Types of Sunglasses: Style Guide for Women and Men

Types of sunglasses faverie

Sunglasses have both health and non-health benefits, making them an important accessory to invest in. Whether you need corrective lenses or not, properly protecting your eyes and your eyesight is something that will make a big difference as you get older. Not to mention, different styles of sunglasses can help you look sophisticated, casual, professional, and so on.

In the following chapters, we’re going to talk about the different styles and types of sunglasses, sunglasses for women and sunglasses for men, what you should consider when buying a new pair of sunglasses, etc. Hopefully, this information will help you choose the perfect pair of sunglasses.

Let’s jump right in!

Introduction to sunglasses

Glasses with tinted lenses are known as sunglasses, and they were originally created as a safety device that would protect the eyes from debris, sun, glare, etc. More recently, sunglasses have become a fashion statement and accessory. Coming up in the following chapters, we’re going to talk about what sunglasses are, the different types that are available, and even the history of sunglasses.

When it comes time to choose a new pair of sunglasses of your own, you’d better be well educated and pick something that will serve you well.

What are sunglasses?

Sunglasses are eyewear to protect your eyes from very bright light and harmful UV rays. In some scenarios, sunglasses have the ability to protect your eye from debris, dust, or particulates that could land on the surface. Sunglasses have many different parts that contribute to their overall design. Currently, there are many different styles and types of sunglasses that provide you with the opportunity to protect your eyes while making a fashion statement.

The type of sunglasses that a person chooses will depend on what they need them for. Ultimately, the goal is to pick a sunglasses frame and lens set that will ensure the eyes aren’t going to be damaged by strong light stimulation or UV rays. In regard to safety, sunglasses not only physically protect the eyes, but they also provide you with a clear field of vision. You should be able to see other vehicles around you when you’re driving, in addition to traffic lights, traffic signs and pedestrians. Many accidents occur each year because of a driver being distracted by glare or bright light from the sun. Being able to reduce those risks is important.

There are three main types of sunglasses. This includes sun shading glasses used for shading your eyes from the sun without causing damage to the eyes. If you were to stand outside on a sunny day and simply squint to try and reduce the amount of light that hits your eyes, you could cause quite a bit of damage to your pupils. Covering your eyes with a shield that reduces much of that light and UV rays is a much better option.

Light-colored sunglasses are used more for fashion than they are for function. People match their sunglasses to their outfit as an accessory while not really thinking about how the sun could affect their vision or eye health.

There are special-purpose sunglasses that are used for blocking sunlight while accomplishing other things like reducing glare. Polarized sunglasses are just one example of a special-purposes pair of sunglasses.

Sunglasses parts

There are different parts that make up the design of a pair of sunglasses. From the small screws that hold the arms of the sunglasses to the frames and the lenses themselves, everything works together to provide ample protection from the sun to the person who is wearing the sunglasses.

Parts of sunglasses


When you’re selecting a new pair of sunglasses, the frames are usually what you pick out first. You should pick out a pair of frames that covers your eyes and brow comfortably and fully, but you can also pay attention to the style and color of the frames. Use this opportunity to let your personality show through.

Nose Pads

Right below the bridge of the frame are two small pieces of plastic. These are nose pads that provide a comfortable surface for your sunglasses to rest on your nose. They also help to keep the sunglasses in place on your face. These nose pads can be adjusted to provide you with a better fit if needed.


Most sunglasses lenses are made from either plastic or polycarbonate. Depending on the type of lens that you choose, you’ll be able to achieve different levels of protection against UV rays from the sun, protection against particulates, and you can reduce the glare that you see.


The bridge on your sunglasses is the thin strip of frame that is right between both lenses. It goes over your nose, supporting the overall weight of the frame. The size of the bridge is a big factor in how well a pair of sunglasses fits you or how they look.


The temple of the sunglasses refers to the point where the arms that attach to the main frame extend back along the sides of the face and over your ears.

Temple Tip

The temple tip is a piece of silicone or plastic that covers the end of the temple. If you have chosen a plastic frame, you may not have anything additional in this location. The purpose of the temple tip is to relieve pressure on the top of your ears. They can also be adjusted to provide you with a secure fit.


The hinge of sunglasses connects the temples to the rim of the frame. It’s a very small mechanism that will open and close as you fold and open your pair of sunglasses for storage.


There are screws on your sunglasses in a few different locations, depending on the style of frame that you’ve chosen. There are usually screws that hold the nose pads to the frame. There will also be screws as part of the hinge holding the arms to the frame.

Sunglasses frames materials

Sunglasses frames come in a few different materials. What you choose will usually depend on what you prefer in the way of fashion as well as what works best for you from a functional standpoint. The materials we’re about to talk about each have their own pros and cons. It’s a good idea to review them all before deciding what will work best for your next pair of sunglasses.


