Episode 9: I Want to Be Like Jackie Onassis

Jackie in her iconic sunglasses
Photo thanks to the Traveling Through Decades blog

Of all the style icons that exist, Jackie Onassis has probably been the most influential for me.  When I was fourteen years old, after finally getting my very first pair of contacts, my mother took me shopping for a celebratory pair of (non-prescription) sunglasses.  After a rather exhaustive search, she helped me decide on a pair by Roxie that were aptly named the "Jackie O."  I remember my mother explaining to me that it didn't get more elegant than Jackie, and that big, black sunglasses were definitely the way to go.  While I have my mother to thank for bestowing this style savvy sage wisdom upon me, I am also especially thankful for Jackie Onassis and her dark sunglasses.

Since then, I've upgraded from my original pair of Roxie glasses.  Several times, in fact.  Over the years, I've gone from Roxie to Calvin Klein, to Chanel, to Burberry, and to Chloé--holding on to each pair for years and years until a transition is warranted.  With each switch, my sunglasses have gotten a little bit bigger and a little bit darker.  After all, it worked for Jackie, so why not me?  I purchased my current pair, the Chloé Myrte, during an epic New York shopping excursion at Saks with some of my besties, Annie Rose and India, and four years later, I'm starting to think an upgrade from here might be impossible.  It's mostly a question of frame size, as I have to wonder, does something bigger even exist?  Perhaps I have found my signature look, and now I need to buy up a lifetime supply of Myrtes so that I'll never have to go without...

My oversized Chloés hit the streets of Paris with me
Photo my Sarah M. Barton, March 2010

Whatever the case, oversized sunglasses are definitely my thing--a look that I have absolutely and completely borrowed from the original source, Jackie herself--and now I just don't feel like myself without them.  A couple of years ago, a dear coworker shared an amazing song with me, called "Jackie Onassis" by the band Human Sexual Response.  The opening lines pretty much say it all: I want to be like Jackie Onassis/I want to wear a pair of dark sunglasses.  So thank you, Jackie, for representing all that was and is elegant, timeless, and true--and for immortalizing a look that I've taken as my own.

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