Sunglasses are for most men an indispensable accessory, especially in the summer. The primary function of sunglasses is to protect the wearer’s eyes from sunlight and especially from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Sunglasses also improve the wearer’s vision by reducing glare. Sunglasses with polarised lenses are especially good at cutting glare. Sunglasses also serve the function of providing privacy to someone who would prefer to go unrecognised and of course they are also a fashion accessory. In fact, the price of a pair of sunglasses is usually more closely related to their design and fashion value that to the degree of protection they offer.
An easy way for a man to shop for sunglasses from the comfort of his house is through eBay. When a man is shopping for sunglasses, he should consider a number of aspects, such as the style of the sunglasses, the frame material, the lens material and the colour and coatings of the lenses, the level of UV protection the sunglasses offer, the different advantages of the latest technologies, and, this is very important, whether the style of sunglasses suits the shape of his face.
The Protection Offered by Sunglasses
As already stated, the job of a pair of sunglasses is to protect the eyes. The most harmful radiation for the eyes is not visible light but the more energetic UV radiation put out by our sun. Recent studies suggest that visible blue light can also be quite dangerous, so sunglasses must also effectively protect the eyes from this light as well. It’s important to know that the colour of the lenses, or how dark they appear to be, has little bearing on what kind of protection they offer against UV rays, as those rays are invisible to the eye. To make sure he is protected against UV radiation, a man should buy sunglasses manufactured according to one of the international standards. In Europe, safe sunglasses receive a CE mark. Next to UV protection, this CE mark also guarantees that the sunglasses are safe in other aspects as well, such as robustness and material safety.
The lenses are the working component of a pair of sunglasses. They are what protects the wearer’s eyes from suffering damage from UV radiation or strong visible light.
Grey and green are popular colours for lenses as they create almost no colour distortion. Brown lenses do distort colours slightly but they enhance contrast, while orange and yellow lenses cause even more colour distortion but offer enhanced contrast and depth perception. Blue lenses offer little protection against harmful rays and are therefore only used for purely aesthetic reasons.
Glass has been the standard material for eyeglass lenses for centuries. This is because glass lenses have many good qualities. First of all, glass is transparent and secondly it is very hard and scratch-resistant. The disadvantages of glass lenses are that glass lenses are quite heavy and very fragile. Glass lenses can chip, break or shatter if the sunglasses are dropped on the floor.
Plastic polymers like CR-39 and polycarbonate are currently the most popular materials for sunglasses lenses, because they are much lighter than glass and also less prone to shattering. Polycarbonate lenses in particular are lightweight and thin and absorb 100 per cent of UV radiation.
High-index plastics such as thiourethanes are also light and due to their high refractive index, they can correct vision with a much thinner lens. They are very useful for people who are very short-sighted and would otherwise need very thick lenses. The biggest drawback of all plastic lenses is that they are easily scratched, but there are coatings to help fix that.
Different coatings are used on sunglasses to improve the properties and characteristics of the lenses. First of all there is a UV coating that absorbs close to 100 per cent of the sun’s UV rays. It’s applied to almost all glass and plastic lenses but is not necessary for polycarbonate and high-index lenses, as materials themselves absorb UV rays. A scratch-resistant coating is necessary, and usually applied, on all lenses except glass, which is scratch-resistant in itself. An anti-reflective coating reduces reflections and is advisable for all sorts of lenses, while mirror coatings reduce the amount of light reaching the eye and this coating is often combined with tinted lenses.
There are full-frame, half frame and frameless sunglasses. A frame must be durable and be comfortable to wear on the head. Sunglasses frames are made of different kinds of plastics and metals. Probably the most popular plastic material is zylonite. It’s lightweight and comes in every colour imaginable. Nylon frames are often used on sports sunglasses, as nylon is also lightweight and at the same time very flexible and strong. Different metals and lightweight metal alloys are also used to make frames for sunglasses. In general, the more expensive the material, the better its properties. Titanium is extremely durable while monel and beryllium are very flexible. The advantage with metal frames is that they are easier to repair than plastic frames.
An important part of the frame is the hinge connecting the front of the frame to the resting arm. As this is one of the most vulnerable parts of glasses, many frames have spring loaded hinges to improve durability and grip on the face.
