Print Edition: May 9, 2012
Spring is here, summer is fast approaching, and the time is finally right to break out the sunglasses in a seasonally appropriate manner. I am stoked. Women’s sunglasses this year are hugely diverse, and men’s aren’t far behind with a slew of looks all their own.
Here are a few of my choice sunglasses trends for summer 2012, and I really hope they’re here to stay:
Cat Eye: These have unexpectedly come back with fervor this season, ranging from slim, 1950s throwbacks to larger, more fashion-forward shapes that still retain their classic, golden age air. Unmistakably feminine in the right style, they can be paired with a wide range of outfits for an immediate style boost.
Gradient Lenses: It seems that retro sunglasses are the rage. This look can be traced back to ’60s flower children and ’70s go-go girls. Even better when the lens boasts a unique colour such as light orange or yellow, gradient lenses begin with a darker hue at the top, and lighten at the bottom. The effect is high fashion, and cannot be worn without the right amount of edge.
Bright Frames: Runway shows from Ralph Lauren to Gap have also boasted a wide range of colourful plastic frames that are sure to pair well with any summer look. These add an instant quirky style to everything from a sporty swimwear look to a feminine summer dress. Bright frames look fabulous when paired with a round shape and a lens that is not too dark. The key is to keep bright frames looking light and fun.
I have noted in my perusal of store windows that men’s sunglasses are just as diverse, varied, and detailed as their feminine counterparts.
Wayfarers: Ray-Ban. While they’re ultimately unisex, on a man they are timeless and sexy, lending an outfit an unmistakably summer/casual vibe that one can really not get wrong. These can be classic in black, retro in tortoise, or quirky/edgy in bright shades of yellow or green. You really can’t go wrong with Ray-Ban. Get some.
Browlines: Slightly retro, yet modern if pulled off correctly, this style has a bold upper frame that highlights the eyes. It is a strong look that is best paired with a defined, tailored style. A man very dear to me recently bought a pair of these, and while my opinion may be slightly biased, I have been fully impressed by their classic wearability.
Aviators: Originally created for men, this is another look that has branched off into the unisex category. Made famous by Tom Cruise in Top Gun, this style is at once classic and sexy on men, as it highlights the cheekbones and jawline in a way that other styles can’t.
Cat Eye: This one is a little bit of a stretch for most men, but with the right amount of sartorial finesse, the cat eye frame can be successfully translated to menswear. This look is best described as “quirky” and is certainly not for the gentleman lacking a touch of daring. Cat eye frames on a man should be a little more understated, and with a little less of a “swoop” than the female version.