Sun’s out, guns out announce the banter brigade to a soundtrack of groans from the rest of us. And while there’s thankfully no equivalent catchphrase for the ubiquity of shades once the weather gets hot, no one can deny that everything looks that little bit better through any type of tint. Stylistically though, it feels impossible to keep up with what’s in and out with each fleeting sunny spell. We’ve all been there; you’ve removed your pair due to a sudden darkening of the sky and by the time rays return, your sunny’s have followed the passing cloud out of fashion. Important then, to be select wisely, so here are 5 tips for choosing the IDEAL sunglasses this summer.

BUY A QUALITY PAIR

We love cool shades that make a style statement, but remember that the number one job of sunglasses is to protect your eyes from sun damage.  Check the label for the level of UV protection – to stay safe from the sun always go for 100% UVAB protection. If the shades you’ve been cooing over don’t have it, walk away, no matter how cute they are.  Oh and don’t get confused by polarized lenses – they cut glare from the sun, but don’t minimise harmful UV rays.

SPEND A LITTLE MORE NOW, SAVE A LOT IN THE LONG TERM

While you don’t need to shell out a bundle for designer shades, don’t be fooled by sunglasses being sold for cheap at the side of the road. You may think you’re getting a deal, but more likely than not they don’t offer any protection. Always buy womens glasses and sunglasses from reputable shops, even at lower price points they can still offer good protection. However, depending how clumsy you are, it may be worth investing in lenses that are scratch resistant. They may cost a little more, but they are probably worth it as sunglasses tend to get thrown in the bag, dropped on the floor

THE BIGGER THE BETTER

Ophthalmologists and optometrists (that’s eye doctor to you and me) all agree that the bigger your sunglasses the better. This is because the larger and wider the lenses and frames of your sunglasses, the more protection they offer against UV light which increases the risk of cataracts and other eye conditions. Also, the skin around the eye is a hot spot for small cancers to develop and bigger sunglasses cover up this area, offering more protection. So while trend reports predict that tiny sunglasses are going to be big this year, we say buck the trend in favour of protecting your eyes.

FIGURE OUT THE SHAPE OF YOUR HEAD

While, you can wear whatever style you want – and should – for the most flattering style, its a good idea to figure out the shape of your head. As a general rule of thumb, the shape of your sunglasses should be the opposite shape of your face.  For example, if you have a strong jawline and broad forehead, then you’ve probably got a square shaped face so frames with a rounded edge are for you. However if you’ve got a round face shape, go for square frames to add definition. The only exception is if you’ve got an oval face shape, than anything goes and you can getaway with pretty much any style. Lucky you! If you’re unsure of your face shape then just pop into your opticans as these guys are trained to be faceshapes familiar.

TREAT YOURSELF TO MORE THAN ONE PAIR

Sunglasses have the power to transform any outfit. Just like you wouldn’t wear the same lipstick or necklace with every dress, you don’t have to wear the same sunglasses all summer long. You can find plastic frames in any colour imaginable these days – lens colours too – so get a few pairs in and mix’n’match as the mood and outfit takes you.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.