This entry contains (almost) everything I want to say about my sunglasses collection, I am only including 99% of everything I own, plus or minus a few pairs here and there. That’s because I don’t wear them anymore, or they are currently missing in action. I will also be sharing with you my favourites, where to buy, tips & tricks about shopping for shades, my ‘philosophy’ when it come to my favourite accessories. In the past year alone, I have bought way more than necessary pairs of designer shades, so I can also share with my tips on purchasing them.
Hope you find this entry helpful, and do share what’s your fave pair(s)!
For me, sunglasses are a necessity in sunny Singapore, we experience bright and sunny days most times of the year, and whether you drive about or take the public transport, I feel that sunnies are a must to shield your eyes from the harsh lights, they take the glare away, you don’t squint as much (squinting to me equals lines and wrinkles around your eyes, huge no no!). And beyond that, sunnies complete my look. I can be wearing just a simple tee and shorts – which my default uniform these days, but with a pair of kick-ass sunnies, I feel like I am dressed up instantly.
And yup, I am one of those people who don’t take off their shades even indoors. I used to mentally diss people who wear their shades indoors – like in shopping malls, grocery shopping etc.. but I have become one of those people. Sometimes it’s because I don’t have a proper place to hold my shades (I don’t like tucking it at the top of my shirt collar, or worse, perching my sunnies onto of my head) so I just keep them on. If I do take them off, I will keep them in my bag (which brings us to storage…which I will touch later in this entry). I know I look obnoxious wearing them indoors…but I rather keep them on until I have a proper place to keep them. Plus, sometimes it is better for me to keep them on, to cover up my accidental frown or subconscious eye-roll.
I also see sunglasses as part of the whole wardrobe.. a pair to suit every mood, and every ‘look’ that I think I am going for. I use that term very loosely as you already know I dress pretty casual most of the time. But if I want to look ‘trendy/edgy’ I would wear a certain pair of shades, if I want to look more understated, I would wear some others, if I want to look kinda wacky I would go for another pair.. you get the drift…
Some of my guiding principles when it comes to choosing and buying shades:
- I don’t believe in the whole face shape matching certain sunglassses shape theory. To me, if you try it, and if you like it, who cares if your face is round as the shades are round? If you like it, and if you rock it, people are going to think it looks great on you anyway. Some of my friends say how come I look okay in all my shades, I think that’s because the shades fit well on me, regardless of the shape they come in. I don’t have the sharpest feature, but I do know a good pair of fitting shades/eyewear.
- Which brings me to the next point – it’s all about the FITTING. You want a pair that sits well on your face – if possible, try them on. And if it feels weird, never ever be pressured into buying them, no matter how trendy or cheap the shades are or pushy the sales staff is.
- When it comes to buying designer shades, always try them on at the store in person. What looks good on the celebrity, model, blogger etc might not actually look good on you, nor even fit well on your face. And designer shades are an investment, they are not as pricey as shoes and bags, but they cost a good $400-500 each… so you want to make sure they fit. Most boutiques I been to are pretty good with letting you try everything you want, so you pick and choose. But but but.. I never buy in store.. once I know what fits, I go somewhere else to buy my designer shades. The same goes for some sunglasses shops… I don’t want to name any particular brand, nor shop.. but in my experience, they all cost 30-40% more than authentic online retailers. There are pros and cons of buying in person and online, definitely.. for example, I would never buy a designer bag online ‘because it is cheaper’ – I would want the whole experience of buying a bag at the boutique because I enjoy the service, I enjoy hearing about the bag from the staff etc etc etc… but when it comes to shoes and shades… online is the way to go. I will share links on where I purchase my shades at the end of this entry.
- Keep them well. I dedicate 3 drawers to storing my shades. Most of them are in their original packaging/ cases/ pouches. I clean them all time to time, and I wiped them before and after each use.. especially for those that I know I don’t wear often. The currently being rotated ones I would have them out in the car, or in my bag.. so they are always being wiped or cleaned as I go. Everything just looks more expensive and sleek when they are well maintained. You don’t want fingerprint marks in your silver mirror lenses or foundation/ makeup stains on the frames etc etc… those are just NOOOO. Take extra care of the delicate ones – especially the metal frame ones, and those with mirror lenses, because once they are scratched, they are pretty much ruined.
- Price is not a factor for me. When I say this, I mean that I am not a snob… yes, I love designer shades, and most of them here are designer shades, but I also love the cheap and wacky. But I won’t spend $1000+ on a pair of shades either. I think my mental limit would be $500 for a pair of shades and so far I haven’t bust that limit. That said, however, the devil is in the details. You pay for the details and the over ‘sleekness’ of the shades when it comes to designer brands. Refer to my close up pictures in the rest of this entry.
- Never say never. You will be surprised at what looks good on you.
- I have faves for driving around in, and faves for walking about to ‘look cool’ in. Usually my driving shades have thin arms that don’t obstruct my view when I am checking blind spots or turning around etc..I find that those shades are more comfy for driving. And my top driving shades include – Tom Ford Carrie, Porsche Design aviators, Ray Ban aviators, etc. They are kind of huge and block enough sun light from burning my eyes if I am driving around in the day. (Current) fave shades for posing about, and walking about – Dior Technologie, Egg optical shades (I can’t find the model number but you will see in the pictures below) Best all around functional yet super cool – Porsche Design, Dior Technologie, Tom Ford Carrie
- I like to get the trendy designer shades – not gonna lie about that – again, it is cheaper than buying the latest IT bags that everyone else is gonna carry that season, but for IT shades…not everyone will do that, because somehow they are just more understated and accessible. I am someone who would rather plonk a few thousand dollars on a shopping vacation, or home improvements, self improvement than to buy a $5000 designer bag… but to spend a few hundred on a pair of shades every other month…hmmm that doesn’t sound too bad to me. And I do wear the heck out of them… so to me, it is very reasonable.
