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Sunglasses 101: You Get What You Pay For!

Sunglasses are a truly unique fashion accessory because not only can they add flair to a summer outfit, they are also an important tool to help keep you safe when the sun is shining bright. It's for this reason that it's imperative to buy a quality pair of sunglasses. Sorting out the cheap imitators from the high quality manufacturers can be difficult, so here are a few of the major differences to look for when shopping for sunglasses.

UV Protection

One of the key features to look for in a quality pair of sunglasses is lenses that offer UV protection. While price isn't always an indicator of the level of protection or quality offered by a pair of sunglasses, there are many cheap pairs on the market today that offer little to no protection against UV rays. Ultraviolet radiation, when unchecked, can lead to many eye problems including cataracts and even cancer. Even if a pair of sunglasses does boast UV protection, it doesn't mean it offers adequate protection. In order to provide adequate protection for your eyes, sunglasses need to be able to block 95% of UVA and UVB light.

Frame Quality

A good indicator of the quality of a pair of sunglasses is the quality of the material used in the frames. While the lenses are doing most of the work, they're nothing without a durable frame. Cheap sunglasses will almost always have plastic frames, since plastic is extremely cheap to manufacture. Plastic is great for many things, but it poses a problem in sunglasses because it is not durable. It is also very sensitive to extreme temperatures, meaning it can melt or crack easily. Most high quality sunglasses use metal frames, as these hold up better in extreme conditions and generally provide better durability. Be sure to inspect the frames, however, as some cheap sunglasses will have metal frames made from cheap materials that bend easily.


Although it doesn't reflect on the quality of the sunglasses themselves, a good warranty is important to help protect your investment. Most cheap sunglasses don't have any kind of warranty, and that's because these companies know that their glasses will break easily. Any quality sunglass manufacturer will offer a warranty that guarantees their work. This also provides you with the security of knowing that your manufacturer cares about customer satisfaction, which is a good indicator that they aren't trying to rip off consumers with an inferior product.

Polarized Lenses

Cheap sunglasses often lack polarized lenses that reduce harmful glare. While glare isn't as harmful as UV radiation, it can pose problems for drivers and boaters. In heavy sunlight, the asphalt of the road or the surface of the water will reflect light to produce an intense glare. This can cause the driver or boater to become temporarily blinded, leading to potentially deadly accidents. Polarized lenses are able to reduce this glare, allowing drivers to safely navigate the road and boaters to sail safely.

Bottom Line

In the final analysis, whatever style of sunglasses you choose, it's important to keep these factors in mind before making your purchase. It'll help make sure your eyes and your wallet stay safe.


The Ins and Outs of Sunglasses

Sunglasses have been a popular accessory for both men and women for years. Worn both as a fashion statement and for comfort, they serve to protect the eyes from harmful Ultra Violet rays produced by the sun. These rays cause damage to the retina and cornea causing eye conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts. As a result, it is highly recommended that people wear sunglasses that absorb UV rays all year round. These sunglasses will block 75% to 90% of visible light, while doing the same to 99% - 100% UV rays.

When purchasing a pair of sunglasses, one should take the time and care to learn about specialized lenses that fit best with his or her daily life. These lenses include those specially made to cut off reflected light on water or when driving known as polarized lenses. Other lenses, which are also good for water and snow sports are those coated with a mirror. They serve to reflect light; thus adequately protecting the eyes. Blue blocking sunglasses are also great for the snow because they cause distant objects to appear clearer. Photocromatic lenses become lighter or darker based on the intensity of UV light. Gradient lenses, which have a divided lens which is lighter at the bottom and darker at the top, are great for driving but should not be worn around water or snow.

Having decided on the lenses that you need, you should also consider the most aesthetically pleasing frames for your face. For example, for heart shaped faces, aviator or rimless glasses are best because they draw attention to the eyes while down playing the bottom part of one's face. On the other hand, round faced people should avoid round rims, as this only tends to make the face appear rounder. They should instead opt for rectangular frames. And, in correlation with the pattern we've seen so far, square faced people should go for oval shaped frames. These tend to soften the angles of the face and create a proportional silhouette. Those with oblong faces should choose square or round frames. These are usually large and cover enough of ones face to give the appearance of a shorter face.

With the most appropriate pair of sunglasses in hand, one should now consider proper care to ensure that they last longer. One should be careful when removing sunglasses from the face. Always use both hands. This will keep the frames from bending and curving. Additionally avoid actions that will cause the frames to stretch, like putting them on top of the head. To prevent scratching, put them in their sunglass case when not in use. The above tips will make sure you get as much use and value from your glasses as possible for the money you spend.


Just the Right Sunglasses: A Few Trends

Everyone knows that fashion is fickle friend. No matter what the accessory or the style, as soon as it is envisioned, it is bound to either die a horrible death or, in the best case scenario, fade out until you are the last one sporting the trend (and may look terribly out of the loop in doing so).

One inescapable functional fashion necessity is a good pair of sunglasses--whether driving to your beach resort in Malibu or just strolling through Beverly Hills, you will need to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays and be sure to look savvy while doing so. But how do you know which trend is the best? Let's take a look at a few famous styles and you can make a selection from there.

One trend that developed in the 1960's and continues to be popular today is the Onassis glasses; they are also referred to as "Jackie O's," harking back to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who originally popularized them. They are moderately oversized, and therefore seem to be often worn by celebrities when they are trying to avert public attention and mask their faces. But no matter the reason, celebrities have made this style pervasive among many young American women.

Another fashion which has become ubiquitous in recent years is Aviator sunglasses. They were originally released in 1936 as standard issue for U.S. military aviators; the name has stuck because of its unwavering popularity with pilots and military personnel. They are characterized by thin, usually black metal frames, and teardrop-shaped lenses. They become popular as a fashion accessory in the '60's and have continued to be so, with only a brief falling out in the world of fashion in the early 1990's. Since then, they have regained ground as a common statement.

Teashades are not as omnipresent as the other aforementioned styles, but like the others, they were adopted by popular culture in the 1960's, especially when John Lennon was so often seen wearing them. They are comprised of small, darkly or unusually colored circular lenses. The rims are made of wire, and though they are technically classified as sunglasses, they were generally worn simply because of their aesthetic appeal rather than their eye-protective value.

In their day, teashades were often known to be worn to hide bloodshot eyes or signs of eye infection induced by drug use. It may be no surprise then that most recently, Ozzy Osbourne is known to wear them almost constantly.

The one advantage to our increasingly diverse fashion culture, it may be possible to select any one of a number of retro fashions and receive approval from the fashion conscious. But I would highly recommend making your selection affordable.


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