2 Comments Choosing The Best UV Protection For Your Eyes

Article written by the awesome Sean Lloyd on the 26 Jan 2010

One of the things I’ve never quite understood is people who buy cheap sunglasses from the side of the road, or ‘fashion’ sunglasses. Firstly, these trendy, cheap and plastic sunglasses create massive amounts of waste each season, as people basically just throw them out because ‘they were only R80′ Then there is the small matter of having these sunglasses imported from China which is quite far away. On top of this their lenses are of poor quality, which can lead to some serious damage of your eyes.

Good quality sunglasses will essentially last forever (Obviously barring scratches etc) and should not be seen as expensive, but they should be seen as an investment. I’m a fan of classic styles that never date. In clothing it’s my white v-neck t-shirts, All Star’s, G-Star raw denims, cardigans and anything casual that never dates or goes out of style. It’s eternally cool.

For sunglasses, I’m a huge fan of Ray Ban, because they have so many classic styles. Young people tend to go for Oakleys, in their crazy designs, but I’m a fan of the classic and timeless Aviators and Wayfarers. If you bought them 30 years ago, they were awesome, they’re awesome today and they will be awesome forever. And the Ray Ban G-15 lens is a classic, because what they do is emphasizes the colours that our eyes see most easily, and de-emphasize the less useful colours which the eyes can’t as easily see. So green and yellow are highlighted, while red and blue aren’t so much.

It’s very easy to justify spending R2000 on a pair of sunglasses when they are going to last a lifetime. Even if they only lasted 5 years (Let’s say you lose them after a bit of time), it would only cost R400 a year for proper eye protection.

If your lenses have poor UV protection, the darkness of the lens means your pupils dilate, letting more light in. Without UV protection, inferior quality sunglasses do major amounts of damage to your eyes. Cheaper sunglasses may also only block certain UV rays. Furthermore, the UV protection may be a light coating on the lenses, and if they get scratched, you’ll get a UV leak which will damage your eyes.

I’ve only ever worn two brands of eyewear because of their superior lens quality, and that is Oakley and Ray Ban. I use Ray Bans for my casual style, and I’ll use Oakley for sport because they are simply the best sport performance sunglasses available. Let’s take a look at what I’d choose from the Ray Ban catalogue for casual wear:

Ray Ban Aviators

Brad Pitt Ray Ban Aviator

Brad Pitt KILLING a pair of Ray Ban Aviators! This is how you wear them…with a kick ass pilot attitude

One of the many reasons you’ll buy these is going to be due to Top Gun! I mean, who didn’t want to put on a pair of Ray Ban Aviators, walk up to a chick and tell her that you’re a ‘naval aviator’? I tried this once at Tin Roof but at the last minute got a bit excited and said I have a torpedo that needs a cave to explode in…mmmm…not ideal. Needless to say I didn’t come right that night! Well actually I did, I think drinking the ice cream dip at the Steers that used to be oppossite Tin Roof, while NONE of the staff noticed me, classifies as ‘coming right’

That was around the time I passed out on the bar counter at Conti’s while sharing a fish bowl with my mate Jools. He didn’t wake me up, but just kept drinking my share! Ahhhh…good times. My spent youth!

Anyway, legends have worn Aviators, and Ray Ban sunglasses continue to be worn by film stars and those with an innate knowledge of what it means to really be stylish. It’s not about following seasonal trends, but about wearing timeless and classic pieces of fashion.

Megan Fox Ray Ban Aviators

Megan Fox, looking GREAT in a pair of Ray Ban Aviators

There are also other styles from Ray Ban, offering a more squared Aviator style which are very, very cool.

Ray Ban Wayfarers

Another classic used by film stars, the Ray Ban Wayfarers go against all normal design!

Robert Pattinson Ray Ban Wayfarer

Robert Pattinson wearing Ray Ban Wayfarers

They stick out and don’t wrap around your face, but somehow the package just comes together so well. You’ve seen Jack Nicholson wearing them, and he’s a cool guy. More importantly, he still pulls the hotties! Even while drinking beer and eating hot dogs on a boat with his stomach out. There is a whole article on Wayfarers over HERE on Wikipedia and it’s interesting to follow their rise and fall in popularity. But the people with real style have been wearing them all along. As their popularity has surged again recently, they have released some awesome new editions, like the Ray Ban Rare Prints:

Ray Ban Wayfarer Rare Prints

But to be honest, you can’t go wrong with Ray Ban Wayfarers in any style. They are all good!

Oakley Radar, M-Frames and Jawbone

For sports sunglasses, and ones that you are going to use when sweating like a beast, Oakley simply offer the best sunglasses on the planet. Whether you go for The Oakley Radar, or the M Frames, or the Jawbone, you can’t go wrong. They stick to your face thanks to a unique rubber that gets stickier when you sweat. I’m a fan of the M-Frames as they have an insanely comfortable fit, although most stores are now stocking the Oakley Radar. But you can still ask them to place an order for some M-Frames.

Cedric Gracia Oakley Radar

Cedric Gracia in Oakley Radar

Lance Armstrong M-Frames

Lance Armstrong HURTING the competition and a pair of M-Frames (Actually, possibly Pro M-Frames)

And buying expensive sunglasses doesn’t guarantee great UV protection. Sometimes sunglasses from designers don’t have the best lenses, and you need to stick with the core sunglass brands who sell great designs with top of the range UV protection. Check this out from Wikipedia:

In addition, high prices cannot guarantee sufficient protection as no correlation between high prices and increased UV protection has been demonstrated. A 1995 study reported that “Expensive brands and polarizing sunglasses do not guarantee optimal UVA protection.” The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has also reported that “consumers cannot rely on price as an indicator of quality”. One survey even found that a $6.95 pair of generic glasses offered slightly better protection than did expensive Salvatore Ferragamo shades.

So PLEASE don’t buy those cheap shades! Get some proper eye protection that will last a lifetime, and will also ensure that your eyes last a lifetime.

It’s more of an investment than anything else really, and you’ll look really good.

I mean…real good…

Everybody…come and see how good I look!


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Matt Website Reply

where can i find a pair of the ray ban aviators that brad pitt is wearing in the picture above. I want that exact colour but not too sure what colours it comes under? Thanks.

May 05 2010 22:37 pm Sean Lloyd Website

Hey Matt

In Cape Town you can get those at any sunglasses store, try Sunglass Hut because they are worldwide. When asking for those specifically, ask for the model number RB3025 Aviator Large Metal. Colour code is 001/58.

Very cool pair of shades!

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