The Shape of Things to Come:

Sunglass Trends and How to Buy Them


August 2019 Issue
by Sharon Mosley

“Sunglasses and a great pair of heels can turn most outfits around.”

Yes, sunglasses are one of the best accessories to add a touch of glamour to anything you wear, but they are also one of the most important ways to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays—oh, and to give you a break when you don’t want to put makeup on!

This year, oversized sunglasses are one of the biggest trends, giving you even more sun protection. The ‘70s influence is also seen in the renewed interest in wraps and shields that are almost goggle-like in shape. Other trends include colorful lenses (especially warm tones such as amber), square and triangular lenses and white frames. The classic cat-eye and aviator shapes are still popular.

Here are a few ways to match the right style of sunglasses
to the shape of your face:

Stick to opposites. The general rule of thumb has long been to go for glasses that are the opposite shape of your face. It does seem to work: Choose rounder frames for square faces, more angular frames for rounder faces. If you have an oval face, you’re in luck, as almost any sunglass shape will be flattering.

Face off in the mirror.
If possible, try on sunglasses in front of a full-length mirror. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes. You’ll see the whole picture and be able to instantly tell if your sunglasses are in sync with your body proportions. Balance is key. Big, wide, round sunglasses do not normally flatter petite heads and body shapes. Accordingly, larger men and women should steer clear of smaller, narrower frames.

Choose classic shapes.
There’s a reason that the Ray-Ban Wayfarer and aviator sunglasses have been around for decades. They are classic styles that flatter a wide variety of face shapes. Now, they are updated in an array of colored frames, metals and lenses. “Foldable” sunglasses in classic shapes are also making a comeback. You can’t go wrong wearing a pair of these iconic shades.

Make it personal.
Many sunglass brands now offer personal customization, so you get the style you want in the color you want! While most people prefer to try on sunglasses in the store before they make a purchase, websites such as Zenni Optical allow you to upload your own photo to “virtually” try on glasses before you buy them online.

Consider your hair and skin color.
Think about the colors of the clothes you like to wear. More than likely, you’ll like the same color of sunglasses. We all know those people whose colorful glasses have become their signature look. Darker frames and lenses are great contrasts to cooler pale skin, and lighter tones look best on darker complexions. Hair color can also be a determining factor in choosing sunglasses. Who can forget those black Ray-Bans that Audrey Hepburn wore in 1961 in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”?

Change up your outlook.
If you’ve been wearing the same pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses for the past 10 years, it’s time to make a change. Even if you’re a big fan of the classic shades, there are a lot of new ways to express yourself. Mixes of materials are making big news: sidepieces wrapped in printed leather or wood, reflective mirrored lenses in bold colors and even monochromatic frames and lenses.

Have an attitude.
A glamorous pair of sunnies is one of the fastest ways to get into movie star mode. The retro shades of yesteryear are once again having a heyday on city streets and at the beach. There’s a pair to fit every face. Don’t be afraid to glam it up with frames decorated with graphic patterns or metallic studs. There are even plenty of cat-eye glasses in funky new silhouettes that will make you purr.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

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