Consider sunglasses superhero accessories. They help prevent and sometimes hide life’s indiscretions — harmful sun rays, crow’s feet, those moments when you’re throwing shade.
Just like you rotate your skin care regimen, your wardrobe and your playlists to befit each season, you should update your accessories like sunglasses. Plus, it’s just fun to.
To ensure your sunnies are nothing short of spectacular, we asked licensed optician Ted Mogtader, owner of Lunette Optics, for advice on how to choose your best pair.
Aside from the styling, Mogtader says there are two critical aspects when deciding on sunglasses. First is a no-brainer — UV protection, which is just as important for your eyes as it is your skin.
“By FDA requirements, all sunglasses sold in the U.S. need to give basic UV protection from UVA and UVB,” he says, noting that if you invest in high quality sunglasses they provide higher protection.
Raison d’être satisfied, the second, more detailed aspect now comes into play — lens optics. This is when you choose whether your lenses are “polarized,” as well as what their shading looks like.
“In layman’s terms, polarized lenses cut glare a lot better than simple dark sunglasses lenses,” he notes. Polarized lenses are specialty lenses that boast a filter to block intense reflected light, which in turn reduces eye strain.
You also will need to consider lens color, with different lenses providing different sensations while looking through them. “The darkness of the lens color also provides varying amount of light transmission,” says Mogtader. “If you’re very light sensitive, you would want a darker lens regardless if it’s polarized.”
According to Mogtader, gray base-tints tend to block more light and cause less color distortion while looking through them. On the other hand, brown bases can block less and also, distort colors, but they do it with a smile.
“Brown base-tints tend to make things warmer and happier,” he adds. All other extras, including backside anti-reflective coating, could enhance the optics of the lens, but, if you are on a budget, may not be critical.
When it comes to choosing a frame, nothing beats a good old-fashioned try-on session. But, with the world of online sunglass shopping opening up, Mogtader shines some light.
“The more coverage, the better,” he says. “You want the largest pair of sunglasses that fits your features and is to your liking.”
Choose frame shape and fit that fully cover your brows. If that isn’t the case, make sure the top of the frame at least sits near your brow line and, most importantly, follows the shape and contours of your eyebrows.
“If you have a round face, lean toward more geometric lens shapes,” Mogtader says. “If you have a square shaped face, aim for a lens shape with softer angles.”
At the end of the day, sunglasses are accessories, albeit important ones. Translation: There are no steadfast rules, so have fun.
“Some of today’s trends of very small cat-eye lens shapes and very round shapes defy much of what I have mentioned,” admits Mogtader. “That just proves that when it comes to sunglasses, anything goes.”