The Right Way to Choose Sunglasses


For most people, shopping for a new pair of sunglasses consists of hitting a store and trying on a bunch of different pair in front of the mirror until the find that pair that really looks good on them. However, if you are one of these people then you are going about choosing sunglasses the wrong way! Aside from the overall look, there are many other considerations that really need to be looked at including the level of UV protection offered, their durability, the fit and how much visibility they allow the wearer. It’s much more complex than you think! However, do not panic! With this handy guide you will soon learn the right way to select your sunglasses.

Let’s Talk Protection

The main reason for wearing sunglasses (aside from looking cool!) is that they are there to protect your eyes from UV radiation. Prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays can result in a variety of eye problems including cataracts, burns and even cancer. This makes the level of UV protection offered by your sunglasses of the utmost importance. Ideally, you will want to select sunglasses offering protection against 99% of UVB rays and 95% of UVA rays. If the glasses you are looking at are labelled ‘cosmetic’ or do not offer any information regarding UV protection then they should be avoided.

Choosing The Best Style

While protection is important, that doesn’t mean that your sunglasses can’t be stylish! Sunglasses are on the market in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and colors – just check out 8wake for a look at just how many styles are out there. Some of the most common styles include:

  • Mirrored Shades – popular with police officers these shades have a reflective surface.
  • Aviators – these are another style popular with police officers, and also military personnel and pilots. The teardrop shaped lenses make them suitable for most face shapes, particularly oval!
  • Wayfarers – these are very fashionable sunglasses which were popular in the fifties and sixties. Think of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s for an example.
  • Wraparound – these offer a sporty look and are great for snow sports.
  • Oversize – a glamorous choice favored by models and movie stars alike!

Choosing a style is not just a case of personal preference, you also need to make sure that they suit your face shape and that they fit well. The should never pinch your face or ears and the weigh needs to be even across your ears and nose. You will want to ensure that your lashes do not brush the interior of the lenses.

Different shapes will flatter different face shapes. For example round frames are the ideal choice for people who have squarish faces and square frames look good on rounded faces. If you have a heart shaped face then rectangular frames are a good fit. Think about the size as well since you do not want them to be too small, or too chunky in relation to your features otherwise you will look a little silly!

Picking Out A Color

You may see the color choice as a fashion statement, and in terms of frames that is true, but when it comes to the lens color you need to choose wisely as this can affect how well you differentiate between colors. Certain colors can interfere with contrast and color distinction which makes them no good for driving and other activities where vision is important. Popular colors and their properties are as follows:

  • Gray – Reduces intensity of light without affecting contrast or color making them great for drivers.
  • Brown – Ideal for snow sports and hunting as they enhance contrast by blocking blue light.
  • Amber – Not suitable for drivers as they affect color recognition.
  • Copper – Popular among golfers as they mute the sky and grass making golf balls clearer!

Appropriate Materials

Your sunglasses need to be durable since scratched lenses will affect your vision. The best choice is to have NXT polyurethane lenses because they off the best optical clarity while being lightweight, flexible and resistant to impact. However, these are also the most expensive. Alternatives include glass which is heavier and more breakable or polycarbonate which has less optical clarity but it more affordable. The cheapest option is acrylic but this is not very durable.

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