Monday, May 13, 2013

How To Pick Sunglasses: Form To Function

Protecting your eyes is a top consideration:
Just like your skin, the lens and corneas of your eyes need protection from the sun's harmful rays. Wearing sunglasses helps reduce your risks of cataracts and vision damage.
1. Always choose sunglasses that block 99% - 100% of the sun's UVB and UVA light.
2. Sunglass lenses should offer UV 400 protection -- meaning they block up to 400 nanometers (measurements in wavelengths) of ultraviolet light.  
3. With sunglasses, bigger is better, and wraparound frames offer the best eye protection against damaging rays.

Select The Right Lens Hue:
The coating that blocks the sun's utltraviolet light is clear. Hence, darker lenses do not necessarily offer more protection than lighter lenses.  But lens hue will alter how you perceive color.
1. Grey tints block light without affecting contrast or distorting colors.
2. For automobile drivers, grey, green and brown lenses are better. You can still distinguish between the changes in traffic lights and not miss vital information registering on your dashboard.
3. For golfers, copper lenses will mute the blue sky and green grass against a white golfball.
4. For tennis players, blue and green tints will increase the contrast of a yellow tennis ball.
5. Other lens tints like violet, rose, yellow and orange are good for very specific sports and outdoor activities like shooting targets, but definitely bad for driving!!!
Polarized Lenses:
Polarized lenses do not block ultraviolet light; they reduce the glare produced when sunlight bounces off other surfaces, like water.
They help boaters, water skiers and snow skiers not be blinded by reflected light. But, they make the digital displays of cell phones and a car's dashboard harder to read.

Choosing Lens Material:
Consider your lifestyle. The most expensive isn't always necessary. 
1. Glass – Has excellent optical clarity and scratch-resistance, but is heavier and will shatter when dropped.
2. NXT polyurethane: Has excellent optical clarity, scratch and impact resistance; is flexible and lightweight, but is the most expensive.
3. Polycarbonate: Has good optical clarity; is impact resistant; lightweight and affordable, but is less scratch resistant than NXT polyurethane or glass.
4. Acrylic: is inexpensive and lightweight, but has less optical clarity or durability than glass, NXT polyurethane or polycarbonate.  Acrylic lenses are ideal for casual sunglass wear. If lost or broken, it's not a big deal since you pay less for them.

Consider Fashion:
Don't pretend otherwise, you know you want to look rock star cool and movie star glamorous in your shades, therefore:
Determine the shape of your face, then remember that opposites attract.
1. Rounded frames are great on a square face.
2. Square frames complement a round face.
3. Rectangular frames flatter a heart-shaped face.
4. Oval faces have more leeway (because the face is balanced). Nearly all shapes of sunglasses look good on an oval face, though square frames with rounded corners will complement ovals especially well.
5. Oversized glasses will balance an oblong face, making it look shorter.
6. Aviator glasses not only look good on all face shapes, they make faces look younger.
7. Always try on sunglasses standing in front of a full length mirror. Never trust the small mirror on a sunglass rack. You need to see how the frames look on your entire face or you will arrive home wondering, "What happened!?!" when, "I looked sooo good in the department store!" I won't name my source, but has this ever happened to you?

Here are a few examples of sunglasses matched to face shapes. Don't worry about remembering every point. When you try on an assortment of sunglasses, your eyes will inevitably tell you when you are wearing the perfect frames.

By the way, the studded Prada frames in the top photo are perfect for my oval face, but not my wallet. So Marshall's and TJ Maxx ... here I come.

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  1. Thank you for your research. I need to buy sunglasses and this is a very helpful guide!

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