How do you wear sunglasses?
May 11, 2016 1:27 PM   Subscribe

If you normally wear prescription glasses, when do you wear sunglasses instead? Do you wear them when you go outside and switch when you go indoors? Do you wear them only when driving? Do you carry both pairs around with you? Please explain the nuts and bolts of wearing sunglasses (and glasses) to me.

I always wear prescription glasses, but I have never worn sunglasses before and I am not sure what the etiquette and typical use of them are. I understand that sunglasses are important for preventing sun-related eye damage (plus they look cool) but I am confused about how to actually use them in everyday life, particularly since I already have glasses on my face. Any examples of how you use them in day-to-day routines--including tips on switching from one to another, the proper social usage of them, and not losing the extra pair--would be very helpful to me. Thank you.
posted by epanalepsis to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (60 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I never wear prescription sunglasses. I figure if sun-related eye damage were that big a deal (for people with otherwise healthy eyes), they'd be making people with normal vision wear them all the time, too.

When I wear contacts, I often stick sunglasses in my bag, but that's because it's way more convenient that maintaining a second pair of prescription lenses. Even then, I often forget.
posted by praemunire at 1:31 PM on May 11, 2016

My spouse wears prescription sunglasses. Mostly any time he's outside in the spring/summer/fall, and when he's driving in daytime.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:33 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

The damage is prevented by UV filtering, which your quality non-sunglasses should have as well. Sunglasses are about increasing visibility/comfort by keeping you from having to squint and making the overall light level less oppressive.

I keep a pair in the car at all times. I have a different pair I pack if I'm going someplace I know will be bright. I also have a pair of regular glasses with transitional lenses for when I know I'm going to be going in and out a lot. They work off of UV light, so they don't go dark in the car where the windshield filters UV.
posted by Candleman at 1:33 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have a very high prescription and occasionally wear glasses instead of contacts. When I'm wearing glasses, I use the sunglasses that are meant for wearing over glasses. Like this. It's not really noticeable (I don't think...) I just pick them up at the drugstore.
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:36 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have a very high prescription, so instead of getting prescription sunglasses, which would cost another bomb on top of my already heinously expensive actual glasses, I get custom clips that fit my prescription glasses. I get them custom made through my eye doctor. They're not cheap but they're not prohibitive (keep in mind my scale is skewed because my regular glasses cost over $500 and I can't take advantage of those great deals everyone else can do). Bad news: they're easy to lose. Basically I avoid taking them off and putting back them on too much and carry a case for them in my purse.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:37 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have mild astigmatism so I wear glasses for driving and anything vision-intensive (reading, watching a movie). I don't usually wear them during regular around-the-house activities or shopping or whatnot.

I live in Arizona, so sunglasses are a non-negotiable, especially if you want to be able to see while driving in the afternoons. So I have a pair each of normal glasses and prescription sunglasses, and I keep both in hard cases in my daily purse/bag. I also have cheapo non-prescription sunglasses that I'll wear to the pool or whatever when I don't want to risk damaging the good ones.
posted by celtalitha at 1:37 PM on May 11, 2016

I wear prescription glasses with lens that darken in the sunlight. Because the UV is what makes them dark they will not darken in the car. So I have a pair of prescription sun glasses I use in the car. I'll also use the sun glasses if I will be in the sun for an extended period of time.

My doctors have always recommended that everyone wear sun glasses while outside.
posted by tman99 at 1:37 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I switch as I go in and out, carrying with me one glasses case that fits the larger of the two. I have in the past had sunglasses clips custom made for glasses and that's very handy.
posted by janey47 at 1:37 PM on May 11, 2016 [8 favorites]

In Australia even children are encouraged to wear sunglasses.

I wear prescription sunglasses. I carry both with me and always have at least one hard case with me for the exchange. I don't like transition lenses because they always look slightly dark and make people look shifty in my lizard brain.

