I never quite got the sunglass craze. I mean, every year when I go to New York Fashion Week, 80% of people are not only wearing them on the streets, but also inside, which just always blew my mind. I get that people wear them inside to look cool, but if you’re trying to look cool, doesn’t it automatically make it an uncool thing to do?
Aside from the practical role of being able to see in the sun and eye protection, sunglasses were always a “meh” accessory for me. I could never find any I fell in love with – or that made me feel cool enough to want to wear them indoors. Any trendy style I tried on made me look like a bug, and any frame in a solid dark color tends to made me look washed out with my blonde hair and fair skin. Therefore, in the past, I’d just haphazardly buy a $5 pair to throw in my purse so that I wouldn’t care if they got banged up or not. That was that.
But before I left for New York Fashion Week last month, I came across a brand that’s doing sunglasses a bit differently, Public Sunglasses. I wore a pair of these sunnies every single day in New York City and I haven’t stopped wearing them since. We’ve been on so many adventures together from wandering around Central Park to apple picking closer to home.
I was first drawn towards the patterns of their frames. Take the Activa ($109) pair I have for example: the beautiful tortoise shell pattern has a black base, but with specs of grey, clear, and white mixed in, so I don’t have the harsh contrast with my skin tone like with other pairs I’ve tried.
Another favorite are my retro-esque Guily ($119) sunglasses. They’re a deep, dark brown mixed with warm amber and golden tones, so they can be worn with literally any outfit.
Then there’s the Braylen ($119) glasses with reflective blue lenses that I can count on to take things up a notch. I love the contrast between the edgy bright blue with the earthy vibe of the wood grain on the outside.
Because they are made of wood, these sunglasses are super lightweight (I often forget they’re even on my face) while still being far more durable than the easily broken $5 pairs I had to replace often. Wooden accessory brands are definitely on the rise, but Public Sunglasses is not just another trendy label that will fade with the fad. These are gorgeous, timeless pieces (at an amazing price point) that are crafted to withstand every adventure. Founder Sarah Krahn shared with me, “I was born into a logging family in Northern California and raised by a very talented woods craftsmen. We milled all of our walnut trees, my father made everything for us. We never had store bought furniture. It was all made out of our backyard trees or oak tanks for Robert Mondavi Winery… Wood is in my bones!”.
I think the most frustrating part of sunglass shopping, especially online, is not knowing how they’ll look on your own face. One of the best things about the Public Sunglasses website is when you click on each pair, on the bottom left there’s a section that says, “Fits These Face Shapes Best:”, so you’ll know ahead of time if the pair you’re buying will work with your unique features!
Now, I get it. When I put a pair of Public Sunglasses on, they made me feel confident, capable, and adventurous. I used to think people wore sunglasses all the time to mute their identity – to distance themselves from who they are. However, now that I’ve found not one, but three pairs that I feel incredible in, I see that it’s more about protecting yourself. They’re like armor between you and society. You can walk outside without makeup and forego people asking you if you’re feeling alright. You can roll your eyes without someone accusing you of having an attitude problem. They can disguise your emotions long enough for you to get back home (sometimes sharing emotion is a great thing, but sometimes you just want to deal with them on your own). When I have a pair of these with me, I feel like I have a shield that let’s me do more, be more, and take on more. I can step further outside of my comfort zone and put a little more of myself out on the line, because if things don’t go right, I can throw on my shades to go about the rest of my day without having to be completely composed.
So, here’s to many more escapades in my Public Sunglasses! They have a new collection coming out in November and I absolutely cannot wait to see it!
*Thank you Public Sunglasses for sponsoring this post!*
Photos by Christina Stein Imberlina and Shaun Novak