BY HELEN BUSHNELL
THE chances of donning a pair of shades so far this summer have been pretty slim and has depended on whereabouts you live in the Highlands.
If you’re based in Inverness, there has not been too many opportunities to bring out the sunnies.
However, if you’re in the likes of Skye or Wester Ross, where dry weather led to advice about water usage, you may have been regularly sporting a pair of flashy shades.
But whatever the weather, everyone needs a good pair of sunglasses – particularly if you drive. It’s never good if blinding rays are obscuring your view of the road.
Even children these days are not without their own little shades, eager to be like mum and dad.
Before winter sets in, the HN tried and tested team has sampled a few pairs of shades to see which ones are worth looking at.
Little Mermaid Sunglasses
£6, available at Disney Store and www.disneystore.co.uk
MY daughter Lucy, who is four years old, loves sun glasses. This pair appealed to her as they were nice and girly, and the design was bright an colourful. However, they weren’t as durable as a Tesco pair she also tried out, and I fear they would break quite easily. (Two stars) MM
TOMS, classic sunglasses 101ck
RRP £110, available from www.toms.co.uk
TIf you snap up a pair of these shades, you will be aiding someone else, as with every pair purchased, TOMS promises to help give sight to a person in need through medical treatment, prescription eyeglasses and sight-saving surgery. Each style is hand painted in a selection of colours to match any summer outfit, and includes everything from a bright sky blue, daffodil yellow or a pair of pretty pastel frames in a dusky pink.
What is great about these glasses are they are a classic style, so you can use these for years and years and they would never go out of fashion.
They also suit most face shapes although the website has a virtual try-on facility, where you can try the glasses on against an uploaded photo of yourself.
My favourite colour was the tortoise orange and white frames, simply because with this colour, it will match anything you’re wearing.
They are strong, sturdy, and sit comfortably on. They look like they wouldn’t break easily also. Made in Italy, the shades cut out enough sunlight so that you’re not dazzled, but my vision was still clear and colours were not warped or dulled.
You really can’t go wrong with these shades, they won’t let you down. (Four stars) HB
Minnie Mouse Sunglasses
£4.50, available at Tesco
Lucy loved this pair of sunglasses. She loved the design and wouldn’t take them off, even in the shade.
They were durable and didn’t seem as though they would break on their first drop. The price is also great too. This pair of sunnies were overall winners for us! (Four stars) MM
Icon Men’s Fernando Sunglasses Gunmetales Smoke
£RRP £19.99, available from http://www.mandmdirect.com
I HAVE a pair of costly sunspecs which are produced for drivers of a very expensive motoring marque – not me I hasten to add.
While they do their job brilliantly – keeping out the sun -– they do not fit well and slip and slide at the slightest movement.
So it was with anticipation and interest that I tried out Icon Mens Fernando Sunglasses.
The wrap around frame is most comfortable.
They sit well and you know they will not fall off, even when bouncing about in a boat in a good sea swell off the Isle of Skye.
The smokey grey lenses provide sun category two protection which certainly took the glare off the golden orb on one of the few days it made an appearance this summer.
The suppliers have slashed £12.00 off the price so you can pick up a pair for only £7.99.
And if, by chance they do fall overboard, you won’t be shedding tears. (Three stars) LF
R£6, available at Disney Store and www.disneystore.co.uk
ALTHOUGH these glasses are aimed at over threes, my six-year-old son found these comfortable while wearing them at a theme park where we were recently on holiday. They were so secure on his head, they even stayed put while he was on a rollercoaster. Not bad going! When wearing sunnies, he would normally have whipped them off after a short spell, but he seemed to keep these on for a good proportion of the day. They also offer 100 per cent UV protection, and are classed in filter category three of eight to 18 per cent, so us parents know the eyes of our little ones are being looked after with these.
Another plus point is that he looked quite a cute little dude sporting these shades. (Five stars) HB
Polaroid Glide sports sunglasses
RRP £65, available from sports shops and independent opticians nationwide, as well as Next, Specsavers, Optical Express and Vision Express, or online at www.polaroidsunglasses.co.uk
These stylish brown-tinted sports sunglasses are so light that you could easily forget you have them on. Their shape and flexible legs and red rubber nose and ear grips means that they will fit a variety of sizes of heads comfortably and a quick adjustment of positioning on your face should enable you to get rid of any intrusive frame view round the bridge of the nose. The tight fit around the eyebrows virtually eliminates sweat running down from the hair and forehead into the eyes during exertion while there was the occasional brief problem with the lenses steaming up but this quickly righted itself.
The brown lenses shade looks quite dark but when worn the amount of light it lets through to the eye gives a surprisingly bright outlook no matter whether its is sunny or dull. Polaroid says brown and copper colours absorb blue light which the eye can find hard to use and it makes it easier to see when looking at a blue sky or water making it a good choice for golfers and anglers while the ability to differentiate contours and hazards makes the Glide an option for cyclists, runners and skiers.
The lenses have a category 3 medium filter of 8-18%, making it the most popular one for taking part in sports in both cloudy and sunny conditions and they give 100% UV400 protection and come with a Polaroid case.
The lightweight wraparound frame and lenses are one of the lightest and best-fitting glasses I have come across and come in at a price that undercuts many big-name rivals. (Four stars) PB