Not sure which sunglasses you should buy and what the many different features and design options mean?
Should you go for rounded frames or rectangular frames? What kind of UV protection should the best sunglasses offer and what constitutes the perfect pair of sunglasses for you?
When Were Sunglasses Invented?
Dark eyewear are believed to have been invented by the Chinese in the 12th century. They used them to hide their emotions, not unlike modern poker players.
Toward the end of the 18th century, an English optician named James Ayscough added colored lenses to eyeglasses as a way of treating vision issues and he is often credited as being the inventor of sunglasses.
But while Ayscough was technically the first to add colored lenses to eyewear, he didn’t do it for the purpose of UV protection. That discovery came with Sir William Crookes in the early 20th century.
Crookes invented lenses that blocked UV light and this idea was later used by Sam Foster, who began mass producing celluloid sunglasses in the 1930s.
By the end of the 1930s, over 20 million sunglasses had been sold in the United States and the era of tinted, UV-protective glasses was officially born.
What’s The Difference Between Polarized and Nonpolarized Sunglasses?
The difference between polarized and non-polarized is actually quite simple.
Both lenses offer UV protection but polarized lenses have built-in anti-glare features. They reduce the glare from reflective surfaces and filter out more ambient light. Non-polarized lenses don’t offer this feature.
Are Polarized Sunglasses Better?
It may be easier to view LCD screens with non-polarized lenses and they are also more durable, but overall, polarized lenses are better as they will reduce eye strain, provide better UV protection, and make it easier for you to see in bright conditions.
How To Clean Sunglasses
Sunglasses can be cleaned by running them under warm water. Make sure the pressure is low and that your hands are free of oily soaps and just let the water run over the glasses.
Once you have removed all the dirt and other detritus, you can use a drop of dish soap to remove ingrained dirt and bacteria. Give them another rinse when you have finished and then dry them gently using a lint-free cloth.
Refrain from using towels and clothing as they may scratch the lenses.
How To Get Scratches Out Of Sunglasses
Surprisingly, the best way to remove scratches is with toothpaste. It sounds like one of those nonsense tips you see on heavily edited “lifehack” videos, but it can work.
Simply apply a tiny amount of toothpaste to a cotton ball and then work it into the scratch before rinsing with warm water and drying with a lint-free cloth.
The effectiveness of this method will depend on the extent of the scratch, though. It will only work with sunglasses that don’t have special coatings on them, as it works by sanding down the area (toothpaste is abrasive) and making it smooth.
Get Sunglasses That Suit Your Face Shape
Finding the perfect sunglasses isn’t just about picking a trendy brand that all the celebrities are wearing and then dropping several hundred bucks.
You need to think about the frame style in relation to the shape of your face and your facial features. In other words, there’s no such thing as the “best pair of sunglasses” overall, but there is such a thing as the perfect sunglasses for your face.
As a general rule of thumb, consider the following:
Rounded Frames for Square Faces
The square face shape has a lot of angles and lines and is best suited for round frames that can complement these shapes.
Both round glasses and oval glasses are suitable for people with square faces, as they flatter their features and draw the eye away from the angles.
Rectangular Frames for Round Faces
The best sunglasses for round faces are narrow and rectangular. They often have bold and strong lines, providing the angles needed to complement the round race.
As with the square faces above, it’s all about opposing the face shape and adding angles or softness. So, if you have a round face, look for flatter, rectangular sunglasses with thick and bold frames.
Oversized Frames for Oval Faces
If you have an oval shaped face, you’re in the majority, but that doesn’t mean that most styles will suit you. In fact, it can be tricky to find the right balance.
Generally, oversized retro frames may look best on an oval face. Bold styles also look good.
Winged Frames for Heart-Shaped Faces
Detailed lower portions, wider frames, and wings tend to look best on a heart-shaped face. If you have a heart-shaped face you may find that you are suited to most styles of sunglasses as it’s not as polarizing as a round or square shaped face.
Upper-Detailing for Triangle Face Shapes
Cat eye frames look great on triangle face shapes, and the best sunglasses are often those with upper details, including D-frames and aviator frames.
How Much Should You Pay for a Pair of Sunglasses?
A pair of sunglasses can cost you anywhere from $10 up to several thousand. But depreciating returns kick in pretty quickly here and paying $1,000 for a pair of sunglasses doesn’t mean you’re getting twice the quality as a $500 pair.
The trick is to make sure that you’re paying for quality and not simply for a brand name. Some brands throw all of their cash at the marketing and don’t care about making the perfect pair of shades.
The price that you should pay will depend on what you’re looking for and how much you have to spend. If you find sunglasses you like for $1,000 and have that sort of money to spend, go for it. If you’re on a budget and just want some quality and trendy sunglasses that will protect your eyes, you shouldn’t need to spend over $100.
Types Of Sunglass Warranties
Most brands offer warranties of between 12 months and 24 months. These limited warranties will cover you for manufacturer defects, which means the sunglasses fail because of a defect in the way that they were made.
There are lifetime warranties out there, but these are also limited.
If you sit on your sunglasses, drop them from a height, or scratch them while cleaning, you won’t be covered with a warranty like this. However, if the hinges stop working or the mounts fail, your warranty should cover the costs.
If you’re buying an expensive pair of sunglasses, pay close attention to the warranty and see what type of deal you’re getting. If you’re ordering sunglasses online and you notice any defects when they arrive, whether that means there is a scratch on the lens or a hinge that doesn’t shut all of the way, send them back immediately.
If you hold onto them for several months, the scratch gets irritating, and then you claim for a repair and insist it was there since the beginning, they won’t believe you.
Brands That Make the Best Sunglasses
As noted above, you should choose sunglasses based on your face shape, as whether you have a round face shape or a square face shape will have a massive impact on how those sunglasses look.
The quality of the materials and the manufacturer also play a massive role. To help you get started, we have listed the best manufacturers of sunglasses below:
Ray-Ban is the Rolex of sunglasses. It’s the brand that everyone knows and one that has nailed its marketing. But as with Rolex, it’s not just about marketing with Ray-Ban. It also produces some of the best products in its category.
The Wayfarer and Aviator sunglasses are some of the most famous and not without reason. If you want some quality shades, you can’t go wrong with Ray-Ban.
Oakley, like Ray-Ban, is famous for producing quality sunglasses. The popularity of this brand peaked in the 1990s but it is still recognized as one of the best in the world and produces some gorgeous sunglasses.
Tom Ford is a relative newcomer when compared to the other brands on this list, as it launched in 2005. These slim frame sunglasses are practical and cool and they have also featured in a recent James Bond movie.
If they are good enough for 007…
We mentioned Rolex above when talking about Ray-Ban. The watch industry actually has many similarities to the sunglasses industry as it’s dominated by fashion brands and actual manufacturers.
The manufacturers are the dedicated brands that only make watches and focus on making the best watches they can. The fashion brands often have their products made elsewhere and are just sticking their labels on.
You see the same thing in the sunglasses industry and it’s why you should be wary of spending huge sums on fashion brands if you care more about quality than style.
Prada is one of the few exceptions as it makes very good sunglasses, but such exceptions are rare.
Oliver Peoples has been around since the 1980s and makes sunglasses that deliver 100% UVA and UVB protection while also using materials that create stronger and longer-lasting sunglasses.