Sunglasses for Mature Women
Sunglasses for Mature Women
You may be wearing the same style of sunglasses as you always have, and if they make you happy and protect your eyes sufficiently, then stick with them. However, styles have changed, and so have the shapes of our faces. This is why it could be time for a revamp of our choice in sunglasses.
There are a few things you should take into consideration, besides what is in fashion and looks great in the small mirror at the drugstore, before selecting your next pair of sunglasses.
Face Shapes of Mature Women
Although our bone structure is the same, our faces may be fuller or thinner than when we were younger. The beginning of jowls and double chins can make the face appear weighted towards the bottom. This can give the illusion of a longer wider face. If you've lost weight or had dental issues such as teeth removed, you may find you have a sunken look to your face. The skin indents under your cheekbones giving you a hollowed out almost skeletal, look. Aging, gravity, and Mother Nature are not always kind to women. It's recommended you choose glasses that aren't the same shape as your face. For example, if you have a round face, don't select round frames.
To determine which pair of sunglasses will suit your face shape, let's look at the four main face shapes first:
- Oval: The oval face is wider at the forehead and tapers to the chin but is longer than the heart-shaped face. This is possibly the easiest shaped face to fit for sunglasses as most styles will look great. Both Oprah and Jamie Lee Curtis have oval-shaped faces.
- Square: A strong chiseled jawline and wide forehead, are characteristic of a square-shaped face. Rhianna and Lucy Liu, are two celebrities with a square-shaped face. Strong heavy frames are best to be avoided as they can be overpowering. Opt for thinner frames.
- Round: Often the width and height are almost the same. If you have a round face, you're should avoid extra large styles which seem to be very popular at the moment. Also, rectangular frames will accentuate the roundness of your face. Jennifer Lawrence and Adele are both good examples of women with round shaped faces.
- Heart shaped: The heart-shaped face is wider through the forehead than at the chin. A widow's peak can often highlight the shape. Naomi Campbell and Reese Witherspoon, are two women with this shape.
Almost all styles
If you have high cheekbones, nose pads help lift the glasses off your cheekbones.
Butterfly, aviator, or rimless, cat eye
Your shape will take frames wider than your forehead
Aviators, round, butterfly, cat eye, oval
Thinner frames and curved and rounded styles
Wrap, square or rectangle
Go for wider than higher frames
UVA and UVB Protection
You wouldn't go to the beach without wearing sunscreen so why would you put your eyes at risk. Protecting your eyes is crucial and not just for the keeping you from getting wrinkles. Both the UVA and UVB rays are damaging and according to the World Health Organization, both cancers of the eye and cataracts can occur from exposure to the sun.¹
Look for sunglasses which are labelled as 100% protection for both UVA and UVB. If you are in doubt about the authenticity of the claim, your optometrist will likely have the machine which can test them for you.
If they don't supply 99-100% protection they could be causing more damage than wearing no glasses at all. The reason for this is the darkened lens causes the pupil to dilate allowing more ultraviolet light to enter.
Choosing Prescription Sunglasses
If you wear prescription sunglasses, you have a few options, many optometrists will offer fashionable frames for your new lenses. If your eye doctor doesn't have the frames you want, you can purchase them separately and most will put the lenses in for you.
The other option is to wear clip-on sunglasses on you clear lenses. You may find you want to have a pair for distance and also a separate pair for just protection. If you need to wear prescription glasses, it can almost be a juggling act finding the right glasses at the right time. You may find a separate pair of sunglasses without with your prescription is best for day to day use.
Don't think prescription sunglasses are only for short sighted people, as reading a book on a beach, you need sunglasses. The glare from a book is strong and can cause you to squint. You may need sunglasses for reading as well.
Things to Consider Before Buying Sunglasses
Let's face it, ladies, we are not symmetrical, this is evident on our faces, our bodies and yes even our ears. It is likely you will have one ear slightly higher than the other which causes sunglasses to sit unevenly. For certain styles, this will not be noticeable, and others it may.
In the picture, I am wearing a pair of Gucci sunglasses. Although the style may suit my face shape, these were uncomfortable on me. These rested on my cheekbones and I know over the course of a few hours would have left indentations and caused irritation.
If you have high cheekbones, some styles of glasses will not work for you. They may either perch awkwardly on the bone or feel like they are digging into the skin. Sunglasses with eye pads will help as they lift the glasses off the face. You'll also find certain styles have slightly longer arms.
