Men's Sunglass Considerations
It's easy for women to buy sunglasses, they already have so much knowledge about what looks good and how to pick the perfect pair for their style. Guys on the other hand don't always know what to look for. If you've ever been sunglass shopping you know it's just downright overwhelming to be bombarded with so many choices. We are here to simplify it for you as much as we can.
First things first, you need to figure out what your style is. What does that even mean? Are you sophisticated, sporty, trendy, casual, high-fashioned, punk, hipster, beachy? Are you well put together or do you run around in your basketball shorts all day? Pay attention to what colors you gravitate towards. Do you consider yourself conservative or bold and outgoing? All of these things will help you decide what kind of style to go with. You'll want something that resembles your personality and style.
Here are some styles to check out. You should have a fairly good idea if you could see yourself in these styles or not.
- Wayfarer: A classic frame style of sunglasses, made popular decades ago by Ray Ban. Features a thicker banded silhouette with squared edges by the temples.
- Aviator: Originally worn by Air Force pilots, this design has been considered a basic style for decades. Known for their oval shape and dark lenses. This can be a fairly versatile frame shape.
- Wrap-Around: A style great for sports and active individuals, these frames wrap around the face and keep debris and even pollen out of the eyes. Wrap-around sunglasses prove to be very functional.
- Clubmaster: Generally an all-around flattering style which is characterized by a thick upper rim and bare bottoms. Many men find that Clubmasters compliment their face shape nicely.
Next, you're going to want to figure out what face shape you have. If you need to ask a female, that's just fine, she'll be able to help you out. We broke down the most common face shapes and what frames looks best with them. Which one are you?
- Square: This means you have a strong jaw line that is similar width as your forehead. Look for round frames or Aviators. Avoid square or geometric shaped frames.
- Round: If the widest part of your face is your cheeks, you have a round face shape. You're going to want to look for rectangular frames that will make your face appear longer. Steer clear of round or circular frames that will be less flattering than other frame shapes. If you have a lighter complexion and hair, opt for brown or yellow toned sunglasses.
- Long or Oval: If your face is longer than wider, you have a long or oval shaped face. Careful not to go much wider than your face. Symmetrical sunglasses, with the same length and width of each lens will be flattering -- think Clubmaster style.
- Heart: Characterized by a pointy chin and a forehead much wider than your chin. A rectangular frame will balance out your forehead to chin ratio. Stay away from oversized frames that emphasize your forehead.
Lens material is another important thing to take into consideration when looking for your next pair of shades. What is your day to day like? Are you outside often? Do you drive a lot? Do you go from inside to outside multiple times during the day? Are you a sports enthusiast who needs some extra strength and protection? All great questions to ask yourself when you are looking over different lens materials. There are a lot, so don't get overwhelmed.
- CR39: Commonly used by many sunglass manufacturers, these are a cheap yet decent type of lens material. Usually, these lenses posses no UV protection or anti-scratch coverings unless added by the manufacturer.
- Polycabonate: Popular to the market place, these sunglasses are great for clarity, hold up well in varying temperatures and can handle quite a bit of impact.
- Glass: Generally running on the more expensive side of materials, these are much heavier than the aforementioned lenses. Glass lenses tend to be the cream of the crop as they offer the best optical accuracy and the most protection against scratches.
- Polyurethane: Tends to be a bit more expensive but worth it. Polyurethane lenses are great for impact resistance and provide very clear vision.
- Acrylic: Generally run on the cheaper side and best for casual sunglasses. They tend to be less durable and optically clear than other lens material.
- Cellulose Triacetate: Made from renewable plant sources, these lenses offer impeccable scratch resistance, UV filtering, optical clarity and are even made to absorb shock.
When it comes to lens coatings, you'll want to go over what kind of sports you enjoy, often that is the deciding factor. Each lens coating offers something different, however, at the end of the day they are there to protect your eyes from damage. It's important to know what kind of coating will be applicable to your lifestyle.
- Polarized: This specialized coating blocks glare and reflection by filtering out specific light vibrations. These are especially great for outdoor enthusiasts but also great for safe visibility when driving.
- Photochromic: The tint on these lenses changes depending on the lighting. If you go between shade and sunlight often, these lenses would be a convenient choice.
- Mirrored (Flash): These sunglasses aid in protecting against glare. While they are still effective, polarized lenses offer a better shield from glare and reflection.
- Tinted: Not only do these sunglasses have a fun color applied to the lens, they offer functionality for performance. Depending on the color, they can reduce glare, enhance depth perception and improve contrast. Proving beneficial for athletes and spectators alike.
- Anti-reflective (AR): This coating eliminates the glare you see, from driving at night, computer screens and flourescent lighting. It also helps minimize glare that others would see. If you get a premium pare of AR, they may even repel dust, water and oil.
Depending on what kind of activities take up your time, you’ll want to think about getting tinted lenses. The specific colors do serve specific purposes. A general rule of thumb is that dark is great for everyday activities. Darker shades will cut glare and minimize eyestrain for moderate to bright lighting conditions. Note that gray and green will have no effect on color distortion, while brown may. On the other hand, light tints are better for low to moderate lighting conditions, such as all snow activities. Lighter lenses allow for better depth perception and brightening up surroundings.
- Rose: Said to be beneficial for biking and cycling of any sort, especially mountain biking and shooting.
- Yellow: Great for workers, as they let light in but block debris. Golfers and cyclists should wear this tint as the sunsets. Fisherman and skiers will benefit from this tint in foggy conditions.
- Brown/Copper: Wonderful for cyclists, golfers, baseball, driving, skiers and fisherman.
- Gray: Best used for driving, cycling and all water sports and activities. Gray is overall the most versatile lens color. It's generally a good go to tint all sport activities and weather conditions.
- Green: Green is basically only helpful to tennis players. However, they do look cool... if that is what you're going for.
- Purple: Purple can aid in the vision of golfers.
UV radiation can cause cataract (which cloud the eye's lens), macular degeneration (where part of the retina, needed for clear vision, is damaged) and other similar eye problems. Polarized sunlight, which reflects off of flat surfaces, such as snow, water and asphalt, can be especially dangerous. Some people can attest to a temporary blindness, often referred to as "snow blindness," which can cause acute pain and can spoil a fun vacay.
Sunglasses help to shield the tender tissue around the eyes, which can be very susceptible to skin cancer. They will also help avoid more cosmetic concerns, like the formation of wrinkles around the eyes, known as crow's feet.
Sunglasses should be worn whether it's sunny or overcast. Just as we can get a sunburn on a hazy day, our eyes can be damaged by the UV rays -- even if they don't seem to be very strong. Because sun damage accrues over a lifetime, it's important to create good eye protecting habits early on.
Optometrists suggest that the bigger the sunglasses, the better. As they offer more protection. They also suggest that sunnies should fit snug to your nose and ears without rubbing or hurting at all. Sunglasses should also be worn close to your face to avoid any extra sun exposure.
Sunglasses can range from $5 up $2,000 and beyond. So, ask yourself how often you plan to wear them. While we don't suggest buying cheap sunglasses, there are plenty of sunglasses at a medium price point that look good, are functional, offer decent protection and won't break your budget. Another thing to consider when looking at a pricier pair is how often you tend to lose sunglasses. Be honest with yourself but also don't settle for something that isn't going to protect your eyes and will fall apart after two wears.
Did you know?
- It's best to invest in a pair of sunglasses with a classic shape so they will last you more than a fashionable season.
- If when you hold your frames out in front of your face, there is a wavy line in the lens, this is a hint that they may have an optical defect. This is commonly found in cheap sunglasses.