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How to Choose the Perfect Beach Sunglasses for You

Summer’s a feel-good season — beaches, swimsuits, cocktails, and all the sun you could possibly want. It doesn’t feel so good if you’re squinting into the bright sunlight while rapidly developing a headache.

The good news is that bright sunlight is easily dealt with, provided you have the right pair of beach sunglasses.

Let’s look at what makes for a great pair of beach sunglasses, from functionality to design. We’ll also help you choose the perfect pair of sunglasses for you, so you can enjoy every minute of those summer vibes in comfort and style.

What’s Important When Buying Beach Sunglasses?

Whether you’re action-oriented and all about water sports like surfing or stand-up paddleboarding or you simply prefer to relax and surreptitiously watch the passing parade, you need to protect your eyes from two things: UV rays from the sun and glare from the sand and water.

UV Protection

You wouldn’t hit the beach without a solid layer of sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage — and your eyes deserve the same consideration. While the sun can be wonderful in so many ways, too much exposure to UV radiation can increase your risk of developing photokeratitis (basically sunburned corneas) or even more serious conditions like cataracts or macular degeneration.

Sunglasses with UV protection shield your eyes from harmful rays from the sun and may even help prevent wrinkles too. Check the label on any sunglasses you’re considering — or the retailer’s website if you’re buying online — to ensure you’re getting the highest possible UVA and UVB protection, preferably 100%.

Polarized Lenses

Surfaces like water and white sand — and incidentally roads, buildings, and snow too — reflect a great deal of light, making them uncomfortable to look at when it’s bright outside. You might find yourself squinting into the glare (hello again, wrinkles) or end up with eye strain or a headache.

To prevent this, invest in polarized lenses. These have a chemical film that dramatically cuts the glare. And as a bonus, they create more contrast, enhancing definition and color and essentially turning up the volume on what you’re seeing.

How to Choose the Perfect Beach Sunglasses for You

Woman blowing bubbles

Now that you know why you need beach sunglasses, let’s look at how to choose the right ones for you. There are several factors you need to consider.

Your Face Shape

From the shape of your face, you can get a good idea of what frame shape is likely to suit you best.

For example, if you have a rounder face, try rectangular or square sunglasses to add some structure. Whereas if your face is more angular, oval or round styles soften your features and might suit you better. Cat-eye frames, with their upturned corners, are often considered women’s glasses but they work for a wide variety of faces and are worth trying, especially if you like a touch of glamor.

That said, everyone’s unique, and you might find that your perfect frame defies all the guidelines. If you’re in a physical store, go ahead and try on all the pairs of beach sunglasses that grab your fancy. And if you’re shopping online, many websites now offer a virtual try-on tool. Simply give the website permission to use your camera, and you’ll see a video of your face. Then you can virtually try on a range of glasses to see what suits you best.

Your Face Size

The size of your face also matters as this affects the frame fit. If your glasses have nose pads, you might be able to adjust the fit slightly, but always check the size guidelines for the retailer before you buy to get as close as possible to your face size.

Of course, a bigger pair of glasses does provide more sun protection than a teeny pair that barely covers your eyes. Unless you’re a serious athlete, there’s no need to go full wrap-around with sport sunglasses. A slightly oversized style will do just as well.

Your Personal Style

Do you prefer a more understated look or are you all about standing out from the crowd? Or perhaps your personal style lands somewhere in between? Wherever you sit on the style continuum, there’s a pair of beach sunglasses out there that will look great on you.

For a classic and timeless look, try tortoiseshell or matte black frames. And for something a bit different, try blue or pink frames — or opt for snap-on frames that you can mix and match to your heart’s content.

Of course, frame color is just one part of the equation. Lens color adds another whole dimension. Go with a classic brown, black, or gray tint, or step out of the box and opt for surfer-style reflective blue mirror or green mirror lenses.

Where to Get Your Beach Sunglasses

Woman wearing a pair of beach sunglasses

As the weather warms up, you’ll start seeing beach sunglasses in many different retailers. The trick is to find quality sunnies that meet your needs.

Start by checking that the beach sunglasses you’re considering offer 100% UV protection and that they have polarized lenses to protect your eyes from glare.

Make sure the measurements of each frame style are clearly described in an easy-to-use size guide.

If you need prescription lenses, the retailer should be able to take care of this too. For example, you may need single-vision sunglasses or progressive lenses. Progressive lenses are the latest evolution of bifocal lenses, with a gradient that allows you to see what’s happening at the water’s edge and then shift your focus to your beach read, without changing your glasses.

And considering that the beach is a very different environment from your office, your beach sunglasses should be able to withstand some wear and tear. A scratch-resistant lens material like polycarbonate and frames made of impact-resistant cellulose acetate are a good bet for this.

If you’re ordering online, you also want the freedom to return your order if you’re not completely happy with it. For your peace of mind, look for a warranty or return policy that allows you to exchange your order or get a full refund.

Pair Eyewear sunglasses tick all these boxes and more. Our unisex Base Frames are beautifully designed to flatter your features — and are hardwearing too. Add your choice of magnetic Top Frames from our vast range of options, with Limited Editions and other new designs being added all the time.

To keep your beach sunglasses safe when you’re not wearing them, consider adding a Glasses Case to your cart before you checkout. You might also find our Cleaning Kit helpful, especially after a day out in the salty air — or to clean off any splash marks if you venture into the water wearing your sunnies.

Heading to the Beach? Don’t Forget Your Beach Sunglasses!

A good pair of beach sunglasses will protect your eyes from damage by UV radiation from the sun and help to reduce glare from the water and sand in bright sunlight. And if you choose well, they’ll also take your style to a whole new level.

Pick the perfect pair for you by considering your face shape, your face size, and your personal style. And for quality, functionality, and style, be sure to buy your sunnies from a reputable retailer like Pair Eyewear. Then hit the beach, work on your tan, and enjoy the view.