Sunglasses are a year-round accessory — our peepers need protection from harmful rays every day — but this time of year it's almost impossible not to ogle all the new shady styles and colors.
No single style stands out more than another, but they all have one thing in common: They make a big statement.
“The great thing about sun wear this season is how diverse everything is,” said Alex Bratton, buyer for On a Whim stores in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
Take your pick of classic yet sporty aviators or retro round shapes with a boho feel. Sexy, exaggerated cat-eyes add a bit of glamour, and reflective lenses are just too cool. Decorated and printed frames give interest, and bold colors such as orange, pink, yellow and cobalt are more popular than ever. And it wouldn't be summer without some bright white.
Like almost every accessory, sunglasses are available in all prices, from a few dollars to a few hundred. Depending on where you shop, you can build a wardrobe of this summer's most eye-catching styles for less than $30 or invest in a designer pair that will be your signature piece every day of the year.
This season, big styles tend to overshadow small, making it easier to hide behind a pair of trendy, oversize round sunglasses or add instant impact to an outfit with a pair of printed or striped frames.
Sunglasses often are described as jewelry for the face. Most women change their jewelry often, so it's no surprise many women — and a few men — own more than one pair of sunglasses.
“One of my most favorite accessories ever,” Bratton said. “This accessory can create instant mystique and can even be the best item to aid in a bad hair day, to pull back those unruly fly-aways or work as the perfect hair accessory.”
Who among us doesn't like an accessory that multitasks?
While sunglasses can add instant cool or sophistication, let's not forget about the protection factor they offer. Ultraviolet rays are dangerous to the eyes. Oklahoma has 116 days of extreme and very high risk of UV each year, according to the Vision Council.
As much as style is talked about when it comes to sunglasses, sun protection is still the best reason to become a shady character.