I never put sunglasses on the top of my head because it stretches them and outrageously expensive pretentious frames fall off and get damaged. Ask me how I know.
posted by taff at 1:39 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

I wear prescription glasses and sunglasses. I keep the sunglasses in the car and I always wear them while driving if it’s at all bright out. I really feel like it improves my ability to drive safely. I always wear them to the beach or if I’m going to be outdoors for any extended period on a sunny day. Like janey47, I carry a case that fits both my regular glasses and the sunglasses when I'm going in and out, plus I almost always carry a purse, so that makes it easy to take them along. Sometimes I stick them in a jacket pocket. I guess if I didn’t carry a bag or wear a jacket it would be more awkward and I’d probably leave them in the car most of the time.
posted by Kriesa at 1:39 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love prescription sunglasses. I keep a case in my bag, and whichever pair I'm not wearing I put in the glasses case. It gets complicated when I have multiple cars, though; I always leave them in the wrong car.

(And yes, everyone is better off wearing sunglasses, because they help prevent skin cancer around your eyes, and because sun is also a risk factor for choroidal melanoma.)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 1:39 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I rarely wear my glasses, so when I do I make a point of putting my prescription sunglasses in my purse. My parents both wear glasses daily. My mom keeps her prescription sunglasses in her purse. My dad keeps his with his keys so when he leaves the house he'll pick up the case and put them in his pocket. My husband loses anything not attached to his body, so we paid extra for him to have the lenses that get darker in sunlight.
posted by notjustthefish at 1:39 PM on May 11, 2016

I have been a sunglasses addict all my life. I have both regular prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses and I cary them both in my bag if necessary. It's not that big a deal if you are female and carry a bag. If you are male you could get a case that you wear on your belt and just put whichever pair you aren't using at the time in the case, or you could carry a back pack or a messenger bag.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 1:41 PM on May 11, 2016

I always wear prescription glasses. In very sunny conditions I will wear a hat with a brim to keep the sun out of my eyes. (Hats are much like sunglasses for people who already wear glasses. They work surprisingly well to reduce the need for squinting.)

Times when I wear actual sunglasses are when there is something very bright/reflective below me that a hat couldn't help with, such as snow or water, so activities like hiking in the snow, hiking in the desert, sailing/canoeing/kayaking, or reading on the beach. On a very bright sunny day with no clouds, walking around a city for more than a few minutes also falls into this category.

I prefer to buy sunglasses that are big enough to fit over my regular glasses and have a band connecting the earpieces. That way, if I want to go inside, I can just wear them around my neck (or on top of my hat) and know that they won't fall off.
posted by danceswithlight at 1:42 PM on May 11, 2016

I've got clip-on sunglasses for my prescription glasses, and I clip them on when my eyes start to hurt or water because it's too bright, and I clip them off when I need to see something in the shade and can't, OR when I go indoors.
So, no etiquette; just and only: my convenience.
posted by Namlit at 1:44 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I switch to sunglasses for driving and days when I remember to take them from my car. I usually change before going indoors. I guess if I expect sun and to be outside for more than 5-10 minutes, I'll carry both (and one case). The sunglasses are my second-last prescription, legal for driving still. Strong prescription, mild irish climate.

For me, transition lenses or clips would be non-starters. I have a cheapo (but uv-filtering) pair of sunglasses to go with my contact lenses for sports, too.
posted by carbide at 1:44 PM on May 11, 2016

Transitions! They now cover UVA & UVB so get dark in the car. Ones that cover UVB are a bit more expensive, but totally worth it.

I once had a pair of prescription sunglasses. They were always in the wrong place. I gave up.
posted by chiefthe at 1:45 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I wear glasses, but during the summer - particularly when I'm going to be outdoors for long periods of time - I more commonly wear contacts and then non-prescription sunglasses on top of those.
posted by blerghamot at 1:45 PM on May 11, 2016

I wear regular glasses all the time for extreme near-sightedness. I dealt with clip-ons and going without anything for a long time. I finally got prescription sunglasses last year. I love wearing them; they fit great, and they look awesome. I keep them in the car (except when it's super hot - they told me it's better to not let the plastic sit in a hot sun; it compromises the plastic).

