For centuries, sunglasses have been worn for both protection and style. In Ancient Greece, royals watched spectator sports from behind polished gems. In the 12th century, Chinese judges wore sunglasses made out of smoky quartz to hide their facial expressions while interrogating criminals. It wasn’t until the 1700s that sunglasses went from a fashionable item for the rich to a protective accessory. By the early 1900s, everyone could find a pair of shades made fashionable by popular culture.
Throughout history, sunglasses have adapted and changed with the people who wear them. It begs the question, what does the future hold for sunglasses?
Style Has Become More Expensive Than Protection
Sunglasses are getting more and less expensive. Cheaper sunglasses are typically more focused on offering protection instead of style. More expensive designer shades follow fashionable trends. Style is passing functionality by in terms of price. In the past, it used to be the other way around.
This isn’t to say that designer sunglasses don’t offer protection, but it’s cheaper to get protection for your eyes than it is to be stylish. It’s fair to say this trend will continue long into the future.
The Way We Buy Them
The way we buy sunglasses will continue to change along with the way we buy everything else. Online stores have changed the game when it comes to ordering shades. There are so many to choose from and smaller brands have a better chance to compete. Back in the day, you could only get sunglasses made from known designers and big-name department stores.
In recent years, subscription boxes have become a trendy way of receiving items. You can buy boxes for tea, books, and dog toys. It should come as no surprise that there are also subscription boxes for sunglasses, making for an easy seasonal purchase. It’s like getting a thoughtful present in the mail from yourself.
Styles From The Past and From The Future
Retro styles are making a huge comeback. Looking through magazines or fashion blogs, you can see sunglasses that look straight from the 80s and 90s. Aviators, a classic look from the 80s, are more popular than ever. This retro style in bright colours creates a look in line with both retro and current trends.
Many styles of sunglasses have been created using trends from the past, while also mixing in futuristic and current elements. For example, round sunglasses were popular in the 1920s, but adding bright colors bring it into the current century.
Brands are creating futuristic looking sunglasses with sharp outlines, unusual shapes, and unique lenses have been seen in fashion editorials and on the runways during fashion week. Now, these sunglasses that look like something from Back To The Future are showing up more in stores and online.
The Combination of Function and Style
With the many technological advances we’ve had over the years, it makes sense that innovators are looking towards creating smart clothing. Sunglasses are part of the trend, being tinkered with to include gadgets more often.
One of the biggest inventions on the horizon is Google Glass, a wearable glasses computer. They enable the wearer to record what they’re seeing, browse the web, and a lot more. Some people are looking towards these glasses as an example of what we could do with sunglasses. Very soon, your shades could be telling you the temperature and all sorts of useful information.
What does the Future Look Like for Sunglasses?
With new styles emerging, old styles being adapted, and technology being added, sunglasses have gone through a lot since their conception centuries ago. So, we can guess what the future of sunglasses will be like, but we can’t say for sure. Styles and trends change quickly, about every fashion season. What we consider popular sunglasses now will change by this time next year. Down the road, we could all have sunglasses that we use as computers. In another century, who knows how sunglasses will have changed.
No matter what, sunglasses are a fashion statement here to stay. With every new look debuting on runways and fashion magazines, the designs are pushed a little further toward what the future holds. And you know what? We’ll enjoy the journey.