Innovative & Stylish Ways to Protect Your Face and Eyes From UV Rays This Summer

In Depth

Twitter tells us it is National Sunglasses Day, a strange and branded American occasion that, despite its relatively unofficial capacity, is still useful in reminding us that we gotta protect those peepers.

As the Northern Hemisphere finds itself butt-deep in the temperate waters of summer, though, it’s important to remember that UV rays aren’t just potentially harmful to eyes, but also to your entire bod, even if you are a lucky possessor of melanin.

This is where we can learn some stylish tips and tricks from our ancestors, who have been shielding themselves from eye damage and wrinkles and carcinomas and whatnot since Neanderthal times and beyond.

The cloaks above, snapped in 1966 at Paris Orly Airport, served a more utilitarian purpose: they were used on models to hide legendary stylist Guillaume’s “straight line” bob, which would be uncloaked on the runway and take the mod world by storm. Nowadays, we have traversed so far from the bob we’re in the world of the lob, and it’s the cloaks themselves that seem like a good idea (paired with checkerboard space age sunnies). Desert-dwelling people have worn body-covering linens to keep cool for thousands of years; why not gather it at the hood and lose your face in there while you’re at it? It’s very Vetements, two seasons from now.

Dionne Warwick, in 1964, is not trying to leave her glasses at home (they also emphasize her cat eyes).

The struggle is REAL. It was New Year’s Eve, 1963, in Adelaide, when two very sensitive white ladies at the Davis Cup tennis match were so desperate to maintain a dewy, non-sun-damaged complexion that they transformed themselves into terrifying newspaper monsters. It was the era when you could buy a foam surfboard for 95′-. Inflation is a racket!

This is exactly what you should NOT do (but if you’re inside, it could be a cute look for the afterparty).

You may have thought the Adelaide Newspaper Attacks were originators, but this lady was using newspaper to protect her nose all the way back in 1943. Another reason to mourn the decline of print.

One way to do it, though, is just avoid the sun at all costs, such as Stevie Wonder and Yvonne Young in 1974, who are testing out a “new portable stereo” in a fancy whip and furs…

…or Bette Davis in ‘75, who is not having any of this fucking shit, you petulant little monsters.

One good way to avoid melanoma is if you’re a clone!

Or, just be a baby!

Whatever your style, just remember to protect yourself out there! The sun is a life-sustaining but fickle monster that will eventually explode and subsume a quarter of our solar system, including Earth, in a blaze of hellfire!

Images via Getty.

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