Accessories like sunglasses are the easiest way to be authentic or stand out, even if your style is more conservative and elegant.
If you know Iris Apfel, who wears big, round glasses, you know what I mean about how accessories can give your outfit a boost.
I noticed that a lot of people tend to look for costly sunglasses, even those who aren’t so into fashion. We do this even though we know they usually don’t last long – either you lose them, or damage them, scratch them, and eventually, you need new ones.
I was wondering why are we willing to buy sunglasses from high-end brands to such an extent?
Here are some things I have noticed which are worth taking into consideration if you are buying new sunglasses.
1# SIGN OF IDENTITY
We wear sunglasses on our faces – everyone notices them and the logo is usually visible. People often comment not just on how much they like your new sunglasses, but also on the brand you are wearing.
Sunglasses can be one of the most common signs of identity.
They serve more than just a functional purpose. They silently communicate, signaling information to others. (1)
People buy certain sunglasses because they like what they communicate about them. On the other hand, for the observers, these signals provide an easy shortcut – a way to simplify decision making.
What someone wears gives us clues to their more observable characteristics – if we like her, if she is fun or if we would like to have a conversation with her.
When you choose a brand you are essentially saying that you’d like to be connected to other people who buy the same brand. It’s important to know the brand itself and be aware what it communicates to its buyers in order to feel connected to people that you actually like.
Some choices signal identity more than others which depends on the following (1):
- Observability – what someone wears is easier to see.
- Function – the less that choices are made based on function and more on taste, the more identity relevant they are.
- Cost – the more costly something is, the more likely it is to retain its value as a clear and accurate signal.
It is quite clear that sunglasses match all of the above criteria, even more than other similar signs of identity, for instance, clothes or cars.
Additionally, they are widely affordable to women, which is why I believe they have become such a visible sign of identity.
Observability is maximized by wearing a logo on the face. You choose sunglasses based on your taste – a more classy pair to add elegance or a more extravagant style to stand out. By reducing the functional benefits, they become an even greater sign of identity.
2# THE PRICE
By understanding the meaning and importance of the signal of identity to yourself, you can make a better decision about the price that you are willing to pay for new sunglasses.
It is possible to find good quality for a low price. I think this is the case with sunglasses even more than clothes, for instance. In the end, most of what you’re paying for is the brand and designers.
This spring suddenly everyone on social media was wearing small, black, cat-eye sunglasses. I (still) find them very ugly -so far I haven’t seen any women who look good wearing them.
I wondered where they came from. It turns out they are made by an Australian based brand, Le Specs, in collaboration with designer Adam Selman. After they flooded social media, their price increased significantly.
Finally, for classy sunglasses, it’s actually worth paying more as opposed to the very trendy ones.
3# THE SHAPE
Don’t be too concerned with just certain shape of glasses that suit your face. This is the most common advice when it comes to sunglasses but in practice, it doesn’t seem to work.
I think the details make a big difference when it comes to the same shape.
Recently when I was on a business trip to Prague, I had plenty of time to look, try on sunglasses and take pictures to see how they suited me. I probably looked like a teenager but I was just having some fun.
I was once again surprised how some shapes suited me well after looking at a photo of myself. It was the same with colors – when I tried blue and rose colored lenses, the rose ones suited my skin-tone better.
So break the rules and try different shapes of glasses to find the perfect fit for yourself. Taking photos of yourself while you try them on will help you decide which ones are the best for you.
If you’re looking for a new pair, I’ve included a few items below that I like this season.