A pair of sunglasses is the only accessory in western wear ensembles that isn’t inspired by the 19th century wild west. In fact, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that sunglasses, as we know them, were invented. But sunglasses are an integral part of modern cowboy fashion; even characters in Yellowstone wear edgy sunglasses that go really well with their outfit.
Casey Bishop-Yeakey is an expert in western fashion, especially in western-style sunglasses. Here are some tips from Casey to help you buy the right pair of sunglasses for your next rodeo.
Tip #1: The Right Type
“Unless you’re going for something really bold, I would recommend aviator,” says Casey, right off the bat. Her Instagram (@cowgirltennis) has tens of pictures of people wearing sunglasses on western-style outfits, and there’s rarely any pair of sunglasses that’s not some variation of aviator.
That doesn’t limit you, however. Aviator sunglasses come in different styles, such as aviator classic, aviator teardrop, and aviator square. There are also different colors to choose from. Casey recommends going for bold colors—being the only modern aspect of your outfit, bold-colored aviators particularly stand out.
Tip #2: UV Protection
Casey says, “I’m a huge advocate of UV protection. Choose a pair of sunglasses with a UV 400 rating.” Ultraviolet rays are high-energy radiation from the sun that penetrates your skin cells and damages your DNA.
Unlike other kinds of bodily damages, this damage can be permanent. Cells multiply by replicating your DNA. When your DNA is damaged, the new cells inherit the same damaged DNA. As the damage accumulates, you get fine lines, wrinkles, saggy skin, and all the symptoms of skin aging.
Sunglasses with UV protection can keep you from developing saggy under-eyes and several age-related eye conditions.
Tip #3 Keep Multiple Pairs
Aviators come in different shapes and colors, which can help you put together more harmonious ensembles. Casey says, “Not every pair of sunglasses will go well with every outfit; it’s best to keep multiple pairs.” Aviator classic sunglasses go well with jeans and flannel. For softer clothes, aviator teardrop sunglasses go better. Different shades of glasses can also allow you to match the colors of your outfit better.