This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.
Michael Fassbender is seen at Fox Searchlight's Premiere of "12 Years A Slave", on Friday, September 6th, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision for Fox Searchlight/AP Images)

Vanessa Brown, senior lecturer of art and design at Nottingham Trent University in the U.K., asks the age-old question, “Why do people look so much cooler in sunglasses?” This topic is up for academic discussion, and the final results will appear in her book entitled Cool Shades: The History and Meaning of Sunglasses.

The book will be out next year, published by Bloomsbury, but her early research has come up with some finite answers like sunglasses provide symmetry to your face; the shades cover your eyes, windows to the soul, making you more mysterious; and sunglasses’ historical links to edginess and glamour. New York Magazine’s the Science of Us elaborates on the above points in the article here.

We’ll take her word on it, but really, you guys are the experts. What do you think of these 15 famous Brits donning sunglasses: do they actually look cooler?

Michael Fassbender is seen at Fox Searchlight's Premiere of "12 Years A Slave", on Friday, September 6th, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision for Fox Searchlight/AP Images)
Michael Fassbender greets fans at the premiere of 12 Years a Slave. (Todd Williamson/Invision for Fox Searchlight)
James McAvoy is seen at the launch X-Men, Days of Future Past on Monday, March. 31st, 2014. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
James McAvoy keeps his shades on at the X-Men: Days of Future Past launch. (Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington arrive for the British Academy Television Awards at a central London venue, Sunday, May 18, 2014. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP)
Martin Freeman’s partner Amanda Abbington seems keen on his look. (Jonathan Short/Invision/AP)
British actress Helena Bonham Carter arrives for the British Academy Television Awards at a central London venue, Sunday, May 18, 2014. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP)
Helena Bonham Carter is bedazzling in her jeweled eyewear. (Jonathan Short/Invision/AP)
British X Factor boss Simon Cowell gives the thumbs-up to media as he arrives at the Arts club in central London, ahead of a press conference to announce Cheryl Cole's anticipated return to The X Factor, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP Images)
Simon Cowell may need more than sunglasses to up his cool factor. (Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Alfie Allen in the VIP Lounge at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time in Hyde Park, London, on Saturday July 13, 2013. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP Images)
Game of Thrones‘ Alfie Allen relaxes in a t-shirt and shades. (Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
(dpa) - Victoria Beckham (L), wife of English midfielder David Beckham, and their son Brooklyn smile as they follow the Soccer Euro 2004 group game opposing England and Switzerland at the Cidade Stadium in Coimbra, Portugal, 17 June 2004. England won 3-0.  +++NO MOBILE PHONE APPLICATIONS+++ Photo by: Bernd Weissbrod/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
What’s Brooklyn Beckham thinking? “Mum, take those glasses off, they’re too big for you.” (Bernd Weissbrod/Picture-Alliance/DPA/AP)
Anna Wintour, wearing sunglasses, looks on as the Thakoon Spring 2012 collection is modeled Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, during Fashion Week in New York. (AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof)
Vogue editor Anna Wintour wears sunglasses indoors at a fashion show. That is totally normal. (AP/Karly Domb Sadof)
British actor, comedian and screenwriter John Cleese is pictured at the lakeside promenade of Lake Maggiore in Ascona, Switzerland, 14 June 2008. Photo by: Peter Kneffel/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
John Cleese nonchalantly hangs about … we still see you under those shades. (Peter Kneffel/AP)
(dpa) - English James Bond actor Roger Moore smiles on the formula one city course in Monaco, 23 May 2004. Photo by: Oliver Multhaup/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Roger Moore looks at life through rose-tinted glasses. (Oliver Multhaup/Picture-Alliance/AP)
FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2013 file photo, Sir Elton John performs at the Allstate Arena  in Rosemont, Ill. Organizers announced the lineup which includes John and Kanye West for this year's Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. The four-day event begins June 12 in Manchester, Tenn. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP, File)
Sir Elton John wears his sunglasses at night. (Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP)
Singer of the British pop group Culture Club, Boy George at the presentation of the Fall-Winter ready-to-wear collection of Japanese designer Issey Miyake in Paris, France, on Saturday, March 23, 1985. (AP Photo/Alexis Duclos)
Culture Club’s Boy George gets creative with his eyewear. (AP Photo/Alexis Duclos)
Actress Joan Collins arrives at Heathrow from New York, April 11, 1983. She is part of the new British Airways advertising campaign and has just renewed her contract for the TV soap opera "Dynasty." She denied rumours that her contract would be earning her 50,000 dollars an episode. (AP Photo)
Joan Collins arrives at Heathrow from New York. The jet setter is glammed up with her two-tone shades. (AP Photo)
Singer Ozzy Osbourne appears at news conference to tell reporters that his song "Suicide Solution" was misinterpreted and is anti-suicide, in Los Angeles on Jan. 21, 1986. (AP Photo/Lacy Atkins)
Ozzy Osbourne has been wearing his trademark glasses since the early days. (AP Photo/Lacy Atkins)
The 1939 Wimbledon tournament started on June 26, with a long programme of Men’s Singles matches as the opening attractions on all the courts. The weather was unkind to the famous tournament right at the start, for low clouds made the conditions gloomy in the extreme and rain seemed to threaten at any moments these conditions, however, did not deter Queen Mary- a real tennis enthusiast- from attending, her majesty arriving in the royal box on the center court quite early in the afternoon, and watching a number of matches. Queen Mary, wearing dark glasses watching the play from the royal box on the center court at Wimbledon, London on June 26, 1939, with her majesty is Sir Samuel Hoare, the British home secretary, who is also President of the British Lawn Tennis Association. (AP Photo)
Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth’s mother-in-law, is seen wearing dark glasses at Wimbledon in London, England (1939). (AP)

Are sunglasses a security blanket, fashion statement, or … simply protection from the sun? 

See More: 
Five American Things The Brits Have Never Found Cool
The Brit List: 15 Cool Uses for a London Double Decker Bus
Five American Things That Are STILL Cool

Read More
By Brigid Brown