SHADES TO MAKE A NEW YOU, AND PRODUCE AN ENVIOUS AUDIENCE
BY HUNT ETHRIDGE
Inuit and other native peoples were using “snow goggles” since the time of Christ, and likely far earlier. These wooden or ivory discs, into which narrow slits had been cut in order to reduce glare off icy topography, would have been unrecognizable to today’s fashion audience, but they likely saved many an eyeball. It was rumored that the Roman Emperor Nero enjoyed watching gladiator fights through emerald lenses, but the first for certain instance in which sunglasses as we know them appeared was in 12th century China, when judges would don smoky quartz lenses in order to conceal their facial expressions when adjudicating or questioning witnesses.
It’s hard to think of a cooler way to begin to consider shades than with that last fact, and there’s little need for any recapitulation of the at once practicality and stylishness of this technique of simultaneous protection and concealment. What is worth imparting, however, are a few essential rules as to their proper wear.
FACE SHAPE: ere are exceptions, of course, but generally speaking, square shaped faces with strong and prominent jawlines are best accentuated by round lenses. An “oblong” face (appreciably longer vertically than horizontally) is complimented by oversized or wrap styles, and should avoid frames narrower than face width. A “round” face (full cheekbones, narrow forehead and jaw) is made either more handsome or beautiful with wide, rectangular frames. e traditionally “oval” head shape crowd, meanwhile, has an enviable degree of liberty in that these folks can basically choose whatever style they want and will find no inherent contradictions.
SKIN TONE: Generally speaking, darker hued complexions are accentuated by golden, warm colors like gold, tomato red, cream, and brown. Lighter toned skin is complimented best by silver, white, blue, and black.
ON OR OFF? is rule is ignored so frequently that it’s easy to become jaded. When indoors, staring into sunglasses is distracting, and makes the wearer seem uninterested. If that’s not what you are trying to convey, take them off .
REINVEST! Unlike jeans or Chuck Taylors, sunglasses don’t age well. Even if a fave pair is your grandfather’s aviators, if the lenses are chipping or the frames flecking bits of gold, either restore them or replace them.
Hide and Seek
Style standouts that will protect and project simultaneously
Men: Cartier Santos de Cartier Sun glasses
These reinterpreted aviators are presented in a brushed golden champagne finish and feature platinum finish screws. With a double bridge, graded brown polarized lenses, tortoiseshell composite tips, and temples with Cartier signature. Just the bomb!$895, cartier.com
Woman: Chanel Square Sunglasses
With a beautiful metal frame juxtaposed by imitation pearls and dark gray lenses, these offer a little bit of everything for the style conscious…including a dash of cat eye. And if that isn’t enough, just think of how much fun it’s going to be to say, “Oh these? They’re Chanel.” $780, chanel.com
Men: Maui Jim Switch backs Polarized Shield Sunglasses
A lightweight frame, with full shield coverage for excellent protection, and offering the unique ability to switch lenses at the touch of a button. Our favorite lens is Neutral Grey (with a proprietary, silicone based hard coat) the highest available light reduction for the richest colors and sharpest contrast. $329, mauijim.com
Woman: Louis Vuitton Midnight Run
With its pointed, low profile cat eye, these LVs have us going bonkers. A fusion of acetate and metal gives them a cool, futuristic look. Available with a black acetate front and black lenses, or hyper modern silver ones. $735, us.louisvuitton.com