Alright, it’s time to get ready for that afterparty, or for a whole weekend away with the crew. You’ve got your outfits planned, tops and pants, along with several pairs of shoes, bling, ice, drip (whatever you want to call it), and some tastefully selected hats. Don’t forget a couple of belts to match the rest of your outfits, you’ll miss that too. You can’t forget your favorite swag, but don’t forget to pack the charger and the other vital accessories.
So what’s missing, after you’re set yourself up with style from head to toe? Not much - but you’re missing out on one key element of a well-considered, well-planned outfit: the shades. More specifically, you’re missing out on an opportunity to work your favorite colorful lens sunglasses into that getup.
Here’s [just about] everything you need to know about how to style with your favorite frames, your colorful lens sunglasses of choice. These are our top obvious and not-so-obvious suggestions for how to rock them with class.
The obvious: Match the color of your colorful lens sunglasses to your outfit
Obviously, the best advice we can offer you is also one of the most important, which is probably why we’re also considering it obvious. Without a doubt, the best way to mate your colorful lens sunglasses is by matching the lens color to the overarching color scheme to your outfit.
Right, your outfit has several different colors, of course. You need to key in on the top notes, the highlights, the key elements that define the outfit. If you’re wearing a bold, bright orange shirt or a cool, electric blue jacket, so be it. It’s easy to match a lens color to these. But if you’re sporting a more complex graphic tee, it might be a little harder.
Look for the highlights in the design, and go from there. Are they purple? Blue? Red? Orange? Is it neutral, something like a white or a silver tone? Mirror-lense sunglasses are tops for that. Find the predominant colors; you know, those that are most striking, and then pick out a pair of colorful lens sunglasses with lenses in the same color.
This is the easy way to pair up a set of shades to your banner outfit, but it’s also the low-hanging fruit. A little bit of attention to detail will carry you a long way, and you’ll find it increasingly easy to develop an eye for how to pair them up. Remember, top notes, highlights, then match the shades.
But it’s also only one of many ways to style with colorful shades. Let’s start with the not-so-obvious ways to pull it off.
The not-so-obvious: Match the color of your frames to your outfit
Get ready for a combo breaker, because the obvious way to style with your favorite pair of shades is to focus on the color of the lenses themselves. It’s also the easiest way to do it - and far from the only one. Did you remember to consider the frames?
That’s right, the frames have endless potential to add color (no pun intended), both figurative and literal, to your outfit. This is especially true in the case of sunglasses that have somewhat less flashy lenses. Sometimes the lenses make the shades, sometimes the frames make them. You have to approach fashion on a case-by-case basis. Nothing works 100% of the time.
But the frames of your shades - that’s where some real potential lies, especially if the lenses take a demure backseat. There are plenty of sunglasses out there with frames that are just fire and will really make your outfit come alive - if you follow these simple rules.
The good news is that we already told you about them, and they’re the same as our guidelines for matching up your lenses and your outfit. Only in this instance, instead of matching your outfit’s predominant color scheme to the lenses, you’ll be matching it to the frames. The same goes for looking for highlights, and so on and so forth.
Pay close attention to the fine points of your outfit, given the highlights of your graphic tee or the underlying elements of your branded gear. Align these with the color of your sunglasses’ frames, and you’ll be set.
The obvious: Mating color to accessories
Just like it’s possible to overlook a pair of shades when you’re planning the perfect outfit, it’s just as easy to forget any other accessories. You know, finishing touches like a hat, a necklace or a bracelet. If you’re wearing a tank or some other summer gear, for these purposes you could even consider an exposed tattoo to be a part of your outfit’s appeal.
Your shirt and pants (and shoes) are not the only aspects of your outfit that can make or break it. You need to account for these accessories as well. Suppose you’re working with a fresh, all-white style, or on the flipside, something that’s nearly all black. It’s up to your accessories to make your outfit pop with color - and that’s why you choose them.
Here’s the secret. Match your sunglasses, either the frames or the lenses, to the accessories that you’ve chosen to pair with your outfit. Are you wearing a hat that is responsible for most of the color associated with your outfit? Match your shades to it - either the lenses or the frames, whichever works.
But that tip is likely to result in a color blowout, and it’s probably more effective to match your sunglasses with the other aspects of your outfit and accessories. If you’re rocking a bright necklace or bracelet, that’s going to offer you a prime opportunity to match up your sunglasses. If you’ve ever seen this effect before, it really hits home.
