Summer Style: The Perfect Accessory

Love at first sight

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By Christina Pippin

Local Shopping & Fashion Blogger

In this sultry heat, many are looking to wear just one simple and ageless accessory: sunglasses.

The world’s first sunglasses were created from natural materials including bone, leather, and wood. The Eskimo or Inuit of the Arctic have been credited with crafting the necessary accessory to protect their eyes from snow blindness caused by bright sunlight. View the ancient, yet oddly futuristic, design of the eyewear handmade from walrus tusks at the photo gallery.

Today we continue in the tradition of shielding our eyes, only the selection of frames has increased to include original designs that are cool, colorful, and creative.

This summer, look to local boutiques for the perfect specs to defend your eyes from the sun. You can wear these sunnies all around town while running errands, on a fun weekend picnic with friends, or on that long-overdue family vacation.

See photo gallery for fun frames and inspiration from fashion icons.

Retro cat-eye shapes can be found at Takara of Oak Park ( and are sure to summon a feline feeling.

Geek specs and an array of oversized sunglasses can be found at Croix of Oak Park ( in playful colors that conjure purple grape soda and sticky red lollipops.

Chameleon of Oak Park ( has cotton candy pink shades that invoke fond memories of summer carnivals and they also stock hip aviators that are perfect for a relaxed look (think Erik Estrada of Chips sans the poly uniform, but keep the motorcycle). An ivory pair of sunglasses prompts Audrey Hepburn’s iconic and ultra mod alabaster frames.  

You’ll find more delicate styles and cool wraparounds (very Bono-esque) at Team Blonde of Forest Park (

Muse ( of Oak Park and Norah’s Shoe Shop of Oak Park ( offer cosmopolitan oversized plastic frames, Jackie Kennedy-style shades that are perfect for day or night and effortlessly chic. Sleek black eyewear with silver details or classic tortoise shell frames are both urban and edgy.

The truth is, while I know that many shoppers match the shape of their sunglasses to the shape of their faces, whether it be oval, heart-shaped, oblong, round, or square, well, I just choose what I like. And there are many inspired sunglasses right here in town to choose from.

For prices and store hours, visit websites.




Team Blonde

Muse Boutique

Nora's Shoe Shoe

Reader Comments

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Christina Pippin from Oak Park  

Posted: June 13th, 2011 1:19 PM

I purchased my sunglasses for under $20 at Muse. Chameleon has shades for men that are inexpensive and made to last.

Melissa from  

Posted: June 10th, 2011 12:57 PM

Something about those classic white sunglasses! Thanks for the fun.

David Hammond from  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 6:02 PM

I buy cheap sunglasses, but I'm open to getting a better pair. Still, I don't want to spend a huge amount on them (because I always lose them, eventually). Christine, which of the places you mentioned has the best selection of reasonably priced shades for men?

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