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AlphaSunglasses Articles & Reviews
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This is a page from AlphaSunglasses with general information about big frame sunglasses. Eyewear is a hugely important industry and wearing sunglasses is not just about making a fashion statement, there is plenty of evidence that our eyes need protection from damaging light rays.

    But finding the right frames and lenses is not always easy. Many frames look great online but can be most unflattering when you put them on. There are lots of ways you can cut down on the effort to find the sunglasses that flatter your face and enhance your lifestyle.

    We have articles on picking big square sunglasses that will fit your face, on what are the most sought-after shades and how far manufacturers will go to sell you a pair of high fashion branded sunglasses.

    We have articles to help you choose from expensive designer brands, whether it is worth paying extra and why sunglasses can be good for your eyesight. We also take a long look at lenses and ask how long UV protection will last, what types of lens give what level of protection and how lenses are tested for optical clarity and toughness.

    Performance eyewear is all the rage with many sports personalities promoting their favourite sports sunglasses. It's not just a case of cutting out the glare these days; sunglasses can be tailored for sport-specific environments where crisp, clear vision can give a real competitive edge.

    Most of today's top-selling big round sunglasses brands are owned by just a few conglomerates and they spend thousands of dollars on promotion and celebrity endorsement. With so much money at stake, it's no surprise that the sunglasses market is awash with cheap fakes. We look at whether buying fakes makes you a sharp player or a gullible clown.

    Whatever your interest we hope you find something to educate or amuse in this collection of articles about the world of sunglasses. Please contact us if you have views of your own to share.

    Sunglasses are a real character builder. Or at least they play a large roll in the character that you play to others. They’re front and center and they can literally change the shape of your face. So before you buy your next pair of shades, think about what you might be saying to the world.

    With that said, here are some popular sunglass shapes along with what what they might be saying about your style.

    Wrap-around sunglasses are great for hiking, outdoor sports, and playing golf. They can also double as safety goggles. Think of them as equipment. Probably not ideal for a suit and tie or a date in the park.

    These are the official shades of the All American guy. The jeans and t-shirt guy (although they can look great with a suit too). They’re called “aviators” because they were originally developed to protect the eyes of pilots in the American military. This particular pair was made in America and has the wrap-around ear pieces to keep them locked in place – a design created for fighter pilots who had to fly upside down.

    Chunky square frames are often associated with rappers, or guys trying to live rapstar lifestyles. Usually seen paired with high-end designer streetwear, a lot of black, and unnecessary leather. It’s a bold, in your face, “I’m getting mine” kind of look, which can be cool if done with at least some air of subtlety.

    A petite round frame in black is smart, sophisticated, and a bit dandy. It has a European, perhaps French, feel. If not borderline snobbish, it’s a smart look that’s intriguing because of it’s understated simplicity and delicate scale.

    Browline glasses are old school. Retro. They were the gold standard for style in the 1950s and 1960s. Think Don Draper. The style’s popularity rose to the point that browline glasses (and sunglasses) accounted for half of all eyewear sales in America in the 1950s. As a result, many famous figures wore browlines, including activist Malcolm X and movie star James Dean. It’s a smart, slightly serious style that has a timeless appeal. 

    Sunglasses might be a small accessory, but they have a large impact. A great pair can elevate your outfit and your style, but the best small frame sunglasses for women can boost your mood too. After a year spent mostly indoors, this spring and summer call for getting outside—and you’re going to need a great new pair of shades when you do. 

    So what does summer have in store for eyewear? An everyday exuberance to match the season’s optimistic fashion. On the runway, the season brought us bright-colored clothing and eccentric prints, and for sunglasses, this means a pair of statement-making glasses.

    Among the best offerings, shop pairs with square-shaped rims and colored tinted lenses or cheeky cat-eyes done up to look like a new classic. Or consider a style that delivers a quirky take on a mainstay trend like oversized ’60s mod shades or retro aviators. Should you want your glasses to make a statement that all can hear, opt for a pair that doubles as jewelry. An option from Chanel comes complete with a pearl-strung sunglasses chain, while Magda Butrym’s collaboration with Linda Farrow is decked out in removable bling.

