In Fashion: Made in the shade; sunglass trends spring-summer 09
Apr 06,2009 00:00 by Sharon_Mosley

Your sunglasses are the windows on the fashion world — the one accessory that can change your cool vibe instantly. The latest in eyewear trends are hitting the stores right now.

This is the time of the year when the sun comes out and so do the shades. Pick a fashionable style to add to your spring and summer outfits. Photo courtesy of Maui Jim. 

But while the fashion factor may play into what sunglasses you wear, it's also important to choose quality eyewear that will protect your eyes. That means shades that filter out 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays, according to Susan Martonik of The Vision Council, a nonprofit trade association representing eyewear manufacturers.

"You should also consider wearing fuller wraparound frames as another way to protect your eyes from sun damage," Martonik adds.

And what's the hottest trend in eyewear now? "Round shapes are huge," says Martonik. "They are everywhere."

Martonik also predicts that bright colors in frames and lenses will be big trends for the coming season. "Eyewear is really making a bold statement now," she says.

Take a peek! Here are the new eyewear trends for spring and summer 2009 from The Vision Council:


— Go Preppy: For all those who love clean-cut suits reinvented with graphic patterns and colorful twists, the new eyewear is essential to pull it all together. Try round specs in traditional black and tortoise or architecturally inspired sunwear to two-toned shields. Consider aviators with metal or plastic accents and a pop of color to punch up your look.

— Loosen Up: With a season full of drawstring pants, big shirts and comfy cardigans, it's hip to sport sunglasses in oversized square or retro shields with dark or colored lenses, which keep the whole casual look chic. Color-gradated frames or cool blues, blacks, browns and metal hues tie it all together.

— Fly High: For the jet set guy who enjoys the ethnic influences of current fashion — mixing bohemian-embroidered cottons with tribal colors — the exotic look in sunglasses is key. Try rimless or semi-rimless frames, vintage-inspired sunglasses, and mirrored or gradient lenses in deep and earthy colors with details on temples like leather, bamboo, wood or animal skin.


— Go Global: Fashion designers are creating a culture clash, mixing everything from safari jackets to harem pants to maxi dresses to cowboy hats. Eyewear gets in the global mix, too, embellished with leather, animal prints and intriguing patterns. Update frames with tribal pigments and radiant color-tinted lenses, sharp angles, cutout brow bars and detailed temples.

— Rock 'n' Roll: Bring out your inner wild child with eyewear that has a hard edge — match with those modern minis, skinny pants and zippered jackets. Retro and future influences combine to shape up in square lenses, contrasting hues, oversized styles and dramatic shapes. Check out the graphic patterned shades in black and white, electric colors and intricate metal details.

— Get Romantic: If you're not a rocker chick, but prefer more ladylike frills and feathers, then you'll love the round or oversized shades in classic neutral frames like tortoise, white or Lucite with colored lenses. To add a girlish twist, choose pink accents or frames with fun and flirty details, such as lace and bows.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate Inc.