1. Sunglasses Buying Guide
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How to buy sunglasses

how to buy sunglasses

A sunglasses buying guide

Protecting your eyes from the sun can be as stylish as it is healthy; sunglasses come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors to suit anyone's individual style. When deciding which sunglasses to buy, consider your own face shape, what styles you like, what type of lens you want and if there are any accessories you want to go along with the sunglasses. Using this sunglasses buying guide, you will learn how to buy the right sunglasses for you.

>> Determine your face shape

which sunglasses to buy

Certain sunglasses work best with different face shapes. For example, a square face generally looks good with oversized sunglasses, including cat-eye or round sunglasses for women and sunglasses with sharp angles for men. For people with long or oblong faces, oversized sunglasses, particularly those with thick frames or tall or deep lenses, are the best sunglasses to buy.

The best sunglasses for a round face are those with few curves, such as narrow or high-templed frames. Colors, including the classic tortoiseshell style, also work well. A triangle or heart-shaped face has a wide forehead and narrow chin, so the sunglasses styles that work best for this kind of face has a wider lower edge and no straight lines along the top. Oval faces, with gently rounded curves, can work with just about any sunglasses.

>> Choose a frame style

sunglasses styles

When it comes to frames, designs vary greatly. The frames include both the rims around the lenses and the pieces that hold the glasses to your ears and face, known as the temples. Sunglasses sizes and styles run the gamut, so once you determine what is best for your face shape, figuring out which sunglasses to buy depends on what styles you prefer and what you think looks best on you.

Frames are one of the most important and visible features of sunglasses, so you want to be sure you get the right ones. Do you love colors? Perhaps the best sunglasses to buy are brightly colored frames that are thick enough to show off the color around the lenses. There are frames with single colors, multi-colors, patterns, rhinestones and other color textures. Plastic frames are the most common and can add a colorful and stylish touch.

If you would prefer something simple, thinner frames in a basic black, brown or gold might suit your tastes. These are usually metal, although there are some plastic ones, particularly those with thicker frames like sports sunglasses.

Another important part of choosing a frame is the shape of the lens. Sunglasses sizes and styles vary significantly based on the shape of the lens the frame holds. This could mean anything from straight rectangles and rounded rectangles to cat-eye, circular, oval and other lens shapes.

There are a few other decisions to make when considering how to buy sunglasses. You will have to decide if you want to go with designer sunglasses styles or off-the-shelf glasses. Clip-on sunglasses are available if you want something to go over your regular pair of glasses. You can also decide among rimmed, semi-rimmed or rimless frames, which determine how much rim is around the lenses.

>> Choose a lens type and style

types of sunglasses

The type and style of lens are part of understanding how to buy sunglasses that suit your needs and tastes. When you shop for sunglasses, you might look primarily at the frame, because the lenses often look the same. However, the lenses are what protect your eyes, so you need to make sure that you consider lens style when deciding which sunglasses to buy.

If you already wear glasses and do not want to buy clip-on sunglasses, prescription sunglasses might be good option for you. You can buy the lenses to fit your prescription; these are more likely found at your eye doctor's office rather than at a department store.

Prescription or not, there are other factors to consider. One is to decide whether or not you want UVA or UVB protection. UV sunglasses have added protection against the sun's rays to protect your eyes when you are outdoors. You can also decide if you want polarized lenses, which reduce the glare that sometimes bounces off shiny, non-metallic surfaces like water. These are popular types of sunglasses for fisherman and other participants in water sports. Similarly, an anti-reflective coating eliminates glare from the sunlight that reflects directly into your eyes from the back surface of any tinted lenses. This coating is another consideration, particularly if you have tinted lenses.

If you are looking for tinted sunglasses, you will have to decide what color tint you want. Gradient sunglasses styles go from a darker shade on top to a lighter shade on the bottom, which produces an interesting effect. If you want mirrored lenses, like aviators, these will reflect the outside of the lenses so they almost act like mirrors.

>> Choose accessories

best sunglasses to buy

After you decide which sunglasses to buy, you will want to consider any accessories you might need. Some of these are more practical, like extra nose pads or replacement lenses. These can come in handy so you do not have to buy a new pair of glasses just because something breaks or goes missing. You might also consider straps for holding your sunglasses, particularly if you will be out in extremely windy conditions or if you need them to stay on your face while facing to the ground.

The sunglasses case can be both practical and stylish. Cases can be hard or soft, and they can protect the lenses, the frames or both. They can be thin for thinner glasses or wide for bigger glasses, and they come in a wide range of colors and styles to suit your taste.

Use this sunglasses buying guide the next time you want to understand how to buy sunglasses or to help you in your sunglasses comparison process. Knowing how to buy sunglasses and what features of sunglasses you want before you go into the store will save you time and energy as you search for the perfect pair of sunglasses.

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