Whether for casual or sporting use, sunglasses are indispensable for keeping the sun’s harmful rays out of your eyes. But sunglasses can be fashion accessories too. Here are some tips on getting sunglasses that not only enhance your looks, but also afford you the best eye protection.
PICKING OUT SUNGLASSES THAT SUIT YOUR FACE
The advice of choosing sunglass style based on the shape of your face is perhaps the oldest and most popular. There are a lot of charts and videos online showing you how to do this. Basically, this method relies on contrast aesthetics: If your face shape doesn’t have a lot of sharp angles, go for angular; if angular, go for glasses with more curves (‘Wayfarer’ styles consists of a top with angles and curved bottoms). If you have a sharp chin, offset it with frames that emphasize the horizontal. If your face is long, make it proportionally shorter-looking with larger frames). The trick is finding out what shape your actual face is, when viewed head on: Oval, square, round, heart/diamond-shaped. These shapes are mostly defined by your forehead, cheeks, and chin (less by your jaw since they are further back of your face).
But, once your face is viewed at an angle, these face shapes disappear. Your face may look round head on but angular when viewed on the side. And few people would only get to look at your face head on so nothing beats trying on the sunglasses you like and looking in the mirror at different angles to see how good you look. Your choice of sunglass style is also affected by the look you’re aiming for and the amount of eye protection you wish to have and sometimes the two don’t go together. For example, in order for you to show more of your face, you’ll naturally choose smaller (flatter or narrower, depending on how you look at it) sunglass styles but this lets in more of the sun’s rays at the sides of the sunglass. On the other hand, wraparound style sunglasses may offer more protection but some wraparound styles may look unflattering to your face shape. Still, nothing beats actually trying sunglasses on for shape and size.
SUNGLASSES SIZE CHART
Speaking of size, face size is different from face shape. Pick a sunglass size that proportionally complements the size of your face. If you have a small face, wearing too large frames would tend to overwhelm your face. How are sunglasses measured? This is where frame size comes in. Also known as the ‘eye size’ the right frame size for you depends on the width of your face (‘face size’), from temple-to-temple. Different face sizes have different suggested frame sizes, which you can find from different manufacturers.
Although nothing beats trying out sunglasses personally for the right size, you won’t be able to do that on a website so the frame size is what you should look for when buying sunglasses online. Note that wraparound sunglasses fit more snugly with your face size, so you can go up or down a notch on these suggested frame sizes and still find a nice fit.
If you have a favorite type of sunglasses, you can try looking for the frame size inside the temples (or arms), where important information is usually printed, however you will generally only find these on higher end brands such as Persol or Ray Ban sunglasses. There are usually three numbers corresponding to frame/eye size (from 40-62), bridge size (from 14-24), and temple/arm length (from 120-150), in in that order. The temple/arm length is not your temple-to-temple face size but is close enough (since temple/arm length usually spans across the back of the sunglasses when it is folded). Sometimes the eye size and bridge size are separated by a box symbol and may be printed on the sunglasses bridge. Ignore numbers accompanied by letters since these are color/style codes. This information is often not found in cheap sunglasses.