Due to a freak stand-up paddleboarding incident earlier this year (okay, I fell), my beloved pair of Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunglasses are floating, aimlessly, somewhere in the Pacific. After kicking myself for making what was in retrospect a very stupid choice to wear them on a paddleboard in the open ocean, I tried to look on the bright side: time for some new shades. As a regular eyeglasses wearer, I’m pretty picky about what I put on my face. So much so that I simply considered getting another pair of Clubmasters, knowing they already worked for me. Then I realized I was already halfway to the perfect pair of sunglasses.
See, David Kind, who makes my regular eyeglasses (in Japan, no less), is one of a handful of high-end eyewear brands to currently offer sunglasses clips for their glasses. They’re essentially two dark lenses held together by a wire and they’re made to fit right on to my eyeglasses frames. Clips are certainly nothing new — Oliver Peoples offered them in the ’80s, for example — but in the grand scheme of cyclical fashion, it has yet to make a full-fledged comeback. In addition to David Kind’s made-to-order clips (you get to pick out the wire finish and lens colors), Garrett Leight and Moscot both also offer them as optional extras for a selection of their eyewear. Ray-Bans and Tom Ford make them as well.
Clips are a deeply practical solution for glasses wearers. I used to wear my contacts under a pair of regular sunglasses if I was going out into the sun, mostly because I was unwilling to buy a pair of prescription sunglasses and lug them around with my regular glasses. Transitions were created to solve this, but they’ve never been able to shake that very uncool, slightly creepy effect of slowly transitioning back to clear while indoors (they also don’t work very well while driving).
Clips, however, are a remedy to all these problems. They’re compact, thus easy to carry around with you, and generally cost less than a prescription pair of sunglasses. They can be taken on and off in seconds. They work in cars. They don’t look creepy. In fact, since you, like me, probably put a lot of effort into finding the perfect frames to fit your face, they’re going to look every bit as good.