Time for new sunglasses

Ever since I was four, and I was forced to wear the same blue navy sweater and same brown straight leg trousers as everyone else at school, I’ve despised being told what to wear.

It’s not that I feel I should be able to express myself through my clothes, or even that I feel it’s an insult to my style. It’s just that generic, off-the-shelf clothing is so limited, ugly, and poorly designed that no one could ever really feel comfortable or good about themselves wearing it.

And it’s no surprise. The style and colour of off-the-shelf clothing is chosen to please as many people as possible. It’s made to fit a universal average in shape and size. And it’s most often produced using the cheapest means and materials possible.

With all this considered, nothing reminds me more of wearing school uniform more than prescription sunglasses. Safe to say, I didn’t put up with the limited choice for long. As soon as I could, I had Laser Eye Surgery and freed myself from the traumatic memories of conformity and the restriction my prescription put on what brands, styles, and price ranges I could wear.

Now, rather than a reminder of my boring and always-too-big-for-me school uniform, my sunglasses are an expression of the freedom and comfort of being able to wear whatever the hell I want.

Don’t let your style be dictated by your eyesight. Check out our pick of some of the hottest sunglasses on the market for 2018/19.

1. Rayban Erika Classics Sunglasses

Rayban will always be known for the classic aviator style — after all, it did invent it. But if there was any other pair of sunglasses that the American company would become known for, it’s the Erika Classics.

Available in 12 different colour and lens combinations, from black and violet to tortoiseshell and brown, a classy pair of Erikas is literally the perfect compliment to any outfit. What we love about them most, though, is their oversized, rounded shape and 100 percent UV protection that ensures even the delicate skin around your eyes stays protected.

2. Topshop Tortoiseshell Frame Sunglasses

Taking influence from this year’s trend of deconstructed frames with visible hardware, Topshop has come up with a range of cheap and stylish glimmers that are sure to get heads turning.

Also in a rounded design, these tortoiseshell sunglasses with exposed metal bridge and frame are our pick of the bunch. As well as nodding to this year’s catwalks, they also hark back to the 70s and manage to carry a retro vibe without being too nostalgic.

3. Gucci Round-frame Acetate Sunglasses

Sticking again with the round-frames, these snazzy shades from Gucci, available in red or black acetate, are as bold in style as they are in size.

What we particularly like about them — apart from being huge and Gucci — is their trademark interlocking G branding flanked by crystal stars on the arms and the tiny golden owls behind the ears. With grey lenses and 100 percent UVA/UVB protection, as well as looking amazing, you won’t have to worry about the sun causing glare or damaging your eyes, either.

4. Topshop Cat Eye Sunglasses

On this year’s catwalks, cat eye sunglasses were everywhere. Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, and Maison Margiela all had their own take on the feline-inspired style, which first became popular in the 50s and 60s.

With their wide lenses and dramatically upswept outer edges — some more so than others — cat eyes can be a tricky pair of sunglasses to pull off. We think this pair of mini cat eye sunglasses with a clear frame and plum tinted lenses offer just the right balance of meow and maturity. Perfect for rollerblading down the beach in a bikini or taking a casual stroll down the high street.

5. Prada PR 20US Sunglasses

You can typically spot a pair of Prada sunglasses a mile off — and that’s exactly why you buy them. But like the majority of over-the-top designer eyewear, you don’t want them to draw attention for solely being ostentatious, but also for their subtle class and sophistication.

As a world-leading designer with a strong tradition of high-quality materials and craftsmanship, Prada manages to pull this off perfectly with these sharply named, square wraparound sunglasses. They come in three colour variations (grey tortoiseshell and blue lenses being our fav), and successfully say style and elegance without shouting too loud. Plus, their curved shape means more protection for your eyes from the sun, and there’s nothing cooler than that!