I almost exclusively wear them when I am driving. They're polarized, so I can see SO much better than when I had cheap clip-ons. That means that I can keep them on even when it's not just really bright outside - I wear them almost every time I drive.

I don't like carrying a case with me, so I usually switch to regular glasses when I get out of the car. Less likely to lose them this way too.
posted by hydra77 at 1:49 PM on May 11, 2016

I'm very nearsighted, so I used to have both the prescription glasses and sunglasses --- I almost never wore the prescription sunglasses unless I was driving, so I left them in the car.

Nowadays I wear transitions glasses, so there's no need to swap between the two pair like I did before.
posted by easily confused at 1:49 PM on May 11, 2016

I'm nearsighted, and wear glasses. I also have a pair of prescription sunglasses.

Despite the hefy price tag it can sometimes come with, I find buying prescription sunglasses to be really fun. It's like buying a luxury item, but for a good reason!

I have a pair of humongous, Coach sunglasses that use an equally large clamshell case. I chose the large size because I have dry eyes, and I wanted a style with wide coverage from the wind.

Yes, it can be a pain to always carry around the case in my purse. On the other hand, I've had this pair of sunglasses for more than 5 years, and I think the reason why they've lasted so long is precisely because of the hard clamshell case.
posted by invisible ink at 1:50 PM on May 11, 2016

You might be overthinking this a little.

People wear sunglasses to make themselves more comfortable or to protect their eyes on sunny days. There isn't much etiquette around it. As long as you aren't wearing them at night or inside people won't think much of it.

My eyesight is good enough that I don't need glasses except to drive. I have one pair of prescription sunglasses, which I usually leave in my car.

My mom has prescription glasses that have clip-on sunglass lenses, which ... I guess is convenient for her, but isn't very fashionable IMO. (They're specially made for the glasses so they look fine, but it does make her lenses look a lot thicker than they actually are, and of course, her glasses aren't really the same shape as regular sunglasses.)

I have a couple of pairs of cheap--like bought at Target cheap--non-prescription sunglasses that I wear if I'm outside for a long time. Since I usually have a bag, I just take an eyeglasses case with me in case I want to take them off.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:54 PM on May 11, 2016

I carry both pairs and switch. I'm not sure there is anything more to it than that? I'm not aware of sunglasses etiquette?
posted by gaspode at 1:57 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I wear prescription glasses most of the time but my prescription is mild enough that I can pass the DMV visual test without glasses. I'll wear non-prescription sunglasses pretty much any time I'm outside and it's sunny, especially in summer or winter (I live where there's a blanket of snow for 3 solid months). I will in fact carry two pairs of glasses around most of the time to be able to do this switching between the two when I go indoors/outdoors, or if I need to see in fine degree while driving (like, a house address or something).
posted by LionIndex at 2:05 PM on May 11, 2016

I used to use prescription sunglasses until I had to start using varifocal lenses, which were expensive enough that I didn't want to pay for two pairs at once, so now I use those large sunglasses that fit over my ordinary glasses.

There was just one situation where I found that using prescription sunglasses was a disadvantage, and that was driving on a sunny day on a route including a tunnel. Where you can snatch off an ordinary pair of sunglasses going into a tunnel, taking off the prescription glasses would leave me nearly blind. So I would in that case suffer the bright light on the earlier part of the route.

How sensitive your eyes are to sunlight depends a lot on your eye colour: if you have dark brown eyes, you may not realize how much more sunlight can effect someone with light grey, blue or hazel eyes.
posted by Azara at 2:10 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Husband wears Rx sunglasses when outside or driving and it's sunny. He has a belt case that holds two pairs of glasses for ease of switching that he wears when we're out and about all day (at the zoo or a ren faire or a barbecue or whatever). My ONE etiquette complaint is, he all the time goes in the house and freezes just inside the door to switch glasses because it's too dark to see; I feel like after 30 years he should anticipate the transition and commit to NOT SWAPPING IN THE DOORWAY.

