Despite assumptions that Seattle's weather mimics an urban rainforest, the weather actually consists of more neutral gray skies mixed with intermittent drizzles. Not cities to pass up summer, Seattleites embrace the popular shorts, socks and Birkenstock sandals trends. Never detoured by drizzly weather, it's acceptable for toes and hair to get slightly wet while walking among crowds of laid-back The North Face(R) wearing crowds.
Why do statistics show that Seattleites purchase more sunglasses per capita than any other area in the entire U.S.? Sunglasses are designed to protect the eyes, giving the retinas and corneas protection against harmful UV sunrays.
For people that are naturally more photosensitive to sunlight, sunglasses can help reduce glare and prevent unsightly wrinkle-inducing squinting. They are also helpful when driving, especially in areas that have wet roads, periodic cloud breaks and sun glares.
The main interstates in the Seattle metropolitan area include I-5, I-405 and I-90. These areas especially require eye protection. On I-90 terrain begins near the Puget Sound, gradually ascending into snow-covered mountains the define Snoqualmie Pass.
Eye specialists also cite the increase in sunglass purchases due in part to the Northwest's unique lighting. Even when skies are overcast with gray clouds, the area still has a distinctive brightness that makes it uncomfortable to drive in intense light conditions.
Experts believe that the area's brightness has substantially increased – and even driven – the sunglasses market in the area's famed Emerald City.
Most retail stores, upscale boutiques, big box chains and sporting retailers recognize that Seattle's obsession with sunglasses is a long-term trend that is anticipated to have staying power. Many stores are responding to these needs, selling a wide range of designer wholesale sunglasses in a variety of styles and frames. The two most popular sunglasses designs in the area are Wayfarer sunglasses and Aviator shades. Sunglasses sales peak during spring, summer and fall.
With less sunny days, most Seattleites are less concerned about purchasing expensive sunglasses, instead favoring cheaper frames, which are continually lost or misplaced. This generates a cycle of sunglasses sales, one that is acceptable in today's disposable society. Some optical stores believe that Seattle sells more sunglasses because people often misplace or break them. Sports-based activities are also more popular in the area, meaning that consumers often break sunglasses while out on the slopes or participating in water-based activities.
Additionally, the median household income in Seattle is approximately 15-percent higher than the national average, meaning that Seattleites have more disposable income for wholesale designer sunglasses.