Thursday, 12 December 2013

About the author: Luke Rees is managing director of Snowboarding Holidays. He is a proud husband, father and helmet wearing snowboarder.

5 reasons you should invest in goggles

Goggles may not be the most glamorous part of the snowboarding kit bag, but in my opinion they are one of the most important. And certainly the most under appreciated.

Boards and bindings have the show stopping tech that ‘will’ make you ride better, boots have the all day comfort factor that ‘will’ make you ride longer, and your clothing ‘will’ make you look awesome (or ridiculous but each to their own!). But the fact remains that if you can’t see, you can’t ride. That’s why goggles are the unsung hero of snowboarding gear.

If you needed any more convincing, here are five very good reasons why investing in at least one good pair of goggles (and preferably 2) should be a high priority. In particular this is important for those new to the sport who stupidly may be tempted to save some money by wearing sunglasses.

Impact protection

On my first snowboarding holiday I boarded in sunglasses to save money - I was an idiot. On the 3rd day I face planted at what I then considered to be high speed. I broke my glasses and cut my face just below the eye.

Even the very best snowboarders face plant every now and then. It’s an inevitable part of riding hard. So, when you do go face first into the white stuff, you need to know your eyes are well protected.

And it’s not just face plants that hurt and can damage your pork pies. Errant ski poles, territorial disputes with trees and lift mishaps (will leave this to your imagination) can all cause significant face-to-object unpleasantness. So having a sturdy pair of goggles is essential.


Like I mentioned above, if you can’t see, you can’t board. The advantage of goggles doesn’t get any more basic than that. If you’re going to board without adequate eyewear, you might as well leave your trousers at home too.

However its not a clear case of put your googles on and you will be fine as different lenses are suitable for different conditions. Get caught in a white out with mirrored iridium lenses and you may as well ride with your eyes closed. Spend a bluebird day wearing high intensity yellow lenses and by lunchtime your eyes and head will ache worse than if you had been on the Jaeger bombs all night.

It is amazing what a difference the right lenses make to how well you can see. But then riding well is often about confidence and if you can’t see 100% you won’t be feeling it and you won’t ride 100% either.

So it is worth investing in more than one pair of goggles or a pair with interchangeable lenses. Its worth pointing out that you don’t have to go top of the range for goggles that will do the job, but then top of the range look so pretty…..

UV protection

When you’re on the side of a brilliant white mountain, at high altitude, the UV becomes a serious threat. We’re not talking sticking on a pair of shades and doing your best James Dean impressions at the slightest hint of daylight, this is far more serious.

Go without goggles for a day and you risk seriously damaging your eyes from the bright conditions. At the very least you’ll get a nasty headache that will leave you at home in bed while everyone else is out enjoying the après ski fun to get headaches of their own.

Why all the tears?

If you don’t wear goggles while you’re riding, the chances are you’ll be in floods of tears by the time you hit the bottom. High speeds, windy conditions and cold air will cause your eyes to stream.

Sunglasses are no good because they don’t form a seal, meaning air rushes through and tears will be streaming down your face making you look like an X factor hopeful at the judges houses. You can only claim so often that ‘snowboarding means everything to me’ before you pick up a less than flattering nickname for the rest of the snowboarding holidays.

Looking cool with anonymity

We all know we should wear a helmet when snowboarding and lets face it googles make a helmet look cool. Without goggles, a helmet doesn’t look right and wearing one with sunglasses somehow looks ridiculous. So googles turn a boring protective bit of headwear into something that looks cool.

Also, with goggles on, people can’t see your face giving you anonymity. So in the bar later that night they will not know you were the guy that cut them up. And more importantly they won’t recognise you as the guy that face planted in front of the lift queue, that had a disagreement with a tree, that headbutted the end of their ski pole or that lifted chairlift bar into his own face.

For me, boarding without goggles is like going on a first date without a pre-planned escape route. In short, never a good idea. And I should know because I made that mistake and now I’m married with two kids. But in all seriousness, work out your budget and try to stretch it to get two pairs of goggles that cover all conditions. Then, like me, you’ll be a happy man.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Oakley Airbrake - how fast is the Switchlock lens change system?

One of the biggest recent improvements Oakley have made to their eyewear range is the invention of the Switchlock system. Since the addition of Oakley Switchlock, it's never been easier to adjust your lenses on the fly - which is extremely useful when you're trying to adjust your lenses with your gloves off up in the freezing air of the Alps.

But just how much time does Switchlock save your freezing fingers? We test the Oakley Airbrake against the Oakley Elevate - check out the video below for the results.

Monday, 30 September 2013

How to adjust the nose pieces of the Ray-Ban Aviator

We've lost count of how many times people have said to us: "I don't suit sunglasses - my head is the wrong shape."

