I don’t usually rock a fall look. Or — that’s not true. I don’t usually rock BonLook sunnies with a badass pleated skirt. (I usually just… wear a lot of plaid and get slightly too damp for comfort. It’s not a great look on me, or anyone.) Seeing as I’m now officially on the other side of 25, I kind of figured that it was time to start dressing like an adult.
I have mixed feelings about putting thought into dressing on-trend: it’s an uncomfortable mix of wanting to look like my peers and being ashamed of my own attentiveness to aesthetics. When you focus on dressing solely for practicality, you’re afforded a certain degree of freedom; you and your seven identical t-shirts (hopefully not worn simultaneously) are disregarded. Your outfit speaks for you, but it mostly just says “I’m uncomfortable.”
It’s an excellent tactic for walking down the street as an introvert, but just generally really bad planning as a style writer and beauty blogger.
The BonLook Imagine II Sunnies
Aesthetics always have a social origin, whether that’s as a reactive measure or as a class-conscious one. There’s always an aspirational nature to an outfit of the day, as if each item you wear truly says something about you. Mass fashion comes from the trickle-down from high fashion, and often from cultural appropriation: here’s a great, short read on that, which includes a transcript of the monologue from the trickle-down fashion link.
I like to refer to my BonLook Imagine II ($145 CAD) sunglasses as my rich bitch glasses. They’re lightly tinted and perfect for pairing with a pleated skirt – you know, to give it a bit of an edge. They’re stellar with a moto jacket. For the late fall and early winter, these frames look just as chic with my Babaton Pearce Wool Coat ($350 CAD), which I’ve always thought was (despite being fantastically well-made) the perfect example of a college student’s status object.
How disruptive fashion is inherently subversive
Let’s face it: no one wears anything from Aritzia solely because they need to be clothed, and no one actually needs more than one pair of sunglasses. We choose nice coats because we’re a little chilly, but mostly because status competition tells us that they’re the most aesthetically-appealing coats out there at a middle class price point. We buy new glasses because our old ones are looking dated. Each tells the world that we have money under the guise of “dressing practicality” and “spending conservatively”: they let us languish in our privileged comfort and vocal distain of the 1%.
We like the things we like not simply because we like them, but because we like the idea that’s been societally reinforced to magically exist within them. There’s nothing inherently wrong with either side; it’s just frustrating to me that bloggers never discuss the privilege that’s inherent in the development of popular aesthetics.
These sunnies serve the same purpose as a “great coat.” They’re aesthetically pleasing, but not because aesthetics objectively exist. They are, simply, subjectively monied. The big, acetate frames make my jawline look strong and my nose look small, and they make me look like maybe I was cool in high school.
What makes the BonLook Imagine II Sunglasses so interesting, though, is that they somewhat subvert the system. They offer the suggestion of middle-class mediocrity, but aim to make that suggestion branding-free and moderately accessible. Think of BonLook (and all of the other glasses disruptors) as a very small-scale democratization of vision, in the ways in which we access opportunity via aesthetics: a way to buy into trends without hefting over $600 per pair of frames with prescription lenses.
A Uniqlo Crepe Pleated Skirt to snap up
I’ll finish this post quickly, with a pleated skirt that ties up this outfit and sits in a similar position. This Uniqlo High-Waist Crepe Pleated Skirt in Wine (
$29.90 USD $14.90 USD) is on sale for $14.90 in both CAD and USD, and comes in a thick fabric with an attached slip. It’s warm — wear-it-in-the-winter warm, and heavy.
I love it with these glasses: a flowing design juxtaposed against a woollen texture, paired with sunnies that are both aggressive and femme. (It’s also very good with a relaxed white blouse.) My only complaints are that the elastic on the pleated skirt is quite stiff, and the tinting on the BonLook frames could be more opaque. The pleated skirt keeps my legs warm, but I feel like these sunglasses leave my eyes exposed.