He keeps a pair of the big cheap-o ones that go over your regular glasses in the glovebox of my car, just in case he forgets his because he's not driving.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:14 PM on May 11, 2016

Prescription sunglasses (for people with relatively standard prescriptions) don't have to be terribly expensive. There's many mail order places (and stores like Costco) that you can get for tens of dollars rather than hundreds, if you're willing to wait three weeks for them.
posted by Candleman at 2:18 PM on May 11, 2016

I wear glasses all the time, and they are progressives. I am very sensitive to the effect the lens shape has on the prescription so I cannot comfortably switch between pairs of glasses/sunglasses.

My solution, already mentioned a few times upthread, is custom clip-ons from Clip House Inc. I recently bought new purple frames and my custom clip-ons match exactly!

I wear the clip-ons outside and take them off as I enter buildings.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:22 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wear prescription glasses and I also have prescription sunglasses. I carry them with me in my bag. If I'm going inside for something quick (like the pharmacy or to pick up food or whatever) I don't take them off. When I get on the subway, sometimes I leave them on bc who cares, it's the subway, but it can make things too dark to read sometimes, so then I put on my regular glasses if I want to read. I switch into my regular glasses when I get to work, or if I'm sitting down to dinner at a restaurant, or anywhere I plan on staying inside for a while. If I'm eating or drinking outside, I also wear them. I wear them if I'm outside generally all the time during the day, even if it's overcast. If it's rainy, not so much.

Mine are from Warby Parker and were $150 total (frames and lenses) and I love them.
posted by greta simone at 2:23 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

"Transitions" type lenses never really worked for me -- they don't dim in the car, they can be slow to switch when moving from outdoors to indoors, etc.

I don't *always* wear my sunglasses when I'm outside, but I do like to have them with me. I'll always switch to regular on my way into a building (like taking off a hat).

It helps that I'm a lady-person, so having a purse-type structure with me at all times is generally socially acceptable. This helps with keeping them on-hand for switching, and to prevent losing either pair (if I lost my purse, it would be worse than losing my glasses).

My sunglasses are larger than my regular glasses (more coverage), so keep my sunglasses in the case that they came with in my purse. I usually switch as I'm walking from outside to inside, or, if I'm going from indoors to the car, I'll switch once I'm sitting in the car. I try to avoid switching while I'm driving, but if I get surprised by a super-bright sunset, I'll try to do a quick switch while traffic is stopped.

If you want to try out prescription sunnies in your lifestyle without hurting your budget too horribly, check out a place like Zenni. The glasses won't last, but if you have a reasonable prescription you can easily find not-hideous frames that will run you <$15 even with the $5 upcharge for tint.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:27 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

My blue eyes let a lot of light in. So much so that an optician once advised me to wear sunglasses indoors if I found the lights too bright: I never actually did so, though fluorescent office lighting used to bother me and unless I turned my monitor screen right down I would get enough glare that the insides of my eyes seemed to be boiling after too much exposure. I don't seem to have this problem any more, either because newfangled light bulbs and monitor screens are so much improved, or because I spend less time in environments where I can't control the lighting.

Apparently this is a thing that sometimes happens with pale-skinned people. Also FYI, I did come in for a certain amount of criticism for this oversensitivity; but it's never socially incorrect to wear dark glasses out of genuine need, nor to have more than average need to wear dark glasses.

I wear prescription glasses one day a week, and contact lenses the rest of the week.

On glasses days, I used to carry a pair of prescription sunglasses with me so that I would be able to see to drive, etc. Whenever I went outside I would reach into my bag, open the empty spectacle-case, locate the prescription sunglasses case, put the spectacles away, and put the sunglasses on. Then I would reverse the process when I went indoors. This was very awkward, and eventually ended in my dropping the spectacles and smashing them during the process of switching to sunglasses (though I had had the spectacles for 10 years by then). Also, the timing of things like doing a long drive and the sun setting was awkward; I had to keep the spectacles nearby ready to switch.

You are supposed to take off your sunglasses if you are speaking to someone, unless you are doing something which means you physically need to keep them on. This was not a problem with the prescription sunglasses, since they were observably prescription glasses with dark lenses, so I obviously needed them to see at all.