Metal sunglasses frames are usually a more delicate and dainty option that focuses more on style than functionality. If you’re going to be wearing your sunglasses while participating in sports or outdoor activities, you may want to stick with a thicker frame option. Metal frames can frequently get bent or lose their shape a bit. However, metal is a nice option if you want a pair of sunglasses for work or for going out and want to make a bold fashion statement.


Plastic frames are very common these days, and rightfully so. They are durable, they last a long time, and they’re affordable. Plastic frames are also made into many different style options. You can usually find something you like from the plastic section at your local eyeglass store.


Man crafts wooden rim glasses

Wood frames look really neat and fashionable. If you’re looking for a pair of sunglasses that look great with business attire or when you’re heading out on the town with friends, wood is something to look into. The negative aspect of these frames is that they can break easily if you’re doing outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, or playing sports.


Rubber frames often have a plastic or metal interior to them that gives them a more rigid structure, but the rubber on the outside of the frame makes them very durable. If you get them dirty, they wipe clean with ease, and they come in a variety of colors. Rubber sunglasses are also really affordable in most cases.

History & origins of sunglasses

The earliest reference that we have regarding the use of sunglasses comes from ancient China and Rome. Roman emperor Nero used to use polished gems to watch gladiator fights with. They blocked some of the light from the sun.

Back in the 12th century in China, sunglasses were made out of panes of quartz. They weren’t prescription, nor did they provide UV protection. They were simply used to block some of the sunlight. There are even ancient documents that describe the use of crystal sunglasses as a way of blocking the eyes of Chinese court judges as a way of hiding their expression.

The use of tinted lenses originated in 1752. James Ayscough experimented with blue and green-tinted glasses to correct different vision impairments. Yellow and brown lenses were used in the 19th century for patients with syphilis that were experiencing sensitivity to light.

In the 1900s, sunglasses were used by movie and music stars as a fashion statement. Sam Foster brought his fashion sunglasses to the U.S. in 1929. They were sold in Atlantic City on the boardwalk so people could block the sun’s rays while they walked around the tourist area.

Polarized sunglasses were invented in 1936 by Edwin Land. This is the same gentleman that created the Polaroid filter. The same technology was used to reduce glare in sunglasses lenses. Anti-glare technology was also used during World War II when Ray-Ban first created their aviator-style sunglasses. UV protection and anti-glare coatings are now commonly used in the construction of sunglasses.

Why are sunglasses important?

Three women trying on sunglasses

Sunglasses provide a number of benefits to the person that’s wearing them. Specific features depend on what kind of lenses are used, the coating that is used on the lens, the size of the frame, etc. The goal of wearing sunglasses is to protect your eyes while still being able to see clearly around you. Depending on your activities, you may find polarization or an anti-scratch coating beneficial. Let’s take a look at some reasons why wearing sunglasses is important.

Sunglasses Prevent Eye Conditions

Eye conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts can sometimes be caused by overexposure to the rays from the sun. Wearing sunglasses reduces your risk of eye damage.

Protecting Your Eyes against UV Damage

Powerful UV rays from the sun can damage your eyes just like they can damage your skin over time. Your eyes can be protected against UV damage by wearing a proper pair of sunglasses that provides UVA and UVB protection. Not all sunglasses provide this, so make sure you know what you’re invested in.

Protect Your Eyes from Aging

The skin around your eyes is very thin and prone to developing wrinkles. Protecting this skin by choosing sunglasses that cover the entire area around your eyes can help you look more youthful as you age. The areas around your eyes are also prone to skin cancer, which can often be prevented by covering your eyes with sunglasses.

Protection against the Elements

Protecting your eyes from things like dust, dirt, sand, and debris is just as important as protection against UVA and UVB rays. If you’re riding a bike, hiking, boating, or skiing, wear a proper pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Reduction of Headaches

If you chronically suffer from migraines or headaches when you are out in bright light, sunglasses can prevent this pain. It’s also beneficial to have sunglasses on if you’re sensitive to bright light.

What type of sunglasses is best?

Sunglasses aren’t a one-size-fits-all type of item. With many different styles and types to choose from, you can select something that will provide you with the protection you need while looking good on your face. Wondering what type of sunglasses is best? Let’s talk a bit more about your options.

UV Blocking Sunglasses

Woman posing beach sunglasses

Regardless of what style of sunglasses you choose, always make sure that you’re buying a pair that provides you with UVA and UVB protection. These sunglasses come with both prescription and non-prescription lens options and can be plastic or glass.

Shatter Resistant

Expecting to put your sunglasses through some wear and tear? Choose shatter-resistant sunglasses that will hold up during all of your adventures. There’s no such thing as completely shatterproof sunglasses, but you can purchase some pretty durable sunglasses with plastic lenses.

Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses help to reduce the glare that exists when you’re in very bright sunshine. They are beneficial when you’re driving, boating, or spending time outdoors.

Sunglasses with Varying Degrees of Lens Darkness

Think about when you’ll be wearing your sunglasses. Medium-dark lenses are optimal when you’ll be wearing them off and on during the day. Darker lenses work better in very bright conditions. Keep in mind the darkness of the lens you choose doesn’t have anything to do with UV protection.

Mirror Coated Sunglasses

Sunglasses with mirror finishes on the lenses reduce the visible light that enters your eyes by way of thin layers of metallic coatings on regular lenses. This is another sunglasses option that doesn’t necessarily equate to protection against UV rays.

Gradient Sunglasses

Gradient sunglasses have lenses that are shaded from the top to the bottom (or bottom to top). This allows you to cut the amount of glare that you see from the sky, but you’ll still be able to see clearly out of the lower half of your lenses. This is a beneficial type of sunglasses if you’re doing a lot of driving.

Wraparound Sunglasses

Smaller sunglasses frames can allow light to pass around the glasses and into your eyes. Wraparound sunglasses provide you with ample protection from all angles of your eyes.

We’re glad that you’ve joined us in talking about the different types of sunglasses that you can purchase. Hopefully, you have a better idea of what’s out there. Coming up in future chapters, we’re going to be discussing different styles and types of sunglasses in greater detail, the different types of lenses that you can choose, and we’ll even look at some different sunglasses for women and men.

Types of sunglasses

The sunglasses market features a number of different frames, lenses, and styles for your consideration. In this chapter, we’re going to be talking about what your options are so that you can make the proper choice for the protection of your eyes, the shape of your face, for a specific activity, or according to your budget. Not only should you be thinking about the type of style that you like but think about providing your eyes with protection against the harmful rays given off by the sun.

Sunglasses are used for a variety of purposes. But ideally, they provide protection to our eyes. Harmful UVA and UVB rays can contribute to the development of eye conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts. Sunglasses can reduce your need for squinting, and you can reduce the amount of glare that you see, thanks to polarized lenses. Depending on what you’re doing (driving, hiking, boating), you’ll be able to safely navigate where you are.

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Style is also important. Sunglasses are an essential accessory that can make or break an outfit. Sunglasses that compliment your facial features can turn heads when you’re walking down the street. It helps to have an idea of what you want to purchase when you’re in the market for new sunglasses, but there are countless options to try out.

The types of sunglasses that are out there typically apply to both men and women, though you will usually see styles that are marketed for one or the other. Let’s take a look at some of the sunglasses options that are available so you know where to start with your search.

Aviator sunglasses

Woman posing aviator sunglasses

Aviator sunglasses were first created for the US military in 1935. They have now become a fashion statement thanks to their dark and sometimes reflective lenses with thin metal frames. The lenses tend to have a curve to them rather than being completely flat, and they are large enough to completely cover the area of the eyes. Aviators sometimes have a double or triple bridge to keep them sturdy since the rest of the frame is pretty flexible. The temples hook behind the ears for a perfect fit. They provide ample protection against the light from the sun, especially if lenses are chosen with UVA and UVB protection.

Wayfarer sunglasses

Wayfarers were originally a sunglasses design that was created by Ray-Ban (they still make them), but they are now a classic design that many other brands have replicated for their own use. They came about in the 1950s and were worn by many popular rock stars of that time. You’ll still see them as a hip accessory item today. These days, you can find Wayfarers in a number of different materials and styles, including prints, stripes, shiny finishes, and classic black frames.

Round sunglasses

Round sunglasses frames are unique, and they make a bold fashion statement. They’re something different from the traditional oval or rectangular-shaped designs that are commonly worn by both men and women. Round sunglasses have a very vintage feel. They’ve been worn for decades by celebrities like Jackie Kennedy, Jimi Hendrix, and John Lennon. The size of the round glasses frame will determine how much protection they provide to the eye. Choose a larger diameter if you’re concerned with protecting your eyesight.

Heart sunglasses

Sunglasses were created centuries ago as protection for the eyes, but they have evolved into a fashion statement in many situations. You can use different pairs of sunglasses to express your personality and how you feel. Heart sunglasses aren’t typically chosen as a form of eye protection rather as a bold statement piece. If they have good quality lenses, they can still provide protection against UV rays and block sunlight/glare, but the fit and size of the frame/lenses will determine how much protection is provided. One thing is for certain, you’ll look stylish when you wear heart-shaped sunglasses. They’re not just for the kids!

