In addition to the important protective role that good-quality sunglasses play, they are also an easy way to refresh your summer style. We chatted to optometrist Larry Seymour Kotzen, owner of Eye Candy in Johannesburg, about how to go about choosing your new standout sunglasses.
More than fashionable fun
“Sunglasses are a great way to protect your eyes and maintain good long-term eye health,” begins Kotzen. “This should always be your first consideration when buying a pair of sunglasses – you need to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV rays which can cause eye damage and contribute to age-related cataracts and vision deterioration.”
Kotzen recommends choosing sunglasses with a polarised lens. “These filter out reflected glare, reduce eyestrain, and help to improve contrast and visibility.” Eye health benefits aside, your chosen sunglasses should also be stylish so you enjoy wearing them.
This season, he’s seeing people lean more toward bright reflected mirror lenses and big, bold, and colourful frames with some favourites from Thierry Lasry, Claire Goldsmith, and Andy Wolf. “Styles that provide full coverage around the eye are ideal as they give maximum protection, although people with a heavy lens prescription may be somewhat limited in frame options, depending on the curve of the lens.”
“Start by having your eyes tested. This should be done annually – not only to determine your current visual state but also to allow for the early detection of possible eye anomalies,” Kotzen advises.
The perfect summer accessory
Although it is not necessary to break the bank, investing in a high-end pair of sunglasses is well worth it, says Kotzen. “A designer brand is stylish and durable, with quality materials that will last several years,” he notes. “The luxury brands we stock give you a wide range of colour and style choices, too, so you’re able to choose something more unique that will stand out.”
His advice? “Make your purchases at the start of the season to get the most out of them. And remember that even during our cooler months in South Africa we still get a lot of sunshine so a good pair of sunglasses is a necessity all year round.”