Made in the Shades

Protect your eyes this summer and look good doing it


A decade ago, Paul and Tracey Cugno set out to find the perfect pair of sunglasses. Instead, what they found was a booming beach community sans a specialty sunglass shop. Six years later, Shades was born. Shades, offers stellar styles to sunbathers, surfers and those who simply need a safe pair of eye protection. Tracey Cugno gives us the scoop on what’s in, out and oh-so stylish when it comes to choosing the perfect pair of shades.

Is it true that there’s a sunglasses style to compliment every face?
Absolutely. I think the reason that some people say “nothing ever looks good on me” is because they buy online or shop somewhere with a limited selection or inexperienced sales associates. We’re very honest when something doesn’t look good. We strive to help narrow down the selection to three pairs that really work for them so they can make a final decision.

What are some of this summer’s hottest sunglasses styles? Is it more of the same (aviators, big black butterfly glasses, wayfarers) or is it something new entirely?
Anything metal is still hot. Of all metal styles aviators still rule, but they don’t always look great on every face. If the teardrop is a little too droopy for you, try alternate shapes in metal frames to get that effortless, modern look. Cateye shapes are also super popular (both traditional and updated looks), as well as lighter weight styles. Women are still into big - but light and airy - sunglasses, nothing clunky and definitely less bling. The biggest trend is about color and texture: two-tones, patterns, woodgrains, fades and mirrors.

What’s the most important criteria to consider when picking a new pair of shades?
Besides proper fit, the most important criteria is the lens. The primary use of your sunglasses, for instance, if you’ll use them for driving, everyday use, cycling or boating, helps determine the appropriate lens tint and material. Most have options for lens tint. We are constantly taking customers outside the store to look at certain street signs and the ocean so they can see the difference between tints. Lens material is also very important. Glass lenses are great for driving and everyday use, but you can’t wear them playing impact sports.

What is the most common sunglass faux pas?
Wearing glasses that bounce around your face when you laugh or smile. In life, you want to laugh as much as you can, right? So we make sure every pair we sell passes the “giggle test.” Before purchase, we ask customers to smile or laugh to see if the sunglasses touch their cheeks or move around. You don’t want your shades dancing around your face when you’re smiling on a first date, right?

What’s the best advice you can give for someone who’s looking for a rockin’ pair of shades?
Try on a lot of pairs; you might be surprised what looks great on you. We give that professional one-on-one consultation in real time with immediate gratification.

What differentiates a quality pair of shades from a cheap pair – besides the price tag?
The most important factor is 100% UVA/UVB. Most cheap sunglasses can actually hurt your eyes. Pupils dilate more when shaded, which allows for more rays to hit your eyes if you wear a pair with no UVA/UVB protection. You certainly can spend $30 and get 100% UVA/UVA, but they may not be very comfortable or made from quality materials.

What about these neon framed wayfarers I’m seeing... there’s got to be an age cut off for these, right?
Well, at the beach, color is really still the rage. Colored frames, mirrored lens – neon not so much, but certainly purple, red, turquoise and of course white. Any color that comes in a matte finish will help tone it down just a bit and look a little more contemporary. I think sunglasses should match your personality and primary activity. Our motto is: You only live once, so go for it!