Buying sunglasses is usually a big bore – every pair we try on looks like another we’ve owned and lost. But not this season: Oversize aviators (no longer the province of those man-bag-toting tourists) offer a whole new range of options, and last season’s sleek plastic-framed look has been re-created at far lower prices. Sunglasses are a great way to jump-start spring shopping (aviators are selling out fast at Gucci, Prada, and Fendi). And at $60 or less a pop, the ones we’ve picked out will keep you smiling – even if you forget them at the beach.
Candy-colored lenses – the favorite for splashy, girly aviators – are best for spring or very hazy summer days, when the pale tints are actually a bonus (they’ll make things seem a little, well, rosier). For now, we’re testing aviator waters with Steve Madden’s dainty version in ice blue ($28 at Bloomingdale’s). Come May, we’ll be clamoring for H&M’s shiny silver-framed style with pretty pink-to-purple-shaded lenses ($3.50 at H&M).
In the sun or at the beach, spare your eyes with something darker. Affordable, made-for-women aviators are near impossible to come by. Instead, pick from offerings for men (and don’t listen to salespeople; these are now officially unisex). We’re smitten by a huge, gunmetal-toned pair from Kenneth Cole Reaction ($38 at Lord & Taylor) and with Tommy Hilfiger’s more streamlined matte-gold version ($55 at Lord & Taylor).
Prefer to look more like a lady? Opt for sleek plastic frames in muted colors – they’ll work nicely with your new spring blouses and pumps as well as with shorts and T-shirts on beachy weekends. Our top choices: FX’s Jackie O.-worthy square ones ($22 at Lord & Taylor) or cool tortoise wraparounds (that bear an uncanny resemblance to a much more expensive Italian pair we bought last summer) from Guess? ($45 at Macy’s).
Picks of the Week
Roberta Chiarella’s pretty, crystal-accented gold-plated or silver jewelry and is up to 70 percent off at the sample sale (it’s usually sold only in stores like Henri Bendel and Bergdorf Goodman). Every piece (including hair accessories) is $50 or less. All make terrific Mother’s Day gifts. Lyden House Hotel, 320 E. 53rd St. (for information, call 212-535-5639); cash only; Tues. 11:30-7; 4/18.
Mosaic House is clearing loads of handmade Moroccan mosaic tables, glass lanterns, vases, and furniture for up to 60 percent off – from $85 for small ceramic items to $1,800 for large mosaic dining tables. 62 W. 22nd St. (212-414-2525); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Sun. 11-7; 4/21-5/7.
D’Amico Foods, the old-school Brooklyn coffee roaster, is taking 25 percent off all store-roasted beans and shipping them to you for free. Prices are $4-$7.50 per pound (with a three-pound minimum order). Call for a list of coffees on offer. 309 Court St., Brooklyn (718-875-5403); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 8-7, Sat. 8-6; 4/17-5/31.
Linda Richards’s classic, conservative career clothes (sold at Bloomingdale’s and Saks) are 50 to 90 percent off at the sale. Stock includes trenches ($125-$410), wool coats ($75), and sweater sets ($60). 256 W. 38th St., eighth floor (212-382-2257); A.E., M.C., V; Mon.-Fri. 9-6; 4/17-5/5.
One of a Kind Bride’s pretty, simple wedding gowns can be yours for 50 to 75 percent off if you’re a size 6 and will wear a sample. Prices are from $2,400. No alterations. 89 Fifth Ave., near 19th St., Suite 902 (212-645-7123); A.E., M.C, V.; Mon., Wed., Fri. 10-4, by appointment only; 4/17-4/28.