#349, Buy new sunglasses
Ever since Madonna rocked black sunglasses in Desperately Seeking Susan, I have chosen sunglasses through characters that intrigued me.
I believe my sunglass love started with the material girl. She seemed so cool and irreverent.
For years I wore my hair in a curly mess like hers and tied bows around my head to keep the strands out of my eyes.
Soon I went from buying $5 pairs of fake Ray-bans on the Venice boardwalk to indulging in designer sunglasses from Dior, Chanel, Bvlgari, and Prada. It’s not quite as extravagant as it sounds. I usually buy a pair every two or three years and I take good care of them.
My friend Tish and I had a fabulous encounter one year choosing sunglasses at the Neiman Marcus in Las Vegas where a prim gentleman has made his career choosing the perfect frames for your face.
When you arrive at the counter and ask for his help, he does a quick study of your face. He adjusts his spectacles and bow tie and then shows you through the cases. He asks you to point out the sunglasses you like and he pulls out the ones he agrees with. Then you go through a cycle of trying on each pair.
As you try them on, he shouts a clipped, disdainful, “NO!”, or he utters a quiet, “mmmm hummm” when he approves. When you have a stack of “mmmm hummm’s” set aside, he narrows it down to a few pairs.
While you’re trying them on again, he decides.
He points at the winner and then tells you without any conviction whatsoever that “the choice is entirely up to you”.
It goes without saying that you are a fool if you choose anything other than the pair he recommends.
All of this would sound like bullying if he wasn’t spot on. But he is. He chooses the pair of sunglasses that matches the version of yourself you are currently most inclined to be. He’s a kind of sunglass savant. A sunglass whisperer, if you will.
For me he chose a pair of large black Chanel glasses with inlaid mother-of-pearl detailing. They were right in line with a French phase I was going through and I had just seen a similar pair in The Devil Wears Prada. They did wonders for my face.
Sadly, they were stolen six months later from the table where I was having lunch with a friend. I excused myself to go to the restroom and though my friend was there the whole time, the glasses were gone when I returned. So if you have lunch with me, don’t be surprised if I put on my sunglasses to leave the table. You can never be too careful.
I have been sporting aviators for the last few years. They are Dior frames that looked like a pair that Angelina Jolie wore in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. I have them in silver and gold, but they have been finding their way onto the head of my teenage daughter and are now a bit worse for wear.
I had just been thinking that I was in the mood for a new pair, when my husband and kids gifted me with sunglasses for a belated Mother’s Day gift.
At the sight of the newly designed Dior box, my heart leapt a little. I felt a bit wary though since sunglasses are difficult to choose for someone else. I suspected I would need to exchange them.
I liked them, but I didn’t think I’d be able to pull off the cat eye shape and wasn’t sure if I’d like the wire stems. But… they fit.
This is the lovely thing about sunglasses. No matter how fat or thin you are, sunglasses usually fit.
I wore my new shades for a day and decided I loved them. My daughter sealed the deal by saying how much younger they made me look.
It’s funny. I’m not really a designer-wearing, luxury-shopping, celebrity-following, swayed-by- flattery kind of person.
But I do love sunglasses. I suppose everyone has their “thing”.
228 days to go!