If you’ve ever tried shopping for sunglasses before, you’re probably well aware of how overwhelming it can be.
There are countless sunglasses brands, each offering their own takes on classic styles and the latest trends.
Of course, many of us are driven by these trends and go on the hunt for a new pair of sunnies to keep up with the latest styles.
We’re also driven by what actually looks good on us – no one wants to drop $200 on a pair of sunnies that really just highlights how big their head is, right?
And, on top of all of this, we also need to decipher the sunglasses tech jargon out there.
While there are a lot of brands doing some pretty amazing things with their sunglasses, today, we want to help make your sunglasses shopping experience a whole lot easier. We’re going to do this by telling you about the most significant features that a pair of sunglasses should have to be worth your hard-earned cash.
So, get notepads out, because here comes your checklist.
These are the non-negotiable features every good pair of sunnies has
As seasons change, trends come and go, and our tastes change, the things we want in a pair of sunglasses will evolve. And while you can follow your heart, we highly recommend you also listen to your head here and make sure that you consider the following factors when buying a new pair of sunglasses.
1. UV Protection
Sunglasses have been made to protect your eyes from the harsh UV rays of the sun – everyone knows that right?
Well, a lot of people do, yet some manufacturers are still out here making sunglasses that don’t offer full UV protection.
These days, if you’re buying a pair of sunglasses, the number one non-negotiable factor is that they must have full UV protection. And no 98% or 99% is not enough.
You should never compromise on the UV protection and opt for something less than 100% protection, and with essentially every major sunglasses brand offering a huge range of styles with this level of protection, there really is no excuse to not get sunglasses with 100% protection.
If you’re not really up to par with UV ray knowledge, let us give you a bit of a refresher. UV rays, also known as ultraviolet rays, are a type of energy that is produced by the sun. They can be categorised into three types, based on their wavelengths, they are UVA, UVB, and UVC.
UVA rays are the most dominant type of radiation from the sun and make up about 95% of the harmful rays that enter the atmosphere. UVB rays are the rays that are responsible for sunburn. UVC rays do not actually reach the Earth but are instead soaked up by the atmosphere.
UV rays can cause major problems for people, their bodies, and of course, their eyes. Some of the problems they can cause include Photokeratitis, Pinguecula, Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, and skin cancer. And UV rays are always present (in the day time), even in winter. You can learn more about these issues here.
While wearing a hat, particularly between 10am-4pm will serve you well – this is when UV rays are at their strongest – a pair of sunglasses is the most ideal form of protection for your eyes.
So, when you’re shopping for sunglasses if that UV rating is not listed or less than 100% say buh-bye and move on to a pair that offers 100% UV protection.
2. Proper Coverage
100% UV protection in your sunglass’s lenses can only go so far when the lens is the size of a coin (see above). Your eyes need protection and so does the very delicate skin that is around your eyes as well. This area is susceptible to damage as it is thinner than skin in most other parts of your body.
For your sunglasses to be effective, you need proper coverage.
And for proper coverage to be effective, you need a great fit.
When you’re buying a pair of sunglasses for anything other than a costume party, you want to opt for the largest lens size possible and take the style into consideration.
Sunglasses come in so many styles, shapes, and sizes, so regardless of the frame shape that you’re looking for – square, rectangle, oval, round, geometric, etc – there should be an option with great coverage.
When we talk about the fit, this means that you want a pair that is going to stay put, so you’re not always adjusting them and letting the pesky sun when it shouldn’t. But the fit also takes into consideration where they actually provide protection. While a pair of large sunglasses that are entirely flat will provide protection from the sun front on, unfortunately, UV rays don’t work like that, and they can still reach the sides of your face and eyes.
If you’re out playing sport or working outside for extended hours, we highly recommend you opt for a wrap style of sunglasses. They tend to, as the name suggests, wrap around the face, and provide a great coverage area. They also tend to have a snugger fit, so they will stay put, which is particularly important if you’re always on the go.
If you want to learn more about finding those perfectly fitting sunnies, read out sunglasses size guide.
3. Durable Materials
If you’re buying a pair of sunglasses, besides total protection, you want them to last.
After all, if you’re buying sunglasses for the right reasons, you’re probably making a bit of an investment and prepared to spend a little more than the $10 rack at the servo.
So, make sure your choosing sunglasses that are going to withstand what you’re going to throw at them.
To do this, you do need to think about what you’re going to use the sunglasses for – you might have a specific purpose or activity in mind. You also need to be realistic about your own habits – if you’re a clumsy person you might need some super heavy-duty sunnies just so they can make it through one day with you.
Sunglasses are made from all sorts of materials. Commonly, polycarbonate, glass, aluminium, and stainless steel are used. These materials can be used for the frames and/or lens, so it’s important to do a bit of research about what you want your sunnies to be made out of.
If you play a lot of sport that might lead to your sunnies taking an excursion from your face, then you might opt for plastic or polycarbonate for the flexibility.
If you are a little clumsy and drop your sunglasses, you might opt for sunglasses with glass or mineral glass lenses as these are highly scratch-resistant.
If you take great care of your possessions and you just need an everyday pair of sunnies, you could probably get away with any kind of material.
One thing to note, if a pair of sunnies is super, super cheap, you might need to be weary as they could be made from subpar materials.
All we’re saying is, do your due diligence.
Buy only the best sunglasses at Great Southern Sunnies
If you’re ready to invest in the health of your eyes, then you need high quality sunglasses, and you’re in the right place to get them right now.
Here at Great Southern Sunnies, we have a huge collection of sunglasses from a huge range of brands. We’ve got Arnette, Ray Ban, Otis, Oakley, Valley, Raen, Le Specs, and so many others on our roster. Check out our brand range here.
We ship Australia-wide and have Free express shipping for orders over $80 – and if you find a pair of our sunnies at a cheaper price, we’ll match it!
So, shop with Great Southern Sunnies for a huge range of genuine, high-quality sunglasses at the best possible prices.