- On my wishlist? I don’t think I would buy anymore for 2015, but I am currently eyeing the all black Dior Technologie, Dior Abstract – Dior is just killing it this season. I want to get a couple of Tom Ford too.. but we will see what comes up next season. I think I want a pair of Dita sometime in the future too, but the ones I want are notoriously hard to get.. I have tried in HK and everywhere in SG, and even contacting them, but to no avail.
- In general, some brands just don’t fit my face, so I don’t really pay attention to them – such as Gucci, Fendi, and Valentino…they are often narrow and too curved for Asian (or maybe it’s just me) facial features.
- Speaking of Asian features.. some of the Ray Ban wayfarers come in this ‘Asian’ fit.. if you go to a real legit Ran Ban retailer, the staff can advise you on what fit… and again I will tell you where I buy my Ray Bans—- and it is often the middle-aged uncles who know their stuff when it comes to Ray Ban models and history.
- I am a serial buyer – If I love the design so much, I would totally buy another 2 or 3 pairs in different colour combinations. So you will see repeated pairs in my collection.
Here’s how I store my shades –
you have the original hard casing, which are good for travel – as I often carry 3 – 4 pairs of shades when I travel.. those in the hard casing, I will check them in. Some brands do provide BOTH the case and pouch.. but most brands it’s either one only.
For example, this pair of CELINE comes in a soft suede pouch, good for carrying around in your handbag but be careful not to let this slip to the bottom of your big bag and risk getting squashed by the contents of your bag. Otherwise this is sturdy enough to carry around for the day.
The Ray Ban pouches are a happy compromise of the hard and soft. They are sturdy and have a structure to them.. so your shades fit nicely inside.
Next, close of the details of some of my shades – it is always the details and the fit that attract me to a new pair of shades. Or if I see someone wearing it, and I want to try them myself too.
Love the marble detail on this pair of Quay Australia shades – I purchase directly from their site for about SGD$50. But best to share and save on shipping, order a few pairs with your friends and save together.
Love the swirly curly lines of this pair of Chloe shades – I also love the gradient tone of the lenses. I literally saw this pair of shades in a magazine, hunted down the model name online, and purchased it. No regrets. This is the perfect pair of hipper beach chic eyewear. I only wear this for the pool and beach..which is not very often…but well. It is all about the look! There are plenty of knock-offs of this pair, but the overall fit and oversized look is just different from the original.
I love how crazy HUGE my porsche design shades are. If only the brand name isn’t all over the shades.. I would love them even more. They are functional – being so huge means they block out most of the glare and yet they are light enough to wear comfortably for long periods of time.
I might get one more pair in silver or gold frame though. Right now, they have taken over my all time fave Ray Ban aviators.
These were my first few pairs of designer shades – I got the HOH ones from Shopbop.. they are under SG$200 a pair.. and I love the shade and arm details on mine. They are old models, so I don’t think you can find them around anymore.
Another close up of the Chloe shades.
Even the nose pads of my Dior Technologie bears the CD initials.
There are some shades which I have bought but never worn, such as the Elizabeth & James Fairfax – I was suckered by Laura from BuynowBloglater years and years ago, when she was still lollipop26 to get this pair but it just doesn’t fit my face. Actually it fits me better now considering how my face has slimmed down over the last year. That’s before I learnt the lesson of trying it on as mentioned in point 3 earlier on. But I keep them anyway. They are quite pretty nonetheless.
An awesome mid-priced range of sunnies and eyewear is HK brand ‘egg optical’ – when I say mid-priced, I mean somewhere from SG$150-250 a pair. I have acquired 3 pairs within a period of barely 2 months, excluding my current normal prescription glasses. They are well made, trendy looking, understated as in they don’t scream any brand name on the shades themselves. I love how black mine are (see egg 01 and egg 02) you would have seen these often on my instagram selfies. I discovered this brand when I was in HK, hunting down Hachill shades, but I fell in love with the Egg Optical ones instead.. they are cheaper, and just way nicer.
Save room in your collection for cheap and cheerful shades:
They are wacky and you never know when they come in handy. The same rule applies, it is still all about the fitting. They MUST fit good on your face! Here are some I bought during my travels to Japan, Bangkok, etc.
Where I shop for my shades :
Ray Bans – all my Ray Bans are purchased from Season Optical located at People’s Park Centre, #02-17. I like the unpretentious vibe of the place, there is a huge variety (both the old and new designs), and the uncles in the shop know their stuff when it comes to Ray Ban design and history. I have recommended this shop to so many of my friends when they shop for Ray Ban.. they kinda know me already. Which is always a good thing!
Online for designer shades – OTTICANET.com – everything ships out from Italy, they have the latest Designer shades. everything is authentic and legit. If it is in stock, you get your shades within 3 days (Fedex shipping). That said, I have waited 3 weeks for some of my shades to arrive due to stocks availability. But overall good experience.. and never pay marked up boutique prices anymore in store.
Egg optical is available at Jurong Point & Vivo City.. I got mine in HK before I knew they existed in Singapore recently too.
I hope I haven’t left out anything… this is an epic entry, and I can go on and go on and… let me know if you want to read more of such sharing about my personal style/ collection entries. I can think of some quirky ones, such as how I think of matching my perfumes to the colour of my tees, or an entry dedicated to my grey tees, or should I talk about updates in my fitness routine/ fitness workout clothes…
I also want to share about a recent facial treatment I had, which visibly got rid of the fine lines around my mouth… maybe tomorrow or later this week!
That’s all, and thank you so much for reading!