Sunglasses are like relationships: If you break or lose them, there’s more out there to choose from. But you’ve got to know what fits your personality to find an ideal match.
Today’s shades do more than just protect eyes from the sun’s potentially damaging rays. They are a branch of the multibillion-dollar fashion industry, with big-name brands ranging from Oliver Peoples to Prada attracting loyal followers.
But the style you pick can matter more than the price you pay, or even the designer name that’s branded on the stem. Like clothes, certain sunglasses trends and shapes flatter the figure (or the face, in this case) more than others. Find ones that fit your face — and budget — and you’ll have a quick midseason pick-me-up. Here are tips for picking the perfect pair:
Know your face shape
Round: Edge up the inherent wholesome, gal-next-door look with shades that add angularity to facial features. Square or rectangular-shaped frames bring contrast to full rounded cheekbones.
Square: Ladies with straighter jaw lines should channel their inner Jackie Kennedy Onassis (who had square features) by opting for round or oval lenses. Like Jackie O’s black circular shades, sunglasses in these shapes break up and soften the face’s more severe angles.
Heart-shaped: Break out the Ray-Bans! For a face that is broader across the forehead and narrows toward the chin, aviator sunglasses, also known as pilot-style shades, complement this shape by mirroring it with their wide-at-top, smaller-near-the-bottom lenses.
Long: Bring the focal point of the face upward by making the eyes command attention with cat-eyed sunglasses. Larger round or square frames also can help give the illusion of width to a slender face.
Oval: Call it the goes-with-anything face shape. Women who possess a lot of symmetry to their look can pull off many styles, from petite frames in neutral shades, such as black or tortoise, to oversized ones with bold prints or glam gems.
Opt for polarized
Not all sunglasses are created equally. Look for ones with polarized lenses, which provide the most protection from the sun by blocking glare and reflection of light from shiny surfaces, such as water.
“Like sunscreen protects your skin, sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun,” said Dr. David Eriksen, a Toledo ophthalmologist. “UV rays interact on a cellular level and like radiation of any kind, can get into the cells and cause mutations.”
Over time, the brightness of the sun can cause cataracts to develop in unprotected eyes. In extreme cases, the rays can burn the retina, which could lead to loss in primary vision, Dr. Eriksen said.
Price points can range from a few bucks at chain stores, such as CVS or Walgreens, to hundreds of dollars at a high-end boutique. As you would while clothes shopping, shell out more money for classic styles that will last for seasons to come, but limit how much you spend on trendier glasses (colorful patterns, rhinestone embellishments, or funky shapes, for instance) that you might love this year but loathe the next.
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