are the most important component in sunglasses, frames
are essential to
complete the deal. Many materials are available to satisfy durability,
color, safety, allergy, price, and style considerations.
Materials used factor large in the cost of sunglasses. Inexpensive
styles typically use plastic or wire, while higher-end brands such as
Maui Jim, Revo, and Serengeti use high-strength, lightweight composite,
acetate, or sophisticated metal alloy materials. Higher-end sunglass
manufacturers also offer special features such as tension springs to
enhance comfort and fit.
Wrap-around styles afford more protection from ambient light, direct
light, and glare from angles other than your field of vision. Coupled
with wrap-around lenses, this style provides the best overall eye
Zyl/Zylonite (cellulose acetate) is the most used and most
plastic material used. It's Very cost effective and allows thin designs
and a large variety of colors and textures. Tends to discolor and
become brittle with exposure to heat and as it ages.
Nylon -- very lightweight, almost unbreakable, and very
to temperature changes. Available in a variety of colors.
Hypoallergenic. Tend to dry out and become brittle with age. Can be
prevented by soaking the nylon in hot water once a month. Can also be
made with a combination of nylon and rubber, which are mostly used for
sports eyewear and are very durable, flexible, and weather resistant.
Nylon/rubber styles are also available in a variety of colors.
Polyamides/co-polyamides – nylon blends that
enhanced durability, flexibility, lightweight, and weather resistance
over standard nylon materials. Very scratch resistant. Available in a
variety of colors.
Kevlar – used to produce bullet proof vests. Very
and weather resistant.
Polycarbonate -- highly impact resistant. Used mainly for
or occupations where safety from impact/shattering is required.
Propionate (cellulose propionate) – can be made
lighter, and more stable to weather conditions than Zyl, but also
suffers from discoloration.
Aluminum – lightweight and highly
Offers a very unique, stylish look.
Monel – an alloy trademarked by Inco Corporation.
rustproof, chemically resistant, and very malleable. It’s the
most widely used material. Can be plated with palladium or other
Titanium – lightweight, durable, and
Commonly used in high-tech aircraft and aerospace applications.
Available in a variety of colors. May also be alloyed with other
metals, e.g., copper or nickel.
Beryllium – steel-gray in appearance, a less
alternative to titanium. Originally used by NASA. Corrosion and
oxidation (tarnish) resistant; preferable around salt water
environments, or for those with high skin acidity. Lightweight, strong,
and flexible. It’s increasing in popularity.
Platinum -- very expensive but worth the price.
strong, and durable. Highly resistant to abrasions.
Stainless steel – an alloy of iron and chromium.
look. Corrosion resistant, weather resistant, durable, and strong.
Ticral – a titanium, copper, and chrome alloy.
Hypoallergenic due to absence of nickel. Exceedingly lightweight.
Similar properties to titanium, but at a much lower cost. Both strong
and durable. Available in a variety of colors.
Flexon – a titanium alloy developed by the US
Ordnance Lab. Patents owned by Marchan. One of the most flexible metals
in the world, its ‘memory’ properties prevent
twisting out of shape. 25% lighter than standard metals, enhancing
comfort. Great for sport.
Uncommon & Exotic Materials
Some rather uncommon frame materials, typically used for alloying,
plating, or stylish accents include silver, gold, leather, wood and
bone, semi-precious or precious stones, and rhinestones.
Face Shape Considerations
There are three basic considerations for choosing the correct frames:
Frame and face shape should contrast
Frame and face sizes should be proportional
Frame should complement your best feature (e.g., green
match green eyes).
Faces can be categorized into several basic face shapes: round; oval;
oblong; base-down triangle; base-up triangle; diamond; and square. Here
are some guidelines on frame selection to enhance your particular face
Round – wear angular, square, or bold frames
Oval – considered the ideal face shape due to its
proportions. Wear any style.
Oblong – wear geometric or angular frames
Base-down triangle – narrow forehead, widens at
chin. Add width and emphasis to the narrow part of the face by wearing
frames accented with color or other accents on the top half.
Base-up triangle – very wide at the top and small
bottom. Minimize the width of the top of the face by wearing frames
that are wider at the bottom, light in color and material, and rimless.
Diamond – narrow at the eyes and jaw with high,
cheekbones. Accent the eyes by wearing frames with a distinctive brow
line. Oval or cat-eye can work as well.
Square – characterized strong jaw line and wide
Wear narrow frames, and narrow ovals.
Your complexion, hair color and eye color help determine whether you
are a “warm” or “cool” person
and will help you
choose frame colors that will look best on you. A cool complexion has
blue or pink undertones while a warm complexion has a
and cream” or yellow cast. Olive skin is cool since it has a
mixture of blue and yellow.
Almost-violet and black eyes are cool while pale blue-gray and light
brown eyes are warm.
Cool hair colors include strawberry blond, platinum, blue-black, white,
salt-and-pepper and “dishwater” brown. Warm hair
include golden blond, flat black, brown-gold,
So, are you “cool” or “warm”?
for warm people include camel, khaki, gold, copper, peach, orange,
coral, off white, red, warm blue and blond tortoise.
For cool coloring, the best eyeglass frame hues are black, rose-brown,
blue-gray, plum, magenta, pink, jade, blue and demi-amber (darker)
tortoise. Today’s popular metal frames work best for people