Certain garments and accessories embody timeless style — their designs once were daring but have become classic, using lines or looks that appeal in any era. That said, wearing only classic pieces gets boring, and sprucing them up with modern essentials gives any outfit a little extra verve.
A good way to mix classic and modern pieces in your summer wardrobe is to start with accessories, namely hats and sunglasses. Here are some suggestions for pairings.
1. Vintage + fedora
Sunglasses of the past possess superior craftsmanship and quality over many modern brands because of their handmade embellishments. Vintage prices also make trying nontraditional styles less intimidating because they typically cost less than new designer glasses (think $50 for a pair of high-end vintage vs. $250 for a pair of Chloes).
For a look that’s good for weekend exploring and is festival-ready, pair vintage shades with a straw or a felt fedora. While floppier brims have been en vogue the past several years, the classic fedora’s crisp, straight lines help even out the curvy angles of retro sunglasses. The hat doesn’t need to be expensive. Uniqlo offers a paper fedora complete with sunburn protection technology ($20), and Target sells the straw number shown here ($13).
2. Wayfarer style + classic cap
Nothing projects old Hollywood glamour or looks cooler than the classic black Wayfarer style. The pair featured here, Forrest from San Francisco-based Kapital, packs a punch of “don’t mess with me” swagger thanks to the keyhole bridge.
“They’re a classic shape and they’re handmade,” said Anna Hefko, store manager of Wilson and Willy’s in the North Loop area of Minneapolis.
Wilson and Willy’s carries several vintage-inspired caps by Ebbets Field, including this Minneapolis Millers hat featuring the insignia of the city’s first professional baseball team and made using local materials. “We worked with them to use cotton from Faribault Woolen Mill to create different colors and textures exclusive to us,” Hefko said of the Millers hat.
The combo works for men or women and is perfect for street fairs and baseball games. Cap, in black or blue ($49); Kapital sunglasses ($185).
3. Tortoiseshell + Panama hat
Men, if you want to alternate several pairs of sunglasses, check out the Warby Parker brand. You can still find it online, but it also has a physical North Loop outpost inside Askov Finlayson. For $95 apiece ($175 with prescription lenses, $375 with progressives), you can walk out the door with three pairs — one classic, one sporty and one whimsical. Every man should own the tortoiseshell Ormsby for daily wear, and the Upshaw aviators, similar to Ray-Ban’s Caravan, for beach or athletic pursuits. For the wild card, grab the round Roland in crystal, and you’ll be photographed by style bloggers all summer long.
If you’re young and want to sport a brim (or if you have verve at any age), that’s where the Panama hat comes in. Its formidable size blocks out the sun, and it toes the line between sporty and refined. For a splurge version, the Cappellificio Biellese Panama hat ($250 on thearmoury.com) projects a south-of-the-border vibe while staying refined, thanks to its light white hue and Italian heritage. Dress it down with the Upshaw for the beach, or dress it up with a sport coat and the Ormsby for a night on the town.
To make the look work for women, we paired a Target Panama ($17) and tortoiseshell Banana Republic glasses with polarized lens ($125).
4. Lulus + ball cap
At times, classic means retro, and the rising popularity of clear-framed sunglasses is a throwback to the 1960s and ’70s, sitting at the nexus of Warhol and boho chic. The modern variants stand out because of their lenses — the gradients offer greater contrast than the frames of yesteryear, coming in high-contrast dark or vibrant colors.
For clear-frame first-timers, a good place to start is Komono’s Lulu sunglasses, available at Parc Boutique ($70) on E. Hennepin Avenue.
They’ve “been a hot seller,” said Parc owner Thao Nguyen. “They look good on everyone’s face frame, and they’re a great price point.”
Since the Lulu’s lines are soft, a solid-color baseball cap is a great way to balance out the frames.
“The Lulu glasses have a slight upsweep at the edges, so it’s [more] feminine,” Nguyen said. “It will go well with a masculine baseball hat.”
Nguyen suggests pairing a white or black cap with the Lulu, combining retro glamour with a facade of anonymity — remember Madonna routinely threw on a ball cap while roaming the mean streets of New York, which disguised her look and granted her immunity from fans and paparazzi.
Parc is receiving a shipment of felt ball caps for fall. In the meantime, online retailer ASOS has caps for sale ($10-$13), and Target has the cotton version shown here ($15).