A good pair of sunglasses transcends what is considered on trend and what is not, the poster child being the Ray Ban wayfarer, my go-to for the last few years. Some people fetishize accessories, accumulating numerous varietals, but variety in this sense, is not my stripe of life. I increasingly prefer all things simplistic: stripped down, pared back, untethered to excess. But the hankering for yearly transformation still prevails, especially as the seasons around me melt forward—quite literally right now—into the future. Though the classicism inherent to my trusty Ray Bans allows that they will not be thrown out, I’ve decided it’s time to retire them for a while in lieu of something a bit more au courant. And if there is a brand that encapsulates my generation in its finest light, it is easily Warby Parker.
Though they were only founded in 2010, the brand needs no introduction, having become so quickly resonant in our culture as to impinge on all the so-called heritage brands in the sunglass sphere. The term Warby Parker itself evokes so much more than just a pretty pair of shades, including but not limited to: progress, technology, philanthropy, eco-consciousness, streamlined shopping and productivity, etc. And if you’re a literature fiend like me, you’ll recognize the company name as having been pilfered from the characters Zagg Parker and Warby Pepper who appear in the beat writer Jack Kerouac’s famous journals. The brand is also one of the finest testaments to the impressive possibilities of start-up culture, one you could comfortably wield against any of the recent naysayers.
On my mission to choose a pair that drifts just enough from my fallback set, but not so much that I’d actually, you know, fall back, I was thrilled to discover their latest collection, Spectrum Sun: nine of the brand’s perennial shades that have been spun into fresh, spring-worthy colors. Though the rosy tint of the Hall in Cherry Blossom seduced me immediately, I knew I didn’t have it in me to give Jodie Foster circa Taxi Driver a run for her money—though if you have a simpler bone structure than I do, please let me live through you? More to my face’s liking are two pairs that are now engaged in a standoff for my love and affection: the Dean in English Oak versus the Piper in Revolver Black. The former is probably a safer bet—with it’s shape like the more substantial, hipper cousin of the Wayfarer—but the latter is stirring up all sorts of modern-Audrey-Hepburn vibes in me that I can’t deny.
I’m big on making the more unexpected choice these days, so I’m leaning towards the Piper, with all of its Breakfast at Tiffany’s associations. This, of course, is not a life or death matter, but simply a dismissal of the sartorial same old same old. And, as a certain Holly Golightly once said, “I’ll never get used to anything. Anybody that does, they might as well be dead.”