5 Tips for Choosing Your Best Sunglasses

Crystal Schwanke

Do you want to know how to buy the best single pair of sunglasses for your face (or at least a few to rotate depending on your mood and your outfit)? By considering your wants, needs, and the way you look, you can put together a rough outline of the perfect pair of shades so that you'll know them when you see them. Keep the 5 tips for choosing your best sunglasses in mind as you shop, and cut down on buyer's remorse.

1. What Do You Need Them to Do?

Of the top 5 tips for choosing your best sunglasses, the most important one is getting a pair of glasses that can handle your activity level. If you're not a very active individual, you don't have to worry about getting the real deal if you love the styles of sports sunglasses like Oakleys. You can purchase a replica for a much lower price without dealing with the potential harm that could come to your eyes if you wore them while biking, running, skating, and playing other sports.

Make sure that if you do intend to use your sunglasses for high-impact activities, you get frames and lenses that were designed to stand up to the task. That means replicas won't always work as well so you should make sure to go through a reputable dealer to get your sunglasses. You'll need polycarbonate-not plastic or glass-lenses at the very least. They are less likely to shatter.

Regardless of the sunglasses you choose, make sure they have 100 percent UV protection. The dim light your eyes experience behind the dark lenses will cause the pupils to dilate. With no UV protection to filter out UVA and UVB rays, more damage will be done.

2. Think About How Often You Want to Buy

Are you a trend setter or do you tend to buy quality in classic styles and wear them for years? If it doesn't bother you to throw out-or wear--a pair of sunglasses when they're out of style, seek out the hottest trends by watching celebrities on television and in movies, catching up on expert interviews with designers, and observing your fashion-forward peers. If you veer more toward the classic styles and you want to splurge, try an exquisite pair of quality aviators, Jackie O big sunglasses, Ray-Ban Wayfarers, or a vintage pair of glasses you can see yourself enjoying for years.

3. Consider Color

If you want a pair of sunglasses in your favorite color, that shouldn't be a problem at all. You can find large plastic frames in almost any color you could dream of, and many different shades of metal as well. You can even choose complementary lens colors to go for an overall trendy style.

If you're on the fence about which shade to choose, look at the undertones of your skin. Pink? Look at silver, pewter, gunmetal, or soft bronze metals and cool tones in plastic (pink, purple, blue-red, blue, green, black, gray). If your undertones are yellow, try gold or copper metals and warm tones in plastic (yellow, orange, orangey-red, yellow-green, beige, brown).

For versatile lens color, you can choose gray or amber. They're best under the most light conditions. If you're wearing your sunglasses simply for appearance and not because you're driving or walking frequently in bright sunlight, you can choose from a number of fashion lenses.

4. Take Face Shape into Account

For the most flattering look, you'll want to balance out your features with sunglasses in the opposite shape. For example, if you have very angular features, you'll need more rounded frames than rectangular. If your features are round, you can create balance by choosing a more angular frame such as a cat eye or rectangle shape.

Heart-shaped faces look great in average-sized frames rather than oversized lenses. On the contrary, someone with a narrow forehead and wide jaw will look great in oversized frames. Those with oval-shaped faces can get away with almost any frame size or shape.

5. Name Your Price

Before you embark on your search for the perfect pair of sunglasses, decide what you're willing to pay. If you're very into designer frames or you'll need a pair for high-impact activities, you may want to adjust your budget as much as possible to accommodate a pricier pair of sunglasses. If you like designer looks but don't need the prestige attached to actually buying a designer pair of shades, you can shop for knockoffs and still get the style you want. Finally, if you're just buying a pair of fashion sunglasses (or more than one pair!), you can shop almost anywhere--from consignment shops to department stores. It all depends on how much you want to pay.

5 Tips for Choosing Your Best Sunglasses: A Summary

Once you decide what you need your sunglasses to do (look good or play hard--or both), you can determine how much you're willing to pay. Then use your own features, from face shape to coloring, to narrow it down to the ideal sunglasses. Just make sure you keep trends versus classic styles in mind based on your taste and how much wear you hope to get from them, and never skip the UV protection.

5 Tips for Choosing Your Best Sunglasses