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Eye-Catching Sunglasses Have Unisex Appeal

April 16, 1993|JULIE BAWDEN DAVIS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

With these sunny days of spring, you may be thinking about playing it cool with a new pair of shades.

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Go shopping for sunglasses and you're likely to see a variety of styles. "The retro look is especially popular, as are the classic round and oval styles," says Michele Yanchar, district manager of Pacific Eyes and T's shops located throughout Orange County.

Although you can still find men's and women's glasses, there are a lot of unisex glasses on the market today that often appeal to the younger generation, says Claire Loi, manager of Balboa Eyewear in Newport Beach.

When shopping for sunglasses, many people are interested in design and UV protection, says Estella Gonzales, manager of the Sunglass Hut in the Mall of Orange. "They want optimum protection for their eyes."

Good sunglasses provide 100% UV protection from the sun's rays, says Laura DuBow, district manager of Sun Shade Optique in the Westminster Mall.

The following are some of the stores that offer a selection of eye-appealing sunglasses that will keep you in the shade:

BALBOA EYEWEAR

This store carries a variety of prescription optical wear, including the Hobie Polarized Rio-style sunglasses. These unisex, small-sized wrap-around glasses come in a variety of frame colors, including black, navy, matte black, brown or tortoise. Choose from gray or brown lenses that offer 100% UV protection ($94).

Also unisex are the L.A. Eyeworks Jimmy Jack glasses. These have plastic frames and lenses, which make them very lightweight and comfortable, Loi says. The frames are a cross between the round and oval styles and come in Tokyo tortoise, amber, black, turtle, red marble or green purple tube matte. There are lenses to match the frames ($125).

The L.A. Eyeworks' women's Cornu plastic frame glasses come in black matte, Tokyo tortoise and green pearl tortoise. These have a moderate cat-eye shape and come with matching plastic lenses ($175).

For men, the store has Persol rectangular over-sized frame sunglasses. The plastic frames come in tortoise or black, and the lenses are gray or brown ($160-$200).

710 E. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, (714) 723-0783.

DANA POINT OPTICAL

This store carries a wide variety of designer frames, including the Cazal model 955, which are German-made unisex sunglasses. These slightly oversize metal frames come in black, tortoise or gold. The rectangular lenses come in gray or brown and offer 100% UV protection ($300).

The Cazal model 957 glasses are a more conservative version of the 955's. These metal frames are flat across the brow and come in black, tortoise or gold with lenses in gray or brown ($300).

Another pair of rimless style glasses that often appeal to women are the Gargoyle wraparounds, which have colored mirrored lenses in a variety of hot colors, including pink, turquoise, purple and green ($79-$140).

For men and women, the shop also has trendy Calvin Klein retro glasses, which have small round metal or plastic frames in black, bronze or tortoise. These offer 100% UV protection and have adjustable nose pads ($150-$200).

24845 Del Prado, Dana Point, (714) 661-0850.

EUROPEAN OPTICAL

At these stores you'll find a colorful collection of feminine round or mild cat-eye plastic Swatch frames with interchangeable plastic lenses. The round glasses come in red/black and yellow, while the cat-eye glasses are a color pattern of orange, yellow, blue and green stripes ($54).

Also for women are the Bausch & Lomb Vogue, a very popular Italian-made pair of sunglasses with a combination of metal and tortoise-shell frames. These rounded-square lenses are gray or brown lightweight plastic and offer 100% UV protection. They have silicone nose pads ($100).

The Persol Italian basic unisex sun-wear glasses come in cat-eye, round or squarish. The frames are tortoise, light brown or black and the lenses are glass, but some do come in plastic. The lens colors are brown, dark gray or mustard ($125-$200).

The shops also carry Mossimo glasses, which are very masculine and come in metal or plastic frames. One black plastic frame is a narrow square, while another is a silver-metal cat-eye shape that fits smaller faces. The lenses are glass ($125-$180).

320 Marine Ave., Balboa Island, (714) 675-4147 and 1276 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, (714) 494-6106.

EYECARE OPTOMETRY

Every glass frame this store carries is suitable for prescription eye wear, says optical manager Sandy Blanchard.

The Bolle Edge sunglasses for women and men have a unique metallic wrap-around shield, foam brow, adjustable temples and a removable ophthalmic prescription lens insert. The lens surface is metallic purple, green or blue ($125 with prescription, $90 without).

The store also has Luxottica high fashion European-designed sunglasses for women in plastic or metal frames. The plastic are tortoise or black and the metal are copper, bronze and chrome-silver. They have a thick temple, and the lenses come in blue, green or mauve ($70-$130).

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