Mirrored sunglasses with polarized lenses have been around ever since World War II, but despite the many benefits they offer, this style of eye protection has largely remained on the sidelines of fashion for most of its life. Fighter pilots, outdoor athletes and fishermen have been enjoying the benefits of mirrored sunglasses for decades, but it’s only the past 2-3 years that they have started trending in mainstream fashion.
Colorful mirrored lenses on sunglasses started popping up on social media in a big way in summer of 2015, and again in spring and summer of 2016. Celebrities have flocked to the mirrored sunglasses trend ever since, bringing legions of Instagrammers and fans along with them.
One of the hottest trends at the Coachella Music Festival in 2015 and 2016 was polarized mirrored lenses in a rainbow of colors. Now that spring 2017 is almost here, and Coachella will be held beginning in mid-April, it’s safe to say that this trend will be very present this year, too.
To make sure you’re on top of this trend by the time spring arrives, this post includes a handy guide to polarized and mirrored lens colors so you can choose the right color sunglasses. And of course, lots of photos of different shapes, styles and colors for inspiration!
Lens color guide for mirrored fashion sunglasses
Did you know that different lens colors offer different benefits? And more importantly… did you know that the color everyone else sees doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the actual color of the lens?
Most colored mirror sunglasses have a mirror finish or encapsulated mirrors in a standard polarized lens. If you take the mirror coating away, the most common lens colors are gray andamber. This is the color that you will see when you look through the sunglasses, and the most important color if you want certain added benefits from your fashion eyewear.
Gray lenses: These are the most popular because they filter out enough light to protect the eyes without changing the color of what you are looking at. The benefit of gray polarized lenses over amber is the true color perception they offer.
Amber lenses: Amber will warm up the color of everything you see, but they also offer an important benefit not found in other lens colors. These lenses actually improve visual contrast by filtering out the hazy parts of the color spectrum.
Guide to colored mirror sunglasses finishes
In general, warmer colored mirror sunglasses will be based on an amber lens, and cooler colors on a gray lens, although this depends on the manufacturer.
The most important factor in terms of lens performance is the actual lens color, but the color of the mirror finish can give you a clue as to how powerful the glare reduction will be. For example, blue mirror and green mirror sunglasses are preferred by fishermen because they are very good at reducing the glare of the sun on the water.
On the other hand, pink and yellow mirrored sunglasses are usually used in conditions with less glare, such as driving, biking or even fishing on an overcast day.
Obviously, this will all vary from brand to brand, so it’s important to try your mirrored sunglasses on before making a decision to ensure your eyes are comfortable.
How to nail the colored mirrored lenses trend
There are practically no rules here, so just pick whatever speaks to you and make it your own! Choose a frame style that flatters your face, and consider coordinating your fashion sunglasses with your outfits for a monochromatic look, pulling out an accent color, or adding a vibrant pop of color on a neutral base.