Polarized sunglasses: are they really worth it?
Summer’s here, and it’s here to stay. What does this mean for you? More sun-filled hours spent around the pool, at the beach, and outdoors. It also means heading to your nearest mall for a top-up on sunscreen, lip balm, and summery outfits. While you’re there, we figured now would be a good-a-time as any to beef up your eye candy. Sunglasses are, after all, the central summer-staple. But, before you head to your nearest store, take a second. There are a few things to first consider. Like; which frames would work best for you, and how the dangers of choosing the cheapest, and perhaps non-polarized sunglasses, could have long-term effects.
While we’re certain you’re aware of the basics of eye protection ie: avoiding direct sunlight, wearing wide-brimmed hats, and opting for the “under-umbrella” table at your favorite brunch spot – we’ve also come to realise that most people are clueless when it comes to specifics. Making the task of finding the ideal, trendiest pair for the season, that much harder. Add this to the discomfort of walking into your local sunglasses retailer and asking the sales-rep for help; because let’s face it, nobody likes to be sold to.
Whether we like it or not, getting better educated on eye care is something we ought to be doing more often than not. That’s because our eyes are the single most important organs of our senses. So there’s more to choosing sunglasses this summer than just focusing on the trends. Why wouldn’t you want to protect your eyes? Or at least find out how.
First, let’s start with what may be the most important question; which pair of sunglasses for summer would offer you the best eye care and why? The straightforward answer would be: polarized sunglasses.
Summer Eyecare 101:
We all have that outdoorsy fitness friend who may have told us half-a-dozen times (at least) about their polarized sunglasse. This friend, let’s call him Pete, will often tell us of their life-saving abilities too. You may have added a “that sounds really cool”; trying to end the conversation. Because no, you aren’t interested in how he saved the game at the weekly touch-rugby session, or how he was wearing his polarized sunglasses when he did.
Quite simply put, polarized sunglasses ;use a special technology to minimize the glare caused by light reflecting off flat and smooth surfaces.
As science would have it, a scattering of light takes place when light is evenly distributed; (think bright sunny days spent at the park) bouncing at varying levels of intensity. But, when it comes to smooth surfaces, such as calm water, glass, and in Pete’s case; metal railings around the rugby field – the light rays will reflect strictly at one angle and into one direction in particular – his eyes. This is known as glare. Polarized sunglasses help minimize glare, particularly when you’re outdoors and near multiple smooth surfaces.
Who gets to use them?
If you’ve ever found yourself squinting against the light when leaving a building and stepping into direct sunlight, or experienced discomfort while driving, then you will benefit from polarized sunglasses. Although that fashion forward pair of sunglasses for summer may look good and tick all the boxes for trends for the new season, they are just not going to offer you the same protection as a polarized pair. Through reducing discomfort, polarized sunglasses assist in increasing visual clarity. Let’s not forget, they protect your eyes by providing additional protection from harmful UV rays. As it turns out, a high-quality pair will protect the soft tissue around the eyes, minimizing skin damage and premature aging also known as ''crow’s feet'' (now do you see why we suggest a pair that covers the soft skin-tissue surrounding your eyes ?).
How do they work?
By using chemicals, a laminate film is patterned onto the lenses during production. One that only allows vertically oriented light waves to pass through; the polarized lenses block all horizontally oriented light or light that won’t fit through the pattern. Put more simply, polarized lenses work much like a window-blind. Not only do they ease eyestrain from many hours spent in direct sunlight but also, if you’re prone to frequent headaches caused by light sensitivity, polarized sunglasses may assist in ensuring fewer, less intense headaches.
It sounds like a dual win for us. Now that you’re settled on the type of sunglasses you need for summer, let’s have a look at which styles you’d choose.
SUMMER STYLES FOR THE BIG ’20
(SUNGLASSES TRENDS FOR 2020)
Let’s set the scene for you, shall we?
You’ve actively decided that polarized sunnies are your pick for the season because you feel the need to take a more enthusiastic role in protecting your eyesight. So you head to your nearest eyeglass kiosk and make a B-line for the section marked “Polarized lenses” (strategically dodging the overly friendly sales associate wearing the; “how can I make you smile” badge). But, when you get there, there are so many styles to choose from and you have a tough time recalling whether Rihanna wore the skinny 90s lenses this summer, or the last.
