It seems we expect far more from our sunglasses than to simply shield our eyes from the sun. Sunglasses have become important fashion accessories – and they are no longer restricted to summer usage. With so many frames, styles and colour options to choose from, it is not easy to know where to begin in our quest for cool shades that make us look fashionable, suit our face shape and, of course protect our eyes from the sun’s glare.
Whilst the more fashion-conscious may disagree, the most important part of sunglasses is the lens. We need lenses that block out as much harmful UV light as possible. It’s important, therefore, to check the label and, if in doubt, ask for clarification. The lenses should carry a label stating how much UV radiation they reflect. This should read 100% UV protection, or alternatively UV 400, indicating total UVA and UVB protection.
The tint of the lens is an important consideration. Different tints suit different purposes as they filter light in different ways. Grey tints is the recommended colour for driving as it subdues brightness without distorting colour; while brown tints can distort colour as they filter out the blue wavelengths. Green lenses filter out some of the blue frequency but without too much distortion, so vision remains relatively sharp. Yellow or rose tints are good for water-based activities as they reduce blue haze whilst keeping objects sharp.
Check to make sure the tint is uniform across the lenses. If you are especially looking for a gradient tint, make sure the depth of colour is gradual from top to bottom, without any sudden changes. A scratch resistant coating is a good idea when you might put your sunglasses down suddenly or carelessly. An anti-reflective (or anti-glare) coating is also gentler on the eyes. The coating helps prevent water spots and smudging. When buying ready-to-wear sunglasses, check each lens for minor imperfections, by holding the glasses at arm’s length and looking for curvatures or distortions.
And now you are ready to consider the frame. Try to choose one that suits the shape of your face and your colouring and also feels comfortable to wear. Most people want designer frames, but no matter how good the designer, if they are not comfortable to wear, you will not be happy with them. Try on as many frames as you can to get an idea of exactly what suits you before narrowing down your choice. Oval faces suit most styles, while round faces will look longer and thinner with rectangular frames, at least as wide as the face, or with brow bars.
Designer frames are beautifully crafted and instantly recognisable. They are beloved by the stars and desired by everyone who wants more than just functional glasses. Christian Dior frames have long been standard-setters for their bold, distinctive appearance and the evocative glamour of the famed Dior logo. The Dior 3 range, with the inverted silver D at the hinge, is one of the most popular designs.
Another designer brand popular with celebrities is Gucci with its bold and beautiful designs. Gucci has a wide range of stunning frames to suit every facial shape and complexion. However, perhaps the most famous name in designer sun glasses is Ray Ban, who made the Aviator and Wayfarer range famous all over the world.
Whether you prefer these or the frames of Armani, Chanel Versace or scores of other celebrated names, it has never been easier to find stunning designer frames for your normal optical or sunglasses. With a prescription from your optician, the glasses can be made up for you online with the elegant frame of your choice. And with any pair of frames from the great designer ranges, you will be walking with the stars.