As for eye protection, yes, the UV treatment of sunglasses prevents UV damage and resulting degeneration to your eyes, as well as to some extent the skin around your eyes.

By the time I smashed those spectacles, photoreactive lenses had become affordable, so I obviously switched to those. Now, on a glasses day, all I need is the one pair.

On a contact lens day, I carry sunglasses around with me and I put them on by default when I go outside during daylight and take them off when I go inside or am talking to someone. I always have them on when driving unless the light is so dim that it's harder to see - for example on a rainy day when many people have their headlights on. When walking around in the rain the sunglasses can be useful by stopping rainwater from running into my eyes.

Sun protection is less of an issue because all contact lenses now have built-in UV protection. There is some protection to the skin around my eyes, though.
posted by tel3path at 2:31 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wear my prescription sunglasses anytime I am outside and it is sunny. This includes when I am driving. I keep my prescription glasses in a case within reach so that I can swap to them as soon as I go inside.
posted by joan_holloway at 2:36 PM on May 11, 2016

I have a pair of regular prescription glasses and then a pair of prescription sunglasses. I bring both with me in my purse and switch off whenever I'm outside in the sun, and especially when I'm driving. I wouldn't recommend leaving sunglasses in a car - I had a pair melt one hot summer and they got really warped. The most aggravating thing is when it's sunny and then dark and cloudy and then sunny within a short span of time and then I feel like I have to keep switching them. Usually I just pick one and go with it and be annoyed. This year I'm thinking of getting contacts so that I can just wear regular non-prescription sunglasses over them when needed.
posted by FireFountain at 2:40 PM on May 11, 2016

I'm in Australia and wear prescription glasses & sunglasses daily. Sunglasses are imho pretty much non-negotiable in the climate I live in. I have a hard case (the smallest that will fit my sunglasses) that I keep in my bag; every time I step outside for more than ~5 minutes I swap to my sunglasses, and vice versa when returning inside. I just use the one case, because I'm always wearing one of the pairs of glasses, with the other pair in the case. I have become pretty adept at swapping while I'm walking around, so I don't need to stop and put anything down.

This can be annoying when going inside for a short period: swapping glasses for 2 minute interaction in a shop is annoying; pushing my sunglasses on to my head works but I find it extremely difficult to interact with other people without eyesight correction; and leaving my sunglasses on feels incredibly rude.

It's pretty inconvenient swapping all the time but laser isn't an option for me, I can't wear contacts, and being blinded by the harsh Australian sunlight isn't an option.
posted by snap, crackle and pop at 2:41 PM on May 11, 2016

Another light eyes, super sensitive person here. I like sunglasses with a lot of coverage so clip-ons over my regular glasses don't do me any good. The vast majority of the time if I'm going out and it's at all bright I'll have my sunglasses and glasses on -- the ones I'm not using are on top of my head, and I swap indoors just before or after being outside. Occasionally I'll toss the sunglasses in my purse if it'll be inconvenient to have them on my head. I've been doing it this way for about 20 years and have only gone through about 4 pairs of sunglasses (well, the frames -- I get the lenses changed more often, when my prescription changes significantly).
posted by katemonster at 2:42 PM on May 11, 2016

I wear my glasses and carry my sunglasses in a case. When outdoors, I change out. When running in and out (like, say, during errands) I'll just stick whichever pair I don't need on top of my head or hang them on my shirt and wear the other pair on my face.

I buy my prescription glasses on the cheap from Zenni Optical. I have multiple pairs, including one with clip-on sunshades, and I'm into the whole mess for less than US$100.
posted by workerant at 3:26 PM on May 11, 2016

My Warby Parker sunglasses came in a bag that doubles as a lens-cleaning wipe. I keep the bag and the glasses in a side pouch in my work backpack. When I need to wear sunglasses, I can quickly swap.

