How to Choose the Best Sunglasses – 2018 Frames, Styles & Lenses
Let’s face it, sunglasses are not just a seasonal trend: they’re a want, a need, a must. Whether for masking the sun or “hiding” after a long night out, they remain constantly relevant. Trends come and go, so read on to check out how to choose the best sunglasses from the top sunglasses specialists. We got you covered.
Are you seeking a glam women’s sunglasses frame? Or, hunting for sexy men’s sunglasses, military aviator style? Perhaps you’d prefer some unisex retro round sunglasses for shades. We’ll help you find the best sunglass frame, style and lens for whomever the wearer.
First to point out is that the most popular 2018 sunglass frames have a smaller, retro inspired vibe. Frames are built from acetate, metal or a combination of both. The oversize ‘butterfly’ effect seems to have flown. Yet the well-liked wayfarer and aviator sunglasses are still on trend. That said, they’ve had a makeover. With a more round lens shape and built with new materials, demand has seen them updated.
Moving on, the mysterious mirrored sunglasses remain, as does the fame of a flatter silhouette sun-spec. Design is focused on inspiration from the 50’s and the 90’s. Yet, these iconic styles have also been fine-tuned with new frame structures.
Sport sunglasses now consist of minimal wrapped shields. Thin frames surround modern lens shapes. Pure raw function is key here offering: visibility, lightweight and protection.
Buying vintage sunglass frames won’t work in most cases. Fits have been updated and are more relevant. All is crystal clear when you look at the reworks. Visionary stuff…
David Barton, eyewear expert and founder of David Kind quotes: ‘We can see the glimmer of trend towards tiny sunglasses. Yet it remains to be seen if this is just for celebrity influencers, or for all of us. One thing is for certain though. These small frames aren’t functional unless your sole function is to turn heads, and not block the sun’.
Colored Sunglass Frames
Frame colors vary from shiny to matte. To burnished finishes of silvers and bold gold pop on metal frames. Popular havanas and camouflaged tortoise will never go out of style. But with acetate frames… we defy you not to be charmed. The thrilling combination of metal and acetate is bang on trend today. When these two materials combine, wearers make a suave but wearable statement.
We’re a little bit obsessed with clip on sunglasses – as smooth and polished as the crew that wear them. Indeed, the guys at Gear Patrol are fans too. Only a handful of high-end eyewear brands offer this full custom sunglass clip option. Chiefly, it’s two dark lenses made to fit right on to your eyeglass frames – held in place by a wire. The made to order lenses come in many colors and you get to pick out your best wire finish.
Furthermore, clips are compact – no more carting about a spare pair of specs. In addition, they generally cost less than prescription sunglasses and have no awkward middle effect like transitions. And, no more find me the perfect glasses frame, as you already did!
2018 Latest Sunglasses Lenses
UV got to be safe. Yes, UV blocking censors 100% of those harmful UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. Yet, there is debate as to how much ‘blue’ light should be blocked. Here, we go up to 400nm in the light spectrum. UV blocking is standard in our world. Sadly, some companies claim their sunspecs provide UV protection, but they actually don’t. Known culprits are cheap ‘gas station’ samples with the fake 100% UV labels slapped on. Without doubt, walk away.
Did you know that in this case wearing no sunglasses is far better for your eyes? Squinting is preferable than wearing shades that let in harmful UV light. This is because these ‘shady’ lenses allow your pupils to open up more, thus accept more UV light. Hopefully, this shows how important it is to check that the UV protection promised is actually existent. Don’t forget, UV light can cause cancer of the eye, so UV protection should hold the same importance as your sunscreen.
Tints are ranked by the amount of visible light that passes through the lens. Most grey sunglasses lenses let through around 12%, and brown lenses around 15%. Some lenses come pre-tinted. Some we tint ourselves. If you have grey polarized lenses, it is possible they are on the lighter side of say around 15 – 17%. When grinding the Rx into the lens, at times it becomes thinner than ‘normal’ making the tint less dense. We can tint them as dark as 8%. But, any darker would make them no longer suitable for driving (according to ANSI standards) and shifts them into the realm of glacier glasses.
Non-polarized sunglasses lenses simply offer the tinting effect to reduce the intensity of the sun. This allows your eyes to dilate a bit more and because more light gets into the eye you see better in the bright sun. Hence headaches and other effects of bright sunlight are reduced. Snow blindness is as real as the John Lennon sunglass rim is round. Think extreme climes like high altitude bright conditions.
Polarized sunglasses add glare protection to the tinting (as described above) and eliminates perpendicular glare. In simpler terms, they cut out the light that shines off flat surfaces such as roads, water and snow. This can have a massive impact on reducing visual strain. Moreover, this will also allow you to see beneath the surface of water by cutting surface glare. Making it the best choice of sunglasses for fishing.
On the downside, polarized sunnies can ‘hide’ the glare from ice, hence are not an ideal choice for skiing eyewear or winter driving glasses on bright cold days. They may also conflict with polarized airplane windshields and digital devices with LCD screens.
Barton’s belief is that they’re not for everyone. He says, “For most people, you’re going to have a better visual experience, especially when you’re in bright conditions, near water or outdoors.” Four of the top visionary experts explain the pros and cons of polarized sunglasses in this great article.
Sunglass Lens Coatings – mirrors and more
As you move up-market, you start getting into better frames. Photochromic lenses (or transitions) darken and lighten when activated by UV light. So you must be outdoors or under UV light for them to change. Also, they will not change as much in a car due to UV filters already on the windshield and windows.
Mirror sunglasses are mostly aesthetic, but can offer added benefits when it comes to glare control. They reduce some glare due to reflecting it more before it hits the eye.
An important detail often overlooked is the anti-reflective coating which makes a huge difference. Without this you’ll experience “bounce-back glare” which makes it harder to look through the lenses and therefore reduces the benefits of having the sunglass lenses in front of your eyes. Hence, particularly true for flatter lenses which are popular now.
Be Bold – Go for Flat or Semi-flat Lenses
Smooth, sleek and stylish. Flat or semi-flat lens sunglass styles are not only there to see out of, but also be seen. Flat lens technology is 100% one of the newest trends this season. This lens design provides little or no curve. Hence, floats with great aesthetic.
To conclude, we hope our article on how to choose the best sunglasses has enabled you to see more clearly. In addition, it’s easy to see that there is much more than just fun in the sun to reflect upon. To mirror this, you need to look at all of the latest frames, styles and lenses. In the meantime, we suggest you’re not short sighted when picking your next pair. Okay, done with the puns.