better off investing that money in something that's genuine and will last you forever. 

     The beauty about shopping for a good pair of new sunnies is that it's not as traumatic as purchasing a new swimsuit or jeans. The key thing that you need to know when you step inside a reputable shop is the shape of your face. This is absolutely important because this will help you pick a pair that will be the most flattering. For instance, I have a round face so I look best in sunnies that are more square than round. And if I do decide to opt for frames that are a bit more round, I need to make sure that at least one side of those frames is squared-- in short, I can never wear those completely round Chanel sunglasses. Bummer. But I'd rather have that fashion sacrifice than look silly. The basic idea is that the more round shaped your face is the better you look you in square frames. In comparison, the more square your face is, you look best in a more round frame. To figure out your face shape, see the chart above.

Ray-Ban Aviators

Ray-Ban Wayfarer

Diane Von Furstenberg Square-Frame DVF510S

Ralph by Ralph Lauren Cat-Eye

A Lesson in the Classics
     There are so many styles of sunglasses out there. Every season, there's always a new trend in sunglasses. Yes, designers release new pairs every season. But because of that I've decided to build my sunglasses collection on styles that are more classic. As you can see above, I only own four pairs of sunglasses. Why? Three words -- keep it classic. The beauty of   having pieces that are less trendy and more classic is that season after season, it doesn't look outdated. It withstands the test of time, if you may. Long after those ridiculous plastic neon wayfarers and gigantic bug eye sunglasses are gone, I will still be rocking my classic black, Risky Business Ray Ban wayfarer and Diane Von Furstenberg-square framed sunnies. 

The DO's and DON'Ts of Sunnies
     For the lady who first popularized the term in the mainstream media, it was Rachel Zoe who said that sunnies serves as a great DO NOT DISTURB sign when you're not feeling too social -- and that it even serves as an alternative night mask on the plane?? As much as I love her impeccable taste and her humorous one-liners, I don't believe in wearing sunglasses indoors. First off, I think it's very rude to those around you. Secondly, regardless of how famous or in some cases, infamous, you are, that doesn't give you the right to leave those on indoors, with out without the Paps. The only person that's granted that fashion immunity is Karl Lagerfeld, only because I don't think he ever takes them off and that he probably wears them to sleep. And third, the florescent lighting inside the room is not as damaging as the UV rays of the sun outside. So DON'T lesson #1, sunnies are exclusively an outdoor affair. 

     The second lesson should be common sense. Don't be an idiot and leave your sunglasses on your head at work or during a job interview. That's the quickest way not to get hired or worse, add to the reasons of why you should be fired. So DON'T lesson #2, don't be stupid. Put your sunglasses away, especially when you're in a workplace setting. People should be looking you directly in the eye when they're talking to you instead of the dangling sunglasses on your head. 

     So in contrast, the DO list with sunnies is pretty simple -- pretty much the opposite of the DON'T list. Please DO wear them outside. Wear them on a sunny day when you're walking to class, wear them during a day at the beach, but beware of raccoon eyes, aka bad tan lines, and I highly encourage that you wear them during outdoor sporting events like baseball and football, with the same set of caution. There have been so many countless times that I've left my sunglasses on during a Florida State Football game and I had to suffer the consequences in class that following Monday morning. But there is nothing more chic than enjoying the spring kickoff of a baseball game in a great pair of sunnies. And, you will be protecting your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun. After all, that's about 90% of it's purpose with 10% dedicated to glamour. So with spring slowly approaching, keep these tips in mind before enjoying the warm weather and also please put on some sunscreen. 

Love, KB


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