The great variety of sunglasses leads to difficulty in choosing a certain model. “How to choose the right sunglasses”, “which sunglasses can ruin eyesight”, “which models of sunglasses are trendy” and many other questions are found on the Internet. To avoid wasting a lot of time looking for answers, this article contains the most up-to-date information about sunglasses: from important protective factors to the breakdown of the classification of types of sunglasses.
How to choose sunglasses
Face type, hair color, eye color, individual style – all these things play a certain role in choosing the right form of sunglasses. However, the choice depends not only on how this or that model fits a certain person, but also on the observance of important factors that will protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays as much as possible, without harming the vision. These factors include:
- UV protection;
- light transmission;
- frame material;
- lens material.
The main function of sun protection accessories is to protect against UV rays. The sun’s ultraviolet radiation can damage the eyelid skin, cornea, lens and other parts of the eye, as well as contribute to various eye diseases. To prevent possible damage, you should look for glasses that block 99% to 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays.
To find out if your eyewear has UV protection, you should contact a consultant at the optical shop or an optometrist.
Light transmission refers to the percentage of light that passes through the lens and then enters the eye. The higher the percentage of light transmission, the lighter the shade of the lens will be. Depending on the conditions in which the sun protection accessory will be used, the percentage of light transmission should be chosen. An alternative option is to choose lenses with a lower percentage, as they better block light from entering the eyes. There are 4 categories of light transmission:
- 80-100%. Almost transparent lenses act as an accessory, suitable for use in the dark;
- 46-79%. The light tint of the lenses is suitable for low levels of sunlight;
- 18-45%. The versatile and most popular category of light transmission suitable for active, bright light;
- 8-17%. Dark lens tint for use in bright sunlight, including enhanced light that reflects off water or snow;
- 3-8%. Very dark lens tint for use in strong sunlight.
Frames are usually made of either plastic or metal. These materials have their own characteristics:
- Plastic. Sunglasses in plastic frames tend to have affordable prices. There are several types of materials here as well, with polycarbonate being the most common. Polycarbonate frames are mostly associated with sports or safety models because they provide optimal impact resistance and eye protection.
- Metal. Most manufacturers of well-known brands use highly durable and lightweight metal materials to make their frames. Metal frames can be made of metal types such as nickel, stainless steel, aluminum or titanium. Titanium is a very high-quality, durable material that is resistant to corrosion.
As lens materials are mainly used optical glass, plastic or polycarbonate. Each material has certain properties:
- Glass lenses have perfect optical qualities, but have a lot of weight and are prone to scratches, cracks;
- Plastic lenses are characterized by light weight, low cost, good optical qualities;
- Polycarbonate lenses are lighter and more durable than plastic lenses.
Types of sunglasses
Sunglasses come in countless shapes, sizes, materials, and lens options. But to be on-trend, you only need to know a few different models that are timelessly fashionable and continue to be updated year after year.
Aviators are the most popular, “cool”, famous model; were introduced back in 1936 by Bausch & Lomb and were called “Ray Ban Aviators”. The model was originally designed for pilots to minimize sun glare in flight. As soon as the Aviators were introduced to the public, they immediately became a cult model, and remain so to this day.
The classic model of aviators remains unchanged: tinted dark lenses in the form of droplets in a thin metal frame, but there are many modified models with new frame design and lens color.
Sports models of sunglasses accessories literally burst into high fashion, where they instantly took top positions. Aerodynamic, lightweight and polarized, they are visually reminiscent of the shape of biker’s sunglasses frames and are a perfect combination of functionality and fashion. Comes in metal or plastic frames with different lenses. Found in the collections of brands such as Stella McCartney and Miu Miu.
Another classic Ray Ban model is the Wayfarer, which translates to “wayfarer.” Replacing the popular aviators in the 1950s, Wayfarers have been at the height of fashion for decades. Today, they are one of the most recognizable models on the market. Originally, they were a men’s model because of their large, angular shape. Later, however, the shape of the accessory became popular among women as well. The classic Wayfarers have a black frame with a wide top edge and black trapezoidal lenses. Although Wayfarers are a “timeless” classic, today you can find them in any size, shape and color.
Browliners were first introduced by Shuron Ltd. in 1947, but the model became much more popular after Ray Ban introduced their version called the Clubmaster. Browliners were very popular in the 1950s and 1960s, especially in the United States. The name comes from the fact that the thick upper part of the frame frames the lenses in the same way that eyebrows frame the eyes. Available color combinations and sizes allow you to match broilers to any face type or clothing style. The classic yet ultra-trendy model always stays at the top of the fashion trend rankings.
Tishades are retro style sunglasses with large round lenses and thin wire frames. Originally Tishades were worn by members of the counterculture or hippie movement of the sixties, however it was the musician John Lennon who brought them to cult popularity. The artist constantly appeared in tishades in public, making the accessory got a second name – the Lennons. After the triumphant popularity tishades began to be worn by rock stars, movie stars and other celebrities. The classic model of tishades presented with black lenses, but today there are also options with colored, mirrored, transparent lenses.
The cat’s eye model became fabulously popular after the enchanting Audrey Hepburn appeared in them on TV and in numerous magazine photos. Cat’s eye is a timeless feminine style. Leading designers of top brands interpret this model in different ways in their collections, which makes the cat’s eye a universal accessory that can be worn by anyone regardless of their style. You can find and buy branded sunglasses at Michael Kors, Miu miu and other brands.