There's no such thing as a wrong shape head - just the wrong shape sunglasses. With a few small changes, sunglasses can be altered to fit any head, no matter what the shape or size.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Which Size Ray-Ban 2140 Wayfarer Should I Wear? - For Men

The first rule when buying clothing or accessories is to buy exactly the right size for you. The problem is sunglasses come in all different shapes and sizes - so how can you tell which is the right size for you when buying online?

One of the frames we get asked about the most is the Ray-Ban 2140 Wayfarer. The 2140 is available in three different sizes and it can be a little confusing at first when you can't immediately see the difference while you're shopping online. Find out the difference between sizes in our video guide.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Which Size Ray-Ban 3025 Aviator Should I Wear?

It can be tricky buying clothing and accessories on-line when you only have small pictures to guide you. Luckily with sunglasses it's a lot easier to find the right size. The Ray-Ban Aviator comes in three different sizes so it's extremely easy to find the right size to suit your face.

The Ray Ban 2140 Wayfarer and Oakley Frogskins - which one to choose?

What kind of lifestyle do you lead? It's an important question - especially where eyewear is concerned. The Ray-Ban Wayfarer and the Oakley Frogskins are incredible sunglasses but very different. Make sure you pick the right sunglass for you.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

What sunglasses are the celebrities wearing? (Interactive video!)

At Sunglasses Shop we keep ourselves up to date on what the celebrities are wearing so we can provide our customers with the styles they see their favourite icons wearing. Check out our interactive video and see what sunglasses Kate Moss, Miranda Kerr, Robert Downey Jr and Ryan Gosling like to wear.

Presenting Maui Jim Sunglasses

Maui Jim is a world beating brand thanks to a combination of steely looks, premium materials and stunning optical clarity. Watch our video below for a brief overview of the world's best loved Hawaiian sunglasses brand.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Which size Ray-Ban 2140 Wayfarer should I wear?

The first rule when buying clothing or accessories is to buy exactly the right size for you. The problem is sunglasses come in all different shapes and sizes - so how can you tell which is the right size for you when buying online?

One of the frames we get asked about the most is the Ray-Ban 2140 Wayfarer. The 2140 is available in three different sizes and it can be a little confusing at first when you can't immediately see the difference while you're shopping online. Find out the difference between sizes in our video guide.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Which size Ray-Ban 3025 Aviator should I buy?

The biggest pitfall when buying clothing and accessories online is working out exactly what size is right for you. Deciphering the different sizes is tricky enough, but when you throw delivery charges into the mix it's not just the hassle that's the problem - it can get expensive if your heart is set on getting exactly the right size.

Luckily with sunglasses it's fairly straightforward. One of the frames we get asked about the sizes of the most is the Ray-Ban Aviator - it comes in three sizes and you can find out which size is good for you in our handy video.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Presenting the new Aluminium Clubmaster from Ray-Ban

How do you reinvent a classic? How do you take everything that makes the Clubmaster unique and condense it into a new reinvigorated form?

It's simple. You rebuild it from the ground up with the sleekest aluminium, all the while retaining the unique style that makes the Clubmaster the Clubmaster.

What's new with the Oakley Frogskins LX Sunglasses?

The Oakley Frogskins is a classic frame from the Oakley catalogue. To the untrained eye it might seem like just another Oakley frame, but the Frogskins has decades of history behind it and the huge variety of vibrant colours the Frogskins has been available in over the years have made them quite the collector's item.

The latest addition to the Frogskins family is the premium line of LX Frogskins. But what's the big deal about LX? Well - these frames are made out of acetate for a more premium feel. Find out more in our video below and buy the Frogskins LX here.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

What's the difference between the classic Ray-Ban 2140 Wayfarer and the new 2132 Wayfarer?

There's a world of difference between the new and the classic Ray-Ban Wayfarer. The 2140 is the original, the classic - but if you're after something that's less of a statement the 2132 Wayfarer might be the frame for you.

Check out the video below for more info.

Monday, 15 July 2013

On a beautiful afternoon in June, the 100th Tour De France - the world's greatest cycling race - will begin.
With the stunning scenery of Corsica behind them, 200 riders will prepare to start one of the toughest competitions in sport.

So it seems fitting that we hold our own competition too. Oakley have released the Oakley RadarLock Mark Cavendish Signature Series and we're giving one lucky winner the opportunity to own the Mark Cavendish Signature Series.

Oakley's involvement in the Tour de France goes further than Mark Cavendish. It's no secret that the majority of riders in the Tour de France wear Oakley sunglasses - Oakley is the professional choice.

That's why Oakley have released limited Tour de France editions of the RadarLock and the Half Jacket too - so every rider is covered.

To win a pair of the Tour de France Oakley sunglasses, enter the competition via the Rafflecopter app above. A few clicks and you're done. Good luck!

Remember to check out the rest of the Oakley collection too.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Sunglasses Shop nominated for a Prima High Street Fashion Award!

