The Complete Designer Sunglass Buying Guide

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The Complete Designer Sunglass Buying Guide

Few accessories are more important on a bright summer day than a pair of sunglasses. They not only shield the wearer's eyes from the worst harshness of the sun, but they also improve visibility and road safety. Driving into the sun causes glare, and nothing is more likely to cause an accident than someone driving at a high speed who suddenly cannot see what is in front of the car. Safety is not the only reason to wear sunglasses, however. Style is another popular reason. People look at the eyes, which means they also look at sunglasses. Designer sunglasses turn the eyes into a fashion statement. They not only provide the necessary eye protection, but they also convey the wearer's sense of style. The key to buying the right pair of designer sunglasses is matching the wearer's needs, budget, and innate sense of style.

The Story of Sunglasses

While most people think of sunglasses as a 20th century invention, their true roots go much farther back. The first recorded wearer of sunglasses was the Emperor Nero, who wore lenses made from polished emerald to shield his eyes from glare at the Coliseum. Although Nero may have famously used sunglasses to reduce glare, the first group known to use them, Chinese judges, wore theirs for another reason. Starting around the 12th century, they wore lenses of smoked quartz to hide their expressions and keep the accused from seeing their reactions. Despite almost two millennia of development, it was not until the 1920s that Sam Foster sold the first Foster Grants, and sunglasses really entered mainstream use. Since that time, they have progressively grown more and more popular.

How Sunglasses Work

Despite the simplicity of their appearance, sunglasses are more complex than first meets the eye (in a manner of speaking). While the frames may be relatively simple, there is a surprising amount of technology that goes into the design and construction of sunglass lenses. While inexpensive sunglasses may limit themselves to tinted plastic lenses, designer sunglasses usually have much more complex lenses that perform a number of functions. Not only do they reduce the overall amount of light coming into the eyes, they also limit the kinds of light they let through. Designer sunglasses use tints to sharpen vision and reduce overall brightness, ultraviolet light protection to protect the retinas, and polarising filters to reduce glare from flat surfaces.

The Disadvantage of Inexpensive Sunglasses

The only real advantage to inexpensive sunglasses, especially very inexpensive ones, is that they are easier on the budget than designer sunglasses. The disadvantage is that not only do many styles come with simple tinted lenses that provide inferior overall performance, but many also increase the likelihood of damage to the wearer's eyes. The issue at hand is that while a simple tinted plastic lens does reduce the total amount of light reaching the eyes, it does not reduce the amount of ultraviolet light reaching the eyes, and this is the light that is damaging. Unfortunately, the eye's natural reaction to reduced visible light is to open the pupil, which actually increases the amount of ultraviolet light that enters the eyes. This means that inexpensive sunglasses actually increase the chance of damage to the very eyes that buyers think they are protecting.

Buying Designer Sunglasses

Designer sunglasses are not inexpensive because the buyer is paying for both the name on the frame and the technology in the lenses. That being the case, prospective purchasers should be sure to set a reasonable budget. It is extremely frustrating to find the perfect pair of designer sunglasses, only to fall short because not enough money was budgeted to pay for the pair. Once the budget has been set, the next step is to consider the required features. Not all designer sunglasses have the same features, so it is a good idea to determine which features are most important before looking for a new pair. It is often easier to find a style to match a feature, rather than the other way around.

Different people have different feature needs, so it is good idea to understand what the various features mean. Prospective buyers can use the following checklist to see which features are most likely to benefit them in the situations where they normally use their sunglasses.



Polarised Lenses

Reduces glare from horizontal surfaces, such as roads

Ultraviolet Protection

Protects eyes from damage due to ultraviolet light

Glare Reduction

Reduces overall brightness


Reduces glare and modifies colours

Can increase sharpness


Reduces glare and hides eyes

Not all of these features are equally important to every wearer. Some may love the feeling that hiding their eyes with mirrored sunglasses brings, while others may not care either way about whether their eyes are hidden. Everyone should use ultraviolet protection, but polarisation is more important for drivers than non-drivers.

Choosing a Sunglass Designer

Most of the sunglass designers have their own signature styles, which makes choosing the right designer an intensely personal thing for every buyer. It is not enough to simply pick a name at random, even though that may be an attractive thought for someone buying a pair for someone else. The key is to pay attention to the style of the person and pick the designer brand that best matches that style. Some people may want aviator glasses, but others may not. A little research makes finding the right pair of designer sunglasses easy for anyone.

New or Pre-Owned Designer Sunglasses

While designer sunglasses are much better than the inexpensive equivalents, the price can be a barrier to some people on tight budgets. One way to get around this is to look for previously owned designer sunglasses. Pre-owned sunglasses are often much easier on the budget than a brand new pair from the same label. The only catch is that buying pre-owned sunglasses does require more research than buying new.

Every pre-owned pair of designer sunglasses is unique. It has its own history and is in its own condition. That means the buyer should not only research the brand and specifications to find the designer sunglasses he or she likes, but also pay attention to the details of that specific pair. The more information a potential buyer can find on any given pair of sunglasses, the better equipped he or she is to make an informed decision.

Buying Designer Sunglasses on eBay

One of the best places to buy a pair of designer sunglasses is eBay. The site offers a huge variety of sunglasses and the tools you need to find them. All you need to do is put your keywords into the search box and review the results. If the results are too diverse, you can use various filters to narrow the listings down to just the ones that best fit your needs.

You can filter by price, new or used condition, and more. After you have eliminated the products that do not fit your requirements, you can use the sort tools to put the remaining products in the order that best suits you. Alternatively, you can browse dozens of eyewear products on eBay's deal page. You can also visit a potential seller's profile page to see his or her feedback and find out if the seller offers any bundle deals, such as extra cases, with a pair of sunglasses.


The right pair of designer sunglasses not only protects the wearer's eyes, but it also makes a statement that says a lot about personal style. Sunglasses usually look good, and they make the wearer look good at the same time. Designer sunglasses do not just add style, however. They also tend to be of higher quality and help wearers drive more safely and keep dangerous ultraviolet light away from their eyes. Some buyers may consider inexpensive sunglasses to be their best option, but many cheap sunglasses can actually be dangerous because they cause the pupils to dilate without providing any protection against ultraviolet rays.

Designer sunglasses cost more in part because of the names on the frames, but they also provide significant benefits to wearers because of the advanced eye protection. All a person has to do to buy successfully is spend a little time figuring out his or her needs and learning which sunglasses meet those needs. Knowledge is always the key.


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