Who Made it Acceptable to Wear Sunglasses Inside?

sunglassesinsideIt may not feel like it this season, but it is still summer — and that means those in the Northern Hemisphere are still rocking the shades. Although this is a completely acceptable fashion statement, wearing sunglasses indoors is an absolute no-no.

Shaded sunglasses are all the rage ever since Ray Ban’s Wayfarer design, the best-selling sunglasses ever, became available for sale in 1953. In fact, sunglasses use first started in the 12th century in China during which the frames were make of smoky quartz and protected the wearer from glare.

Today they are a fashion statement, especially for those rich and famous who believe that wearing sunglasses inside is the thing to do these days.

It isn’t.

“It just looks silly, doesn’t it?” says Peter York, cultural commentator. “It’s this very early 1980’s idea of sophistication. Plus it’s quite an impractical thing to do — you might fall over.”

And if you end up falling over because you can’t see anything in the room, you run the risk of damaging not only your face, but your expensive sunglasses as well. Then replacement lenses are in order.

However, there are instances when people should be wearing sunglasses inside; one scenario being that the person is blind. Many blind people have found it more socially acceptable to wear sunglasses if they are blind (think Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles). On the opposite end of the spectrum, if people don’t wear sunglasses outside, they can end up becoming blind.

There is a cultural stigma against those who wear sunglasses indoors. Unless you are a pop star or rock and roll legend who has been wearing sunglasses in the limelight for decades, don’t expect to receive appraisal for your fashion choice.

For starters, wearing sunglasses inside sends bystanders a message that your at “too cool for school,” or don’t wish to partake in social interaction. Humans rely on on eye contact to have meaningful conversations with one another, and by wearing sunglasses inside people are viewed as rude and inconsiderate to those who wish to have a conversation with them.

“People do it because they think it makes them look like Jack Nicholson,” said author Mark Mason. “They are the sort of people who pay to get into the VIP section of a nightclub. It’s the equivalent of the pullover knotted around your chest or the sleeves rolled up on your jacket.”

Fashion experts and cultural analysts have even gone so far as to suggest that because wearing shades indoors has become so uncool, there has been a cultural resurgence of wearing them inside.

Due to this new hipster counter-culture, we could be in for seeing more sunglasses worn inside, and not just from the Hollywood stars.