A Year of Style: Sunglasses

Sunglasses are instant chic. They convey attitude and confidence, sophistication and style. They should never look weak, timid or ordinary.                               Frédéric Fekkai – A Year of Style

Since Audrey Hepburn wore them in Breakfast at Tiffany's, big sunglasses have become irresistable! via hecklerspray.com

According to Frédéric Fekkai there are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing your sunglasses:

  • take time choosing them to pick the right pair, they will last longer
  • remember that great sunglasses are a part of your look
  • too much gold ornamentation, even though the logo is good, make sunglasses look cheap
  • black frames work on almost every skin tone
  • the most important aspect is the quality of the lens, it protects your eyes and reduces the wrinkles you would get without sunglasses
  • wrap-around sunglasses might make you feel like a movie star, but they will look terribly aloof

This year I bought me a new pair of sunglasses at Lotta Vintage. They have a high UV-protection and frames of leopard patterns. They look exactly like those in “A Year of Style” but I choose them because I have seen many street style photographs with women wearing this kind of glasses. They are vintage and didn’t cost me much. My opinion is that you should choose good quality but also have more than one pair of glasses. Depending on your mood or your outfit. Sometime it is nice to have classic and chic glasses but other days you want something fun and more fashionable.

Lotta Vintage in Madrid offers a wide selection of sunglasses for every face type!

Recently I ran into an optician in Malasaña who has some pretty and stylish sunglasses in his window. If you don’t want to go for the big names like Ray Ban, D&G and Co. this might be an option. Good quality and style @ Optica Caribou, C/Espiritu Santo 14

A big selection of prices and brands can be found at Corté Ingles, Paseo de la Castellana. I went there with to look for Ray Ban sunglasses and they had every existing model as well as a catalog to find even more and staff speaking English. If you are looking for a well-known brand, this is the store to go to.

Let’s have a look at the importance of the different lenses via http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uv-protection/AN00832

  • Blue-blocking lenses. Blue-blocking lenses — which are generally tinted amber — can make distant objects easier to see, especially in low light. Blue-blocking plastic lenses may make it difficult to discriminate the hues in traffic lights, however, and not all blue-blocking lenses offer adequate UV protection.
  • Polarized lenses. Polarized lenses reduce glare. Unless they’re specifically treated with UV coating, polarized lenses don’t offer UV protection.
  • Photochromic lenses. Photochromic lenses reduce glare and help maintain clarity, although they may take time to adjust to different light conditions. Not all photochromic lenses offer adequate UV protection, so be sure to check the product label.
  • Polycarbonate lenses. Polycarbonate lenses offer protection from impact injuries that may be sustained during physical activities. Polycarbonate lenses also adequately shield the eyes from UV radiation.
  • Mirror-coated lenses. Mirror-coated lenses help block visible light, but they don’t necessarily block UV radiation.

What you should care about when buying sunglasses is the UV-protection. In general sunglasses have a protection of 30-40%, which means they  block 30-40% of the sunlight.

Here an overview from http://www.augen.de/brille-und-linsen/sonnenbrillen/sonnenbrillen-und-uv-lichtschutz/:

Category Transmissionof Light Absorbtsionof Light Luminosity UV-protection Color
0 ; S0 80 – 100% 0 – 20% Cloudy soft protection, below 80% of Transmission your are not allowed to drive at night yellow
1 ; S1 43,2 – 80% 20-56% Sunny good UV-protection grey
2 ; S2 17,8 – 43,2% 57-81% strong sun good UV-protection, common for Central Europe green
3 ; S3 8,5 – 17,8% 82-91% summer with a lot of sunshine high UV-protection, good for South Europe, Beaches, and tropical regions grey
4 ; S4 3,2 – 8,5% 92-97% Moutains and Snow necessary for snow areas or glaciers brown

Even though you know something about lenses and factors, don’t forget to ask when buying your sunglasses about UV-protection. Your optician should be able to give you the information you need.


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