Sunglasses: How to choose the right pair

So it was March 1st on Thursday which is supposed to be the first day of Spring. However we all know what happened here in the UK towards the end of this week – it started snowing. Given the weather it probably seems strange that I’m releasing a post about sunglasses, right? Well sunglasses are not just for warm Summer days. They’re there to protect your eyes against any kind of harmful light – UV rays, sunlight, reflections. It’s actually a lot better to invest in a good (although expensive) pair of sunglasses, than to wear the ones you get from high street stores. Those just don’t protect your eyes, they’re flimsy and not very durable either. If you’re just looking for something fashionable to take a few good pictures in then yeah why not? But if you actually want to protect your eyes and look good at the same time, then I really recommend investing in a good quality pair.

I’m writing this post in collaboration with Warby Parker, who have a whole collection of new sunglasses styles that just launched today! I’ve made it clear on this blog that I love anything different. Any smaller, more understated brands I am 100% here for because I like to wear things that not many people already have. I’ll bet you haven’t heard of Warby Parker but their new Quintessentials range is really beautiful. They’ve put their own spin on some very classic styles but also have couple of really unique pieces too. 

It’s all well and good knowing that you like a pair of sunglasses, the difficult part is choosing a pair that suit you and you are consequently going to feel comfortable wearing regularly. It’s so important to get the wear out of expensive sunglasses. I pretty much live in sunglasses in the Summer and in the Winter too so I’m pretty safe on that front. But I thought that, having worked at Sunglass Hut for a year and considering that it was my job to know what styles suit which types of faces, what types of lenses work for different kind of lights and how to care and clean for your glasses properly, it would be useful to share what I learned with all of you. As a glasses wearer, these are tips that I have never forgotten. They have actually been very useful in helping me to choose a new pair of glasses and to ensure that they stay in the best condition possible. Below, I’ll go into detail about the different styles that the Quintessentials collection have to offer and talk you through which ones suit which type of faces. At the end I’ve also got some very handy care and maintenance tips as well as some different lens types explained, so keep reading!

The Abe Frames

Frames like these are best suited to people who have softer lines in their faces. So if you have a round face in general or if you’re slightly more rounded at the jaw then something like this is going to be your best friend because it’s going to add a little bit more shape to your face. Particularly as these narrow out towards the bottom of the lenses, it will give the illusion that your face has more of a heart shape than just simply being round. Also for anyone that has a particularly wide forehead, the double bar across the middle will break up the expanse of your forehead, thus creating the illusion that it’s smaller than it is!

The Hunt Frames

I seriously think these frames are stunning! With thicker arms and a deep square shape, these are perfect for people with an oval face – like me. I love an oversized lens and going for a squarer shape cancels out the roundness in your face and again adds some shape instead. If you have an oval face then square shapes like these are your best friend. Also can we just appreciate how gorgeous the frame and lens colour on these are? I am in love.
The Raider Frames

Typically, these styles suit most face shapes and with Warby Parker they come in two different sizes – the standard Raider and the large. I recommend them for heart shaped faces. If you’ve got a heart shaped face then you’re already pretty lucky and you can wear most styles. But this sort of pilot shape just really works because it’s simple and classic and works in harmony with your natural face shape – wider at the top, narrower at the bottom.
The Harris Frames

These are pretty similar to the classic wayfarer shape. Particularly in this colour combo, they give off a very retro look. They work well on round face shapes as well as people who have plenty of lines and angles. This is because even though they have a lot of shape to them, the shape is achieved using gentle lines. They’re not too overpowering at all. Compared to the Abe frames for example, which make a little bit more of a statement due to the lines being very sharp and precise. Overall they’re very wearable, suit most outfits and they’re a very reliable frame.

Now you might also have noticed when sunglass shopping that some lenses are polarised and some are non-polarised. The difference is huge and if you can get a polarised pair of lenses then I would highly recommend them. They eliminate glare and massively reduce the strain on your eyes. Great for any sports, driving or just generally to protect your eyes. 
Another type of lens you might see is anti-reflective. I don’t necessarily think these are essential, but what they do is push any reflective light back out through your lenses so that they don’t end up penetrating your eye. 
Photochromatic lenses are lenses that adjust to different light situations. So for example, they will darken when the sun is very bright in order to reduce strain on your eyes. 
You’ve also got to think about the materials used in the frames you’re buying. The Abe and Raider frames are metal whilst the Hunt and Harris frames are made of acetate. If you have any kind of metal allergies (such as nickel) then you’ll need to stay away from metal frames, obviously. But their benefits include being easy to adjust at home, being waterproof and having slightly more of a sturdy feel to them. Acetate (plastic) frames are more lightweight than the metal frames which a lot of people prefer if they’re going to be carrying them around a lot. However, to adjust these frames you need to warm them slightly and bend them and it’s also easier to notice little chips and scratches if you do drop or damage them slightly. I also find them slightly hard to clean than metal, as dirt and grease can slide around on the plastic whereas with metal you can easily just wipe them clean. 
Finally, my top tips in terms of taking care of your lenses are to use a spray that is silicone based! Anything with alcohol in it will wear your lenses away over time, particularly if they have something like a polarised coating on them. Use a microfibre cloth to clean your lenses to avoid leaving any bits of fabric on them and make sure you wash it over time. And tighten your screws! You know when you go to fold your glasses up and they just sort of flop into place? Yeah, it’s time to get the mini screwdriver out hun.

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