Wrap-around sunglasses

Wrap-around sunglasses have a frame shape that is a partial circle, and they wrap around the sides of your head to provide a great deal of protection against the sun. The protection even works from a peripheral standpoint. While you can choose a full-coverage pair of traditional sunglasses for protection, wrap-around sunglasses are designed specifically to cover your entire eye area. There are many style-oriented wrap-around sunglasses on the market. You don’t have to compromise style for function. You’re probably thinking of those medical-grade sunglasses that many seniors wear when they have a degenerative eye condition. This style has come a long way.

Square sunglasses

Square-shaped sunglasses are a popular style, though the frames don’t usually look completely square. The main shape of each framed lens will be squared at the top. The bottom portion tends to be more rounded, giving a softer look to the sunglasses than if you were to have a very rigid and squared design. Square sunglasses are also sometimes referred to as navigator sunglasses. They have a similar shape to the aviator style.

Cat-eye sunglasses

Cat-eye sunglasses are a bold fashion statement piece that is typically worn by women. They have flared edges on the sides of the frames by the arms. They flare at the top and taper in to create a more subtle style for the bottom portion of the lenses. Cat-eye sunglasses are popular, and they have a very old-fashioned style to them that a lot of people like.

This sunglasses style first became popular in the 1950s and 1960s. The type we see today tend to have a larger lens than was worn back then. Famous celebrities that have sported cat-eye sunglasses include Katy Perry, Jessica Alba and Olivia Palermo.

Clubmaster sunglasses

Clubmaster Sunglasses originated back in 1947 by the eyeglass company Shuron, which is still in business. Early on, Clubmasters were worn traditionally with prescription lenses. Now you can find them in non-prescription varieties as well. This is a total fashion flashback that has been gaining popularity again since about 2010.

You have seen these sunglasses before. They have a very thick piece of plastic or metal over the very top of the frame. On the lower level of the frame, you will find a very thin piece of metal that provides protection and stability to the lenses. However, this piece of the lens isn’t very noticeable. The top portion is what is designed to stand out, looking almost like eyebrows.

Rectangle sunglasses

Elegant woman white outfit street sunny

Rectangle sunglasses are similar to a squared style, but they tend to be a little wider on the face. They come in many different styles. You’ll find rectangle sunglasses that are very thin. This is a more retro look from decades ago. More modern versions feature larger frames and lenses that cover the eyes and the brows. This is an iconic style. What’s more, rectangle sunglasses can be made with all different kinds of materials and prints.

Oval sunglasses

Similar to the round sunglasses style, oval sunglasses have a slightly flattened shape to them. They’re wider, so they’ll extend further to the sides of your face. This is a great option if you like the look of round sunglasses, but you want a bit more coverage and protection from the sun. Oval sunglasses are popular because they work with a lot of face shapes. Depending on what your face and facial features look like, you can select a pair of oval sunglasses based on the size of the lenses.

Hexagonal sunglasses

There are some sunglasses brands that have taken the plunge to include a variety of frame shapes into the lineup. Hexagonal frames will empower you with a very retro and fashionable style. They also provide ample coverage, so you’ll get plenty of protection from the sun as long as you’re choosing UVA and UVB protecting lenses.

When you think of a hexagon, there are a lot of angles and points to the shape. These sunglasses are often made with softer edges to provide a very geometric yet unique look. While plastic frames can be paired with hexagonal lenses, you’ll typically see this style of sunglasses with thin metal or wireframes.

Butterfly sunglasses

Make a bold statement with butterfly sunglasses! They’re not quite as butterfly-shaped as you may think, but they definitely have the subtle curves of two wings branching out from the bridge of the frames. You can be as adventurous as you want with your sunglasses with this style. Frames vary in size and shape, and you might be surprised to find out that you’ve had a pair of these sunglasses before. 

The butterfly shape is very commonly used for different sunglasses, even when they resemble more of a rectangle-shaped style. Try to spot the look of the smaller inside edge near your nose, with the outside of the frame being much larger and maybe even pointed at the corners.

Octagonal sunglasses

Octagonal sunglasses are very similar to the hexagonal shape, but they have a few more angles and edges to them. You’ll find that the edges of this sunglasses frame look a bit more rigid, whereas the hexagonal variety looks a bit smoother. There exist lots of sunglasses of this type, often using very unique looking-colored lenses and patterned earpieces.

Browline sunglasses

Woman sitting street browline sunglasses

The upper part of the Browline sunglasses frame is designed to look like eyebrows that are framing the eye area. They originated in the 1950s and 1960s by Shuron Ltd. They quickly got gobbled up by other brands that wanted to make them as well. Unfortunately, the development of plastic frames took over the market shortly after that, but you’ll still see them as a popular option for both regular eyeglasses and sunglasses. People who wear them today tend to have a very retro style.

