Wednesday, January 19, 2022 Jan 19, 2022
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accessories MADE FOR SHADE

this season’s sunglasses are sleek and sexy

accessories MADE FOR SHADE

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The eyes have it this season with some of the most sleek, bold and innovative sunglass designs we’ve seen in years. From python skin to tartan silk inlay to hammered gold and faux woodgrain, your eyes are sure to pop at the choices of sunglasses. Frames are slimmer and sexier, thanks to a European influence. But temples are wider and typically boast details such as custom stripes and flashy metallic tips. We promise you’ll get second glances from admiring strangers. There are sunglasses to fit your mood, your style, your occasion. You’ll want them all.


And buying more than one pair is exactly what Dallas men and women are doing, say veteran sunglass vendors Char Mason of Optica in the Galleria and Janice Walters of Sunglass World Optical in Preston Center. This year, women are selecting two or three pairs of sunglasses tor their spring and summer sunglass wardrobe so that colors and styles complement their clothes. The choices range from dazzling, custom-painted,

lightweight metal frames for swimsuit lounging near a private beach or flamboyant black-on-white plastic frames for that coveted East Coast resort look. Even cat-eye frames with their upswept comers are on the shelves this year, especially in marbleized and frosted colors. Rhinestone detailing will carry a pair of sunglasses through from daytime casual to late-afternoon dressy.

Men, on the other hand, aren’t quite so concerned about color or shape as they are about the function of the sunglasses, say Mason and Walters. That’s not to suggest that a man isn’t concerned about fashion, but it’s more likely that he’ll go for frames that are black, brown or burgundy (a new color for this season). He’ll probably choose a traditional Ray Ban design to wear for week-day business, but splurge on a second pair to fit a sports-filled weekend. The “aviator,” with its mysterious reflective mirror coating, is still a popular casual style. The aviator frame is full and round at the cheek and tapers tear-drop-style toward the nose. An even more popular shape of frame for men is the “navigator.” It’s similar to the aviator, but is sheared off straight across the bottom of the lens.

An interesting trend this season is that despite the pretty and feminine colors and shapes of women’s sunglasses this season, there are many sunglasses for the sexes to share. She’ll probably covet her favorite man’s Porsche Shield shades because she’s discovered there’s nothing better than wearing them while topping out her new convertible on a long, hot stretch of Texas highway. But he may say “hands off if the wide-bodied frame has been custom-painted to match his baby blues. Mason says she temporarily sold out of the $115 Shields after Yoko Ono was pictured wearing them on the cover of Interview magazine early this year.

On the other end of the solar spectrum is the conservative, intellectual “preppie sunglass,” with its thin-frame, round lens and wire earpiece.

Another common design element seen on many of the new sunglass frames is the trend toward a straight, heavy line across the brow, with rimless lenses or a thin-rim at the bottom of the lenses. Mason says that the black, rimless, reflective sunglasses manufactured by Optical Affairs ($165) are one of her best sellers this season.

Emmanuelle Khanh picks a heavy black boxy-looking frame for the serious man who doesn’t mind that his $185 sunglasses are covered above the brow and at the temples in real lizard skin. Khanh wraps the women’s version completely in the python skin for $395, and Optica sells thick python-skin bracelets to match.

Nikon claims that its new CARBOMAX ($205) is one of the most durable, stylish and lightweight sunglasses on the market. In addition to Nikon’s attention to durability, the company also understands the importance of clean lines.

Tint-alizing facts

Fashion aside, the real reason to wear sunglasses is to protect sensitive eyes from the damaging ultraviolet radiation produced by the sun. You know what the sun can do to your skin; think what it can do to delicate eye tissues. That’s why it’s so important to be sure that the sunglasses you purchase cut out as much ultraviolet radiation as possible. Most inexpensive sunglasses don’t have opthalmic-quality lenses; that means they cut out little ultraviolet radiation, if any, and they can cause some distortion in your vision. In fact, Texas State Optical optician Fred Russell says that dark lenses without ultraviolet protection can allow more ultraviolet rays to enter through a dilated pupil than if you didn’t wear any sunglasses at all.

The only way to tell if your sunglasses are protective is to look for labels that say the shades are “photochromatic,” made of CR-39 plastic or made of the new UV400 plastic. The UV400 plastic is reputed to block virtually all ultraviolet radiation, while the CR-39 cuts 30 percent. Mason says that you can order UV400 lenses to put in any pair of quality sunglass frames that you buy, but Nikon is the only sunglass line that carries the UV400 lenses as a standard feature.

Getting the most eye protection is particularly important if you work in the sun, do a lot of driving or take medications that make make eye tissues more sensitive to sunlight (such as diuretics, birth control pills, an-tidiabetic drugs, antihistamines and some sulfa medications). And dermatologists say that regular use of sunglasses can help prevent wrinkles around the eyes, since they help cut down on the amount of squinting.

Russell says it’s also important to choose the right lens tint for your sunglasses. A gray tint is best because it causes the least distortion in the way the eye perceives colors. The next best color is gray-green to green. Brown tints are popular, but they tend to add a red cast to objects. Bright yellow tints are best for wearing under foggy conditions; they cut down on the glare of light bouncing off water in the fog and generally brighten the view.

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