The latest stylish summer sunglasses in PDX
Portland style, shopping, trends.

By Erin Flesch, NEAT contributor

It may seem counter-intuitive to do a trend piece on sunglasses in the middle of summer after most people have probably shopped them back in May. However, if you’re anything like us, you have probably lost and/or broken that sweet pair of Ray Ban aviators you thought were so cool all those months ago. Well, now is your (second) chance to get ahead on the trendiest of trends in the sun-covering eyewear racket. We can see the future… and it’s looking like we could use a new pair of shades.

Sunglasses have always had the power to transform. Take it from Jack Nicholson who once said, “With my sunglasses on, I’m Jack Nicholson. Without them, I’m fat and 60.” Truer words have never been spoken, and thus we began our quest for our own pair of Jack-worthy shades that will make us look cooler, thinner, sexier, and yes, more mysterious.

Dr. Summy To, owner and optometrist at the newly opened Myoptic Optometry on North Williams Street, had a few wise words for Portland’s serious sunglass shoppers. Being a doctor, she started off with some technical advice. “Always make sure you have 100 percent UVA and UVB protection in your sunglasses.” Check. Don’t get cheapo frames from drugstore stands. She also mentions that, “polarization makes a world of difference in cutting down glare, and we highly recommend it to all of our clients.”

But what about style? “Big is still in, though not the kind that just takes over your whole face like they did a couple seasons ago,” says To. “Portland definitely embraces the step back into the ’60s and ’70s, but with a new millennium flare.” She recommends classic styles, such as the aviator tear-drop, with bold hits of color. “Thick black Wayfarer types are still Nuevo-retro, but I love the more unique, angular shapes with highlight color – a dash of orange or turquoise behind the basic black and brown giving it that bright accent without the clash.”

We’ve cut down the glare and found the best places to shop for face-flattering frames in Portland. And the winners are…

Myoptic Optometry – This new addition to the Portland eye scene (if we do in fact have one of those) carries unique, can’t-find-‘em-anywhere styles from brands like Paul Frank, SALT Optics sunwear, Wiley X and Bolle. Added bonus: Stop by Wednesday, July 28 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to get FREE single vision standard plastic lenses with frame purchase. There will be a yummy Italian soda bar to sip on while you shop plus a chance to win a Paul Frank Cruiser that will be raffled off during the evening. Now this is how eye glass shopping was meant to be (pic above right). 3978 N. Williams Avenue; 503-493-7070.

Le Train Bleu – We are officially in love with these multi-tasking steam-punk versions they have in stock right now. This Sherlock Holmes-esque pair of spectacles features clear lens glasses with removable clip-on sunglass lenses. If only we could decide whether to go bad-guy with black frames or good-guy brown. Either way, we’ll be solving style crimes in no time. The shocking twist? They’re only $33! Derrida $33 (left).

Shwood – Fever (or is it fervor?) for this locally-made all natural wooden sunglasses have been hitting the hipster nation hard all around. Why, we even gave a pair away to a lucky Neat Sheet reader, and trust us, their reputation will only continue to blossom. A Portland style staple for all seasons, you can find these bad boys at shops such as Local 35 on Hawthorne and Lizard Lounge downtown. A fun take on a classic, we like the dark mysterious vibe of the East Indian Rosewood Canby pair ($105, right). 6150 S.W. Arctic Drive.

Visage Eyewear – This Pearl District shop/doctors office/art gallery is an upscale hideaway for shades and frames that are works of art in themselves. Those that work here travel the world to find the newest styles from across globe. These oversized Kieselstein-Cord sunglasses are perfect for sneaky hotel rendezvous, or for looking stylish while dining on sidewalk patios. For a decidedly Eastern European look, we like these German-made ice-blue Ic-Berlin pair (right). 1046 N.W. Johnson St; 503-944-5475;

Top image courtesy of Shwood.

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