Sports sunglasses

Sports sunglasses come in a variety of styles. Still, they tend to have a full-coverage design that provides you with protection from the sun when you’re outside participating in sports or physical activities. This is also a great option for sunglasses if you’re concerned with debris hitting your eyes or even something like a ball or equipment. To ensure you don’t experience glare when you’re active, you can use polarized lenses to enhance the functionality of your sports sunglasses. Some lenses can also be made with a mirror finish to make them look more stylish.

Oversized sunglasses

Oversized sunglasses are made by countless brands and in many different styles. Essentially, they are just sunglasses that are large enough to completely cover your eyes and brow area. The frames are usually made out of plastic to provide ample support for such a large frame. They come in many different colors or patterns. The lenses that fit into oversized sunglasses can be chosen in different colors, tints, and gradients. 

The actual size of the oversized sunglasses that you choose will really depend on how big of a fashion statement you want to make. The bigger they are, the bolder of a fashion statement you’re making! Their large size also ensures that you’re getting ample protection from the sun if you choose good lenses for your frames.

Flipper shades sunglasses

Flipper shades first came out in the 1990s, and they were incredibly popular almost immediately. They were worn by popular baseball players like Jose Conseco and Sammy Sosa. Fans and fashionistas gobbled them up. They’ve made a comeback recently thanks to a more retro/throwback fashion scene. They are available in different shapes, colors, and styles.

These are also really functional sunglasses. If you have prescription eyeglasses, you can opt for prescription glasses in the back. The top sunglasses cover will fold down to provide you with sun protection, but they don’t have to be prescription. If you’re sick of switching between eyeglasses and sunglasses when you go inside and outside but don’t like the look of transition lenses, think about investing in a pair of flipper shades sunglasses.

Shield sunglasses

Man looks up shield sunglasses

A little bit different of a sunglasses style, shield sunglasses are usually made with one continuous lens that will cover both sides of the frame. They don’t separate into two pieces at the bridge. There are some varieties that do separate the lenses, but the overall look is designed to appear like the sunglasses are one long piece of material. They usually come with a thick and durable frame. The goal of these sunglasses is to provide ample protection against the sun’s rays.

Photochromic sunglasses

Photochromic sunglasses are also known as transition lenses. The lenses will turn dark when they sense UV rays are present. Once those UV rays have gone away, the lenses will go back to their original state. You can move from indoors to outdoors without having to change your glasses to sunglasses. They work really well these days, even when it’s overcast outside and not really sunny.

Polarized sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses are made for all different frames. The lenses have a special coating on them that will block glare from reaching your eyes. They’re ideal for things like driving or boating. Some professions and activities don’t go well with polarized sunglasses. You can have a hard time seeing LED screens or noticing the reflection of ice on snow hills or roads.

Prescription sunglasses

If you need corrective lenses to see, you don’t have to compromise your vision when it’s sunny outside. You also don’t have to switch to contacts, so you can use sunglasses. Prescription sunglasses incorporate corrective lenses into a pair of frames, and the lenses are darkened to block light from the sun.

Ready to start shopping for a new pair of sunglasses? Hopefully, this information has been helpful, and you now know what type and style you’re interested in. In upcoming chapters, we’re going to talk about what shape frame you should choose based on the shape of your face, different types of lenses to choose from, and what sunglasses are acceptable for different occasions.

Types of sunglasses lenses

Choosing a frame may seem like the hard part of selecting a new pair of sunglasses, but then comes the decision regarding what type of lenses you should buy. There are different types of sunglasses frames to consider, each providing different features that will ultimately protect your eyes from the sun. You can also choose lens colors and tints that will provide you with the type of style that you’re interested in.

In this chapter, we’re going to talk about the types of lenses that are out there so you can make an educated decision regarding what will work best for you in regard to style and function.

Man woman models sunglasses

Sunglasses are worn by millions of Americans. Some want to wear them for style. Some people need to purchase sunglasses that are going to provide UV protection and glare protection for functionality. When you head to the store to pick out sunglasses, you probably know there are different frames to peruse. 

Did you know that there are many different lens options that you’ll need to sort through? From a simple anti-reflective coating to something more involved like photochromic lenses, let’s talk about what each of these lenses can provide you. Some of the choices will affect the style of the sunglasses, so it’s a good idea to know what you’re purchasing.

Anti-reflective coating

Anti-reflective sunglasses coatings are very thin coatings of film that are applied to the surface of lenses. The goal of this coating is to reduce the amount of reflectance that occurs off your sunglasses by acting as an interference (within a certain range of wavelengths). Anti-reflective is beneficial if you’re talking to someone and you don’t want the sun to reflect back at them, you are having your photo taken, etc.

There are single-layer coatings of anti-reflective products, or you can opt for a multi-layer application. The number of applications determines how much reflection will actually be blocked. The more anti-reflective properties you choose, the more expensive the sunglasses will be.

