Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Choosing the Right Sunglasses

A shares her wisdom on shopping for and wearing sunglasses

Let's get it out the way; I'm a sunglass-aholic. In fact, I'm an accessories-aholic, but that's another blog post. I didn't used to be. Like every other girl, my Summer eye-wear consisted of a classic Blues Brother style wayfarer, a largish tortoiseshell pair of something or others and occasionally a retro 40's style catseye if I was feeling daring.  Oh, how things change! A few years in the accessories business has meant that I a) own far too many sunglasses b) know far too much about sunglasses and c) am practically evangelical about them.

Sunglasses are wonderful for so many different reasons. Firstly, they are a vital piece of health and beauty equipment, they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays which can cause cataracts and prevent sun damage to the eye area, which as we all know is very delicate skin. All sunglasses sold in the UK are required to be 100% UV protective so you can't really go wrong, but always check the label to be sure. Secondly, they can cover a multitude of sins! You know those days when you can't face the outside world? Don't!  Throw on a pair of over-sized shades, make like you're a Hollywood diva and stroll around the high street clutching at a take out latté. And lastly, but definitely not least, they make great accessories.

Ever wondered thought 'What sunglasses suit me'? Well, let me take you through the sunnies to be seen in this Summer and maybe help you try some styles you might not have considered before. 

I like to play it safe
I know, I know, tortoiseshell goes with everything.  OK, you have a point, but maybe you could try some of the stunning yet oh-so-subtle coloured tortoiseshells on the shelves?  What's the worst that could happen?

Thierry Lasry is the master of the coloured tortoiseshell.

For the girlie girl
Those of you looking for something a little less rock and roll, I'd suggest sticking with a classic shape – wayfarer, round, aviator – but try something with a little pattern or texture to it.  Maybe a floral print, or a pearl finish.

Stella McCartney have lovely flattering styles and colours, and great ethical credentials!

Sunglasses don't suit me!
I've heard this protest over and over, and nine times out of ten, it's just that the right sunnies have not been found. There are, however, a few faces that are undeniably hard to match to their sunglasses soulmate. Those with very petite faces can find a lot of styles just too big for them. My advice would be – and I know it sounds obvious but – try smaller styles.  If that doesn't work, hit the kids department. Oh, and those with faces on the large side, do yourself a favour and avoid small styles!

Vintage style small shades from Barton Perreira and Cutler and Gross at Liberty of London.
For the fashionista
For all your adventurous girls, mixing and a-matching and styling it up like there's no tomorrow, sunglasses are just your next fashion frontier.  You're on the edge trendy when it comes to your clothes, why not top it all off with a daring pair of shades?

Prabal Gurung, Miu Miu, Erdem and Walter van Beirendonck all available at Selfridges.
Do they come in anything other than black?
Sometimes it can seem like the only colour sunglasses are made in are black and tortoiseshell.  For those of you who don't suit such strong dark colours smack bang on your face, you need to look a bit harder.  But, rejoice!  There are myriad beautiful soft hues on offer this season. Go mad, buy a rainbow of pastel shades.

Perfect pastel shades from Linda Farrow and The Row available at Selfridges.
For the vintage lover (and the bargain hunter)
Love riffling through charity shops and the like?  Perfect.  There are absolute gems to be found. One of my favourite pair of sunglasses is a pair of vintage RayBans that I got in beautiful condition for next to nothing at a car boot sale.  Let your love of vintage guide you!

Feel great bagging some gorgeous vintage Nina Ricci and Polaroid styles from Oxfam Originals.
For the minimalist
It's easy to make a subtle style statement without going over the top with sunglasses.  No need to buy boring, just take a look at these styles with understated details.

The stunning Eco Collection from I Want Proof.
My final piece of advice?  Whatever style, wear your sunglasses!  All the time. Even Winter sun here in the UK can damage your skin and eyes, so embrace it and flaunt your eye-wear.

A x

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