I like the fact that sunglasses have become one of those accessories that are slightly detached from their practical function (to keep the sun out of your eyes), although I do draw the line at wearing them on the Tube (seriously, if you’re one of the people who does that – why? I genuinely want to know. Last week I had to wear my prescription sunglasses in a shop otherwise I would have been blind and I felt like a fool – why would you do that on purpose?)
Anyway, unlike skirts, sundresses and sandals, all of which you probably wouldn’t want to wear on a soggy, sullen English ‘summer’ day, sunglasses are a perfectly acceptable piece of kit.
They’re a nice way to buy into a favourite designer brand if your budget won’t stretch to the clothes themselves (I love Miu Miu shades and shoes, but ain’t never gonna own one of those frocks), and they’re good for introducing a transient seasonal trend into your wardrobe without buying into it wholesale (see: stripes, neon, ‘60s.)
I know some people have extremely strict and inflexible rules about the kinds of sunglasses they will wear, believing that certain shapes and sizes make their head/nose/whatever look too big/small/funny. I don’t particularly subscribe to that – if I like a particularly style, I’ll probably wear it, regardless of how flattering it is. But that’s just me.
So here is my selection of the best new sunglasses for Spring Summer 2013 – I think there’s something for everyone in the mix.
I’m a total convert to new London-based brand Finlay & Co.’s wooden frames. The shades are handmade from sustainably managed hardwoods, the lenses provide UVA and UVB protection and both styles (there are only two, Ledbury and Bosworth – I like that tight edit) have a ‘50s flavour – think classic Raybans and Persol.
My preferred style is the Bosworth in Walnut (£140) because I love the faintly retro shape with its dainty, rounded lenses. I can imagine Gwyneth in the Talented Mr Ripley wearing these with a high-waisted bikini and a headscarf and when I go to Capri in July that is exactly the look I will be trying to emulate. finlayandco.com
This oversizes tortoiseshell pair from & Other Stories look like something Diane Keaton would have worn during her Annie Hall/Manhattan years and that's good enough for me.
These stripey Dolce & Gabbana oversized shades instantly evoke images of sunbleached beaches and gorgeous Italian dames like Sophia Loren cruising along cliffside roads in open topped cars (and that's not just because I'm a total sucker for their advertising, although that helps.)
£164 at Sunglass Hut (0844 264 0860)
I've always had a soft spot for anything that comes in bubblegum-coloured, frosted resin and these baby pink Zara shades tick all my boxes - they'd look great with a cool white sundress and sneakers.
The same goes for these fruitgummy Topshop beauties...
This Prada pair are so classic, they could be from any era and will be in style forever (so don't lose or sit on them). The sleek tortoiseshell strip along the bridge and gently curved squarish lenses would be flattering for most face shapes. £215 at David Clulow (0844 264 0870)
For £5.99, even I'd be prepared to sourly climb aboard the groovy train in these sun-shaped sunglasses from H&M.
Doesn't Freya-on-Vogue look fab in this Versace pair? Oh I'm such a joker! Sometimes you just need to shove on a pair of oversized shades with that camp gold Medusa logo on them and work it like Donatella. If that time comes when you're on the no. 26 bus on a drizzly Monday morning, more power to you my friend. £164 at Sunglass Hut (0844 264 0860)
I've always wanted a pair of classic Rayban Wayfarers - will this be the year I invest? Perhaps...
Well here's to you Mrs Robinson indeed...
Do you have an impressive sunglasses collection? Are you one of those unlucky types who always loses them? Do you wear them indoors - if so, please tell me why!