There is nothing that conveys a sense of cool quite like a great pair of sunglasses. Think…Tom Cruise in “Top Gun,” Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Jackie O’s oversized sunglasses and scarf combo, and John Lennon’s round, metal specs. Sunglasses not only protect our eyes from the damaging effects of the sun, but they amp up the style quotient considerably!
The sheer number of styles and choices, however, can make shopping for sunglasses a bit overwhelming. After all, quality pair of sunglasses is an investment and we want to make sure that it’s a wise one. Here are some things to consider so that you can insure that (a) your precious little peepers are getting the sun protection that they need, (b) the frame you choose complements your face and your overall style and ( c) the pair you choose will go the distance and remain fashionable for years to come.
1. First and foremost, look for a pair that blocks 99% of UVB rays and 95% of UVA rays. If you plan on wearing these sunglasses while out on the water (beach, boating, water sports, etc.), polarization is a MUST. Also, consider how much of your face will be covered/protected. While smaller sunglasses might look cool, they may not provide the sun protection that you need.
2. Try on several pair and consider which styles you’re most drawn to:
Aviators – Teardrop-shaped lens and thin metal frames. Often used by pilots, military personnel, and law enforcement personnel. Lenses may be mirrored.
Retro Square/Wayfarers – Made popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Most popular style is dark black lenses and frames.
Teashades – Popularized by John Lennon and Ozzy Osbourne. They’re small and round, most often seen with a metal frame.
Cat-Eye Glasses – Lenses sweep up at the outer corners. This style is wider at the top than it is at the bottom, creating a dramatic effect.
Sport/Shield/Wraparounds – Associated with athletics and extreme sports, these glasses are casual and offer the most sun protection.
Oversized – These large lenses can be either square or round. They’re quite glamorous and often worn by models and movie stars.
3. Identify the shape of your face and allow that to guide you in your choice of style. Here is a useful infographic to help you identify which styles best suit your face:
4. Once you’ve decided on a style, try that style on in a few different sizes. You want your sunglasses to make a statement without overpowering your face, so the size is just as important as the style. In addition, you’ll want to make sure that they fit you properly. Sunglasses shouldn’t pinch around the head/ears and the weight of them should be evenly distributed across the nose.
Perhaps you love the shades you wear now or, perhaps, I’ve inspired you to treat yourself to a new pair. Either way, wear them well and enjoy the sunny days ahead!