How to Buy Sunglasses

woman wearing sunglasses

One common misconception is that sunglasses are needed only for the summer months. This is simply not true as the sun's ultraviolet rays do their damage all year 'round.

We all want to look cool in our new shades, but there are several things to consider when buying a new pair of sunglasses. Below is an easy guide to help match you up with a pair that's perfect for you. Here's what you should know before making your purchase:

Style and Comfort

Choose the proper style and you'll have comfort too. If you buy a pair that doesn't fit correctly, chances are, you won't wear them, or you'll end up buying another pair. Designer sunglasses are very popular because they offer better quality, but discount sunglasses can also be a good choice if you're careful in your selection.

Ultraviolet (UV) Protection Lenses

Sunglasses are important for protecting your eyes against the sun's dangerous UV Rays, which are also present on cloudy days. Lens color is not an indication of protection. You need to read the labels and look for lenses that are for "special purpose," which should block 95 to 100 percent of the UV rays. Polarized lenses take it a step further with a layer that helps protect against glaring sunlight that reflects off of surfaces.

Practical Frames

Hollywood celebrities are setting the trends with larger, eye-catching frames coming into spring and summer. Larger lenses benefit not only the eyes, but the sensitive skin surrounding the eyes -- a win-win situation. Obviously, smaller frames offer less protection because the rays can find their way in very easily. For most people, something in-between is stylish and practical.


Kids need protection too. By wearing sunglasses early on, there will be less damage to and around the eye area. Skin is less likely to show fine lines and wrinkles when they get older.

Sunglasses that Flatter

What fun is wearing sunglasses if they don't look good? There's a certain amount of "chic-ness" that goes along with wearing a hot new pair of shades. The trick is finding a pair that will provide adequate protection and flatter your face.

Oval Face

If your face is oval, consider yourself very lucky. Just about any style will look good on you. Take a chance and experiment with different shapes and colors. Women with oval faces often have an assortment of sunglasses, because they are accessories that compliment their face and their wardrobe.

Round Face

Elongate a round face by choosing oval frames that lift up at the temple. Traditional cat-eye glasses are a good example. Don't fret. They don't have to be old-fashioned. Designers have gorgeous cat-eye styles available, updated with trendy styles and rich colors.

Long Face

Got a long face? Square frames help shorten it up a bit taking up more space. Overall, this gives the illusion of a shorter face. Basic is best for men. For women, unique ornamental decorations draw attention upwards, downplaying a long chin.

Square Face

Balance out a square face with medium or oversized oval frames. Gradient shading on the lens helps soften up and flatter your features while adding some mystery to your eyes.