Louis Armstrong famously sang, “Life can be so sweet – on the sunny side of the street.” That’s even more true when you’re wearing a stylish pair of sunglasses
In 1937, Ray-Ban created the first polarised sunglasses – for United States Air Force pilots. The large lenses (originally green) were made to give these eyes in the sky optimal protection and crystal-clear vision. Easily recognisable by their thin metallic frame with a double bridge and their teardrop shape, they were very trendy during the ’50s – every man wanted to be imbued with their heroic vibes. Wanna channel your inner Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Get a pair of aviators and make them your own; it fits just about everyone and looks just as badass on the sidewalk as it does in the cockpit of a fighter jet.
In 1952, when the sunglasses style was all about metallic frames and the aviator shape, Ray-Ban launched the Wayfarer, a dramatically different model using a relatively new material called acetate. They were mistakenly associated with Audrey Hepburn’s look in 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s – in fact, she wore a pair of Oliver Goldsmith shades. Funnily enough, the movie significantly contributed to the fame of the Wayfarer. Mysterious, modern and dark, they’re still a safe bet for hiding sleepy eyes or escaping from the paparazzi. And as they’re unisex, why not share them with your betrothed?
Round-shaped sunglasses are a key feature of the hippie dress code – how could we forget John Lennon’s iconic look? Far from the mood of cat-eye sunglasses, which perfectly embody Hollywood glamour and drama, round frames express intellectualism and a laid-back spirit. If you have a square face, dare to wear lenses as round as goggles; they’ll soften your angles. If not, go for a slightly more elongated model and enjoy their quirky retro look. Now you’re part of the circle alongside Diane Keaton (pictured below), Mahatma Gandhi and Harry Potter.
Bigger and Bolder
If your desire to be seen exceeds the mere practical need to see, oversized shades are for you. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis made bug-eyed sunglasses her famous signature. To emulate her elegant style, make her shades your own and choose the Spa 2 or Jacky 1 models that François Pinton designed for her in the ’60s. Otherwise, make your own stylish statement and go for contemporary yet fabulous oversized sunglasses – but be sure they suit you before splashing out on the craziest design.
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