Polarized lenses

Lenses that have a polarized coating on them will be able to block glare from hitting your eyes off a surface that you’re looking at. On a super sunny day, you’ve probably experienced glare bothering you when coming off the surface of water, the road, or even rocks if you’re out hiking or walking.

Polarization works well to reduce glare, but you may not want glare to be completely blocked when you’re outside. These polarized lenses actually make it difficult to view the screen of your phone or the display on your infotainment system in your automobile. If you’re relying on things like navigation, you need to be able to see clearly. Skip the polarization if you need to wear your sunglasses while looking at different monitors and screens for work.

Gradient lenses

Two woman friends sunglasses smile

Gradient sunglasses have two different tones on the lenses that are darker in one spot and lighter in the other. They work well when you transition frequently between indoors and outdoors. Depending on what you need, you can choose the overall darkness of the lenses. It’s a fashionable look that’s also functional, but be prepared for minimal sun protection on the lower level of your lenses.

Gradient lenses are made by adding metal oxide to the lens surface. It can be added during the construction of the lens, but it can also be applied afterwards if you decide that you want gradient lenses on an existing pair of sunglasses.

Double gradient lenses

Also tinted from the bottom level up, double gradient lenses have dark tops and bottoms with the middle section of the lens being lighter than the rest. Many people choose this option because you can see clearly through the middle portion of the lenses without having to wear a very dark lens option overall. They’re preferred for things like protecting against overhead sun and reflections off the road or sand beneath your feet.

Mirror-coated lenses

Mirror coated lenses

Mirror-coated lenses are used to reduce the amount of light that is making its way to your eyes. The ultimate goal is to keep your eyes comfortable in sunny situations. Also known as flash coatings, mirror-coating works exceptionally well when it’s snowy or very bright outside. You can choose between full mirror lenses, which are very noticeable. Flash mirror lenses provide a lighter and more subtle finish.

Photochromatic lenses

Photochromatic lenses are what we also refer to as transition lenses. When you are in an interior room where the light levels are neither bright nor dark, the lenses will look like regular eyeglass lenses. When you step outside, the coating that is on your photochromatic lenses will react to the UV rays from the sun. The lenses will become darker to accommodate your needs. The chemical response will go back and forth as your environment changes.

People often prefer photochromatic lenses when they don’t like switching between glasses and sunglasses for prescription use. Rather than having two pairs, you simply wait for your sunglasses to react on their own. This technology has gotten much better than it used to be. It used to take some time for the reaction to take place, so you would have to wait a minute or two when your glasses were adjusting to the new level of light you were in. The current photochromatic lenses on the market switch very quickly.

Prescription sunglasses

More than one billion people all over the world need prescription lenses in order to see clearly. Rather than taking off your eyeglasses and putting on a pair of non-prescription sunglasses that won’t correct your vision, you can purchase prescription sunglasses that include corrective lenses along with a darker tone, polarization, etc.

We hope that you’ve learned something important about the different types of sunglasses lenses that are available when you’re shopping for a new pair of glasses to provide you with sun protection. Some of these features can be combined while others cannot. It’s a good idea to speak with a professional for their advice if you’re not sure what you can accomplish with your sunglasses.

In the next chapter, we’re going to look into what type of frame shape/style is preferred for certain face shapes. That information will assist you with choosing sunglasses that compliment your face and features.

What sunglasses are best for your face shape?

Sunglasses are a necessary accessory if you’re going to be outdoors for any length of time. We’ve talked all about the protection that they provide to your eyes, but sunglasses are also a great fashion accessory. Even if the sun isn’t all that bright when you’re headed out, you can throw on a pair of sunglasses to compliment your outfit.

In this chapter, we’re going to take a look at some of the different face shapes there are while considering the sunglasses shapes and sizes that look good for those faces. Take a good look in the mirror, and let’s start talking about what the best sunglasses option is for what you see in your reflection.

Something people don’t always take into consideration is the shape of the sunglasses that they choose. Your sunglasses should complement the shape of your face and your features (brows, cheekbones, etc.). The goal is to boost your self-confidence and make you look great while providing protection.

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We’ve all seen a pair of sunglasses on a rack at the store and thought they looked really neat. Upon putting them on, they just don’t look right. This doesn’t mean the sunglasses aren’t nice; they just weren’t the right size or shape for your face. Also, think about your own personal style. If you’re wearing a rather conservative outfit, hexagonal-shaped sunglasses or cat-eye sunglasses might not be the right fit for you. That doesn’t mean they don’t work on someone else.

