There is something about pulling a pair of shades over your eyes that you a sense of confidence and security. Perhaps a good pair of sunnies is like having a security blanket, it is comforting and boosts morale. It doesn’t matter whether they are large sunglasses from Diff Eyewear or whether they are some no-brand pair you got at the flea market. Sunglasses are sunglasses, and as long as they are tinted and do their job, it’s more than enough, especially for university students who seem to be the highest demographic of sunglass users.
Of course, stop any girl on campus and she will tell you that it’s not that simple. You can’t just pick a pair of sunglasses and call it a day. Finding the right pair for your face shape is important. Classic frames suit girls with a classic heart shaped face but if your jaw is strong, you might want to pick a square frame which will soften the edges. If you want to bring some definition into a round face, opt for a pair of sunnies which have a distinct edge — not only will it elaborate your features, but it will also take the gaze away from any baby fat you have left.
Sunglasses have become so incorporated into the identity of the university student that one in particular UPenn student made it into a business. By customizing Wayfarers, he managed to hook in several sororities and fraternities into being his clients. Not only that, he has signed with a hundred over universities to supply his cheap knockoffs, which he has now self-branded.
Looking into the example above, one is able to deduce just how important sunglasses are for the average university student. It is a marker of being cool and in the case of having a customized pair, tells everyone else which community you belong to, much like putting on a jock jersey or a cheerleading outfit — it is a status symbol. But that is not the only way one can shout about their position silently: sunglasses, like part of one’s outfit, has the ability to reflect one’s aesthetic choices. In which case, it can be part of a student’s fashion statement and tell other students about their personalities.
Aside from shape and cut of the glasses, there are also a multitude of styles: aviators, athletics, mirrored, dot, retro, hippie, wood-frames… The list just goes on and on, and we cannot forget to add smart sunglasses to that list. Pick any person and make them put on each of the mentioned glasses and you will find that each one will make you view him differently. From playboy to tech startup founder, whatever you put on will help make an impression on your fellow students.
Campuses are wisening up to the situation and are planning to utilize this fashion trend to their benefit by incorporating them into their smart-campus initiatives. Imagine having the ability to go to class and see information that would not be visible to the naked eye. It could inject a new element of fun, especially if VR is also included into the course. Instead of putting on oversized headgear, one would only need to put on a pair of smart sunnies to get the ball rolling. Furthermore, while it might seem like a bit of a stretch, there are ways in which it could benefit those with low eye visibility, too. Certain new sunglasses have silent speakers on their temples which could tell those visibly impaired that there might be hazards in front.
However, we will leave the techy aspects for the future to figure out. As innovations happen inevitably, it shouldn’t be too long until someone surprises the world with something new, fresh and most of all, practical. Much like the smartphone, humans weren’t born relying on them, but due to their invention, it has become so integrated into society that it would be hard to function without one as everyone else has one. In the meantime, what campus students can focus on are the fashionable aspects and statements they are making with their eyegear.
Comedian Ali Wong, has been using sunglasses frames for her prescription glasses, which made waves in recent news due to the innovation. It is creativity like that which will make students on campus stand out. It’s probably how the trend on tiny sunnies started… But regardless, sunglasses are definitely here to stay, especially on campus where students are experimenting on expressing their individualism. Having been given the freedom to dress and wear whatever they want must be liberating, especially after years of dress-codes and being told what is allowed and what it not. Self-expression is one of the most exciting aspects of university, and you can’t be cool without a pair of sunglasses.