Are Sunglasses the New "It Bag"?

I can't say I'm surprised by the fact that sunglasses have become the latest "It" accessory of today. With our economic recession, only the elite can still afford the "It" bags of years past. And that's not to say that handbags have lost any of their allure, or their lofty place among status symbols.

I love reading the International Herald Tribune's Fashion & Style section. Last week they had an interesting article on the subject:

"Prices for designer sunglasses have jumped to $350 or more in recent months, from an average of $250, retailers say, and the price spike has not turned off shoppers. 'The youth of America has discovered sunglasses to be the aspirational and prestige item of the moment,' said Marshal Cohen, a senior analyst with the NPD Group, a market research firm. He predicts, 'Sunglasses
will replace the handbag as the image item' among teenage girls and young women."1

But this trend is not just about tightening our frugal belts, and it's not just affecting women.

"Men have embraced sunglasses with a passion, and may even be driving sales," said James Spina, the editor in chief of 20/20, an eyewear monthly. 'Unlike men's previous pet object, the watch, which half the time is covered by a sleeve, sunglasses are always visible, a kind of jewelry for the face. They give men an identity.'"2

Talk about making an investment in a fashion statement. I have to think that men are just as eager to reign in their spending off of watches, but still want to be in style. But again, the designer watch, just like the handbag, will never go out of style, no matter what our economy looks like. To read the rest of the article, click here.

Here are some great styles that won't make you feel like you are the only person left on the planet that can't afford the high-end designer sunglasses. All under $200:

Gucci black belt buckle detail sunglasses
retail value: $320.00
bluefly: $192.00

Christian Dior black metal 'SubDior' aviator sunglasses
retail value: $320.00
bluefly: $192.00

Fendi white logo aviator sunglasses
retail value: $250.00
bluefly: $150.00

Paul Smith men's pewter square aviator sunglasses
retail value: $325.00
bluefly: $195.00

1,2 All quoted text from (http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/10/style/10sunglasses.php) All photos courtesy of Bluefly.com.

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