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Men's Sunglasses Buying Guide

Published April 28, 2010 | Updated June 12, 2015

When the sun comes out, protect your eyes with a pair of men's sunglasses. Sunglasses are one of the few accessories you wear that not only look cool but also give you some protection. How do you know if you're buying a pair of men's sunglasses that will not only protect your style but also your eyes? This men's sunglasses buying guide has the information you need to figure out how to buy men's sunglasses that will flatter your face as well as preserve your vision.

The Right Frames for Your Face:

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  • Square

    A face with a strong jaw line and broad forehead will look good with rounded sunglasses that contrast with the face shape. Shop for sunglasses that have rounded bottom edges with top edges that are fairly straight across, like classic wayfarer sunglasses.

  • Triangle

    A face with a narrow chin and wide forehead will look best with sunglasses that are heavier toward the bottom edge, like aviator sunglasses. You can find pair of aviator sunglasses in metal frames as well as plastic, so you have many to choose from.

  • Oblong

    A long, narrow face can be balanced out by a pair of wrap sunglasses. The strong, wide line of stylish wrap sunglasses shortens an oblong face, and you'll have the added benefit of a modern style that is as perfect for a pair of sports sunglasses as it is for lounging by the pool.

  • Round

    A round face can appear leaner with a pair of square or rectangular sunglasses. If you have a round face, you will want to be extra sure that your men's shades are the right width because if they are too small, they could make your face appear heavy.

  • Oval

    An oval face is slightly narrower at the jaw line than at the temples, creating a shape that is flattered by just about any frames. You can choose fashion sunglasses or sport sunglasses if you have an oval face.

  • Measuring for Men's Sunglasses:

  • Measurements

    Men's sunglasses measurements are often given in three numbers, measured in millimeters. The first number is the width of one lens, the second number is the width of the bridge over the nose, and the third number is the length of one arm. The measurement may look something like this: 56 - 18 - 130.

  • Find Your Size

    To find the right size men's sunglasses for you, use a measuring tape or ruler and stand in front of a mirror. First measure the widest part of your face. Then measure the width of the bridge of your nose to get the middle number. Subtract the width of the bridge of your nose from the total width, and then divide the number in half to get the lens width of the shades.

  • Pick a Style

    Once you have determined your sunglasses size, you can find men's shades to fit your face. Remember, however, that a millimeter isn't very much, so you don't have to worry if a pair you like is one or two millimeters different than the measurement you came up with.

  • Eye Protection:

  • UVA/UVB Protection

    You're relying on your sunglasses to protect your vision from the sun's ultraviolet rays, so make sure that you choose a pair that has 95 to 99 percent UVB protection and at least 60 percent UVA protection. Most sunglasses have full UV protection, but you'll always want to double check to be sure.

  • Lens Color

    While the color of your sunglasses is mostly about your personal style, the lens color you choose can affect the way you see colors while you're wearing them, so you'll want to consider this while you're shopping. Men's sunglasses with grey or green lenses are ideal for driving, while brown and amber lenses block out blue light and make good sports sunglasses.

  • Polarization

    Polarized sunglasses block out the glare that happens when sunlight reflects off flat surfaces, like water or the street. For sports sunglasses, polarized sunglasses are one of the best choices because keeping out that glare while you are boating, running, or cycling can help maximize your performance.