Sunglasses: Fashion Or Function?
It all started with the famed Ray-Ban aviators, right? Wrong. It started some odd thousands of years ago, but the true history is lost. Whether it was the Chinese, whose magistrates were said to wear dark lenses of quartz to hide their expression, or the Roman Emperor Nero, who was said to have observed the gladiator games through Emeralds; eyewear for protection from the sun’s harsh and damaging rays are not only for protection, but also are fashionable.
Brands like Ray-Ban, with their models the “Jackie Ohh”, “Aviators,” “Wayfarers,” or the ever popular “Clubmaster,” carry frame choices of metal, plastic, rubber or even carbon fiber. A pair of shades can be had to match every fashion, from ragged jeans to designer clothes.
Some of the higher-end eyewear have prices from around $100, to well over $200 for the standard fare, and the prices go up for real gold frames, or other custom work- like diamond encrusted frames- can set you back a few bucks.
If you are like me, eyewear is meant more for function than fashion, although I still want them to look good. But trying to keep up with sunglasses and not sitting on them or scratching them while kicking around makes owning two or three hundred dollar shades unlikely. Although I have owned my fair share of eyewear in the $75-$125 price range, I have found as I grow older I also grow cheaper and so I get by just fine with cheaper eyewear in the $5-$15 range like these that can be found at the local discount stores.
But for the more fashion conscience with deeper pockets, you may want to wear the hottest in eyewear fashion. Brand names such as Oakley, or this pair of Barton Perreira Altair Sunglasses (R) for a mere $430 that can be found at Neiman Marcus along with other designers brand name fare such as Oliver Peoples Strummer, MARC by Marc Jacobs, Carrera Classic, D&G, MICHAEL by Michael Kors, Dior Croisette, and Diane von Furstenberg, for the ladies.
Designer brands such as Tom Ford, Dsquared, Carrera, Prada, Alexander McQueen, Emengildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Persol, Dolce and Gabbana are available for the men. Sunglasses in this range cost anywhere from $125 on up to $500- most average people can only admire them from afar- or maybe try to find some less expensive brands that are similar to some of these high fashion brands.
Other folks like to go retro and find vintage picks, such as these cute and quirky cateye glasses. In many cases if they were made by designers or unknown makers, often this vintage eyewear style will have prescription lenses and will need refitted with your own prescription or some quality tinted lenses by your optometrist. Both men and women often like to wear vintage eye wear to express their individuality. Eyewear like this goes right along with the vintage clothing that is popular in fashion.
So, whether you wear your shades to make a fashion statement, or simply to protect your eyes from the sun, sunglasses are a popular accessory either way. With form and function flowing together seamlessly, sunglasses are a necessity for everyday life that you can splurge on without guilt.