Five Tips to Choosing the Right Sunglasses for You

Selecting new sunglasses can be a little tricky, what with all the different shapes and sizes, but shopping for a new pair of sunglasses doesn’t have to be a daunting and difficult task.  Here are a few pointers that should help you pick out the perfect pair.

1. Choose the pair that complements the shape of your face

Sunglasses Styles for Oval Face Shapes

For people with a heart-shaped face, avoid aviators and cat-eye styles sunglasses as they will accentuate their typically narrow jaw line, high cheek bones, and narrow chin.  In contrast,  people with an oval face, can practically wear any style of sunglasses since most shapes will complement their well balanced facial features.

People with a square face should pick cat-eye frame styles and classic oval frames.  These styles best suit their strong jaw, squared chin, and broad forehead.  On the other hand, people with a round-shaped face, require sunglasses with wider and more rectangular frame shapes, which help offset their fuller features.  These styles also add definition to the soft curves of their face.

See more face shapes like the image above in this album over on our facebook page.

2. Choose sunglasses that block 100% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays

Choose Lenses that block UV Rays

This is the most important thing to consider when choosing a new pair.  It has long been a known fact that prolonged exposure to extreme sunlight results to various eye diseases, including cataracts.  Opt for a pair that allows for 400nm UV absorption. This translates to 100% UV protection.

All designer brands should meet these standards, but watch out for fake designer brands that you may find on holiday abroad, the low price may seem attractive, but it could be damaging to your eyesight if they don’t offer the full UV protection.  Similarly, be cautious of cheap budget sunglasses on racks in supermarkets or public market stalls, when it comes to your eyes, you can’t be too careful.

3. Good quality lenses

Ray-Ban Quality Lenses

When buying a new pair of sunglasses, you should always check for the optical quality of the lenses.  Check by looking at a tiled floor with a rectangular pattern.  While holding the sunglasses at a comfortable distance, cover one eye and move the glasses slowly from side to side. If you are looking through good quality lenses, then the lines should stay straight. On the other hand, the lines may look wiggly when looking through lenses that are poor in quality.

All good designer brands of sunglasses should be a safe option; many pride themselves on the quality of their lenses, going out of their way to make a point about them, such as Dior’s use of ZEISS lenses or Oakley’s high impact tests being some of the toughest on the market.

4. Go for impact-resistant lenses for high-contact sports

While no lens is truly shatterproof, polycarbonate plastic lenses are 20 times more impact resistant compared to glass lenses at one third the weight.  When buying polycarbonate sunglasses, choose lenses that are coated with a scratch-resistant finish as this material scratches more easily than glass.

As mentioned above, it’s hard to beat the performance of Oakley sunglasses in a high-impact test.  Imagine riding your bike to work or school and a passing truck flicks up a stone right into your eye – it’s not an unlikely scenario.  In this video, NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer gets a demonstration on just how good Oakley sunglass lenses are.

5. Pick the right lens colour for your needs

Sunglasses lens colours

Sunglasses come with many different lens colour options, so take a minute to decide which lens colour is right for you.

  • Green coloured lenses allow your eyes to see true colors.  Green is a good choice for golfers, runners and cyclists.
  • Brown coloured lenses add brightness to your vision.  Brown lenses are great for high-glare outdoor sports like skiing, fishing and boating.  For these kinds of activities you should also consider polarized brown lenses to further reduce the glare from reflective surfaces such as water.
  • Grey coloured lenses tend to be darker than most other colours and are great for all-around use as daily sunglasses, especially in bright conditions.
  • Amber coloured lenses help to reduce eye strain but also distorts colors.  Amber is good for pilots, hunters, skiers and others who are engaged in all-day outdoor sports.  GUNNAR Optiks produce eyewear specifically designed to help reduce eye-fatigue from screen glare in the office or while gaming for extended periods of time.
  • Red or rose coloured lenses optimize the contrast between objects in green and blue backgrounds.  Red is effective for golf, hunting, boating, sailing and hiking.


Sharon Freeman is an Australian freelance writer and blogger.  She writes about eye care and about companies like

2 thoughts on “Five Tips to Choosing the Right Sunglasses for You

  1. Thank you for sharing some tips on choosing the right sunglasses to wear. Not only that, but you’ve provided a detailed explanation as to why we should choose a certain sunglass. I love the UV protection feature of sunglasses that you include. I always thought that sunglasses are just for fashion and to cover your eyes from the heat of the sun. That’s it. I never thought it could damage our eyesight, even though it covers it. Scary! It seems even sunglasses need UV protection to attain 100% protection of our eye sight. Thank you for making me realize that!

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