I’ve been living in my Zeal Optics for almost two years.
They have taken me through hours and hours of running, 26.2 miles of my first marathon, a sun screened summer in Maine and many many days behind the wheel of the Sequoia. But their time to be retired has come, mostly because of the big chip that has appeared in the left lens. They’ve lasted far longer than they should have. I’m far from gentle with my glasses.
The Kaenon’s, while oversized and cute, have turned out to be a much better headband than eye cover. They aren’t all that comfortable and leave a big imprint on the bridge of my nose. It’s not a great look and does horrible things to my face when wearing my Glo Minerals powder. I’ve succumbed to dusting my face once the glasses are on to miss that spot that rubs my makeup into my skin causing roughness, little bumps and redness, too.
Yesterday, since I was sans kids and at the mall for a scheduled visit to the genius bar (another story entirely), I figured I’d use my time to investigate sunglasses.
When I enetered the first store the girl behind the counter asked me to hand over my Zeals. Her bright face and happy voice warmed me instantly.
“Here, let me clean those,” she said.
Embarrased I handed them over. She sprayed them with magic (they never looked better when she was done) and worked away while we talked.
“Try the Tory Burch,” she mentioned as she pointed to the case.
The first pair I picked were coded TY 6006; gold rimmed aviators with pink gradient lenses. They were light and chic and sized right (not too big or small) and the sales girl and I had a bonding moment; she still working on my Zeals and smiling at my face that had lit up over the discovery of sunglass awesomeness!
The next pair I tried were TY 6016; rimless with brown and like the others had pink gradient lenses. Without a rim they look the complete opposite of every other pair of glasses I’ve ever owned, but were so pretty and felt comfortable on my face that they make it hard to decide which of the two I liked better.
As much as I feel the pull toward grown up ladylike sunglasses, I inquired about the running selection next. The store carried Oakley and I was handed a pair of Polarized Overtimes, similar to the Kaenons in shape, plastic rimmed glasses with polarized lenses and a rubber bridge piece to keep them from sliding while sweating. At $170.00 they were not cheap, but their lightness and good size made up for it. I wished I’d found them before the Kaenons.
Oakley also makes an aviator and to compare to the Tory’s, I tried them on. They were okay, but didn’t have that lightness and chicness thing that Tory does so well.
I moved down the case.
I used to wear a pair of RayBans, black and wrap around they were great to shield me from the sun. But like the Kaenons, they weren’t comfortable on my nose and would slide down my face while wearing. They also failed the headband test and wouldn’t stay put atop my noggin (a deal breaker). I passed them onto my sister. They looked much better on her anyway.
The RayBan aviator was a no the moment I put them on. Too big. Too heavy. All wrong.
Next, I tried the wayfarer.
Again, they weren’t right for me. Maybe it’s because I wore the same pair in the mid eighties? I don’t know, but I’m glad I tried them, since I’d been pulled toward a Kate Spade pair that I’d seen on Gilt.
I left the store feeling like I really need new glasses, but must decide if I should stick with Zeal, which I know perform for me or just keep the old ones for sweaty running and buy a new pair of pretty glasses for when I’m attempting to play the part of “forty-year old mommy in desperate need for some chic in her life.” Hm?
I dropped into another shop before leaving the mall.
The girl behind the counter asked if she could help me and I said I asked about Kate Spade, since I hadn’t seen any all day. She said they didn’t carry them and added that Kate Spade doesn’t have much control over the quality and control over her glasses anymore.
This can be a problem when designers expand and sell their names. I’m sure Kate Spade is making more money than she ever dreamed, but for a consumer like me, the overselling and lessening of her control makes the brand less special and less likely that I’ll buy anymore. I hope this doesn’t happen with TB, though she’s expanding at similar speed.
This store carried more luxury eyewear and avant-garde designs than the last.
My interest fell to the glass case filled with Dita frames, a manufacturer/designer I’ve been hearing a lot about. Dita is made in Japan and currently being worn by a ton of celebrities in the know. The frames were priced around high, around $500.00-$600.00 a pair.
I wished I had really great things to say about the brand, but overall I found them overpriced and while certainly quality, not worth the retail price tag. The stores selection was small, which I was okay with. They ones they had were too weird; even for me.
Below the Ditaa was another company who produce their glasses out of the same factory in Japan.
Matsuda, similarly priced and beautifully detailed were made famous by Linda Hamilton when she wore them in the movie Terminator 2. I learned that the producers of the new Iron Man film, being shot down the road in Cary, N.C had requested a bunch be sent for their film as well.
Apparently, with the death of Mr. Matsuda in 2008 there has been a new demand for his glasses, evident by the auctions on Ebay and the $1000.00 price tag for certain styles.
Sunglasses are an important accessory and I left feeling glad that I’d done a little research in the area. I was enlightened by what I’d learned, intrigued by the many choices and thoroughly convinced that sunglasses, like running shoes, should be purchased in stores.
What glasses are you wearing?
Did you buy them online or in a shop?
Think it’s too much Tory to have her on my face, while carrying the Amanda bag and possibly also wearing TB Eddie’s on my feet? Decisions!
The hub for all I do, marthawills.com documents life from a working mom's point of view. When not mothering, I manage the social media needs of small businesses through Wills Media Group, LLC, and write a weekly column for Raleigh's News & Observer online entitled, Are We There Yet? Most recently, my passion for health and wellness led me to become involved as a consultant for Beautycounter, a company that's making a difference by educating about toxins in products, spreading the word via the web.
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