We're proud to announce that Sunglasses Shop have been nominated for a Prima High Street Fashion Award!

Obviously it's amazing to have all our hard work recognised, but we're up against big names like Marks & Spencer and Next so we need all the help we can get.

So if you've ever shopped with us and enjoyed our service, vote for us in the Jewellery and Accessories category and we promise we'll love you now and forever more.

Go on, vote now! There's even £500 spending money available to one lucky voter, so there's really no excuse.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Brand new eyewear for 2013 - Scout and Ray-Ban Flash giveaway!

Sunglasses Shop are proud to announce the latest additions to the Glasses Direct family - the 2013 Scout collection! Scout is one of the youngest and freshest eyewear brands on the planet and we can't wait to see the new frames fly off the shelves.

2013 has been one of the most exciting years for new eyewear and recently we can't help but shout about the brand new Ray-Ban Flash frames. So we've got a real treat for you - the chance to win both Ray-Ban AND Scout eyewear!
You can own a brand new pair of Ray-Ban and hot off the shelf Scout glasses - but only if you enter our competition. So scroll down and enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 22 April 2013

Dirty Dog Athletes 2013

Dirty Dog have released a compilation of what their athletes have been up to in 2013. There's a great variety of talent on show - snowboarders, skiers, skateboarders, mountain bikers and even backflipping windsurfers. Check it out!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Glasses Direct + Sunglasses Shop Giveaway

Sunglasses Shop and Glasses Direct have come together to offer a very special competition prize. You could win a pair of Prada sunglasses (RRP £215) and a pair of glasses of your choice from Glasses Direct! 

What we love about this Prada frame is how much they don't look like normal sunglasses. It's pretty clear that Prada had fun when designing these sunglasses - and now you could have fun wearing them.

Just follow the instructions below and you'll be on your way to winning your very own pair of Prada 27NS sunglasses. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Update 3/4/13

Well that's the end of the competition! Thanks to everyone who entered, but the winner of the Prada sunglasses + Glasses Direct glasses is...

Sjo Stortbeton! Congratulations!

Thanks for your interest everyone. Look out for our future competitions, we'll be running plenty more :)

Friday, 8 March 2013

Sunglasses Shop is expanding its blogger program – introducing Glasses Direct

From this week, any bloggers who are part of our Blog Buzz program have the opportunity to collaborate with our partner site Glasses Direct. 

While sunglasses can be worn by just about anyone, glasses are for a very select bunch and Sunglasses Shop would like to meet some bloggers that are part of that very select bunch! If you or a friend or family member wear glasses and have experience buying from glasses retailers then we want to work with you.

Each week we send our Blog Buzz newsletter out to our little SGS community of bloggers and within the email we reveal all the juicy details of what Sunglasses Shop and Glasses Direct can offer.

We've worked with hundreds of bloggers on sponsored posts, reviews and competitions and we're always looking to meet new people to work with. So if you'd like to receive our Blog Buzz newsletter that's exclusively for bloggers, then get in contact with us through and we'll add you to the mailing list.

We hope to hear from you!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

We Need To Conduct Some More Tests...

This one is a little bit trickier:

Need a hint? Just think about what day it is.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Time For Your Eye Test

How's your eyesight? Sit back, relax, and take a look at this. 

Can you tell what it is yet?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Oakley Crowbar Review - Ski + Snowboard Goggles

This is the Oakley Crowbar. A stalwart member of the Oakley goggle collection, worn by both pros and amateurs alike. 

We took it to Italy and tested it out in real snow. How did it hold up against the Alpine conditions?

As expected with any Oakley product, the standard of protection is as high as Mont Blanc is tall. The primary concern for anyone riding a mountain is maintaining your body heat and staying dry under your gear. The Crowbar totally nails this - there's fleece all over this goggle. The triple-layered fleece foam that lies against your face wicks away moisture and ensures that heat stays in the eyespace. Plus it's exceptionally comfortable - the thickness of the foam means there isn't any uncomfortable pressure against your cheeks while you're wearing it.

This particular model is the signature series edition from pro skier Tanner Hall. It comes with a Fire Iridium lens for medium to bright light, which really helps during days of clear skies and light cloud cover. When your surroundings are white from snow cover that means there's a lot of harmful light bouncing around and Fire Iridium is great for combating snow blindness. Plus with this lens no detail is lost from your view - ice patches and changes in slope gradient are still very visible so, unlike some goggles, you lose nothing by wearing eye protection.

You can see it's quite a wide lens and you might be thinking that it feels quite bulky to wear. Quite the opposite - it fits snugly under your helmet and gives you a huge view of the slope. You don't feel like you're peering out the porthole of a submarine, you've got everything you need to see right in front of you - be that other skiers, slalom poles or trees. I'm sure I don't need to say how avoiding trees is a good thing.

