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The Best Driving Sunglasses

author image Patrick Phillips
Patrick Phillips is a Bay Area-based style writer who has written for such publications as Harper's Bazaar and Joonbug. His knowledge of fashion and style spans historical costume, modern day couturiers and the powerful influence wielded by famous style icons.
The Best Driving Sunglasses
A businessman driving his car while wearing sunglasses. Photo Credit Maria Teijeiro/Digital Vision/Getty Images

It's easy to assume that a pair of sunglasses is just a pair of sunglasses. How big a difference can there really be between those you find at a gas station or a designer pair with a $300 price tag? Actually, there's quite a bit of difference. From the quality of the lenses to the durability of the frames, all sunglasses are not created equal. This is especially important to keep in mind when looking for a pair of sunglasses to wear while driving. You need to protect your eyes so you can keep them on the road at all times.

Polarized Lenses

There is no point in wearing sunglasses that don't protect your vision and let damaging rays from the sun penetrate to your eyes. Your sunglasses should have polarized lenses, which diminish glare caused by reflected light and block harmful rays. Most designer brands offer polarized lenses as their standard, but less expensive brands may offer models without polarized lenses. If you are shopping at a sunglasses boutique, then any of the staff should be able to help you find a pair with polarized lenses, but if not, then look for a sticker, normally applied to the lenses, stating that they are polarized.


Sunglasses come in all shapes and sizes, but when you are driving you don't want form to overpower function. Optimal vision when driving, means being able to see to the side as well as to the front. With that in mind, choose frames that have a thin temple or at least aren't so wide they make you feel like you're wearing horse blinders.


You don't want sunglasses that are easily bent or are going to lose their shape after just a few wearings. If you constantly have to readjust your glasses while driving, then those aren't going to cut it. When shopping for sunglasses, check the hinges on the temples to make sure they aren't flimsy and won't loosen up. If you're buying a pair with metal frames, be aware that cheap metals can bend easily, so go for a plastic option if you have a limited budget. If you are willing to invest in a pair that will last -- and there are plenty of options in nearly every price range -- you will be thankful you did.


You don't need to spend most of your paycheck on a pair of driving sunglasses. Plenty of brands offer the necessary protection without breaking the bank. Brands to consider for well-priced, durable sunglasses that won't go out of style a month after you buy them include Ray-Ban, Oakley, Marc by Marc Jacobs, MICHAEL Michael Kors, Kate Spade, TOMS and Carrera.

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