Look good protecting your retinas: A guide to sunglasses

By on March 26, 2008

70’s Inspired

Up until recently, fashions from the 80s have been prominent in the fashion scene, though now they are being replaced by the revival of 70s inspired clothing and accessories. This spring, the era will become much more obvious. Naturally, the 70s era will play a key part amongst the newest sunglasses trends for 2008.

One of the fresh, new designs available for fashionistas to try feature thick, plastic frames. Currently, designer Proenza Schouler has created a pair to accompany the outfits which will be showcased on the catwalk as the Fall-Winter 2008/2009 collection. For men, Polo Ralph Lauren has produced a stylish yet sleek design.

In selecting the right pair of sunglasses, timeliness is crucial. Be careful not to choose from a decade which is not in style. For instance, 1980 inspired sunglasses are too colorful and eclectic for 2008. For this season, try to stick to more subdued tones.


As with last year’s explosion of the oversized sunglasses, the socialite inspired trend is currently the most sought-after form of sunglasses for women. Popularized by the likes of Nicole Richie, Ashley Olsen, and Victoria Beckham, this style can be seen on several catwalks including Oscar de la Renta’s Autumn-Winter 2008/2009 collection and Emporio Armani’s Autumn-Winter 2008/2009 collection.

And while many of these oversized accessories come in several different colors (from socialite white to muted rose) and shapes, this year’s preferred look is a classier take on last year’s round frames. Designers across the globe have been busy creating a square version meant to reflect the characteristic librarian style spectacle.

Tortoise Shell

The year 2008 is all about luxury and with fur becoming a major element in clothing, it is no wonder that designs of sunglasses will follow suit. Instead of fur, however, faux tortoise shell frames will be sure to add an exotic aspect to any outfit as can be seen on the runway by Michael Kors. Ralph Lauren, on the other hand, has taken a more subtle approach by incorporating a tortoise-shell chain to a pair of sunglasses.


This style, originally made popular by pilots (hence the name) has carried over from 2007 to 2008. Because the overall style of these upcoming season’s must-haves hasn’t really changed, the good news is that the coveted Rayban’s are still trendy.

The key to finding a good pair of aviators is to shop around. Both men and women should purchase pairs based on their face shapes. For many, there are unisex options available, but for an edgier and more unique look, opt for a pair intended for the opposite sex. It will subtly add something a little unexpected.

Gradient Lenses

So far, we have mainly focused on the designs of “it” frames for the year 2008. Sunglass lenses, though, are crucial to creating or maintaining a trendy look. This year, it looks like gradient lenses are the newest must-have for sunglasses this fall and winter. A tricky look to pull off, look for lenses that gradually change from black to clear from top to bottom only.


Finding the Right Fit for Your Face Shape

First, the size of the sunglasses should be proportional to the size of your face. For example, larger faces look best with larger sunglasses and vice versa with smaller faces.

Oval Faces
Oval faces are characteristically known to be the most versatile face shape. Almost any style works for it. Experiment with the latest looks and frame shapes.

Round Faces
Frames should make the face appear longer and thinner instead of emphasizing width. Look for angular, rectangular styles which are slightly wider than the broadest part of the face.

Square Faces
People with square shaped faces generally have a broad forehead and wide cheekbones. Soft, curvy styles such as cat eye sunglasses give the face some definition.

With a narrow jaw and a wide forehead, those with triangular shaped faces should opt for style which emphasizes the eye area. Any frame which balances the jaw line by angling outwards will help to proportion the rest of your face.


About Hillary Federico