I've had these London Retro specs since the end of last year, and although I've worn them in outfit posts here and there, I haven't really given them the blog time they deserve considering how gorgeous they are. With the weather turning and them being pretty much glued to my head of late, I thought it was about time I rectified that fact and gave them a proper introduction for spring.
I think the reason for my delay is because I always feel a bit daft wearing sunglasses in winter. This is of course completely unmerited as I know only too well the effects sun damage can have on your eyes, thanks to my Mum spending a good year or so working for a pretty well known high street optician. (Apparently it's even worse for us city dwellers as often we can't see or feel the sun due to grey polluted skies yet its rays can still be damaging even through the clouds. Little nugget of info for you all there, you are welcome.)
We really should protect our eyes in any situation that the sun may harm them, regardless of the time of year or colour of the sky (that means even on grey days and in winter). However, apart from occasions like fashion week (where these got their first outing) in which I can get away with it because everyone and their dog (literally) is wearing sunnies, I can't quite bring myself to do it as I know that if I turned up wearing a pair to the pub on a grey Saturday in November, my non fashion friends might just dis-own me.
Anyway now that spring's sunshine is here and the wearing of sunglasses without dis-ownment is once again condoned by both fashion and non fashion friends, I've been getting to know this pair much better.
Betty Wears: Sunglasses - c/o London Retro at My Optique, Skirt - Peter Pilotto for Target, T-shirt - H&M, Jacket - Gestuz from Buy my Wardrobe, Trainers - Converse, Bag - ASOS (old), Necklace - c/o Anna Lou of London, rings - Vintage.
Because I'm not a full time glasses wearer, I often compromise quite a bit on sunglasses and just opt for high street styles that suit me rather than worrying about the lenses and the UV protection. When I was introduced to the London Retro brand by the folks at luxury eyewear retailer, My Optique, I at first dismissed the whole thing thinking it was purely for my bespectacled friends. But the great thing about both the My Optique retailer and the London Retro brand is that all of their frames are available in both prescription and non prescription lenses and in both glasses and sunglasses forms, so once you've found a frame that suits you, you can choose how to wear them.
I can imagine this being really useful for glasses wearers as buying off the peg sunglasses isn't really an option and I'm sure it can be difficult to find styles of frames that suit the lens requirements. As I'm not a glasses wearer of course, for me the brand simply offers a chance to get some pretty snazzy sunglasses that will last a lot longer than my high street counterparts and give me the proper UV protection that my eyes have probably been craving all of these years.
The London Retro brand, is unsurprisingly inspired by the sartorial flair that the capital is known for and their styles are easy to wear, vintage inspired shapes all named after different areas in London or quintessential British characters. The style I'm wearing is called the Babs and is everything you might expect a Babs to look like; retro with a hint of the avant garde, all curvy lines and bold prints with plenty of gold. The cats eye pair come in either a plain black or tortoiseshell, like I'm wearing, and are said to be a nod to the styles Marilyn Monroe wore which I think it pretty spot on as even on their own they ooze confidence and swagger.
I find they work best with a fairly classic outfit (if Marilyn is the style icon then we know an LBD and a slick or red lippy is surely all we need) but lately I've been throwing them on with just about anything and they always add a little wow to the outfit.
These particular pictures were taken a couple of Sunday's ago when we spent the day walking around central London to watch the Marathon. It was a gorgeous sunny day and I wanted to wear something casual and comfortable that I could walk in easily but also something that felt a little summery so I called upon the bright prints of my Peter Pilotto for Target skirt and teamed it with casual separates and my old faithful Converse.
Without the sunnies it would be a fairly ordinary outfit, but thanks to Babs it's back in blog worthy territory.
What about you, do you spend more to get quality UV protection in your sunglasses or are you happy to shop on the high street?
Photography by Stuart Watt
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