So the view is great, and it's comfortable to wear - what about when things take a turn for the worse?

Even during the coldest weather, the anti-fog technology has to be seen to be believed. The lens clears in seconds. Fogging vents on both sides of the frame provide a constant flow of air that means condensation is never an issue for the wearer. Plus the lens takes seconds to wipe clean with the goggle bag, so if you get srpayed with snow it's no issue.

The frame itself is made from O Matter, Oakley's ultra-strong but flexible frame material that folds to fit your face. More importantly - if you crash, the Crowbar offers incredible protection because the chassis is designed to absorb the energy of an impact. Which is great for you - the less impact energy on your body, the more likely you are to come out of a crash unscathed.

The adjustable strap gives the opportunity to fit the goggle perfectly for you - you almost won't know you're wearing a goggle. That goggle isn't going anywhere - the rubberised lines on the strap keep it held firmly in place which.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Blue Monday Miu Miu Contest!

It's Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year! But it doesn't have to be - Sunglasses Shop will reward a lucky winner with a pair of Miu Miu 10NS (RRP £241) in a bright and sparkling red glitter style that's guaranteed to brighten up your January. Celebrities love it, fashionistas covet it and everybody wants it - enter the competition through the Rafflecopter app below now! 

Miu Miu 10Ns Red Glitter

Simply log in via Facebook or email and each stage you complete gets you entered into the raffle. The winner will be automatically chosen at random on 28th January - good luck!

The experts say that the 21st of January is the most depressing day of the year. The excitement of Christmas and the new year have died off, the days are dark and pay day is far away... but it doesn't have to be that way. Not with a pair of Miu Miu 10NS - the stylish frame that's bang on trend and a favourite among A-lister types like Madonna and Miranda Kerr. It's a timeless style that'll be popular season after season, so go for it - enter the competition now!

Miranda Kerr Miu MuiMadonna Miu Mui

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The New Look Blog Buzz Newsletter

The last few months we've been firing Blog Buzz emails from Sunglasses Shop as a way of keeping in touch with all of our blogger friends. We were happy with it to start with, but soon we wanted to make a few changes and turn the Blog Buzz into something people are glad to see land in their inbox. The Blog Buzz newsletter needed a little touch of magic, so we put our thinking caps on and got to work. And after much expended brain power, we're proud to show off the finished article!

Do you know how important you are to us?
We'll do almost anything to keep you happy. We're not just saying that - to keep our little shop going, we need people to talk about us. So we love working with our blogger friends and seeing people talk about us.

And we'll do anything! Sponsored posts, competitions, product reviews, anything that's exciting. Even if we've worked with you before - if you want free things on us then we're right here, ready and waiting. And we want to do more! So drop us an email and let's work on something awesome together.

And while you're at it, what do you think of our new look newsletter? Tell us! We're slightly obsessed with you - our favourite blogger ladies can be seen at the bottom, and there's a giveaway, and some other things you might like... We hope you enjoy it!
BLOG buzz from Sunglasses Shop

Sunglasses Shop Blogger we love...
'The Londoner' is the ultimate lifestyle blog, she's a glamorous foodie who shares her fashion finds and chic hang outs in London. If you're craving something deliciously naughty then you absolutely must check out her Slutty Brownies.

Sunglasses Give Away
If you're an active chick or simply fancy a new pair of aviators, then why not enter Clean Eating Chelsey's Oakley give away.

To enter just do one (or all!) of the following:

1) Tell her what sunglasses you would choose.
2) Like Sunglasses Shop's Facebook page and link to the giveaway on Sunglasses Shop's Facebook page ( just let them know that she sent you!)
3) Link back to Chelsey's giveaway on your Facebook status or through Twitter.
Oakley Sunglasses at Sunglasses Shop

Our favourtie 3 bloggers at Sunglasses Shop
Our Favourite Bloggers
Our Favourite Bloggers Our Favourite Bloggers
Our Favourite Bloggers venusathermirror
Flock and velvet are a massive trend right now and Mary certainly knows how to style hers.
Our Favourite Bloggers justacoloradogal
Heather loves the outdoors and hits the slopes in her Oakley Commit sunnies.
Our Favourite Bloggers vintagevandalizm
Channelling a 1950s siren V.V gives Marilyn a run for her money in her cat eye shades!

BLOG News at Sunglasses Shop BLOG News at Sunglasses Shop BLOG News at Sunglasses Shop

Every month we check out hundreds of blogs and some of them truly blow our minds - it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to keep a blog engaging and fun to read. So we wanted our newsletter to really focus on the bloggers that keep the conversations about us moving. Without bloggers talking about us, we wouldn't have much business left.

So that's our new look newsletter. We love it - what do you think? If you like it and want to receive it yourself, get in touch with us at

Friday, 16 November 2012

Win Designer Sunglasses Of Your Choosing...

