Sunglasses can complete an outfit and add the crucial the finishing touches that take a man from simply ‘dressed’ to ‘well-dressed’ in an instant. Quite apart from the sartorial benefits sunglasses can bring, though, there are other reasons to wear them. These include protection from harmful UV rays, a defence against dirt and debris getting into the eyes while out and about, reducing in eye strain that can lead to headaches, blurred vision and wrinkles deepening around the eyes. They can also help you see better on especially bright days – a must when driving, working or operating machinery.
Any men’s sunglasses guide would not be complete without a run-down of the various elements to consider when choosing the right pair for you. The frame is what encases the lenses and fits the sunglasses to the face. This can come in almost limitless styles, colours, materials and sizes and can be tailored completely to suit your face and style. The lenses themselves can also come in different shapes and finishes, with colours ranging from a subtle tint to the full-on jet black or even mirrored effect. Specialist sunglasses types, e.g. for winter sports, can also be treated with added protection against UV, extreme brightness or rough handling.
There are dozens of men’s sunglasses styles out there to choose from, each one forming its own distinctive combination of lens shapes and colours and frame styles and materials. Aviator sunglasses are reminiscent of the 1930s pilot-style of glasses as worn by Tom Cruise in Top Gun with large, rounded or square lenses to offer excellent peripheral vision. Round types of sunglasses give the familiar John Lennon or Harry Potter look for a quirky, arty feel and rimless, or frameless sunglasses add minimalist appeal. Wrap-around sunglasses, or shields, give added protection for sports and more active lifestyles and foldable or clip on pairs add practicality and convenience. If you are unsure which men’s sunglass styles suit you, visit an optician or eyewear specialist who should be able to help.
As for which materials to choose for the frames, common choices include moulded plastic, which is cheap, durable and versatile, coming in almost any colour under the sun. A more expensive plastic option is acetate, which is lighter, more flexible and made from renewable sources for the sustainability-minded among us. Metal is another popular choice amongst men, offering great corrosion resistance and flexibility of design and finish.
Just as there are many different options for types of sunglasses frames, there is flexibility in choosing how your lenses will look and perform. First of all, the shape is important, as it dictates what the rest of the glasses will look like. Choose from square, round, rectangular or oval, or choose a bespoke shape for a more distinctive aviator or wrap-around shape. Lenses can be made from plastic or polycarbonate to be lighter, more durable and shatter-resistant. Glass is a traditional choice, which offers excellent, distortion-free vision, but can be more prone to breakages.
Lenses can also have special finishes added to them, such as added protection against scratches or dents, broad-spectrum UV protection, anti-glare for night-time wearing, water-proofing, prescription-related additions or coloured tints for fashion or performance reasons. Different colours offer different benefits, such as blue tinting blocking out white light for winter sports and mist, fog or snow; brown or amber counteracting as lot of blue for summer sports such as tennis, athletics or golf and grey to help with driving and outdoor activities by helping overcast conditions look clearer. Adding a mirrored tint can also help if your eyes are especially sensitive to bright light and glare.
A good pair of sunglasses can be worth their weight in gold. It is important to care for them properly to prolong their useful, working life. Always have a microfibre cloth handy to clean the lenses from any smudges, dirt or dust. This type of cloth won’t scratch the lenses during the cleaning process and can be kept in a glasses case, pocket or wallet. Don’t forget to clean the frames as well. Avoid using paper towels or the sleeves on your jacket or top, ad this can cause scratches or grind the dirt in further.
You can also use a special lens liquid cleaner to shift stubborn marks and to keep the lenses looking shiny and new. Check your sunglasses for damage and get them fixed as soon as you spot anything amiss. Pay particular attention to the screws that hold the arms of the frames on, as these can work themselves loose and cause the sunglasses to fall apart. Use a small screwdriver to tighten them. Look after your sunglasses well and they can last you a lifetime, meaning that your investment will be properly rewarded.