Sunglasses for Round Faces

A face that is very round will benefit from rectangular or square-shaped sunglasses that add some angles to the curves of your face. You can also balance your soft features by choosing a set of frames that are just slightly wider than your face. If you’re self-conscious about your round face and think it looks too full, you can make your face look slimmer and longer by choosing slightly oversized sunglasses. Keep the edges clean and sharp to create more structure. Think about the shield, wrap, square, and rectangular sunglasses frames.

Sunglasses for Square-Shaped Faces

Woman sunglasses shopping bags walking city

A person with a square face should choose a pair of sunglasses that softens their features. Choose something that is very round or large. Aviator sunglasses, oversized sunglasses, and shield sunglasses are great options. You should avoid anything that has very sharp lines and angles.

Sunglasses for Heart-Shaped Faces

A lot of people think that heart-shaped faces are similar to oval faces, but they’re actually pretty different. When you have a heart-shaped face, your forehead appears a bit wide and has the look of an inverted triangle. Because of the wide forehead of the heart-shaped face, stay away from sunglasses that are very large. This will only make this area of the face look larger and wider.

In general, a heart-shaped face is pretty regular. You will do well with cat-eye sunglasses, geometric shapes, buttery sunglasses, aviators, and round frames that are modest in size.

Sunglasses for Rectangular-Shaped Faces

A rectangular-shaped face usually has a sharp jawbone and other sharp features. You should attempt to balance these features by choosing a sunglasses frame with plenty of soft curves. Oversized sunglasses and wayfarer varieties are great options.

Sunglasses for Oval-Shaped Faces

An oval face is similar to a round face, but the chin is sharper for the oval variety. Oval-shaped faces are very easy to pair with sunglasses. There isn’t much to take into consideration, as most sunglasses look very nice on this face. Pick what you like, whether it be aviator sunglasses, wayfarer sunglasses, wrap sunglasses, or cat-eye sunglasses.

Sunglasses for Diamond-Shaped Faces

Woman street coffee sunglasses

Enhancing the cheekbones on your diamond-shaped face is what you want to attempt when choosing new sunglasses. Oval, round, cat-eye, aviator, and browline sunglasses are all beneficial. Stay away from really large frames that cover your cheekbones and cheeks.

We’ve covered a lot of different face shapes, and hopefully, you now understand what sunglasses shapes you should look into for your next purchase. Don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to one pair. You can sometimes get a great deal on multiple pairs. This provides you with the opportunity to pick and choose what you want to wear on any given day based on your style for that day.

In the next couple of chapters, we’re going to talk about what type of sunglasses you should wear based on the occasion or event you’re attending. We’ll also look at some different sunglasses options for both women and men that are in the market for a new pair.

What sunglasses to wear depending on the occasion

Sunglasses are useful when you need to protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun, but sunglasses can also be a fashionable accessory. You may have a pair that you wear daily, but there are different sunglasses that you can wear depending on the occasion.

We’ve talked in-depth about the different styles of sunglasses that you can invest in, but they don’t look good on every face shape, and they don’t always look appropriate at certain events. 

Let’s look at some tips and tricks to help you choose sunglasses based on the occasion!

The event or occasion that you have coming up can determine the sunglasses that you wear. If you’re going to be at an outdoor event, make sure that you’ve chosen a pair of sunglasses that are stylish but safe. Proper UVA and UVB protection are ideal. Full coverage sunglasses will prevent harmful rays from getting around the frame of your sunglasses and hitting your eyes.

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If you throw on a pair of sunglasses when you’re driving, your needs may be a bit different. You might not be concerned with style, but polarization and UV protection are important. If you want something more stylish, think about having an extra pair (or two) that you can switch to when you get to your destination.

Casual outfits

A casual outfit can really vary. You may choose denim one day, while another day may be shorts and a tank top. Depending on where you’re going, you should select your sunglasses accordingly. Aviator sunglasses, heart sunglasses, butterfly sunglasses, and geometric designs are great options. This is an occasion where you can be a bit more expressive with your sunglasses choice. You might not grab a pair of cat-eye sunglasses for work, but your casual outfits they are fine.

Formal outfits

Formal outfit occasions can include anything from work/job interview to a wedding or funeral. You don’t want your sunglasses to stand out dramatically. You would opt more for eye protection with a simple frame/set of lenses. Round sunglasses, rectangular sunglasses, and a square variety are all options for a formal outfit. You may be able to venture into the oversized sunglasses category, but don’t choose colored or reflective lenses. Keep the frame simple with a basic black and keep the lenses simple as well.


Going to the beach is a great time to put on a pair of fun eyewear. We’ve talked a lot about eye protection, and the beach is absolutely a place that you need proper protection. You can also benefit from polarized lenses when you want to cut back on the glare that’s coming off the water or the sand.

In regard to the shape and style of your sunglasses, put on whatever you want! A more formal pair might not be what you want, so experiment with things like aviators, clubmasters, hexagonal, butterfly, or brow line sunglasses.

