From Panama Jack — August 3, 2015 at 5:00 am

How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Sunglasses

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When the sun’s shining, one of your best lines of defense against its intense (yet awesome) rays are the perfect pair of shades. From choosing the best shape for your face to determining what works best for your lifestyle, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide to picking the ultimate sunglasses this summer.

Function Over Fashion
Before getting too excited about how your new shades look, you want to make sure that they’re going to offer you the level of protection needed to shield your peepers from excessive UV exposure. UV rays can wreak havoc on your eyes, causing all sorts of problems from burns to cancer. When sussing out the perfect pair, always check to ensure that they offer 100% UVA-UVB protection.

Should You Polarize?
Polarized┬álenses are designed to filter out glare, especially from surfaces like water and roads, resulting in cleaner, crisper vision. While they aren’t always necessary, polarized lenses tend to be a great option for people who plan on wearing their shades frequently and want to ensure that increased visual comfort and clarity. If you spend a lot of time out on the water, polarized sunglasses are your best option as they’ll cut the glare that bounces off the water and allow you to see your surroundings with greater acuity.

Figure Out Your Face Shape
The shape of your face plays a big role when it comes to finding sunglasses that suit you. Before trying anything on, take a moment to determine whether you fall into the category of square, oval, round, or heart. How can you tell? Generally speaking, square faces feature strong jawlines and foreheads, ovals feature prominent cheekbones, round faces are softer and equal in height and width, and hearts are wider at the top and more tapered in the chin.

Find the Most Flattering Frame
So you know the shape of your face, now comes the fun part. Picking a pair of sunglasses to best suit your facial features can be a blast, provided that you know where to start. If you fall into the square faced category, style pros recommend looking into frames that are slightly rounded. Aviators are a perfect option, as are these polarized retro leopard shades. If you have an oval face, you’ve hit the jackpot since just about anything will look amazing on you. Try experimenting with options like half-rim wraps with edgy lines that you’ll be able to pull off effortlessly. Round faces tend to do best with styles of glasses that are more geometric. Think wayfarers or something like the classic jetsetter look. Hearts are best framed by lighter sunglasses and tend to look amazing in delicate aviators or something like these cut out shades.

Where Will You Wear?
Depending on where you plan on wearing your sunglasses, you’ll want to ensure that you pick a style that is appropriate to the level of activity. For instance, if you foresee yourself sporting your shades during intense beach volleyball games or on runs along the shore, you’ll want a sporty wrap style that will stay put during even the most vigorous spikes. More casual wearers can get away with models like wayfarers or pilot aviators that will protect the eyes and look fabulous all at the same time. See yourself wearing your specs under all sorts of circumstances? It never hurts to be prepared so why not grab an extra pair?

Ensure Proper Fit
Now that you’ve narrowed down the type of frame that suits you best, you’re going to want to ensure that you find the perfect fit. When trying on sunglasses, one of the first things you want to notice is whether or not the frames cause any discomfort. Feel any pinching or squeezing? Time to move on to the next pair. The ideal fit is tight enough so that your shades won’t fall off your face, balanced across your nose and ears, and far enough away from your eyes so that your lashes don’t touch the lens.

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