Since we're called Sunglasses Shop, it's ridiculous to say that we have hundreds of amazing pairs of designer sunglasses on our shelves. But we do - the clue's in our name! And we're feeling generous - we want to give a pair to you. Whether you're a fan of the youthful style of Miu Miu, the elegance of Chanel or the timeless cool of Ray-Ban, they're all up for grabs for the lucky winner.

If you want to win the perfect pair of sunglasses, all you have to do is write a blog post on your blog that includes everything below:

1) The sunglasses you want to win (up to a value of £200)
2) The image above
3) A link to our site that uses the word "sunglasses"

It's as simple as that. What should you write about? Tell us how you would style your new sunglasses. Tell us which celebrity you think wore them best. Tell us whatever you want - the more creative you are with your post, the better your chances of winning.

If you want to enter, write your post and then email with a link to it. Good luck!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Prada sunglasses giveaway - free £20 voucher for all who enter!

We're feeling generous. The Prada 27NS is one of the most stunning pieces of eyewear we have on our shelves and we want to give a pair away.

The 27NS from the Prada Baroque range is one of the most lusted after accessories in the world and we are offering the chance to win it exclusively to bloggers.

All you've got to do is write a blog post that includes the image above AND a link to our website, just in case your readers like the style and want it for themselves - link to either our Prada section, our homepage or the 27NS.

What should your post be about? Anything you want. Tell us what outfit you would wear to really get those Prada working. Tell us who your favourite celebrity wearers of the Prada 27NS are. Tell us whatever you want.

We've already given away a pair of Miu Miu to profashionelle and she's delighted with her sunglasses. You could be next! 

Even if you don't win, everyone that enters gets a free £20 voucher to redeem at our website. That's a sweet discount off that frame you've been lusting after, or even a free pair of £20 sunglasses (with free delivery too!). And you could show your new sunglasses off on your blog too. 

Interested in entering? Just write a post as specified and then email with a link to it. Easy!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Calling All Bloggers - Sunglasses Shop Miu Miu Competition

We're holding a competition. Everyone that enters has a shot at winning the pair of Miu Miu - and on top of that, everyone that enters gets a free £20 voucher to redeem at our website. 

To enter, all you've got to do is write a blog post that includes the image above AND a link to our Miu Miu section - just in case your readers like the style and want it for themselves. 

What should your post be about? Anything you want. Tell us what outfit you would wear to really get those Miu Miu sparkling. Tell us who your favourite celebrity wearers of the Miu Miu 10Ns are. Tell us whatever you want. 

A £20 voucher for our website means a hearty discount off that frame you've always lusted after, or even a free pair of £20 sunglasses (with free delivery too!). And you could show your new sunglasses off on your blog too. 

Interested in entering? Just write a post and then email with a link to it. Easy!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The 5 Most Bizarre-Looking Vintage Sunglasses

Don't get us wrong - we love vintage sunglasses. How could we not? Most of the current trends in sunglasses are directly inspired by the shades of yesteryear. All of today's sunglasses came to life after experiments with style, but sometimes the results of those experiments caught the eye for all the wrong reasons.

#5 Ridiculously Oversized

Victoria Beckham helped springboard the oversized sunglasses trend almost ten years ago - but maybe she took her inspiration for her bug-eyed style from the dress sense of fashionistas from the past? These bug-eyed shades can definitely be called oversized... 

#4 The Blackout Effect

Probably not the most practical sunglasses - but when has fashion ever been about practicality? The silhouette of the shades are really feminine - almost cartoonishly so - and teamed with the model's pout they actually look quite good. Maybe it's time for a catwalk revival?

#3 The Asymmetric

One of the key rules of sunglasses is symmetry. They should always match - so this sixties frame from the mod sphere of fashion is about as wild as it gets. It's impossible to say what kind of face shape these would suit - if one side of your face is gently curved and the other square, maybe you should hunt down a pair.

#2 The Wraparound

Wraparound sunglasses have been on the market for years, but the concept has never been taken this far. The whole point of sunglasses is to keep sunlight away from eyes - so maybe these are the best sunglasses ever?

#1 The Venetian Blinds

Kanye West may have popularised shutter shades after famously wearing them in his video to Stronger, but he certainly didn't invent them. They first appeared halfway through the Twentieth Century, but that didn't stop Time Magazine putting Venetian Blind sunglasses at number 32 in the top 50 worst inventions of all time.

If you're after vintage style, then give our collection a browse. We have hundreds of wild, retro-inspired styles available, like the newest Prada frames:

Monday, 17 September 2012

Chanel sunglasses in 2013 - the collection of glamour

Chanel sunglasses are always at the top of the bestseller lists. Interest in Chanel never dies. Coco Chanel forged a legendary career by designing truly timeless pieces that don't fall foul of changing trends. As that other famous French designer Yves Saint Laurent said: “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”

And the same goes for Chanel eyewear. Karl Lagerfeld sits at the helm of the world's biggest fashion house and adheres to the same principles of design that Coco did when creating famous pieces like her luxurious quilted handbags. Timeless style is everything.
Maïwenn Le Besco models a pair of sunglasses from Chanel 2013

Karl has taken to a new muse - Maïwenn Le Besco - and his inspiration can be felt throughout the 2013 collection with much of the style taking tips from Chanel's Little
Black Jacket exhibition, shot by Karl himself.