Day Wedding

Girl sunglasses hat walking street

Day weddings are such a fun and special occasion. It’s also a lot of fun to choose a day wedding ensemble. You can usually get away with a bit more casual of an outfit, which opens up your options for your sunglasses. It’s probably a good idea to stay away from frames that are made from rubber, but you can easily get away with plastic and wire sunglasses frames. Aviators look great on men with a smart casual suit or outfit. Women look stylish with a sundress and oversized round frames.

Casual brunch with friends

At a casual brunch with friends, channel your inner fashionista. Put on a pair of oversized and dark sunglasses. Try on a pair of aviators or flipper shades if you want to make a bold fashion statement. Take a look at your outfit and try to pair your sunglasses with what you’re wearing. Don’t wear too casual of sunglasses if you’re dressed up a bit. Stay away from formal and fashionable sunglasses if you’re in jeans and a t-shirt.


Three people winter sports

If you’re playing sports outside, the sunglasses you choose should look good but also function well. Make sure that you have enough UV protection from the sun. Polarization might be beneficial as well, depending on the sport or activity that you’re doing.

When it comes to the style that you wear, most sports players wear wraparound sunglasses or shield sunglasses. Sports sunglasses themselves provide full coverage along with excellent durability.

We’ve covered some very important occasions as well as the different sunglasses that you can wear to them. Of course, there are other occasions that you may need to dress and accessorize for. Don’t be afraid to invest in a few different pairs of sunglasses that you can switch around based on your outfit and where you’re going.

Coming up next, we’ll look at some specific styles and types of sunglasses for women and men. If you’re still having trouble deciding what kind of sunglasses you want, these chapters should help you narrow down your search quite a bit.

Sunglasses for women

You can express your personal style and fashion sense in a number of ways, whether it is through your outfit or accessories. Sunglasses provide you with functionality, but you can also choose their style based on your outfit or your personality. While both men and women like to pay attention to their appearance, women often take their style to the next level. In this chapter, we will take a look at some of the different sunglass types that women can choose from.

Always check to see whether the sunglasses that you’re purchasing provide you with ample UV protection. Once you’ve confirmed that, you can start to look at the different styles that are available. A lot of women like to go for a rounded and more oversized look when they’re trying to make a sophisticated fashion statement. The younger crowd or people with an outgoing personality may opt for unique shapes or different colors of lenses.

Fashion model red hair big sunglasses

The frames are what you’ll notice first about a pair of sunglasses. Don’t forget to assess the different features of them as well. Check out the design of the bridge to see if you think it will compliment your facial features. The side arms will be seen by plenty of people, so check out their thickness, their color, design, etc.

Different materials can be used for women’s sunglasses. If you’re looking at casual sunglasses, you can really choose whatever frame material you want. Work-appropriate frames are usually made from plastic or metal. Pick a frame material that will hold up well for whatever activities you will be doing (special events, sports, outdoor activities).

Now, let’s take a look at some popular sunglasses styles for women.

Sunglasses for men

The look of a sophisticated man is achieved through their style. The clothing that they wear and the accessories they use can be an important form of expression. Men tend to have more limited options when it comes to fashion, but sunglasses are an item that can be worn to really complete a look. In this chapter, we will take a peek at some of the sunglasses that are available for men to purchase and wear.

The specific features that a pair of sunglasses provides you are very important. Always check to see if adequate UV protection is included. You can also add on things like polarization to your lenses if you need additional protection. Then, move on to style. Choose something that expresses your male style and personality.

Male fashion model posing elegant outfit

Men may have more basic sunglasses styles to peruse in comparison to women, but there are some very attractive pairs out there. Consider the shape of your face and your facial features to pick something that compliments your look. Some men prefer a more square, rectangular, or geometric frame. There are also round and oval styles. If you want to be a bit more stylish, think about choosing sunglasses with a double bridge or a casual pair like wayfarers.

Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to just one pair of sunglasses. Investing in a few different pairs for different occasions or activities can provide you with some great accessory options.

Let’s take a closer look!


When you own a pair of sunglasses, you’re making a fashion statement. Consider all of the different shapes, sizes, colors, and brands that are available before choosing a pair. Spend some time really shopping around to find a pair (or couple of pairs) that you love.

Make sure that you select a pair of sunglasses that provide you with a full range of UV protection. Feel free to glance back at some of the previous chapters to remind yourself of the different features and options that you should consider when shopping for sunglasses.Please leave a comment below to let us know which type of sunglasses you love most. If you have any questions about this post, feel free to ask. We’d love to help you!

If you liked this post, share it so that others can learn about the different types of sunglasses available and what style will look best on them. Have a look at our other posts to learn more information as regards fashion!

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