Sunglasses make everyone feel more confident, sexier and mysterious. We love that the lenses conceal everything, from undereye bags to saggy lids and last night’s extra rose. They also protect our skin from UV damage. It’s important to choose sunglasses that complement our mature features and fit our lifestyle.
1. With your sunglasses on, take a look in the mirror
You might be surprised to learn that the sunglass style you loved and wore for years may not be right for you. As we age, our faces as grownups change. As they age, their faces become larger or smaller due to weight loss or gain, and become more saggier, or more jowly, as a result of gravity, time, and hormonal changes. There is a chance that the frames you are wearing might be too large, too small or too narrow for your face. Keep your eyes open and continue reading.
2. Be aware of the warning signs of a poor fit
You may need to replace your sunglasses if your sunglasses are causing pain in your eyes, clogging your nostrils, or shifting up and down when eating, smiling, or talking. Are your temples (or what we call the “arms”, or “sides”) digging into the top of your head or ears? The lenses should be able to ‘hug’ your head, and they should not pinch or pull at your ears.
Are the lenses covering enough of your eyes? The wire-frames with retro round lenses (sometimes known as John Lennon style), are too small for effective protection from the UV rays. Keep them for glasses. Are your brows visible? Your brows shouldn’t be completely hidden by sunglasses. Are your glasses tilted? You should check your ears. Your frames may look a little off if one ear is slightly lower or higher than the other (more often than you think). Are your lashes touching the lenses? The glasses are too close to your face because the angle of the frame is wrong. You can say no!
3. Keep your frames and face shape in sync
There are no rules about how your face should look and what sunglasses you should use. There are no “rules” about the shape of a person’s face at fifty. As we age, our faces become more asymmetrical. Our ears, noses, and hairlines shrink, and sometimes our lips can appear thinned or flattened. The perfect sunglasses shape will give your face definition and lift your features, creating a balanced look that distracts from the things you don’t want to focus on. In general, opposites attract. Sunglasses with angular lines like rectangles or squares flatter round/full/plump face shapes, while lenses with rounded frames (or even squares) flatter sharp, very angular faces with strong features and chiseled jaws.
4. It’s classic with a twist that never fails
Trendy sunglasses are not for you? They can be narrow and tiny, with unusual shapes, flat tops that look extreme, or even cute hearts, and come in a variety of colors. We love basic, contemporary frames in black or tortoiseshell plastic, silver or gold metal. They never look out of place and offer all the shade benefits.
These include the J. Crew Pacific Cat-Eye Sunglasses, Caramel Tort, and Women’s DIFF Eyewear Ruby Tortoise Polarized Sunglasses, ($70, www.jcrew.com), as well as aviators such the Foster Grant T05 (31, fostergrant.com), or Jessica Simpson Women’s Metal Aviator Sunglasses, with 100% UV Protection ($45, Walmart.com) and angular frames such Laundry by Design Women’s Rectangular Sunglasses, with 100% UV Protection Sunglasses, with UV Protection (43, at walmart.com) Crew Dock Sunglasses For Men ($65 at jcrew.com).
5. It is all about size
It is important to match the size of your sunglasses and your face. While many women love the look of large frames, they often choose sunglasses that are too big or too small. Even larger frames should not extend beyond your outer border. While large sunglasses can be great, they should not exceed your face’s limits. Wraparound sunglasses, which are sporty and have a jet-set look, should not extend to the sides.
Women and men with sensitive eyes love the way that they broaden peripheral vision, block wind, and provide extra protection. However, you can choose a more current style such as the Foster Grant Juliet for Women ($31 on fostergrant.com or Caterpillar Ridge Sunglasses Men ($45 on framesdirect.com). The glasses will be bolder and larger if the face is wider/fuller/plumper. These glasses will be made of plastic to add drama.
6. Make sure you are getting a cosmetic perk
Both grown-up men and women know the importance of illusion. To look slimmer, we wear neutral clothes with spandex and leave our tops untucked in order to hide a bulge. For a fuller look, we choose hairstyles that give our locks more volume. We cut bangs to conceal forehead creases and grow beards to hide a slack jawline. Look for sunglasses that do the same.
