Standing in front of a store mirror while trying on dozens of pairs and sunglasses is pretty normal. It is almost a rite of passage during the spring. It’s a fascinating exercise when you think about it, especially since looking at sunglasses in a mirror doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about how they fit. A mirror really only tells you what they look like.
The question is whether you should buy sunglasses based on fit or fashion. There is no right or wrong answer. If fashion is the number one priority for you, that is your business. If you are more concerned about fit, that is your decision as well. Moving forward, this post will discuss choosing sunglasses based on how well they fit rather than what they look like.
How Sunglasses Are Measured
Eyewear makers, like Salt Lake City’s Olympic Eyewear, follow an industry standard for sizing. They measure the following:
- Bridge Size – The distance from one end of the bridge to the other.
- Frame Width – The width of the frames from end to end.
- Lens Width – The width of the lenses (not the inside of frames).
- Lens Height – The height of the lenses (not the inside of the frames).
- Temple Size – The length of the arms (from the front to where they begin to the curl around the ear).
Some manufacturers actually print three of the five measurements on the arms (temples). The three numbers are typically lens width, bridge size, and temple size. Bridge size is arguably the most important inasmuch as the bridge carries most of the weight.
Factors to Consider
When you are choosing a pair of sunglasses based on fit, the shape of your face is less important. Face shape is more of a question of style and fashion than fit. That being the case, what should you be thinking about? Start with the bridge.
Noses come in all shapes and sizes. Some people have slender noses without a lot of definition. Others have larger noses with more definition. And of course, there is everything in between. How the bridge rests on the nose will ultimately determine how comfortable a pair of glasses is.
The bridge should be snug enough to hold the sunglasses in place without pinching. If it is too tight, you are going to be uncomfortable. If it is too loose, you will be constantly pushing your sunglasses back up. That may not be uncomfortable, but it is likely to be annoying.
Here are some other things to consider:
- Neither bridge nor temples should be constricting
- Temples should be long enough to reach around the ears
- Your view through the lenses should be as close to center as possible
- Weight should be evenly distributed between the ears and the nose
- Lenses should be large enough to cover the entire eye socket, at least.
The ultimate test of whether or not a pair of sunglasses fits is to put them on your face and then bend over. They should fit snugly enough to not move but not be so tight that they put noticeable pressure on your face. If you bend over and they slide forward, the bridge is too big for your nose. The temples might be too loose as well.
Fit and Fashion
Your quest for the perfect pair of sunglasses might eventually lead you to a pair that fits well and meets your need for fashion. If so, good for you. But if not, remember that fit is important. If your sunglasses don’t fit well, you’re not likely to wear them – even if they are fashionable.