At last count, Elton John didn’t know how many pairs of sunglasses he owned. His inventory is definitely in the thousands. However, he is an exception. His collection was born out of a stage persona that featured some of the most outrageous outfits of the 1970s-80s pop scene.
The Elton Johns of the world are the rare exception. For the rest of us, it is possible to have too many pairs of sunglasses. The question is one of what constitutes too many pairs. How many should the average consumer own? At what point does a buyer cross the line from legitimate need to unhealthy obsession?
Time Spent Outdoors
Sunglasses are only necessary because we tend to spend time outdoors. As such, the obvious place to start any examination of what constitutes too many pairs of sunglasses is to look at that time. A person whose only time outdoors is spent commuting to and from work has a rather limited need. The other end of the spectrum is that person who actually works outdoors.
We could probably all agree that we need at least one pair for the road. This could be an expensive pair of shades from a well-known brand like Ray-Ban; it could also be a less expensive pair from Olympic Eyewear. Either way, this pair is kept in the car so that it is always available when you drive.
If you work outdoors, you are likely in a position that puts your sunglasses at risk of being scratched, lost, dropped in the water, stepped on, etc. Do you really want to use the same expensive pair you keep in the car for work? If not, a less expensive second pair would be ideal.
Outdoor Athletic Activities
So far, we have at least one pair for the road and a second pair for people who work outdoors. Now let us talk athletic activities. Maybe you enjoy a good day of fishing or a weekly round of golf. Perhaps you and your friends get together on weekends to play softball. Maybe you’re an avid cyclist during the summer and a skier during the winter.
In recent years we have seen an explosion in the sports sunglasses market. Designers have figured out that it is possible to improve athletic performance by designing sunglasses according to the needs of different sports. Take cycling, for example.
Cyclists need more from their sunglasses than just UV and direct light protection. They also need sunglasses that filter out road glare and improve both contrast and depth perception. Finally, they need enough coverage to protect the eyes against wind. Otherwise, daily cycling would lead to dry eye.
Specially designed cycling sunglasses are all the rage. They are just what cyclists need to protect their eyes while in the saddle. Likewise for wholesale sunglasses designed for anglers, golfers, ballplayers, etc.
Assuming you enjoy some sort of athletic activity, you might need a special pair of sunglasses for your chosen sport. Now we are up to three pairs if you also work outdoors. If, in addition to all this, you are also extremely fashion conscious, you might also want a fourth and fifth pair.
You Get to Decide
It should be apparent from what has been discussed in this post that there is no hard and fast number that constitutes too many pairs of sunglasses. It turns out that sunglasses are a lot like shoes. What might be too many for you would be just getting started for someone else. Ultimately, you get to decide how many pairs of sunglasses is too many for you.