If this is you; fear not because we’re about to break down the must-have pieces for the season.
1. Retro 90s sunglasses:
you were right, Rihanna did wear those skinny frames this season, and since we’ve collectivity decided that she is the fashion icon of the decade (yes we), everything she does invariably ends up in Vogue, on catwalks, and eventually trickles down to us mere mortals in the mainstream. This style is a big part of the sunglass trends for 2020 and will be around for a little while longer. Just because these baddies are small, it doesn’t mean they don’t offer any protection, a well-designed pair will have you protected and looking trendy simultaneously. Whether you opt for a square frame or a more 50s cat-eye version, be sure to pick a pair with the best coverage and choose lenses with a maximum UV protection of 400.
2. Mirrored lens sunnies
Mirror-mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? You of course, if you opt for these bad boys. Now, we know what you’re thinking; “aren’t mirrored sunglasses reserved for blonde and bronzed surfers? Or Brad Pitt and the likes?” to which we say; “not anymore”.
Following their reemergence in the summer of 2017 – mirrored lenses have proven they’re here to stay. They’re protective, and have since proven they can be classy too. If you’re someone who’s into a bit of mystery these are the perfect sunglasses for summer. Bonus? Nobody will ever know what you’re thinking (or when you’re staring).
3. Clear lensed-sunnies
If ever there were a pair of sunglasses that screamed sophistication it would be these. On second thoughts; sophistication doesn’t scream, it whispers… in which case, it can still be found embodied in these sunglasses. Whether you’re trying to emulate Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde or Brad Pitt in fight club, clear lenses bring out the best in everyone. And they’re timeless which means they live beyond the sunglass trends of 2020. From high street fashion fundi’s to main street art enthusiasts, these baddies are not only protective at their best, offering full coverage, but are just what the season ordered: a bit of change.
4. Re-imagined Aviators:
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, aviator sunglasses keep coming back again and again. Somehow, this season they seem to have taken on new heights, with a slight curvature around the edges, and some doting a thicker, more pronounced beam across the top, aviator frames have won our hearts once more. We’re not sure what it is about these frames (possibly their inclination of suiting most face shapes, or their wide-range coverage), we’re pretty glad they’re back. Definitely top of the list of sunglasses for summer!
5. Pastel Tinted Sunglasses
If reimagined aviators are the phoenix, then this season’s pastel-tinted sunglasses are the “Dragon to the Koi fish”. Traveling through time and being mastered along the way, these cutey’s first become known in the 60s (think John Lennon and the Beetles era) and were better known in their original rose-coloured form. Through time, innovative designers have added an array of colours to choose from. From baby-blue to green and burnt orange – pastel sunnies come in all shades and frames.
How to keep ’em spick and span?
Now that you’ve chosen your ideal pair, we’re pretty sure you’ll be wanting to keep them in top form.
We know what you’re thinking; “all I need is an old cotton cloth right?”
Well, not quite.
Because polarized lenses are made from specialized material, you should follow a strict routine. Besides, you wouldn’t want to ruin the very pair you’ve spent the last 6 minutes reading about with an old t-shirt you found lying around the house, would you?
Cleaning tissue-wipes are perhaps the best recommendation for cleaning eyeglasses, but should this not be within the realms of possibility then we’ve got a few hints for you:
Rinse your lenses under lukewarm water:
Not hot, or extremely hot. Lukewarm. This is strictly for longevity as hot water may be defectively decreasing the lifespan of your lenses and extremely hot water may damage or distort the plastic.
Add a dash of rubbing alcohol, dish soap or an eyeglass solution:
Start by running the lenses under lukewarm water, and then add a dash of dish soap, alcohol (not the drinking kind) or eyeglass solution. Apply to the lenses and rub lightly. Rinse again with lukewarm water.
Air dry & shine using a microfiber cloth:
The last step pretty much speaks for itself. After air-drying the lenses and ridding them of any excess liquid, use a microfiber cloth to add the finishing touches.>
Now that you’re well-schooled in the art of polarized lenses, the summer sunglasses trends for 2020 and how to keep them clean once you’ve got them, we’d say you’re more than ready to let the summer festivities commence. Go forth and conquer, but make sure you don’t leave the house without your shades. (Not all shade is bad shade) Visit our shop for a selection of all the lasts, trendiest sunglasses from our BAKER collection.
Date Published: 27 January 2020