Whenever I think of sunglasses, I always remember that “one hit wonder” from back in the eighties by a band called Timbuk3, “The Future's So Bright," and Corey Hart's famous song "Sunglasses at Night" (also appropriately from the 1980s). Nowadays, buying a new pair of shades is not only about looking cool (and wearing your sunglasses at night), but also about making an investment in your vision and finding the pair that’s just right for you.
You don’t just want to buy any old pair of sunglasses. You want to purchase a pair that block up to 99% of the UV rays that can harm your eyes from too much exposure. You often hear that term, but it's more important than you may think. Protecting your eyes can diminish the chances of developing major vision problems later in life, like macular degeneration.
When I was a teenager, Ray-Ban sunglasses were all the rage and while they’re still available today, there’s literally hundreds (maybe even thousands) of other brand names to choose from. And what about polarized lenses versus traditionally tinted ones, what’s the difference?
The Truth About Polarized Lenses
Some people think that polarized lenses offer greater protection against UV rays, but the truth is that normal UV protection sunglasses and polarized sunglasses usually both offer UVA and UVB protection. Polarized lenses offer a different type of defense. Simply put, regular sunglasses are designed to block out direct light, while polarized lenses shield against indirect light, especially that reflected from surfaces like water, snow and metal
This would obviously make a difference for someone who worked on a boat or at a ski lodge. But there’s also some drawbacks to these lenses. First and foremost, they tend to be more expensive. These types of lenses can also make it difficult to view certain types of electronic screens, such as computers, tablets, or a TV. With that said, if you're playing an outdoor sport, the polarized lens can be a great accessory for clear vision.
Style & Accessory
There’s no reason why you can’t have more than one pair of sunglasses and wear them as an accessory, but if you’re going to invest in just one pair of high-quality shades, consider those that have more of a basic style, like aviator glasses. Doing so will give you a timeless look that can be worn with any style clothing, and can easily be dressed up or down for casual gatherings or formal events like an outdoor wedding. For those of us who are more rebellious, think of choosing a style that better fits your unique personality.
Over at Sunglass Warehouse, they recommend these six, basic styles for shade shoppers:
- Aviator - a classic look that never seems to go out of style
- Browline - have a thick rim that runs across your eye brow line
- Retro Square - which resemble the black rimmed glasses worn in the past
- Round - you may think of John Lennon when picturing these popular lenses
- Sport - You’ll often see skiers and boarders wearing this variety
- Cat Eye - Originally made famous by femme fatales back in the fifties
It’s interesting to note that at least half of these designs are either classic like the aviator or throwbacks like the retro and cat eye varieties. It appears some things just never go out of style!
Whether you’re trying to look cool on the ski slopes or making a flashback to the past, find the style and type of sunglasses that fit you and your personality the best, that you'll feel comfortable rocking every day. Just make sure whichever style you choose, that you get a pair that offers the appropriate amount of protection against the sun. Good luck in finding the perfect pair of sunglasses for you!