When you delve into the wide world of sunglasses, it’s not hard to get caught up and overwhelmed by the huge amount of decisions you need to make. There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to selecting a pair of sunglasses – styles, shapes, brands and colours are just some things that smack you right in the face when starting your sunnies journey. And whilst it might seem like a huge mountain to climb, we can help you with breaking down the most important considerations you need to make when selecting a new pair of shades.
This is the first and foremost factor to think about. In small doses, the sun and it’s UV radiation can aid in boosting vitamin D, as well as lift your mood, however, these rays can cause damage to both the eye and the sensitive skin surrounding it. Sun damage can be one of the leading causes of eye damage and is something that should be taking seriously when selecting your pair of shades.
There are two types of UV Rays, UVA and UVB, both of which can easily cause damage to your eyes and skin. Many sunglasses brands offer full 100% UV protection – this can usually be seen on the label or a sticker on the lens. If the pair you’ve got your eye on doesn’t highlight this, leave them on the rack, they are not worth it.
When thinking about protection, it’s also worth noting your actual purpose for the sunglasses. Are you wearing them casually, to finish off an outfit for a particular occasion, outdoor work, or are they going to be your everyday pair? There are a lot of varieties that have been made with a specific purpose in mind, so a little extra research and consideration in this area will help you come out the other side protected even further.
Size & Fit
The way a pair of glasses fits can make all the difference in not only how they look, because of course we want them to look great, but also in both their protection and comfort. You want your sunglasses to fit like a glove, not too close where your eyelashes rub against them, but not too far down your nose where UV rays can reach your eyes easier.
There are so many different sizes and fits so if you are looking for a pair for a specific activity, one that might need more protection from the physical elements, such as mountain biking, or even yard work, you should be able to find a pair to fit your needs. Wrap around styles, for example, can provide further protection from things like sand and dirt, which we want to keep out of our eyes, just as much as UV rays.
There are always celebrity trends when it comes to sunglasses, and whilst some don’t really serve a practical purpose, one long lasting trend can actually provide further protection – oversized large sunglasses, if they fit well, these larger shades can offer further protection because they have greater coverage of your eyes and skin providing a larger shield from those harmful UV.
Lenses can be made from a variety of different materials – plastic, shatter-proof glass and polycarbonate are some of the names you may have heard – it’s really a matter of your preference and more importantly, whether you can see out of them properly. Each one offers a different feel with some materials slightly lighter than others. And in some instances, the lenses may be curved, which can cause distortion for the wearer.
Lenses can also be polarized. Often mistaken to provide protection from UV rays – the purpose of polarization is actually to reduce glare for the wearer, so particular activities, such as water sports, can be more comfortable with a pair of polarized lenses – as they neutralise this glare and reduce the appearance of the reflections from the water. If you are looking for a pair of polarised shades, they are almost always available with 100% UV protection, so you don’t need to compromise on comfort or protection.
Colours and Tints
When it comes to the colour of your sunglasses, the options are truly endless. You can create so many combinations between the different colour frames and lenses available. The most important thing to note is that the colour and tint of the lenses doesn’t necessarily reflect the protection from UV rays.
The UV protective coating used on sunglasses is clear, so just because a lens is darker, it does not necessarily mean it is any more protective than a lighter coloured lens. In fact the best way to view colours and tints of lenses is think about the activities they have been designed for – for example darker colours, like brown and grey, are great for everyday use, as they help reduce sun glare and eye strain, while lighter colours, like yellow and orange, can provide contrasts in highly reflective situations, such as skiing.
Quality and materials
The materials used to make sunglasses can vary significantly from pair to pair. This affects the overall quality of the sunglasses as well as the cost. It is important to note, just because a pair of sunglasses is expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean they offer the best protection. As mentioned earlier, the best protective indicator is the UV protection.
However, price can usually help in indicating that the materials used to make the sunglasses may be on the more sturdy side, which if you need a pair that can handle a little roughness, a pair made from strong quality materials will be a good match for you.
Your Style and Preference
Whilst your safety should absolutely be the number one priority when selecting a pair of shades, it is of no use to you if you choose a pair that fit the protective bill but not your style – chances are you won’t even wear them. With the vast array of colours, shapes, and sizes available, you will be able to find a pair of sunglasses that not only suit you to a tee, but also offer full protection.
It’s understandable that buying sunglasses seems like a daunting activity – trying to understand all the technical jargon, whilst simultaneously trying to find something that looks good on you is not an easy feat. However, if you keep an eye out for the above information you should be able to find a pair that is comfortable, stylish and offers you full protection.
If you’re looking to find your next pair of sunglasses all this information and more can be found online at Great Southern Sunnies, where they offer a wide variety of sunglasses at even better prices.