To us Keysians, sunglasses are so often taken for granted due to their necessity (like flip flops), we often forget to realize they are making a huge statement about who we are. Which brings us to the gist of this month’s article….are your sunglasses function or fashion?

Fashion: Without a doubt, Amber is the Countess of Fashion Sunglasses. Gucci, Chanel, Dior, – she loves them, she collects them, she covets them- each pair lovingly placed back in their respective large, protective cases each time they come off her face. I have owned one pair of Gucci sunglasses because it took me one time to have too many cocktails and lose that much money, that fast. My lost Gucci’s were followed by a string of rebelliously purchased drug store Foster Grant’s that, quite frankly, I thought looked strikingly similar and never ended up lost. Oh, the irony. While Amber has been steadfast in her sunglasses shape; large round Jackie O’s, I have been much more experimental in my choices. I attempted the mirrored aviators; I thought they looked tactical and very Cool Hand Luke authoritarian-ish. However, they pulled out chunks of my hair when I mistakenly put them on top of my head and I felt like I could see around and above them…which was really annoying. I tried a couple of pairs of Amber’s Jackie O’s but they made my face sweat and created embarrassingly huge “raccoon eyes.” (Amber is always lathered in sunscreen so this is how she avoids this disastrous consequence). Finally, I have settled on my new favorite -actually an old favorite- pair of sunglasses- The Ray-Ban Wayfarer. To me, the Wayfarer says I am more “Risky Business” than SWAT Team. I am more “Boys of Summer” than I am Jackie O. To me, there is nothing more rock n’ roll than a pair of Wayfarers. I bought them in black and tortoise shell and I wear them with great pride. They tell the world that I am one with the Blues Brothers, I have seen Reservoir Dogs and I likely have ZZ Top on my playlist.

Function: As far as functional eye wear is concerned, the Florida Keys might as well be sponsored by Costa Del Mar. More people wear Costas in the Keys than any other sunglasses around. And for good reason. Ask anyone with a pair of Costas on and they will tell you there is nothing better to wear on the water. In fact, I was admiring a pair of Costas at Louie’s Backyard last week and was introduced to the Costa 580 Lens by someone who could politely be called, a fanatic. According to the Costa website, “580 lenses block yellow light at580nm for enhanced color and blue light at 400nm to reduce haze and blur.” According to the Costa fanatic at Louie’s, anyone who loves fishing or the water will wear nothing else. I will say the lens quality was unbelievable. However, as aforementioned, I am more of a fashion over function kind of girl. Michelle is right for the most part, I do love my designer sunglasses. I think of them like a handbag or a piece of jewelry.They are a must have accessory. What she may not know however, is I’ve also lost in the last two months, 3 pairs of my most coveted designer glasses. (this is a secret from my husband so shhhhh….) I have been looking for a replacement that offers coverage without the sportsman influence. Ray Bans are an excellent option, and they come in many shapes and sizes. If you want something colorful, try the Diane Von Furstenberg’s or DVF’s, they offer a super light weight frame. You won’t even know they are on. No slipping down your nose etc..( I have them in PINK)!

We asked a couple of our friends:
Jo Socha, Sheriff’s Office- I wear black Ray Ban “Jackie Os” for two reasons…they are available in prescription and they are available in a polarized lens which is mandatory since I drive a boat on the weekends. They also make an excellent headband. I still wear Oakley’s (Vented Radarlock Edge/Asian Fit) for bike riding because they are unbreakable and if a rock or something comes off the pavement, I don’t have to worry about them shattering. Also, they are aerodynamic and fit under my bike helmet. I never wear cheap sunglasses…ever. I would never wear anything other than polarized glasses in the Keys. Don’t even talk to me about it”
Dianne Scott, Editor / Island Jane – I wear polarized Maui Jims because I am out on the water a lot. I can’t see the shallow water spots very well without them and running aground is just NOT an option 😉

Well, I think we’ve made our point. Sunglasses are a must have in our lives and we are willing to spend whatever it costs to have the ones we like best. I think function may win the contest though. So let us hear your thoughts….what kind of sunglasses do you wear and what do they say about you???

by Amber Schafer & Michelle Maxwell