In the cases when I don't have my work pack, I simply keep the bag in my pocket, and I swap glasses by hooking one of the two temples (the "arms" of glasses) in a nook in my shirt collar. The bag is useful to clean lenses of both pairs of glasses.

I use my polarized sunglasses outside when it is sunny. It gets very sunny in the PNW, and the days are longer. When I go indoors, I am often going back to my regular glasses, not because of etiquette, but because the polarized Apple displays hooked up to my work computer go black!

The lenses in my sunglasses are polarized so as to block light in a direction perpendicular to what comes out past the display's filter, and so all the light from the display is blocked out. I'm then forced to either swap glasses or tilt my head 90 degrees.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:55 PM on May 11, 2016

Another vote for fit-overs. I like that I can lift them up and rest them on the top of my head momentarily, for times like driving through tunnels, or entering a building. I keep a pair in my car, my work car, and in my purse.
posted by k8oglyph at 4:02 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Over the years I've had tinted safety glasses with prescription inserts, magnetic clip ons, regular clip ons and transition lenses. But I've settled now on polarized slip overs. There main advantage is they are cheap enough that I by several every year and have them distributed around in every jacket pocket, lunch bag, car, camera bag and next to the door so they are always readily at hand. Every once and a while I notice a stack in one location and I redistribute. And I invariable lose a pair or two every year; usually leaving them in a restuarant or something where it was sunny when I went in and dark when I left.

I try to hang them from my collar when I'm out if I don't have a large enough pocket to hold them.
posted by Mitheral at 4:13 PM on May 11, 2016

I have prescription sunglasses and mostly I only wear them while boating, but there are times that the are very useful while driving. I got my last pair from Costco, and the cost about a quarter of what my regular glasses code. The frames are good, but not as refined as my regular set.

I used to swap as I went in and out, but I no longer carry the sunglasses as a regular thing.

I did have one pair of regular glasses that came with manetic snspon sunglasses but I not use the sunglasses much since they were heavy.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:18 PM on May 11, 2016

I switch to my prescription sunglasses nearly every time I'm outside in the daytime, even if it's cloudy or overcast. It's not an affectation; even on non-sunny days, it's just easier on my eyes. Plus, where I live, it's nearly always sunny. Cloudy or overcast weather usually doesn't last very long. If it so cloudy as to be dark, then, no I don't wear them.

Etiquette-wise... if I am out and about and get into a conversation with someone, if it's more than a quick hello, I will usually take my sunglasses off. I have no idea if this is a common thing, but it just feels right to me. The only other etiquette related issues I can think of are (or should be) pretty obvious: don't wear them indoors (unless you're on your way out), and don't wear them at night (unless your name is Corey Hart).

If I'm switching back and forth, the un-worn pair goes into a jacket pocket (in cooler weather) or I hook them from my the front of my shirt if I'm not wearing a jacket. I never slide them up on head; I end up with dirty glasses that way.
posted by The Deej at 4:42 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wear prescription glasses and switch to sunglasses whenever it's not very cloudy. I carry a case that will hold either pair in my purse and switch as needed. Both pairs are progressive bifocals. I used to wear transitions lenses but found a few years ago I needed darker sunglasses and didn't want to wait for them to lighten up indoors. Also my sunglasses are polarized.

Etiquette wise I don't take off my sunglasses to talk to someone because they are prescription and I prefer to be able to focus.
posted by leslies at 4:52 PM on May 11, 2016

I've had polarised prescription sunglasses for years. I carry them permanently in my handbag in a hard case. Polarised lenses are the bomb, as they still let in enough light to see in tunnels or indoors (Occasionally I get caught inside without my untinted glasses. Ettiquette-wise I should take them off, but then I can't see.) I tried transistion lenses, but didn't like them.

