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Do Eyewear Style Guides Change with Age?

Beautiful woman wearing beautiful sunglasses

Search the internet for advice on how to choose the right style of sunglasses and you will find plenty of articles covering all the standard tips. The thing is that most of those articles are written to appeal to younger readers. They are written for the fashionistas and trendsetters. But what about older consumers?

This post asks the question of whether or not eyewear style guides change with age. If you believe information found in an AARP post from June 2020, the answer is an unequivocal ‘yes’. The AARP’s Lois Joy Johnson is firm in her assertion that some of the rules applied to young people do not apply to seniors.

Let us take a look, shall we?

Face Shape and Frame Styles

Salt Lake City’s Olympic Eyewear says that one of the most important rules often applied to younger buyers is to match face shape with frame style. It is understood in the fashion industry that certain frame styles are more complementary to certain face shapes. That is why certain people should wear cat eyes, for example.

Johnson says that there are no such rules for seniors. She maintains that faces become more asymmetrical with age, making all of the advice for younger people irrelevant from about 50 on. She also says that older buyers have to be cognizant of receding hairlines, drooping draw lines, and so forth.

Size Does Matter

Size is more of a fashion statement when you are young. As you age though, the size of your sunglasses really does matter. Both the AARP and Olympic Eyewear agree on this point. Older buyers should be cognizant of frame size so as to avoid going too small or too big.

As people age, their faces naturally become plumper. This would dictate wider sunglasses to provide maximum coverage. But unless wearing wraparounds, it is apparently a bad idea for designer frames to extend beyond the sides of the face. This makes sense inasmuch as going too wide can impede a person’s vision.

Going too small obviously doesn’t afford maximum protection. Smaller sunglasses may look good, but they don’t protect extra sensitive older eyes from dangerous UV rays.

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Bridge Fit Matters Too

Along with frame size, bridge fit is apparently more important to older buyers as well. Because faces change as we age, so does the way our sunglasses fit. A person may have gotten away with small-bridge sunglasses as a young person, but those same clear glasses will pinch an older nose to the point of discomfort.

Johnson recommends looking for sunglasses that fit snugly enough in the bridge to prevent them from sliding but not so snug that they pinch. The perfect pair of wayfarers can be hard to find, but it’s well worth putting in the effort.

Finding the Right Pair

If Johnson is correct, so much of what we know about finding the right pair of sunglasses goes out the window with age. So how do you manage? First and foremost, older buyers should never compromise on UV protection. That is the starting point for any search. Sunglasses should be rated at a minimum of UV 300. A UV 400 rating is better.

After that, it’s all about spending time in front of the mirror. You pick out a pair of sunglasses, try them on to see how they fit, and assess what they look like. Assessing both comfort and look simultaneously can answer a lot of questions.

Do eyewear style guides change with age? Apparently so. But it is mostly because our faces change. There are just some things about nature that you cannot change with style.


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