Frames for women that have a subtle, uplifting cat-eye design, such as Circus by Sam Edelman Women’s CC447 Cat Eye Sunglasses (40$, walmart.com) or Le Specs Crazy in Love Cat Eye Sunglasses In Tortoise (39$, walmart.com), can redirect the eye’s attention upwards to combat the downward drooping of lines, wrinkles, and eyes. It is important to remember that retro shapes and points are no longer necessary. For women, rounded frames such as the Michael Kors MK2080U Dark Tort/Smoke Gradient ($99 on framesdirect.com), and the Polo PH4110 ($126 on framesdirect.com or J. Crew Portico Sunglasses For Men ($65, Jcrew.com), soften deep-rooted expression lines to give faces a more youthful, refreshed look.
7. You should choose a frame that is distinctive or blends in
Your comfort zone is now established so you can stick to it. You can find every basic sunglass, from square to round to cat-eye, in frames ranging from thin to thick, bold to barely there. Here’s a general rule of thumb: A rule of thumb is that bolder sunglasses with thicker frames are better suited for larger faces and people with defined features. You can think of Robert Downey Jr. and Spike Lee, Anna Wintour, and Oprah Winfrey. For those who want their glasses to blend in with the rest of the world, rimless and thinner frames with wire or plastic rims work well. Tilda Swinton, Queen Latifah and Jennifer Aniston all wore aviators. You can choose between simple, thin sunglasses and bolder tinted, mirrored lenses or bold frames in muted, pale, or transparent colors. It’s a win/win situation.
8. Make sure you have your bridges in order
The “bridge” is the area between the middle of the sunglasses and the top of your nose, where your frames are. Are you a big, narrow, or broad nose with a wide, flat, low, or high bridge? It is crucial to consider this because your sunglasses will not feel or look great if your bridge is too small for your nose. If the bridge is too small, your glasses will pinch and squeeze. If the bridge is too large, your glasses will slide down all day. You’re lucky if you wear aviators or wire-rimmed frames. These nose pads can be adjusted to make them more or less snug.
9. Take a look at your nose and eyes
Here’s how to make sure your plastic frames fit well. Take a selfie from the front of your face and compare it to your profile. A narrow sunglass bridge is needed if your bridge sits lower than your pupils and your cheekbones are high. This will prevent glasses from sliding down onto your cheeks. To avoid glasses from bouncing up and pinching, if your nose bridge is high or wide you will need a wider sunglass bridge. Make sure that the frame fits properly. On the temple or bridge you’ll find three numbers, such as 49-18-140.
The first number indicates the distance from hinge to lens. The bridge width is the second number. The third number is the arm length measured in millimeters. The narrow bridge number is between 14-16 mm and 17-19 mm. Medium is between 19 and 19 mm, while widest is between 20 and 23 mm. This guideline is only an estimate and should be used when shopping for new sunglasses. Not all bridges are the same size. It’s like trying on jeans.
10. Choose the lens color and coating you love
You wish you could look at the world again through rose-colored glasses or give your skin a rosy glow. You can also boost your sunglass sales by using ready-made candy-colored lenses such as the Foster Grant Jodi Sunglasses for Women ($31; fostergrant.com), and Ralph by Ralph Lauren R5260 ($75; framesdirect.com). Prescription lenses in pastels and prescription lenses are another option. It’s hard to believe that soothing light blue and destressing pink sunnies are as effective than dark green and brown, but they are.
As long as the lenses are 100% UVA/UVB protected, light colored lenses won’t cause eye damage. If you have sensitive eyes or spend summer indoors, a light tint of 10-20 percent will be great. You can wear them all around and have more privacy with a medium 50 percent tint.
11. For driving on the beach, wear sunglasses
Let’s give you some safety and security when we consider sunglasses. For an additional layer of UV-ray protection, consider trendy mirrored lenses such as the WearMe PRO Aviator Full Mirror silver Sunglasses with Gold Frame/Mirror Blue Lenses ($17, walmart.com), or the Michael Kors MK5004 Rose Gold/Purple Mirror Lens ($139, framesdirect.com). They reduce glare reflected from water and sand, and are extremely scratch resistant. They are also very attractive and you won’t need to make eye contact with others when social distancing.
Polarized lenses like the H&M Polarized Women’s Sunglasses in Gold-Colored/Patterned ($30, hm.com/us) will help counteract glare for driving when shiny reflective surfaces like cars and store windows impact your vision.
Photochromatic lenses, also known as transition lenses, are great for urban life and indoor/outdoor activities. These lenses are clear like regular glasses, but they darken in sunlight and become lighter when you return inside. Coatings are just as important as the lens color and frames. Squinting can make you look bad!