For me, sunglasses are far more than a pretty accessory – they are an important part of my protecting my eyesight. Something I always repeat in my mind when I’m tempted by a cute pair of cheap lenses – you only get one set of eyes. We can replace kidneys, livers, even hearts! Eyes though are still irreplaceable, even with modern medicine. To protect my eyes, I always wear sunglasses with high quality lenses, as they typically offer more complete protection from harmful UV rays. There’s a reason the FDA classifies sunglasses as a medical device!
I also choose lenses that are polarized. If you’ve ever worn polarized lenses, you’ll know that it makes a world of difference in how comfortable you feel in direct sunlight. Polarized lens have tiny parallel groves in them. Light comes bouncing in at all directions but only the light that is aligned with the groves makes it to your eyes. Because of the way the groves are aligned in the lenses of sunglasses the glare you see from something like the sun reflecting off water is reduced.
I had a chance to chat more about the importance of choosing the right sunglasses with Steven Kilzer of Capital Eyewear. Capital Sunglasses is a small San Francisco-based company that makes sunglasses out of fun materials like wood and acetate. Steven knows wayyy more about sunglasses than I do and he shared his thoughts on the importance of choosing a high quality lenses. He gave me permission to share our conversation with all of you!
Per Steven, cheap shades block light causing eyes to dilate. If the lenses don’t also protect from the UV spectrum, then more of the harmful light gets in. This causes more damage over time.
A small brand like Capital Sunglasses can make sure corners aren’t cut. They do a lot of the steps in-house so they can oversee all of the details. This prevents quality control issues like getting a different fabric or lens than you bargained for. They purchase their lenses from Carl Zeiss, which is pretty much the undisputed champion when it comes to lenses. They’ve been in business since eighteen-hundred-something and in addition to providing lenses with documentation on quality tests for those exact lenses, NASA calls them when they need optics for things like the Hubble Space Telescope.
I hope you’ll think twice about cutting corners on your next sunglasses purchase! I hope we’ve convinced you that sunglasses are one place where you shouldn’t sacrifice quality for style. Thanks to Capital, I don’t have to choose! And thanks to Steven for answering all of my questions so patiently.
Outfit Deets :: Miles Cherry Sunnies – Capital Eyewear (c/o) // Quilted Bomber Jacket – Marine Layer // Scarf – FashionABLE // Slub Classic Long Sleeve Tee – Alexander Wang // Slouchy Skinny Jeans – Wildfox (similar)// Watch – WeWood //
Thanks so much for reading A Side of Sweet! For more Sweet in your life, you can find me on Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, or Twitter, or subscribe to receive a weekly email with new posts (see sidebar).