A cheaper option is to wear a brimmed hat. It's amazing how much glare it cuts down. Don't look as cool though.
posted by kjs4 at 5:06 PM on May 11, 2016

With respect to etiquette, I've heard that wearing sunglasses in Japan makes a person look like a criminal.
posted by SandiBeech at 5:15 PM on May 11, 2016

I wear them all the places I wear normal sunglasses when I have my contact lenses in. Plus, I wear them when swimming in the ocean (with a neoprene strap to hold them on) - this makes a huge difference to how safe and confident I feel the the surf.
posted by girlgenius at 5:31 PM on May 11, 2016

I wear prescription glasses but for one reason or another have never gotten prescription sunglasses. Partially because that's one more pair of glasses to keep track of and partially because of expense. I hate clip-ons. I used to have the kind of glasses that turned dark outside then clear inside... I forget what they're called now because of brain fog -- photo grey? I dunno... but they're not ideal.

So I switched many years ago to the kind of sunglasses that slip on over my glasses like these. They come in all shapes and sizes with UV protection or not. I put them on the minute I step out of my house is the sun is shining because I don't like squinting. For me, they've been the way to go. I don't even care if I lose them because they're way cheap and it doesn't cost much to replace them. But you really have to not care about "style" to wear them. I don't. I just want to be able to see.
posted by patheral at 5:57 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wear prescription sunglasses because I find bright light uncomfortable. I carry a hard sided glasses case in my bag at all times; it holds whichever pair I'm not currently wearing. When I go from indoors to outdoors or vice versa, I grab the case and swap glasses. At this point it's a quick and easy process; I barely notice doing it unless my hands are full of other things.

Squinting is uncomfortable, and I think I look good in my Sophia Loren-reminiscent shades. Sunglasses all the way.
posted by Lexica at 6:44 PM on May 11, 2016

Etiquette-wise... if I am out and about and get into a conversation with someone, if it's more than a quick hello, I will usually take my sunglasses off. I have no idea if this is a common thing, but it just feels right to me. The only other etiquette related issues I can think of are (or should be) pretty obvious: don't wear them indoors (unless you're on your way out), and don't wear them at night (unless your name is Corey Hart).

I do this, too. I'm pleasantly surprised to find out it's not just me, which I guess is why I don't think it's rude when other people leave their sunglasses on.

Looking at things through tinted lenses really bugs me. I'll wear them driving or running but will end up taking them off after five seconds at the farmers market or window shopping, so I end not wearing them instead of switching every five seconds. I compromised by getting yellow lenses in my sunglasses, which doesn't darken my vision as much. But it's a huge PITA and I wish I could go back to wearing contacts instead of bifocals.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:58 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have two pairs of prescription sun glasses, one pair I carry in my purse and one pair I keep in my car.

I don't always put them on when I'm outside but most of the time. If I'm shopping at an outdoor mall or something where I'll be going in and out a lot I usually wear them on top of my head and and then switch my sunglasses to on my face and my regular glasses to on my head. I don't really care if I look like an idiot, the sun is bright and I don't want to squint and I don't want to wear sunglasses inside.
posted by magnetsphere at 8:06 PM on May 11, 2016

My Mom always told me not to wear sunglasses in photographs. I guess if it's a group shot and the other people in the picture are wearing them then you can, too. Otherwise it looks strange. If the light is making you squint too much, change which direction you're facing. Outdoor weddings suck.

I wear clip-ons outdoors unless it's very overcast. I slip them in my purse or pocket when I go inside.
posted by irisclara at 9:28 PM on May 11, 2016

I just started wearing prescription sunglasses. My hesitation for wearing them before was 1) too cumbersome to carry around and 2) I don't really need them.

Now I wear them when I'm driving, or flying. I got myself one of those lanyards for my sunglasses and just leave them hanging around my neck when I'm not wearing them.

My only rule for when you shouldn't wear them: Indoors when there isn't a blinding glare. I've seen people wear them on airplanes. IMHO that just makes them look like tools.
posted by rippersid at 4:57 AM on May 12, 2016

I frequently switch between sunglasses and my normal glasses, usually carrying the case with the unworn pair in my purse, but I've found that a not too dark tint on the sunglasses allows me to pop into a building while wearing my sunglasses.
posted by rebeccabeagle at 6:21 AM on May 12, 2016

When I have them, driving is mostly what I wear them for, and they live in a case in the car. Clip-on shades are marginally less of a pain than swapping regular glasses for sunglasses (if you're going between indoors and outdoors a lot you can stow them in a clean shirt pocket.)
It's definitely sort of annoying to juggle two pairs of glasses and as a result I only tend to wear them for long drives or long outings.