The 2013 collection features a range of experimental styles that push the style envelope further than it's gone before. Building on Dolce and Gabbana's experiment with embedding lace deep inside the acetate of the frame, Chanel have taken it a step further and embedded material at a shallower depth. The aesthetics of acetate and material combine to create a ridged effect quite unlike anything seen before in a sunglass - it can be seen on the arm of the frame in the press shot hovering just a little bit above this sentence.

Chanel's eyewear collection for 2013 is full of unique flourishes of style. The idea of embedded materials goes a step further with the Chanel 501S6 - this feminine frame is complete with pearls embedded along the entire length of the brow. A new definition of glamour in sunglasses.

Friday, 14 September 2012

What Are Polarised Sunglasses?

What are polarised sunglasses? It's one of the most frequent questions we're asked. Making sunglasses isn't quite as simple as sticking a brown-coloured lens into a plastic frame. There are a whole variety of ways that lenses can manipulate the Sun's rays, and polarisation is one of the many techniques of limiting the light that streams through a lens. But why describe with words when you can see for yourself? 

Both of these images were taken today. The image to the left is just a standard photo from a cameraphone, but the other is slightly different. In the image to the right, the reduced glare on the water's surface and smaller halo of light around the Sun are thanks to a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses (with PolarisedPlus2 lenses) held over the camera lens.

At least half of the bright light is reduced in the photo to the right - which shows that when you wear polarised lenses for an extended period of time, the amount of bright light your eye encounters is dramatically reduced. It's good for your long term eye health, for one thing, but even better for your quality of vision.

In more technical terms, polarised lenses filter out sunlight of a specific polarity. Light from the sun is completely raw and without polarity, but when it reflects off a surface it becomes horizontally polarised light - also known as glare. Polarised lenses filter the horizontally-polarised light and cut out glare - as seen above. The clearer sea and darker clouds are all thanks to the glare reducing effects of polarised lenses.

These photos were taken during a hot and dry day, so imagine how the glare can get during an autumn evening when the road is drenched with rain and the Sun is lighting up the whole sky. Not only is it distracting, if you're driving it can even be a danger to your safety.

If you want to to see the difference that polarised sunglasses offer, grab a pair from our polarised sunglasses range. You won't regret it.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Why you should know the name Italia Independent

It's not every day you hear of a brand overtaking Ray-Ban in the sales charts. Ray-Ban is one of the most successful brands EVER and dominates the global sunglasses market - when you say “sunglasses”, most people will immediately think of “Ray-Ban”. So for a brand to outsell the big RB... well, it's pretty impressive news. Especially when it's a newcomer to the scene like Italia Independent.

Brand owner Lapo Eduard Elkann lives for fashion and style
So what's the reason behind the recent success for II? It might not be immediately apparent – there are so many designer sunglasses available right now that it isn't easy for your brand to stand out, especially among the high fashion frames constantly jostling for attention by dressing up in materials of ever-increasing luxury. 

But on closer inspection, there are a few key things that II do differently. They have a simple rule - the sunglasses must be glamorous but simple. Wearable, but not pedestrian. Casual, but never forgettable. The II eyewear offers something different and, in a market saturated by black wayfarers, that goes a long way for people hunting for new eyewear.

Sure, II have frames that cater for the more outlandish trend hunters - deep in the 2013 II range lurk the only sunglasses available on the market with a frame covered in mirrored material - and a selection of their sunglasses come dressed in a velvet material that can be washed clean. There's that rule again - glamorous, but wearable. It's no use wearing a luxurious velvet if the material gets ruined after the first wear.

It remains to be seen how the brand will fare in 2013 - will it overtake Ray-Ban in the UK sales chart? Perhaps not yet, but Italia Independent is on the rise and will be hitting the boutique websites soon. If you can't wait, browse our Italia Independent frames from the 2012 collection here.

Monday, 18 June 2012

4 Smash-Hit Films That Need Sunglasses

For people living off-screen, sunglasses are something to wear when the Sun's doing its level best to scorch your eyes and blind you for eternity. Throw on a pair of sunnies and BAM! suddenly that light won't seem so bright.

But it's a different matter for people living inside the silver screen. For one thing, film characters can get away with wearing sunglasses indoors without everyone in the nearby vicinity thinking they're arrogant good-for-nothings. And that's because if they didn't wear their sunglasses, they would be in serious trouble.

