Hi there. I’m not even sure where to start, so I am just going to dive in.
There are so many options out there when it comes to the latest sunglass fashion, almost endless. All fun stuff. It just depends on your outdoor habits and what kind of activities you generally do. We’ll look at materials and functionality that best suits you. So, here we go.
No stress involved, so please take a look at this for a minute before you shop.
Let’s look at metal frames. These have been around for what seems like forever. Metals used these days such as, aluminum and titanium are lightweight and resilient. There is also an alloy out there known as flexon or “memory metal” which is exactly as it sounds. You can bend, twist or tweak it and it always goes back to its original shape.
Generally speaking these frames are usually thin and make use of nose pads to rest on both sides of the nose as opposed to an integrated piece that rests on the nose displacing the weight over more area.
On the plus side of having metal, you can in most cases, bend or tweak the arms and nose pieces ever so slightly, for a custom fit. If your trying to do so, be gentle and be careful not to bend any part that holds the actual lens itself.
Over time nose pieces might need to be easily replaced (eyeglass repair kit), and possibly chrome or paint may peel or crack a bit. The most common complaint about having nose pads is that they sometimes slide on the nose or get caught in the hair when pushed up on top of the head.
Personal comfort is the main thing obviously. Many people like the fact that metal frames tend to keep the glasses a bit away from the eyes as opposed to plastic frames that tend to ride closer, even to the point of the eyelashes touching the lenses.
Metal does have classic style although usually offers less surface coverage on the sides.
When it comes to metal frames, almost everyone can identify with the timeless Aviator style glasses. Others you may notice a lot of out there are retro styles, such as round, square or rectangle. Those are just the basics and if you start shopping around you will find tons more.
Even though many of these are used to make a fashion statement, use diligence when checking for their UV protection rating, which should be a priority.
You can find plastic frames in just about any size, shape or color imaginable. The sunglass world is your playground. Usually they will be polycarbonate or a nylon which is almost indestructible.
Unlike metal frames there are no minor bending adjustments, even though you may be able to bend or flex them slightly by hand. They are usually pretty resilient when it comes to light abuse such as tossing them on a counter, dashboard, etc. Still, you should get in the habit of using a glass case when possible.
I personally don’t mind, but a few of you out there may not like the fact that they ride close to the face due to the integrated nose area. What I mean is that they don’t have the nose pads protruding out. There are a few metal styles out there these days that are integrated as well. I mentioned this in the metal frame section, but some of you may have skipped right to this plastic section.
If you are into more physical outdoor activities or sports, plastic is probably the way to go, due to “accidental” abuse. I can’t count how many times I have dropped my glasses with no repercussions on the frames. In these cases I should have been wearing well fitting neck straps anyways.
Again, look for 100% UV protection!
What Are You Doing?
You need to look at what you are going to be doing outside when it comes to what kind of style will be suitable.
For instance, If you are going to be in the snow, on or near the water or around a lot of pavement, etc, you are going to want more space covered due to the suns rays reflecting from different directions. This is when many choose wrap around style frames for the added coverage on the sides.
To exaggerate this, look at what skiers and snowboarders are wearing a lot of these days. Many of them are wearing goggles or helmet face shields that cover much of the face. Sure a lot of this is to keep the elements out, but also for the added UV sun ray protection.
For more casual or no activities, wrap around styles may be a bit much for some. Whatever your schedule or lifestyle, your frames out there. For just fashion purposes, you can be as mainstream or crazy as you want.
Whatever You Decide
Bottom line is that there are sunglass frames for just about anything that you are into. Regardless of what it, they are out there.
Aviator, retro, classic, steampunk, round, square, heart shaped, rectangular, wrap around, cat eyes, big, small, metal, plastic and just about any color you can think of, are just a few mentionables. The list goes on and on.
Have fun and just be smart about how much protection you need when it comes down to what you are doing.