“Dragonfly” are in demand among customers due to their playful, elegant shape. They can be recognized by the distinctive dragonfly-shaped frame shape, with a taper at the bridge of the nose in the center and with an extension to the other edge of the glasses. “Dragonfly” is suitable for an elongated face type, this model is also able to hide the problem of a “heavy” chin. Covering most of the face, it provides excellent protection from the sun and premature wrinkles.
Thanks to the growing athletic trend, the “mask” has become a fashion obsession for 2019. The accessory design is a futuristic sports mask for skiers or snowboarders. The use of mirrored lenses with neon details draw attention from all angles, so don’t wear one if you want to go unnoticed. Extra-large masks will not only hide your eyes from UV rays, but also camouflage the wearer from prying eyes.
The world’s top sunglasses brands
Even a child knows about the famous company Ray Ban. The brand became famous thanks to its cult models – aviators and Wayfarers. Ray Ban became not only the main attribute of the closet of fashionable men, but also an important protector of eyes against solar radiation. Eye protection from UV rays is an important advantage of Ray Ban among its competitors. In addition, the lenses of the accessory have extra protection against reflective surfaces such as ice, snow, and water. Ray Ban also provides the opportunity to purchase polarized glasses that are made of high-quality crystal or plastic, as well as sunglasses with dioptres. Polarization in Ray Ban blocks up to 100% of light waves, providing high protection from blue light and low light transmission: only 15% of visible light reaches the eyes.
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Polaroid is one of the oldest brands in the eyewear industry, offering their products since 1937. Polaroid models are mainly characterized by polarized lenses, which made them a world famous brand. Polaroid has always been characterized by high quality and affordable prices. All of the company’s products come with UltraSight lenses made from modern eco-polymers. Polaroid lenses consist of 9 important layers that block all harmful ultraviolet light and include safety and durability shock absorbers.
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Prada, an Italian luxury brand, joined the De Rigo group to create eyewear and launched its first collection in 2000. Since then, the company has sold millions of pairs to men and women around the world. Prada’s exquisite range has been a leader in the industry for many years due to its impeccable design, distinctive looks and timeless appeal. Prada women’s sunglasses accessories are synonymous with luxury and style. Numerous positive reviews assure of the highest quality accessories.
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The brand Carrera was founded in Austria in 1956 and was originally intended for racing drivers. The brand’s history is rich in technology and based on practicality. Protective sports glasses attracted the greatest racers of the world. Known for their oversized aviator-style lenses, Carrera’s designer introduced fashion and technical changes to the brand’s products. The end of the seventies was a key moment for Carrera: the brand launched a new line of sports sunglasses that were not only for sportsmen and drivers, but also for fans of sunglasses accessories. So today, in addition to the classic signature Carrera collection, the Austrian brand has added trendy variations in ultra-light, scratch-resistant materials.
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Dolce&Gabbana is an Italian brand that emphasizes high class and refined taste. Adored by famous celebrities and Hollywood stars, the brand launched its eyewear collection in 1995, which is still a huge success. The designers’ Sicilian roots, as well as the traditions of Mediterranean culture, are reflected in the design of the brand’s sunglasses. D&G design epitomizes Italian luxury, and the excellent quality of Italian craftsmanship is reflected in the longevity and durability of the accessory. Its products are made of polished plastic using the best Italian materials. The brand works with the best optical experts who provide 100% UV protection.
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The Italian Emporio Armani brand has a refined and subtle design, which is characteristic of the brand’s general philosophy. Sunglasses line includes lenses with rounded corners, curved frames, famous “aviators”, “cat’s eye” and many others. Unique frames are made only from high-quality materials and are made in Italy to ensure the proper quality of production. The brand pays attention to details, pure lines and inner refinement, that’s why Emporio Armani are characterized as the embodiment of elegance in simplicity.
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Hugo boss started producing collections of sunglasses since 1989 that look neat, graceful, sophisticated. The classic, minimalist and timeless design perfectly suits both men and women: many models are unisex. The lenses are fully UV-protected and the frame is made of durable, lightweight, hypoallergenic materials. The iconic logo adorns the products and is a decorative element. As the brand positions itself, Hugo Boss sunglasses are designed for young and self-confident people.
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Marc Jacobs brand appeared in the fashion world like a forest fire. The brand collections are vintage design, iconic accents, rich color palette. The brand is very popular among young audience as well as among those who are young at heart. Expressive and bold forms will emphasize advantages and hide disadvantages. Among the most popular models of the brand are frames in aviator style and dark black lenses in “cat-eye” form.
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Since its founding in 1975, the Oakley brand has become one of the leading sports eyewear brands in the world, with countless international athletes turning to them. Oakley products have been used in major sporting events such as the Olympics and Tour de France. Oakley is the epitome of technology, quality, style. The company has more than 800 patents and is known for its innovative lens technology. In 2007, the company was acquired by Italian luxury retail group Luxottica. Oakley provide best-in-class protection against harmful UV rays. Oakley’s plutonite lens material blocks 100% of all UV-A, UV-B, UV-C rays as well as harmful blue light. Oakley lenses are also protected against scratches and cracks.
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Vogue Eyewear brand was established in 1973 under the name of a popular and prestigious fashion magazine and since then the brand has been a source of attainable luxury and a true trendsetter. Vogue Eyewear collections are timeless classic design elements with vibrant modern details. Vogue Eyewear combines superb quality and modern style, perfect for people who follow the most fashionable trends. The many variations of Vogue Eyewear frames include bold shapes, sizes, retro silhouettes as well as cheerful prints and vibrant colors. Endowed with lightness, comfort and convenience, they are designed for women who love to be noticed and consider their eyewear an indispensable fashion accessory.
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