The not-so-obvious: Choose a complementary color to accent instead
Here’s the combo breaker that’s going to rise from the details. We’re still hung up on color, but instead of matching the color for some subtle accentuation, we’re going to take a totally separate strategy in this suggestion. Key in on the not-so-obvious power of complementary colors.
Have you ever noticed that designers can’t get enough of stuffing blue and orange next to each other, on album and book covers, in posters, and in outfits? Perhaps the fact that red and green decorations look so vibrant in each other’s company? This is all attributable to complementary colors.
In color theory, colors are considered complementary when they oppose each other on a color wheel. Therefore, red and green, purple and yellow, and blue and orange are complementary. When juxtaposed, these colors appear brighter, bolder and stronger. It doesn’t provide a sense of harmony in the way that matching colors does, but it does create a sense of movement of brightness and movement.
It’s almost as easy a rule to follow even if you aren’t familiar with it. Just pair up the colors in the order listed above. You can actually pull it off in a single pair of sunglasses. If you have a pair of sunglasses with blue frames, check how they’d look with orange lenses, or vice versa. Of course, you can also pair a pair of colorful lens sunglasses with orange lenses with a blue shirt, or follow the same trend. You’re going to love how it looks.
The obvious: Don’t forget to evaluate the occasion
So you have color theory pretty much squared away and you’re ready to hit the scene. Not so fast - you need to consider the soft points that the occasion calls for. This will help you develop a strategic, calculated approach to putting together the outfit that the occasion calls for.
Are you heading out to grace a laid-back event that calls for more poise and dignity than volume? Toned down neutrals and slime shades might be your best friend. Save your noisier looks for the louder events, and you can break out your brightest colors there.
By the same token, you might want to consider the time of day that this is all going to go down. Are you heading out for a beach party or a party that won’t really get started until long after the sun has signed off? If you’re going to be out in the sun, you’ll want to actually be wearing your sunglasses, in which case you may want to consider UV 400, polarized lenses to stay comfortable.
At night, your sunglasses might serve only as a fashion accessory and not as a functional tool. If that is the case, you can take basically any angle you want.
The not-so-obvious: Frame shape matters
Finally, we need to let you in on just one more secret, one more tip that is somewhat less than obvious. You’ve got color covered backwards and forwards and now you have several priceless tricks to make your outfit come to life with the help of a tastefully selected pair of shades. But there is more that you can do to tie it all together.
You see, color is not the only thing that breathes personality into a pair of shades. There is more than color - there is style that incorporates an interplay of elements. What we mean to say is, plainly, that the shape and nature of your shades can also make a marked impact on the arrangement of your outfit.
If you’re wearing a pair of bright, colorful lens sunglasses, they’re going to be far louder if their large shield styled glasses with big lenses, or if they have huge, bold frames. Conversely, a pair of sunglasses with thinner frames, or smaller, slimmer lenses is going to be naturally demure. Think of it this way; do you want to make a whole, front to back statement with your sunglasses, or just place an accent mark on the suggestion?
You can also match up the elements of your sunglasses to the rest of your outfit. If your clothing has a somewhat boxy, sharply angled geometric type of theme, then a pair of square or angled sunglasses might make a better match. On the other hand, a pair of slim, rounded shades will vibe better with a more fluid style in an outfit. Keep in mind that this is all color-notwithstanding, and that these effects can be experimented to affect the perfect look.
Those are our best tips for styling with your favorite pair of colorful lens sunglasses - both obvious and not-so-obvious. But before we part, here are just a few more tips and tricks for wearing your outfit with poise.
Wear your sunglasses as a statement piece
You don’t need to wear your sunglasses on your face, even though that’s what they were designed for. You can wear them inverted over your hat or flip them on top of your head, when you’re inside or the sun gets low.
Wear them without wearing them
You can also wear your sunglasses as a purely aesthetic piece of “jewelry.” Clip them onto the front of your shirt and reap the benefits of color without wearing them in the traditional fashion.
Choose your accessories based on the appearance of your sunglasses
Choose your jewelry, hat, shoes, and other accessories after you choose your sunglasses and ensure continuity and concord in your sense of fashion.
Keep it simple, let the sunglasses do the talking
Let the rest of your outfit remain plain and vest the majority of both color and personality in your shades. Let them take center stage and set the foundation for the rest of your outfit.
Keep more than one pair handy
You might also want to keep a different pair in reserve to roll with impromptu changes in your outfit. You’ll be better prepared.
Looking for a new pair of colorful lens sunglasses
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