Four things to look out for when buying your next pair of sunglasses
With the sunshine finally making an appearance, it’s time to sort our your summer sunglasses wardrobe. Whether you’re searching for the perfect fashion-forward pair for your upcoming beach holiday, or an everyday essential for driving to work on bright mornings, there’s a style to suit everyone.
We asked sunglasses expert Rae Morrison, lead dispensing optician at Duncan and Todd Group, for her top tips to make sure you get your ideal pair that not only flatters, but protects your eyes from any form of damage.
The best of British
As Scots who long for Mediterranean summers, we crave sunshine and count down the days until our abroad adventures. We all know winter is officially over when the swarm of sunglasses hit the high street, featuring every kind of style imaginable.
The benefit to buying sunglasses in the UK is you are guaranteed 100% UV protection no matter cost or brand thanks to it being a British Standard, so you can rest assure knowing the sunglasses have been tested for the transfer of UV rays.
Although it may be tempting to pick up a cheap pair, not all of these will have a certification mark (CE), which could mean there is no protection at all.
What many people don’t consider is reflected light which enters through the sides and back of the glasses. The only way to prevent reflected light is to have an anti-reflective coating which can eliminate more than 90% of UV rays.
Top tip: Buy your sunglasses before you go on holiday and consider coated lenses for optimum protection.
Frame your face
In recent years we’ve seen many shops introduce a slim-line minimalistic style, despite being on trend, these small frames allow more sun to hit the eyes through the top. In an ideal world, you would go for a large frame which covers much more of the eye area.
For ultimate protection a close-fitting frame will be your best friend. It pays to have your glasses fitted correctly.
Consider a sportier brand which tends to feature a more ‘wrapped’ appearance, the wrapped frame which fits snugly against the face protects sunlight from coming in the side. So you’re covered from all angles.
Top tip: The better your glasses fit, the more protection you have. Performance brands such as Oakley are hugely popular amongst athletes for this reason.
The colour of a tint is all about enhancing your vision. You want to look stylish, whilst improving your own eyesight.
Wearing glasses which have an orange or amber tint, enhances the contrast between colours. If you’re a keen golfer, these glasses will help highlight that white ball against the green landscape.
If you’re looking for an all-rounder, neutral grey tints treat all colours the same, so your eyes feel more comfortable on those bright days, but equally everything remains clear for everyday activity.
A standard tint features a dyed lens. These glasses will of course have your UV block and various levels of dark tints to optimise comfort depending on your tolerance to bright light.
Polarised lenses are hugely popular with drivers, and they’re fantastic for reducing glare, especially if there’s water on the roads. Polarised lenses were originally marketed for fisherman due to reducing sea reflection, so these special specs are perfect if you’re on a cruise or relaxing on a beach.
Mirror tints have survived various trends over recent years making a stronger comeback each time, but despite the fashionista aspect, this type of tint is ideal for those who like to ski. A mirror tint will help reduce glare and reflect light away. Although the mirror itself won’t necessarily make anything darker, you can add darker tints behind the mirror to make it more comfortable.
Top tip: Pick a tint that will benefit lifestyle. If you’re constantly playing sport, a tint to enhance your vision may be the way to go.
Invest in your vision
Although we can often get our favourite design at a low-cost price and off the high street, you pay for what you get. Consider all the aspects listed above. In terms of protection, it may be worth a trip to the optician.
The materials and fit of cheaper products do not always last or fit as well as paying that little bit more. Looking after your eyesight is an investment, so it may be worth going for polarised or mirror tints.
A high-quality pair of lenses should block out 100% of UV rays, offer lasting durability, and provide perfect optical clarity.
Top tip: looking for optimum protection? See an optician for the very best in design and have them fitted to your face so you know all light is blocked.
Depending on your wants and needs, your ideal price point may vary, but a classic design with all the features you want will never go a miss in your collection.
Ultimately, no matter what your style may be, your lenses are what make the sunglasses.
So please remember to protect your eyes, as well as skin this summer, with the coolest sunglasses – the perfect complement to any summer look, come rain or shine.