It’s that time of year when it might be sunny in the UK and we need to get out our sunglasses or shades!
Using sunglasses can stop us squinting, which will prevent/reduce facial lines, plus protect our eyes, so I do recommend having some and using them.
Your shades may not have been out for a while, or you might need, or have had, an eye test and your prescription is different, so if you’re thinking of getting some new ones, what might you consider when choosing?
Purpose: the job you want them to do
This might sound silly, but how much may you wear them? If you’re outdoors quite a bit (whether that’s in the garden, walking or driving around), you may like to consider this. Sunglasses need to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, and some glasses do this job better than others. There are different properties of sunglasses, such as poloroid (which help eliminate glare reflected off surfaces, but may show the laminations in the car windscreen, that could be off-putting until you get used to it). See this useful article of the advantages and disadvantages of Polaroid lenses.
However, if you just want glasses to pose in, or to take to the beach, then a cheap pair might be what you want! You normally get what you pay for.
Size and shape of frame
If you want sunglasses to protect your eyes, then the bigger the better, even if they may swamp a small frame face. If you are an adult with a really small frame face, consider looking at the children’s section. If you are ordering online, make sure you look at all the information you are given (including sizing), as well as the returns policy.
The shape of frame will suit different face shapes. It is sometimes difficult to figure out what your face shape is and therefore what suits best, so if in doubt, please get in touch with me (see below).
Colour of frame and lens (including if you need prescription glasses)
There are two aspects to colour: the frame, and the colour of the shade. If you know what colours suit you that will be useful. Glasses are an important purchase as they sit in a prominent place on your face, and whether your eyes can be seen through the shade or not, they will be interacting with your hair and skin, so you want them to be in harmony to give the best visual for you.
Now, if like me you need prescription glasses, you have a few options:
- photochromic glasses react to light levels, which include protection when the light is bright; brand names include Reactolite, Transitions or Reactions
- Clip on sunshades;
- Put your sunglasses over the top of your normal glasses – I tried this for a while but didn’t find it very comfortable!
- Get prescription sunglasses – my solution that seems to be serving me well at the moment. (They were my “second pair at half price” when I got the original glasses too.) Of course, if your prescription is likely to change at least annually, then you will need to renew your prescription sunglasses too.
- If you wear contact lenses, you can use ordinary sunglasses, but do you use your contact lenses all the time?
Style – to suit your “clothing personality” and face shape
All the normal considerations about choosing ordinary glasses will apply – including the features on your face (such as width of nose bridge, depth of eye to cheek and height of eyebrow, distance between eyes on the face, proximity of ears), weight, and general comfort to name a few.
Generally speaking, square or straighter styles may suit a rounded face shape, and rounded styles may soften an angular face.
If you know your “clothing personality” style, this can be useful too. For instance, if you have drama in your personality, the bolder and larger the frame, the more it will be in keeping with you. If you have natural in your clothing personality, you will want minimal fuss. So, this is how your “clothing personality” should be taken into account too.
If you have any queries and would like to have personal guidance, other than from the optician who may or not have such training and experience as mine, then please ask.
Buying online or in a shop
These days you can upload a picture of your face to websites on the internet, and see what frames would look like on you.
Choosing glasses can be difficult if you need glasses to see what they look like, so this can be a useful way to do that.
Buying glasses can be an expensive purchase, so you want to get it right, especially if they are going to be made for your prescription.
If you are buying in a shop, ask what their returns policy is, if when you get them you are not happy.
How well you might look after them
If you are a little clumsy with things, then you might want to factor that into what you pay, as you may need to buy them more frequently! Or, you may want to have more than one pair at a time, so you can leave one in the car or at work, or in case you forget where they might be.
Sunglasses range from a few pounds to anything you’d like to pay. Some people like designer ones, some not. The critical thing is to know your budget and taking all the above into account, choose wisely.
I love helping people select glasses, so do call for help if you want personal assistance. The more you want to pay, the more you should want to get it right.
Your Colour & Style Consultant