Zenni optical is a fantastic option for cheap sunglasses with UV protection. If your prescription works with their basic lenses you can get a pair of prescription sunglasses for less than $20 shipped. Or get a pair of regular glasses and clip-on shades for a few bucks extra, it comes out about the same.
posted by usonian at 7:40 AM on May 12, 2016

Pale-skinned, blue-eyed person here who had never before this thread heard that this makes me more sensitive to light. Thank you a thousand times for confirming this as a Thing and not me being dramatic.

Anyway, I wear contacts like 360 day a year, with non-Rx sunglasses for being outside in New England. I suspect that my next eye doctor visit will result in me getting either reading glasses or bifocals, and I don't know whether that will make me want Rx sunglasses more or less than I do now (which is, admittedly, not very much).

(FWIW, my sunglasses are by a company called Native. They weren't cheap, but they last well, came with extra lenses and a hard case, and I like them a lot.)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:54 AM on May 12, 2016

I have mildly bad eyes. I bought tinted prescription glasses from Zenni or Coastal or one of those companies. I carry them in my bag in a really cute hard-sided glasses case, and swap my normal specs for my sunglasses when it's particularly bright or I'm driving. I've gotten pretty good at unconsciously taking out my glasses case and doing a smooth switch when leaving or entering a building.
posted by theraflu at 9:33 AM on May 12, 2016

I wear both prescription glasses (all day) and prescription sunglasses when outside. It's a bit of a hassle, but I just bring a case for the one I'm not wearing if I'm out and about. The sunglasses live in my car when I'm not using them.

I also got both from Warby Parker and have been very happy with them.
posted by Twicketface at 11:07 AM on May 12, 2016

I try to wear my prescription sunglasses anytime I am outside (or inside a heavily-windowed location, like a car). I am like theraflu above, bought mine from Zenni, bring them in my purse, switch quickly as I transition inside/outside. The one issue I run into fairly often is driving outside and then pulling into a parking garage, and needing to root around for my regular glasses. That could be solved by thinking ahead, probably.

I hated transitions, though it was maybe 4 years ago that I last bought them. The transitions then didn't change to dark in a car (though I saw upthread that you can get some that do, now), but for me the real killers were a) glasses I like as glasses don't *look good* as sunglasses, and vice-versa and b) it felt like it took FOREVER to transition back to plain glass indoors.

Contacts plus regular sunglasses are another option I have used, but I don't like wearing contacts every day, due to my allergies.
posted by freezer cake at 2:03 PM on May 12, 2016

My private health insurance covers two pairs of new prescription glasses a year - I always get one pair with the sunglass/polaroid coating. I wear glasses all the time and carry one hard case with me so I can switch between sunglasses and normal glasses as needed. It can be annoying but I don't like contacts or transition lenses. I'm Australian and the sun is really, really bright so you need sunglasses to see (looking cool is a bonus).
posted by Wantok at 1:49 AM on May 13, 2016

Zenni optical is a fantastic option for cheap sunglasses with UV protection. If your prescription works with their basic lenses you can get a pair of prescription sunglasses for less than $20 shipped. Or get a pair of regular glasses and clip-on shades for a few bucks extra, it comes out about the same.

I'm not a habitual sunglasses wearer but after not wanting to pay to replace a long out of date pair of prescription sunglasses I investigated Zenni's clip ons. They work perfectly for me and at $5 I don't much care if I lose them. They're also easier to carry around in my attempt to downsize my purse.
posted by TravellingCari at 10:26 AM on May 13, 2016

I wear these sunglasses over my prescription glasses and they're great:

Measure your glasses and order the appropriate size and they should fit.

I attached a retainer cord to them so when I take them off they just hang in front. If I'm not wearing a hat, they can also go on top of my head.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:00 AM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

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