Men In Black

Imagine if the Men In Black turned up to work without their sunnies. Firstly, they would lose that distant, enigmatic look that's so ruddy important to their behind-the-scenes work life. And secondly, throwing on a pair of dark sunglasses keeps them covered from the effects of their flashy memory-loss gadget. Essential wearing for a man in black. Would you want to suddenly forget why you were fighting a vicious ten-headed alien from the depths of space all because you forgot to pack your Ray-Bans that morning? No, no you wouldn't.

The Matrix

The poster kind of says it all, doesn't it? Computer geeks turned cyber-heroes with a penchant for karate kicking their way through virtual worlds need sunglasses. With them, they look moody and enigmatic. Without them, they would just look mildly annoyed. And who wants to watch a film full of mildly annoyed people?

The Terminator

"I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle." It's not quite Shakespeare, but it sure is memorable. We can't help but notice that he didn't mention sunglasses - Arnie should count himself lucky that a pair of sunnies were tucked in the jacket pocket. He didn't ask for a pair and dark shades are kind of crucial to the renegade biker look. Frankly, we'd laugh in the face of any unstoppable killer robot from the future that didn't wear sunglasses. So next time Arnie, we recommend you be a bit more specific.

The Hangover

Hangover + sunshine = headache. Enough said.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Women's Sunglasses... For Men?

B.o.B is a pop musician who cares about how he looks. He's yet to reach the dizzy heights of Lady Gaga's pork-tacular wardrobe but he cares about his appearance enough to look more groomed than the average male. He's in the 27th April edition of Zoo magazine, pictured wearing the Chanel 4192Q – an aviator frame with quilted leather on the temples:

Usually Chanel sunglasses would be found on more feminine faces, but B.o.B's decided to team the Chanel frame with some designer stubble. Pop musicians at the top of their game get away with wearing whatever they want -just take a look at Lil Wayne and his face tattoos. Tattoos like that would be an obstacle for most people, but for Wayne are a defining part of his pop persona.

What do you think of B.o.B's extravagant eyewear choice? Should men get involved with more extravagant eyewear, or does 'less is more' always apply?

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Introducing Limited Edition Oliver Peoples O’Malley...

Now you can own a piece of eyewear history. What is perhaps Oliver Peoples’ most enduring frame is now available at Sunglasses Shop.

If you love beautiful, handmade craftsmanship, you’ll love O’Malley. If you love style redefined you’ll love O’Malley. If you love classics from the 20s and 30s, but with 60s intellect, you’ll love O’Malley.

Vintage O’Malley is part of the foundation of Oliver Peoples and helped redefine eyewear and create a new intellectual style. It’s one of the most recognisable frames in Oliver Peoples’ history and it’s one of Oliver peoples founder Larry Leight’s favourites too:

“Encouraged by numerous requests from friends, family and long‐time loyal customers, I was inspired to explore my personal archive of original Oliver Peoples designs,” he said. “After losing myself in a time machine of memories, I rediscovered several iconic, brand‐defining styles with original vintage‐tinted glass lenses in rare shades.

“Since very few original pieces exist, and because it is essential that the same attention to detail, craftsmanship and the integrity of the original styles be retained, I reached out to the same Japanese factory to reproduce a limited quantity.”

Christian Bale, as American Psycho Patrick Bateman, wore the glasses version of this treasured style and this razor-sharp round retro frame has also been spotted on Jennifer Aniston, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.
Take a look at the original advert too. ‘Working Opticians’ is a classic in itself and the cloth that comes with the O Malley features the iconic images of that ad.

You can't find the O Malley just anywhere. Own a piece of classic fashion. The Oliver Peoples O Malley.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Future Is Now

Heard about the Dragon APX? We're big fans. The first time we set eyes on the beast we were a little shocked. Frankly we'd never seen anything like it. I mean look at it - it's basically one giant bug-eyed lens, more at home in a sci-fi film than on a ski-slope.

But that's exactly what Dragon Alliance do - push the envelope and boldly go where no man has gone before. The frameless design of the Dragon APX is a world first - there's never been a goggle like it. And to make sure their world first could handle the heat of the slopes (or should that be the chill of the slopes?) Dragon set up the APX R&D cabin...

Where better to test a groundbreaking goggle than 12,000 feet up in the San Juan mountains? Looks like they had a pretty good time testing it too, in what looks like the best snow nature has to offer. We're still waiting on our invite out there though. Dragon? Hello? Maybe it's in the post...

The APX spent literally seconds on our shelves before being sent all over the world to some seriously lucky skiers and snowboarders. We've just got them back in, so get 'em while they're cold.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

When Sunglasses Retire

History is all too easily forgotten. Unless someone's there to count and record everything that happens there's bound to be things that slip the mind. It's not so bad when we forget the dull things, but when we struggle to remember the stuff we used to treasure it's a touch more troubling.

