This spring and summer, residents of and visitors to Old Town looking to shade their eyes are in luck! Specs New York is here to provide you with an amazing selection of designer sunglasses to fit every style, purpose, and personality.
Specs New York celebrated their one year anniversary in Old Town at the end of April, and we recently had a chance to sit down for a conversation with their DC-based owner, Oren Goldberg.
OTBD: How do you like being in Old Town?
OG: I love having a store in Old Town! It’s one of my favorite stores to visit. I used to live in Charleston, SC, and I love the neighborhood feel in Alexandria. It’s wonderful that there are so many independently-owned shops. Best of all: you can’t beat eating lunch on a bench overlooking the water.
OTBD: What are some trends that you are seeing for this spring and summer?
OG: There are a lot of trends continuing from last summer, and of course lots of new twists. I think you can expect to see mirrored lenses everywhere you look, on all ages, and paired with all styles of dress. Not only do these look cool while completely hiding the wearer’s eyes, the mirror actually increases the ultraviolet protection factor of the lens. Big plus!
Another trend that is very strong is the double bridge, both in single material frames and in combination acetate and metal frames. A lot of aviator frames are shifting the teardrop closer to the nose or eliminating the teardrop altogether and moving to a round look. It creates a sort of hybrid style that can go from sporty to casual to dressy very easily.
For round double-bridge frames, consider the above options from Ray-Ban and Gucci.
Note how the point at the bottom of the Gucci aviators (with yellow lenses) is closer to the center than on the traditional Ray-Ban aviators (with blue mirror lenses).
OTBD: Are there any lines that you are particularly excited about this spring?
OG: I’m always excited for new lines from more small-production designers. These tend to be young companies, headed by young owners and designers who try to push the envelope on shapes and colors. Most of them also are US-based. I am particularly excited for a few lines we’ve brought to Old Town because you’re unlikely to find them anywhere else in the area other than a computer screen. For example, we carry Krewe du Optic from New Orleans; Smoke x Mirrors, Illesteva, and Coco and Breezy, all from from New York City; and Shwood from Portland, Oregon.
OTBD: I’ve heard a lot of people say I should get polarized glasses, but I don’t know what that means.
OG: Polarized lenses contain an additional filter than eliminates glare. Some brands, like Maui Jim and Costa Del Mar, only make glasses with polarized lenses. Other brands make polarized lenses an option, in one or more colorways or as a special order. Most designer brands make few to none of their frames with polarized lenses. Polarized lenses are highly recommended, especially for the beach, snow, and driving. Some people, however, do not like to wear polarized lenses, either because the polarized effect bothers their vision or because it is not always compatible with certain types of computer screens (particularly airplane cockpit screens). In the end, whether or not to get polarized lenses comes down to preference and purpose.
OTBD: Can you give any advice on picking the right shape glasses? Narrowing down the process, since there are SO many choices?
OG: There are a lot of experts that talk about fitting the shape of the glasses frame to the shape of a person’s face. There seems to be another article on this subject in a magazine every summer. I think people often find that the glasses they like best are not necessarily the shape or material they first set out looking for. At Specs New York, we strive to train our staff to be style consultants first and foremost. To do this, they must know the shapes that will work best on different face shapes, but they also must know our inventory and how a frame may look different on a person from what they expected based on the way it looks on the shelf. If a guest at our boutique walks out feeling spectacular, we’ve done our job.