If eyes are the passageway to the soul, then what does that make sunglasses? Practical protection from dangerous UV rays? A fashion staple that enables you to express yourself? Perhaps a shield, one that can hide emotions? And the winner is…. all of the above.
Ask anyone with the slightest sense of fashion and they will tell you, a good pair of shades is an accessory must. For men and women alike. And this has pretty much been the case since the beginning of sunglasses.
The first sunglasses were mass-produced and sold along the Atlantic City shore in the early 1930’s, though they were merely tinted lenses, as the first polaroid glasses were produced in 1936. Immediately, this new accessory appealed to the masses, especially when Ray-Ban introduced their age-defying, always-popular Aviator sunglasses to the public during WWII, after achieving great success among fighter pilots. With the unveiling of the Aviators came an immediate connection with Hollywood, as actors and models, sports icons and musicians all made shades a must-have item. After the war, thanks to the great success of the Aviators, the evolution of sunglasses began.
To show you how deep the roots are between shades and celebs, here are a few of the major styles trending today and the celeb whom you can thank for making them timeless.
Aviator – although introduced in the very beginning, the aviator style lost some it’s allure throughout the years, until a loose-cannon fighter pilot named maverick came along. Tom Cruise helped put the aviator back on the map in the 1980’s with his cult-movie, Top Gun, and they have been popular ever since. If you are looking for a clean, classic look with large lenses and a sleek frame – this is your choice.
Waferer – introduced by Ray-Ban in the late 50’s, these all-black stylish shades have experienced a rollercoaster ride in terms of popularity. While extremely popular in the 60’s, thanks to famous figures such as Ray Charles and JFK, this style lost its appeal throughout the 70’s. In the 80’s, the waferers resurfaced thanks to none other than, you guessed it, Tom Cruise! His hit movie Risky Business, along with the Blues Brothers and a couple of other TV icons helped this style rise once again to the top. This style is for the edgy, rebellious person looking to add some rhythm and soul to their look.
Round – The round frame shades, aka John Lennon glasses, were also introduced in the late 50’s and have been closely associated with “the dreamer” ever since. Because of the close connection with Lennon, these smaller framed, round shades also became synonymous with the hippie movement – peace, love and flower girls. These shades were also made famous by disco icons like Dianna Ross, and were very popular in lightly tinted and colored lenses throughout that era. If you are looking to release your inner-hippie (or have a really small face), these are the only shades you should be considering!
Cat Eye – introduced in the early 1950’s, this femme fatale style is the definition of Hollywood. With extremely large frames and a certain amount of bling and glamour, this style has captured the hearts of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars throughout the years. From Audrey Hepburn to Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor to the Marilyn Monroe, these shades truly symbolize the Hollywood diva. So, if you’re feeling like a diva and want the world to know – look no further.
While it is obviously important that the frame fit the face, it is equally important that the shade match the soul. So, with so many styles out there, take your time and make sure you find that perfect fit!