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How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Sunglasses?

Now a days having a great pair of sunglasses is not only about how well they protect your eyes from the sun; it's also a strong fashion statement. Like a good looking shirt or the latest trendy pair of designer jeans, sunglasses from major brands like Oakley's, Ray ban, Channel and Quicksilver, have all been specially manufactured to look fantastic on your face and shield your eyes from those harmful U.V. rays.

There are thousands of different brands and types of sunglasses to choose from, each with their own unique features to separate them from the rest. Which type of sunglasses you choose is entirely up to you; perhaps you are an active outdoorsy person that wants a sporty looking pair of wraparound glasses to give you a cool aerodynamic appearance. Some prefer sleek looking glamorous sunglasses that show people they are fashionable and aware of the latest trends. Remember that no matter what your friends or the shop keeper tells you it's always better to spend that little extra on a pair of original brand sunglasses; even though the fake ones look the part, they are made from cheap materials that won't protect your eyes from the sun and are guaranteed to break in the first few months of use.

So before you go running to the nearest optical shop and pull the trendiest looking frame off of the shelf, there are a few factors that you should keep in mind when choosing the perfect pair of sunglasses for you. It is a fact that certain frame shapes and sizes suit different head types, for example if you have a particularly square shaped head with a strong jaw line, then square frames will not suit you, instead the perfect shape would be round or oval. You should also consider the color and U.V. protection rating, different colors fit specific situations and affect the amount of light that reaches your eyes, you want to look good and have protection, but you also want to be able to see where you're going. FramesDirect.com

To help you make an informed choice, here are a few factors to consider when picking out your new sunglasses. Remember that comfort should stand before anything else, if they don't feel good you probably won't end up wearing them after a while.

Optimal Frame to Face Shape

This may sound a little silly, but choosing a pair of sunglasses that compliments the shape of your head will make them appear more natural on your face. There is no exact rule, but opticians and wearers have pinpointed several shape types that compliment each other better than others.

  • Oval face - This is the most common facial shape and fits sunglasses of any shape. If you have this facial shape why not experiment with all of the latest styles on offer.

  • Square face - Do you have wide cheek bones and a strong jaw? If you visibly fit into this category then you'll want a frame shape that softens your rough edges. The best shape for this facial type is oval and circular.

  • Triangle face - This type of facial shape includes heads with a narrow pointed jaw and a large wide forehead. The recommended frame for this type of face is those that are flat along the top of the glasses. Also you could try oval cat eye shaped frames that are a little wider at the ends or flat topped rimless glasses.

  • Diamond face - This describes people with high cheek bones, small foreheads and narrow chins; a person with this type of face will need a pair of sunglasses that softens their sharp features. Try a pair of oval sunglasses to contrast those angles or a pair of square rimless glasses; remember not to get a frame that is as wide as your cheek bones.

What Protection Features to Look For in Sunglasses?

Obviously being sunglasses, their main purpose is to limit the amount of light hitting your eyes. All good quality lenses will protect 100% of the suns ultra violet rays in the form of a REI blocking layer. The label on all products should include information about their protective features; you're looking for sunglasses that can efficiently protect your eyes from UVB and UVA rays.

Another feature of quality lenses is a polarization layer; sunglasses that include this special material are able to shield your eyes from strong sunlight glares. At times the suns rays are focused on a specific spot of water or in some ones rear view mirror and you get a sudden blast of intense light in your eyes; the polarized layer in sunglasses dampens the brightness of this glare and reduces eye strain.

Visible light transmission or VLT refers to the amount of light that reaches your eyes; this can depend on the color of the lens of the material used. If you look on the label you may find the VLT as a % rating, here are some common types of sunglasses and their VLT ratings:

  1. All purpose sunglasses - this is the most common type of product on the market and they have been given a VLT rating of 15% - 25%, which is good enough for typical everyday use in the city or whilst walking in the park.

  2. Photo Chromic lenses - This type of lens is based on the specialized prescription lenses for people who want the benefits of sunglasses, but are sight impaired. These lenses are sensitive to the light conditions at the time, for example if it gets darker, the lenses will get lighter and vice versa.

  3. Glacier Glasses - This type of lens was designed specially for high altitude climbers that are in constant exposure to intense light bouncing off the white snow of mountain peaks. They have a VLT rating of between 4% - 10% and because they have such a dark tint they are not recommended for people that drive.

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