Another item to consider is the lips. As we age, our lips become thinner and less well defined. If you opt for large overpowering sunglasses, the look is akin to 'fly woman'. It can appear the majority of your face is covered with eye wear and your face almost disappears.
You might not think that your hair style has anything to do with your choice of sunglasses, let me explain why it does. A hairdresser knows that certain hair cuts and styles will suit different shaped faces. They can give the illusion that the face is narrower, fuller, shorter or longer. This illusion will also affect your choice of sunglasses so choose a pair to suit the style you wear most often.
Width of head
This is something you can do nothing about, except to find a pair of sunglasses that feel comfortable. I have a small head and sometimes sunglasses feel loose and I worry they will fall off if I look down. The opposite is a wide head where a style may be uncomfortable and pinch from the temples to the ears. For the latter, choosing a pair of men/unisex glasses should solve this problem, although your choices will be limited and less feminine.
You may have never thought of etiquette of wearing sunglasses but believe me, there is.
The etiquette of wearing sunglasses will be determined by where you live. If it is customary to remove them when entering a building, then do so.
We are in an era where there is little trust, especially when meeting someone for the first time and therefore removing sunglasses is a western way of instilling trust. Not removing them leads people to think you're hiding for a reason.
Here's an example, you walk into a convenience store and are wearing dark sunglasses. The clerk may begin to watch you to see if you are likely to steal. If you walk in and push your sunglasses up on your head or let them dangle around your neck on a cord or chain, the clerk and other shoppers are instantly put at ease. Plus you will be able to see better.
Since moving to Brazil, my ideas have changed and were only brought to light when my daughter visited. We had someone visit us who wore her sunglasses the entire time she was here although we were sitting in the shade. My daughter found this incredibly rude. I remembered thinking back to when I first arrived here and I too thought it was, now I think differently.
We live 3° south of the equator and the reflective light is incredibly bright. It reflects off of water, cars, and even off of foliage. For most of the year, our UV index is in the extreme category. Here it is common to see most cars with tinted windows, people using parasols or wearing hats in addition to sunglasses.
Shapes of Sunglasses
You will have seen numerous shapes of sunglasses and probably gravitate towards the same styles. Here are a few:
- Butterfly shape: Rectangular or round in shape but narrowing towards the bridge. Like a butterfly, hence the name.
- Round: Self-explanatory really, think of John Lennon.
- Wayfarer: The best selling style of all time. Linked to celebrities such as James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and the Blues Brothers. Now considered somewhat nerdy, these will always be one of my favorites.
- Cat eye: Again the clue is in the name, this style is round and then flare outwards and upwards. Popular in the 50's, like most things we should have kept, they are once again in fashion.
- Shield and wrap around: These both offer protection at the sides, helping to block any gaps for ultraviolet light to enter. One will be a continuous piece of the lens and the other and extra protection between the eye and the temple.
- Aviator or Pilot: This style has never gone out of fashion, although in the past it was mainly men who wore this style. Now with smaller versions, women have discovered this thin framed glasses.
Polarized or Non Polarized Lenses
The choice of polarized or normal lenses will be down to your usage. If you are somewhere near water, snow or driving in bright conditions, I would opt for the polarized versions. They cut down on the glare, which causes you to squint.
Normal non-polarized sunglasses, however, are easier to use when looking at a monitor or screen. A tablet, laptop, cell phone or the GPS in your car will be more difficult to see if you have polarized lenses. Decide how and where you plan to use your sunglasses the majority of the time and then buy accordingly.
Security for Your Sunglasses
When I was young the only women who used a chain on their glasses it seemed were teachers. I used to hate the way these chains looked, like a bank pen connected to the counter to reduce theft.
Now, I always have a cord around my glasses, so I don't have to be fumbling putting them back into a case when I enter a building.
The other option is pushing them up on the head. For me, this is a big no-no. I have seen and heard too many stories of them falling off and breaking. What's more, if you have a style with nose pads, the hinges get caught in the hair. You're left with the option of blindly trying to remove hair from the hinge on top of your head, or literally pulling our your hair to solve the problem.
Author's Personal Note
There are of course a wide variety of colors not just of frames but also lenses. Some of these are tasteful and others garish. I prefer something subtle, such as either a solid color, tortoiseshell, or floral frame. For the lenses, I prefer mid to dark and usually a normal dark gray/black or brown tinted. I personally hate mirrors on glasses, but that is just me.
¹The known health effects of UV. (n.d.). Retrieved July 04, 2017, from http://www.who.int/uv/faq/uvhealtfac/en/index1.html
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Mary Wickison