    As summer sets in, it’s time to pick up a new pair—or two—for sunnier days ahead. Below, shop the best sunglasses for women.

    Mod Mania

    These bug-eyed shades landed on Mars long before NASA’s 2021 Perseverance rover. Reminiscent of the bold, space-age goggles made famous by the likes of Pierre Cardin, Andre Courrèges, and Paco Rabanne, they are the perfect match for that miniskirt you’ve been dying to bust out this summer.

    Sunglasses are one of the world's most ubiquitous fashion accessory, but also play an important part in protecting our eyes from harmful UV rays. We take a look at how they came into being...

    Snow goggles: the first sunglasses

    The earliest known use of glasses to protect eyes from the sun was the Inuit use of “sun goggles” to shield their eyes from the blinding glare of light reflected off the snow. These were made from carved driftwood, bone, walrus ivory, or caribou antler that formed a strip worn across the eye area, with thin slits that the wearer could see through. The goggles were cut so that they fit tightly to the face, and often soot or gunpowder was rubbed on the outside to absorb the light and further cut down on glare. The use of these goggles dates back to around 2,000 years ago, and as a bonus, even improved the wearers vision as the narrow slits helped focus eyesight.

    The Inuits weren't the only people in history to find an innovative way to protect their eyes from glare: Pliny the Elder wrote in his Natural History that the Roman Emperor Nero used to watch the gladiator fights through polished gemstones to reduce the glare from the sun—potentially the most expensive and most ineffective form of small square sunglasses in history. Another form of eye protection also cropped up in 12th century China, when flat planes of smoke-tinted quartz lenses were worn by magistrates in court proceedings. However these were supposedly used to hide the expressions of the wearer, not while outside catching rays.

    By the 18th century the modern form of eyeglasses had been invented, made with lenses held together by wire and the frame extending over the ear to hold them in place. A man called James Ayscough believed that changing the color of the actual lens could further help with specific vision impairments. He experimented with blue and green-tinted glass as ways to improve poor eyesight—little did he know that his idea would go on to be one of modern day’s must-have fashion accessories.

    The first instance of lenses being used to actually protect a wearer’s eyesight from light was around the early 20th century, when yellow and brown tinted glasses were prescribed to sufferers of syphilis. Syphilis causes eyes to become sensitive to light, so wearing darkened spectacles would have eased discomfort. However, not long later, sunglasses stopped becoming associated with poor health, and began to be a symbol of celebrity.

    Around the 1920s, it became common for famous movie stars to be seen out in public wearing small round frame sunglasses. Not only would shielding their eyes make their identity more covert when they didn't want to be noticed, but it hid the fact that it was common for actors to have red eyes due to the powerfully bright klieg lamps used in studios.

    With the trend firmly set by the glamorous stars of the era, the demand for sunglasses skyrocketed. Savvy businessman Sam Foster began mass-producing sunglasses made from celluloid in 1929, which he began selling on the beaches of Atlantic City in New Jersey. The market was willing with their appeal stretching beyond sun-soaked beaches, and by 1938 Life Magazine reported that sunglasses were a: “new fad for wear on city streets...a favorite affectation of thousands of women all over the U.S." The same article also stated that in 1937, 20 million pairs of sunglasses were sold, but only 25% wore them to protect their eyes.

    Polarized lenses, which contain a special filter invented by Edwin H. Land that blocks intense light reflected off other surfaces like sand or snow, became available in 1936. Ray Ban, a glasses brand founded by American eye health company Bausch and Lomb, created aviator-style sunglasses using polarized lenses that were widely used by US Air Force pilots during World War II to block the glare from the sun. In 1937, they went on sale to the public and function finally met fashion with the shape of frames and color of lenses changing drastically to keep up with the catwalk.

    Here is a selection of some of the styles that have emerged throughout the years:


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