Safilo don't want to forget a thing. Their heritage of crafting the most exquisite of sunglasses is, understandably, important to them and the reason why they pooled together their resources to open the Guglielmo Tabacchi Gallery. It's the largest collection of private eyewear in the world, with pieces dating from as far back as 1285, and a testament to all things Safilo.

Currently only open to members of the press and special guests of Safilo, the gallery features everything from oil paintings of medieval eyewear, to early design sketches of current pieces, and extensive collections of vintage sunglasses.

Some of the luckier members from the Sunglasses Shop crew were invited to the gallery for a closer look at a slice of sunglasses history. While there was some really out-there vintage sunglasses locked in the glass display cabinets, there were a few styles we recognised that have since made a comeback. They do say trends work in circles after all.

Piqued your interest? Forget about passports and plane tickets, take a virtual tour over at the site instead.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Three Shades From Back In The Day

Sunglasses haven't been around forever. But sun protection goes back a little further than you might think... and in ways you might not expect. Check out this cool fella.

We don't blame you if you don't recognise them - they're not a style of Ray-Ban we're familiar with either. In fact it's an eskimo wearing an eye guard carved from the bone of a walrus - there's plenty of polar, but no polarised lenses for this cheeky bearded chap.

Once upon a time in China, judges from medieval courts wore smoked-lens eye-glasses to hide their eyes and stop them unwittingly giving away their decisions to criminals under judgment. The earliest incarnation of the John Lennon-esque teashade, the round lens trend that dominates sunglasses fashion today can be traced all the way back to the lowlands of 15th century China.

Protecting eyes and correcting eyes - glasses were doing that way before Sam Foster peddled his home-made sunglasses on the boardwalk of Atlantic city. As far back as 1752 blue- and green-coloured lenses were prescribed to people sensitive to light. Not quite as trendy as the Ray-Ban Wayfarer though eh?

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Glaring Facts

Sometimes we get tired of telling people the facts. How sunglasses protect your vision. How they preserve clarity, and help you to see clear and safe. But nobody likes to be told do they? People like to be shown.

Polaroid have set up a little scientific experiment to show everyone how the negative effects of glare can be thwarted. And how science can sometimes be pretty darn hilarious.

Two athletic ladies wait for various objects, including cake and jelly, to be catapulted at them. Will they knock it out the way in time, or will their sunglasses fail to deal with glare and end up with messy, but hilarious, results?

You'll find out over at Polaroid Labs.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

V Is In Vogue

So that's V Festival done for another year. And as expected it was another blinder, one that ended in a stream of tired but happy faces exiting the gates of Hylands Park in Essex and Weston Park in Staffordshire.

We got to see Jessie J on stage much like she was when Sunglasses Shop saw her at The Big Chill – with one leg strapped in a cast and the rest of her squeezed into a ironically-garish catsuit. A mere broken leg can't stop a determined entertainer like Jessie J!

The Arctic Monkeys rattled through their hits and grabbed attention as much for their adrenaline-fuelled performance as they did for Alex Turner's new haircut, which has so far divided opinions across the fashion, music and gossip magazines. We at Sunglasses Shop like the change though - fifties fashion statements always gets the thumbs up from us. Just like these fantastically fifties Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Mark Ronson made sure to play 'Valerie' in tribute to his old friend Amy Winehouse. He was joined by Dionne Bromfield, Amy's goddaughter, for the tribute – an emotional moment that left no watching eyes dry.

Rihanna brought a bit of spice to V and wore not very much at all, making sure she gave everyone something to remember. Eminem finished off Sunday's line-up, with Rihanna taking to the stage with him for an explosive version of 'Love The Way You Lie' closing the festival for another year. Roll on the next one!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Tom Ford's Muse

Jon Kortajarena, the sultry muse of design-supremo Tom Ford, makes a striking appearance in a Tom Ford advert in the September issue of GQ. One side of the advert sees him dressed in a giant black coat, the other side sees him wearing an electric blue velour jacket with a lovely bit of accessorising – a bow tie.

Jon's also dressed up with the Tom Ford Campbell, a wayfarer inspired frame that suits him perfectly. Then again, when you're one of the highest earning models in the world like Jon, pretty much anything is guaranteed to suit you. The lucky devil.

Many people will recognise Jon from his part in Tom Ford's award-winning film A Single Man. He played a temptatious drifter who momentarily distracted Colin Firth's character from his grief over his dead lover. Tom Ford counts Jon as one of his muses, along with ex-Skins actor Nicholas Hoult, and perhaps the distraction experienced by Colin Firth's character was inspired by the relationship between Tom Ford and Jon? The mind boggles.

Jon Kortajarena has inspired Tom Ford, and Tom Ford has inspired us at Sunglasses Shop. We wonder if it goes full circle – has Jon ever been inspired by Sunglasses Shop? We'd like to think so.