It’s been established that sunglasses serve both fashionable and practical purposes. A stylish pair can either be a statement piece or the finishing touch to your vacation outfits. More importantly, regardless of where or when you’re traveling, quality shades can also protect your eyes from the sun and its ultraviolet (UV) rays. Wearing sunglasses at all times has the added benefit of preventing skin aging. Aside from reducing UV exposure that contributes to fine lines, they keep you from squinting, a habit that makes your skin less elastic over time. This is important since most vacations require you to be under the sun for an extended time.
Keeping all these benefits in mind, there’s no doubt that sunglasses are a must-have for any type of traveler. But with the wide range of sunglass styles and features available, it can be hard to choose which pair to buy and bring for your trip—so here’s the ultimate guide for identifying the right sunglasses for you and your needs.
Don’t Settle For Less Protection
Not all sunglasses are created equal. One aspect you simply can’t overlook is whether or not your choice of shades provides maximum UV protection, and most sunglasses have this protective feature embedded in the lens rather than coated over it. Reputable brands typically include the UV rating on their labels, so look for one that says 100% protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Alternatively, some manufacturer labels indicate UV 400, which simply means it absorbs and blocks wavelengths up to 400 nanometers, including UVA and UVB rays.
Choose What Flatters You
Since it’s advisable to wear sunglasses as much as possible, you’d want to choose the right frame style that fits your face shape and features perfectly. Generally, people with rounder faces are recommended to get angular frames to add sharpness and definition, while those with square-shaped faces can opt for circular or oval frames to balance out their features.
However, if you’re quite unsure of what looks flattering, you can always experiment by trying various frame styles. This isn’t limited to shopping in-store, either, as there is now virtual try-on technology for online shoppers. For instance, Perfect Corp. works with eyewear retailers to tap into augmented reality (AR) and 3D image creation. Using a live camera feed that detects your distinct facial points and adjusts the frames accordingly, this feature mirrors a physical try-on and lets you preview what your chosen eyewear looks on you for more confidence in your purchase.
Consider Your Budget
Sunglasses can cost anywhere from $10 to over $1,000, allowing you to choose the best pair that fits your budget. Affordable doesn’t always mean you have to sacrifice quality, as in-house brands from retailers offer everyday options with great value for your money.
But if you’ve included eyewear in your travel budget and are thus looking to splurge, consider some high-end designer sunglasses for women to take your style to the next level. You can get cat-eye frames from Burberry and Versace for a chic and timeless look or logo-embellished wraparounds from Dolce & Gabbana for additional flair. There are also numerous luxury eyewear brands suitable for men, with Prada being a smart choice for its refined and fashionable designs. Just like women, men can go for classic aviators for an understated look or go bolder with contemporary angular frames made of high-quality acetate material.
Look Into Trending Styles
Of course, the primary purpose of sunglasses is to protect your eyes by filtering out harmful UV rays. But choosing the right style can also help you look trendy wherever you go, whether you’re sightseeing and exploring touristy areas or dining at fancy restaurants.
For starters, you can get inspiration from the iconic Y2K and get oversized frames that align with the current resurgence. There are also angular cat-eye frames that work with all face shapes and make you look straight out of old Hollywood. Sporty shades are also a way to make a statement, especially if you plan on taking your travel photos amid crowds and cityscapes. Ultimately, you can use your trip as an opportunity to experiment with more fashion-forward styles.
Account For What Matches Your Wardrobe
There are a number of ways through which your choice of sunglasses can match—and even accentuate—your vacation outfits. One is to determine what kind of venue or destination you’re traveling to. If you’re vacationing at a beach resort with daytime parties or gatherings, a previous post here recommends adding sunglasses that give off resort casual vibes on top of sun protection. For example, wearing the Original Ray-Ban Wayfarers in black help balance out the vibrant and summery colors of your button-down shirt and shorts.
Meanwhile, those flying out to colder destinations like Northern Europe may want to emulate the aesthetics of Scandi style. An example would be neutral outfits that mix black, beige, gray, and brown staple pieces like shirts, knit sweaters, blazers, and slacks. In this case, they can go for double-bridge sunglasses in earthy tones to add a retro feel to the minimalistic Nordic look or hexagonal frames that simply exude sophistication.
Think About Comfort
Lastly, there’s nothing like being comfortable with your sunglasses, regardless of how long you wear them or what you pair them with. The earpieces and bridge should fit securely without being too tight that it leaves a mark or too loose that they slip from your face. You’ll also want to purchase a lightweight pair so that you can explore your destination freely with minimal need to adjust your frames from time to time.
Besides the frames, think about which lens options are the most comfortable for you, too. If your next vacation is jam-packed with outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and swimming, polarized lenses help enhance visual clarity and prevent too much squinting. Since the polarized filter minimizes glare from other reflective surfaces like car windows, they’re also well-suited for both long road trips and short drives between destinations.
By keeping in mind both fashion and practical advice, you can easily find the right pair of sunglasses that balances all the crucial aspects of style, safety, and comfort. Make sure to purchase only from reputable brands and authorized retailers so that your shades last you a long time, even after your vacation ends.