There are many new features in sunglasses that have been achieved with the use of modern technology. Polarised or anti-reflective sunglasses use a special type of absorbing lens that filters out polarised light. When light bounces off a flat surface, such as snow, roadways, the surface of a lake, the sea, or shiny metallic objects, the reflected light becomes polarised and this polarised light is perceived as glare. Polarised lenses are made using a special optical filter that eliminates bright reflected light and reduces eye strain. Fishermen use polarised lens sunglasses a lot as these sunglasses allow them to look through the reflected glare off the water’s surface and see the fish below.
Some lenses incorporate a gradient colouring. The top of the lenses is darkest to protect the eyes against sunlight, while the bottom is lighter to allow the wearer to see in darker lighting or inside. Gradient lenses are handy when driving as they allow the driver to see both the road ahead in brilliant sunshine and at the same time look at the instrument panel in the car.
Photochromic lenses change colour according to the lighting conditions. They contain the same type of silver salts that are used in photographic film. When these lenses are exposed to bright light they rapidly become darker while they lose their colour in low light conditions.
Styles of Sunglasses
There are many different styles of sunglasses. There are rectangular, square, round, oval, and cat-eye sunglasses. Aviator sunglasses are probably the most famous individual model, along with the Wayfarer style. Both were popularised by Ray-Ban.
Sports sunglasses nowadays are flexible and wrap around the wearer’s face to maximise protection from both sun and wind. Such sunglasses are called wraps. A lot of sports sunglasses use a single shield lens instead of two separate lenses, and are called ‘shields’.
The Right Sunglasses for the Face
In order to look good on a man, sunglasses should have such a shape as to complement the the shape of the wearer’s face. A man with a round face should wear rectangular, or square glasses, or more generally angular and geometric sunglasses. Square faces look better in oval and round frames or top heavy frames with curves like the Aviator style. Men with oval faces are lucky, as it is the easiest face shape to fit. Big, wide sunglasses and wraps look good on an oval face, but also square, rectangular and geometric ones add angles to an oval face, creating an interesting effect. Men with heart-shaped faces should go for oval or cat-eye frames, wider at the top than at the bottom to draw attention away from their narrow chins. A rimless, narrow frame may also do the trick. A pear-shaped face on the other hand looks good in a top heavy pair of sunglasses, possibly a half frame.
How to Buy Men’s Sunglasses on eBay
There is a great variety of men’s sunglasses on eBay. To find the right pair for you, start off on the eBay homepage, type ‘men’s sunglasses’ in the search box and press ‘Search’. If you then choose a specific category like ‘Men’s Accessories’, you can further refine your search using additional filters. You can sort the listings by style, brand, colour, material, technology, and more. Of course, if you know what you are looking for, you can start off with a more specific search query like ‘grey polarised men’s sunglasses’.
Once you have narrowed down your search to a handful of sunglasses, read each item description very carefully. Look at the photos of the sunglasses. If the seller has indicated that the sunglasses are used, and has posted a stock photo, you should contact the seller and request photos of the sunglasses themselves. This is for you to check that the sunglasses do not have any obvious defects. To contact the seller, simply go into their profile and click on the contact link.
You can buy the sunglasses by either participating in an auction or paying the listed price. The seller will specify which in the item description. With an auction, you can often pick up a pair of designer sunglasses for a steal, but you could also end up losing out to a higher bidder. If you have your heart set on a pair of sunglasses and just have to to have them, it’s easier just to pay the listed price.
When buying sunglasses, a man should pay attention to a number of different characteristics. Most important is that sunglasses should offer adequate UV protection. The colour and material of lenses are also important points. Glass lenses are scratch-resistant but heavy and fragile. Plastic lenses on the other hand are light and durable but prone to scratches. Different coatings are used to enhance the properties of lenses. Sunglasses frames are made of plastic or metallic materials in an enormous variety of shapes and colours. A man should choose a pair of sunglasses according to the shape of his face. As a rule of thumb, sunglasses should compensate for the extremities of the face. Men with square faces should wear rounded glasses. Men with round faces should go for angular glasses, while men with oval faces can wear almost any style of sunglasses. Different technologies include polarised, anti-reflective lenses, gradient lenses, and photochromic lenses. A man will find an extensive selection of sunglasses, both new and used, on eBay.