As a longtime sunglass retailer, there are inevitable truths we run into time and time again.
Here’s one: No two faces are ever exactly the same.Because of that, sunglasses that sit perfectly on one person’s face, will sit differently on another. Why is this important? Because fitting – how sunglasses not only feel, but rest on your face – is the number one reason for returns.
For this reason alone, it’s best to purchase sunglasses in a store where they can make adjustments almost immediately.
Take our Newport Sunglass Shop in Rhode Island, for example. There we have a heating device that allows us to adjust the frame within seconds so the sunglasses you purchase fit perfectly. “Everything is adjustable and can be fitted to be your glasses,” said four-year staffer Dave Jennings, who has done hundreds of adjustments in that time.
With the ease and accessibility of the Internet, we understand that it’s often more convenient to purchase sunglasses online (you can shop our online store here). Because of that, we decided it was important to provide some tips for ensuring you’re ultimately happy with the sunglasses you buy.
1. FIT AND MEASUREMENTS
If you already own a pair of sunglasses, the sizes are often marked on them. You should be able to find the sizes on the inside of each temple where it provides, in order:
- Frame size (lens width at the widest part)
- Bridge size (the distance from lens to lens, measured from the inside of the rim across the frame; this is the piece of metal or plastic connecting the two lens)
- Temple size (the measurement of the arms of your sunglasses)
It should read something like this: 53-20-130 (53 being the width of the frames; 29 being the width of the bridge; and 130 being the length of the arms).
These distances are usually calculated in millimeters (mm). If you know these sizes, you can include them in the special instructions box found when checking out. This will ensure that the sunglasses we ship to you are the proper size.
Should you be shopping in a store, you can bring your sunglasses with you. Or bring these numbers with you (if you have a smartphone simply take a picture of the numbers or type it into a note) to decrease the time spent finding the proper size. A good salesperson, like Dave Jennings, can then determine what sunglasses are best for you.
2. DON'T KNOW DON'T WORRY (Temple to Temple Measurement)
If you don’t know your measurements, don’t worry. You can measure the distance between your temples to find the perfect sunglass size for your face. Start by looking into a mirror and then placing a straight ruler so it is lined up with each temple. Measure the distance across your face, from one temple to the other. That distance is the best frame size for your face.
You can use that measurement to determine what the best sunglasses for your face. For instance, with Randolph’s Aviators, they recommend the following frame size for the following face sizes
FRAME SIZE FACE SIZE (TEMPLE TO TEMPLE)
49mm 115mm (or 4.5”)
52mm 127mm (or 5”)
54mm 130mm (or 5.125”)
55mm 135mm (or 5.25”)
57mm 140mm (or 5.5”)
58mm 146mm (or 5.75”)
61mm 152mm (or 6”)
Most temples run from 5 to 7 inches long. The average for men is 5 ¾” (145 mm); for women it is 5 ¼” (133 mm) or 5 ½” (139 mm).
3. LENS MEASUREMENT
A common trick to finding the width of your lens is to stand in front of a mirror and hold a credit card up to one of your eyes. The credit card should be held vertically (so the numbers are going down). Place the credit card so one edge is at the center of your nose. If the other side of the credit card ends at:
- The end of your eye, then your lens size : Standard
- If the credit card extends beyond your eye, then your lens size is: Small
- If the credit card does not reach the end of your eye (i.e. it is shorter), then your lens size is: Large
NOTE: Make sure to provide the measurements you’ve taken, both for the temple to temple length and the lens (standard, small or large) so we’ll be able to send sunglasses that best fit your face.
4. FINAL STEP
When you receive your sunglasses, remember that they may not fit perfectly. If this is the case, then you should bring it into any sunglass store or optical shop for adjustment.
Remember, Dave Jennings? At our Newport Sunglass Shop, he told us that, “we do fittings for anyone who comes in,” explaining the simple reason why: “it is just good customer service.”
Jennings also pointed out one important fact: over time sunglasses will often change shape. Perhaps it’s because you wear them on the top of your head; or you wear them on your hat; or you usually bend one of the arms when taking them off. “People have different behaviors and sometimes we need to adjust for those,” Jennings said.
We have stores throughout the Northeast so if you’re ever in the following areas, stop by and we’ll automatically take your sunglasses (or glasses) and adjust them so they fit like new:
- Sol Optics Boston at 329 Hanover Street
- American Sunglass at 263 Main Street, Falmouth
- Sol Optics Mashpee at 9 Central Square, Mashpee (Mashpee Commons)
- Sol Optics Chatham at 466 Main Street, Chatham
- Coconuts Provincetown at 294 Commercial Street, Provincetown
- Sol Optics Provincetown at 230 Commercial Street, Provincetown
- Newport Sunglass Shop at 109 Swinburne Road
- Sol Optics Newport at 375 Thames Street