shade it up

This summer, redefine your style with a statement piece that won't damage your wallet and matches every ensemble. The item? A great pair of shades, and as per a reader request, those that do more for your ensemble that simply accessorize –polarized shades. Though perusing the streets of San Diego lately has brought up more rain than shine, everyone is buzzing for the arrival of spring – especially sunglass shops. Surely you can go ahead and move forward with the Ray Ban trend, but if truly want to accessorize your style aesthetic, go for something more unique. Prize ranges vary, as do locations, but all are accountable for one thing: individuality.

Keep Company, found in San Diego (Del Mar Kids & Back Room) in addition to locations up and down the coast from Berkeley to LA, was originally a shoe company that had a successful vision and moved the brand elsewhere. Now working on candles, clothes and shades, the company offers retro '80s styles and trendy designs that are perfect for every face shape. The Super Sunglasses offer up the Carl Zeiss lenses and are $117.

E.C.O (Environmentally Conscious Optics) by Dragon Alliance is one of the few sunglass distributors made from 100% renewable materials (polycarbonate lens, Grilamid material for frame). Based in Carlsbad and offered up at a plethora of surf shops around the county (pretty much anywhere you can think of, ECO is sold), these glasses are specifically designed and drawn from local Cardiff surfer Rob Machado's own life. Prices range from $100-$150.

Shwood Eyewear, the "experiment with nature," is made from sustainably harvested wood found in several different African countries. These polarized glasses are not only unique in design and shape but in their materials; all Shwood molds are handcrafted in Portland and offer up polarized lenses. They can be purchased online at shwoodshop.com, and are priced reasonably for such a sustainable good, raning from $90 to $110.

National Distributor Mosley Tribes, offered up at several Sunglass Hut's in the area, features unique VFX Technology that is specific to the brand. Not only do these stylish shades feature glass polarized designs but additionally feature glass photochromic, which changes the lens density under light. Worn by celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and recent Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock, the styles are endless as is the protection. Prices range from $180-$275.

Another national distributor is SunCloud Optics, a recreational brand that is sold in both surf shops and athletic retailers in San Diego (like The Surf Club Shop, north county's Hansen's, Wavelines Surf Shop, Clairemonth Surf Shop and Sundown Sunglasses). With a lifetime guarantee, polarized lens on every pair, UV protection and Polycarbonate lens material, you'll see straight through those rainy clouds. Prices range from $30-$60.

Need some San Diego fashion advice? Just ask your local San Diego Women's Style expert Meaghan Clark.

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