As fashion trends rise and fall, more and more people are finding it increasingly important to make everything they do into a fashion statement, however surprising it may be. Sneakers of all kinds can cost a fortune these days thanks to athletes and musicians wearing them and at times endorsing them, while even little things like the wrong style of underwear can become a fashion disaster for the unprepared.
Exactly when this got started is anyone’s guess, but it has become an undeniable reality for millions of people the world over. Even medical appliances are becoming increasingly important to maintaining decorum, whether it’s a three-month waiting list to get eyeglasses like those Steve Jobs wore at the turn of the century or increasingly advanced prosthetic limbs intended to move and look increasingly realistic.
One particular place where fashion meets function is in the world of sunglasses. Associated with musicians, actors, and other celebrities since at least the 1940s, many people also find them essential for getting through daily life, whether it’s because of a medical condition making excessive light painful and blinding or a work-related need, as is typical with commercial airline pilots and astronauts.
Getting a tasteful pair of sunglasses can be difficult, particularly in light of the fact that trends have come and gone with such astounding regularity that even dedicated research can lead to confusion. However, some elements of style have persisted for some time, among the wrap sunglasses. Also known as wraparound sunglasses or wraparound shades, these glasses have been around for some years, though they remain tasteful enough and many people do seem to prefer their look.
Wrap sunglasses are so named because they are made of specialized materials that curve around the face, hence the name wrap-around sunglasses. The sunglasses may have a single curving lens that smoothly covers both and comfortably rests on the nose inside a minimal frame or they may have a frame that wraps around the face like typical glasses with two frames that follow the contours of the human face.
In both cases, the frame is very strongly curved and would not be possible without modern materials engineering. Among these advances are the poly-carbonate lenses that make it possible for modern eye wear to be lighter and more durable at the exact same time, as well as advances in plastics engineering that allow for such a diverse array of frames.
These sunglasses in a less familiar form were popular in the 1960s, with its most famous users being Clint Eastwood (particularly in the smash hit Dirty Harry movie series) and Yoko Ono. However, the style really kicked into high gear when new materials allowed glasses to more easily wrap around the face, the look got a boost from the futuristic aesthetics of the 1980’s fashion.
Since then, the focus on fashionable futurism has never totally gone out style, and while the heyday of the 1980’s cyberpunk aesthetic seems to have faded away, The Matrix showed these glasses in an impressive light and many rock stars still prefer this style.