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Elton John has over a thousand pairs, Canadian singer Corey Hart only wears his at night, and you can tell the good guys from the bad guys in The Matrix by the shape of theirs. What is this conversation really about? Sunglasses, of course. 

There’s nothing quite as stylish as a pair of shades, so get out those aviators or wayfarers and start celebrating National Sunglasses Day!

History of National Sunglasses Day

While many people might believe that sunglasses are a fairly modern invention, that would actually be incorrect. In fact, the history of sunglasses may stretch as far back as 14th century China, where the story goes that judges of the time would use eyewear made of smoke-colored quartz to mask their emotions when listening to cases. 

Fast-forward 600 years and modern sunglasses as they are known today began to develop. In the late 19th century, doctors began experimenting with amber or brown tinted lenses on glasses, specifically for people who had syphilis, a symptom of which is sensitivity to light.

It wasn’t until 1929 when mass produced sunglasses were first marketed by entrepreneur Sam Foster on the beaches by the Atlantic City Boardwalk, that they began to be affordable and average people started to use them. From then, the concept of sunglasses becoming a “cool” style was confirmed and this fashion accessory has just continued to grow in popularity.

From driving vehicles on land to piloting airplanes, sunglasses also allow the operators to not only look cool, but also to be able to have much clearer vision regarding where they are going, acting as a safety precaution for better performance and steering.

National Sunglasses Day got its start in recent years when it was organized by The Vision Council, which is a nonprofit trade association for those in the optical industry, who suggested establishing the day to remind people to take good care of the health of their eyes.

And because the longest days of the year happen toward the end of the month of June, it only makes sense that National Sunglasses Day would be scheduled at a time when the eyes are at most risk of damage from the long hours of sunlight.

How to Celebrate National Sunglasses Day

Wondering about some ways to celebrate National Sunglasses Day in style? Try getting started with some of these plans and ideas:

Wear Sunglasses

Obviously, the first business on the table for National Sunglasses Day is to get out a pair of sunglasses and put them on! And while just any old pair of sunglasses can help with squinting, certain versions are better for protecting the eyes from harm, including UVA/UVB rays. Sunglasses can also reduce reflection that could impede vision and certain lenses can also scatter light to keep the eyes in tip-top shape.

Watch Some Sunglasses Icons on the Big Screen

Have some friends over and get inspired for National Sunglasses Day by watching some entertaining films that feature characters who are sporting cool and trendy sunglasses. Try out some of these movie titles for inspiration and fun for the day:

  • Top Gun (1986)
  • Men in Black (1997)
  • Blues Brothers (1980)
  • Thelma & Louise (1991)

Get a New Pair of Sunglasses

Celebrate National Sunglasses Day by getting a new pair of sunglasses in enjoyment of the day! Those who need prescription sunglasses can head over to an optician’s office to get measured for the best fit. Other folks can just pop over to a high end sunglasses store where they can try on all sorts of different styles and colors to see what looks best on them, as well as what will protect their eyes.

One thing to remember is that sunglasses are not just for style, but they may also help protect the eyes from harmful UV light, so channel that inner-cool and slip on those shades in celebration of National Sunglasses Day!

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