Did you know there’s a rumor that the Northwest has the highest sunglasses sales in the nation?
The thought is we don’t wear our sunglasses for 9 months out of the year so we lose them.
We disagree! Sunglasses are a year round accessory – even in Washington State! How many times has the sun broken through after a February rain shower and you find yourself squinting through the glare reflections as you drive down I-5? There’s no better time to grab a pair of polarized sunglasses than right now at Binyon!
All in-stock sunglasses (except Maui Jim) are marked down 30%! We currently have amazing styles from Lafont Paris, Face a Face, American Optical, Garrett Leight and NW77th. Many come with polarized non-prescription lenses and all can be made into prescription sunglasses! If you wear prescription sunglasses, be sure to ask about our multiple pair discounts for lenses when you come into the office!
A recent post about the popularity of Aviators is here!
We are open from 8:00 – 5:30 Monday – Friday! Feel free to call 360-647-2020 to set up an appointment with an optician to look at our sunglasses frames or come on by! We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you find your next sunglasses!
When Top Gun was released in 1986, the next seven months saw a 40% boost on the sale of Aviator sunglasses (Goh, March 17, 2020). We won’t know the impact on the classic style’s popularity for a few months, but it’s safe to say that Top Gun: Maverick released May 27 ,2022 will spur another surge. It’s easy to see why – Aviators are ageless… a lot like the movie’s star who wears them so well – Mr. Tom Cruise himself.
The actual sunglasses worn in the movie are manufactured by Ray-Ban, a Luxottica-owned company that has enough dollars behind it to guarantee exclusivity in a movie with a production cost of $170M. It’s easy to find the frame model number online with a quick search, but, interestingly, another article (Homes, June 1, 2022) mentions the exact pair Tom wore was custom made for the star- not the model you would buy off the shelf.
How to Choose the Best Aviator Sunglasses for Your Face
Since even Tom Cruise had a custom pair of aviators made for his face, we know the subtleties in aviator design can make a big difference for which model looks best on your face. First let’s define what makes a pair of sunglasses “Aviators”
thin metal frames with double or triple bars across the bridge (piece across the nose, connecting the lenses)
large lenses, double or triple the size of the eyes
while many associate the teardrop shape with traditional Aviators, many of the current designs are more square, can even be round and more flattering
Speaking of shape – frames flatter face shapes in contrasts – a square or angular face is softened by a frame with rounder edges and a round face is flattered by an angular cat eye or square frame. Maintaining proper proportion with the size of the lenses is very important – look at the temple (side) pieces of a frame when it’s on your face – it should be about a finger width from your temples. If it’s touching your temples- it’s too small which is not good aesthetically or for comfort!
We often see in Aviators the oversized look going too far. If the lenses extend way beyond the edges of the face- it will not provide the best sun coverage – allowing bright rays to penetrate and reflect back into the eye and also look… too big. Thankfully many sunglasses manufacturers are manufacturing petite Aviator frames. One of our favorites is the Baby Beach by Maui Jim:
Thankfully with the popularity of the basic Aviator design- there are so many different styles- that will account for the shape and size suggestions we gave above. As we describe on our Frames page, working with independent eyewear manufacturers is important to us. We align with these companies’ patient-first mission and notice significant differences in quality and customer service compared to large corporate brands. If this is also important to you, here are some of our favorite independent manufacturers of Aviator sunglasses, available at Binyon Vision Center.
Independent Manufacturers of Aviator sunglasses
Maui Jim favorite styles: Baby Beach, Maverick (obviously), Cliff House
Contact Lenses with Transitions new to the market. Here background on the technology and what our staff thought when they tried them on
This is no joke! Contact lenses that darken (tint) with UV exposure are available April 1st through Johnson & Johnson. Branded “Oasys with Transitions” the technology has been in development for ten years. Our manufacturer’s rep thinks photochromic (light changing) contacts are going to be standard in all contacts in the future.
Lens Availability and How it Works
The initial product launch only covers spherical powers in the two week disposable lens (not for astigmatism or multi-focal wearers… yet, next year potentially). The contacts ability to change colors depends on two things – temperature and UV exposure. The material of the contact contains a special molecule that activates at body temperature (98 degrees) and when exposed to UV light to darken the lens material. The reaction is quick- within a few minutes of UV light exposure the material gets to the darkened state and without the UV light it returns to the lighter state within a few minutes. In the lighter state- there is a residual 15% tint which is intentional. The slight tint helps to block blue light from digital devices. It also reduces overhead light glare and light from oncoming headlights when night driving.
Staff Reviews of Contacts with Transitions
Hannah- I love them! They change pretty quickly when I come inside- much quicker than my transitions lenses in my glasses.
Shelly- I won’t even put drops in my eyes and you think I’ll put those in my eyes? Nope. #teamglasses
April- my eyes are still pretty light sensitive outside- definitely not a replacement for sunglasses for me on a bright day. #teamglasses
James- Not a big fan, but I haven’t worn contacts in 13 years and they just feel weird. #teamglasses
Sarah- No thanks- no contacts for me! #teamglasses
Caitlin- I like the feel of them- they were very comfortable. I like being outside and not squinting in bright light, I liked the slight tint inside too. But they’re definitely not a replacement for sunglasses on a bright day- especially because they don’t activate in the car. On my contacts days (since I’m 90% glasses, 10% contacts) these contacts would be my choice.
Interested in more information?
We’d love to talk to you more about the new Contact Lenses with Transitions to see if they might be a good fit into your life. The next step would be to set up a contact lens exam with one of the doctors who can answer specific questions and take necessary measurements to fit these lenses. Here is information about contact lens exams for new prescriptions. Here is a link to schedule an appointment online!
“Just wanted to let you know how great my Ovvo glasses are…”
… began an email from Emily. “Several months ago, my toddler snatched them off my face and bent them in HALF. Besides a small crease, the frames were unharmed and I’m wearing them daily. But we had a long talk about how fragile (most) glasses are.”
Emily was referencing her 2nd out of 3 pairs of Ovvo Optics glasses frames. She found her first pair in 2015, soon after her precious son Raylan was born. Little did she know as a new mom she was making a wise investment in the most durable glasses frames.
Ovvo Optics Glasses Design and Technology
What drew Emily to the Ovvo frames was how light and comfortable they are – plus fun shapes and colors. These are two of Ovvo’s design goals for their frame line – the third was durability. In seeking a material that was very lightweight and strong, the company could not find one that met their needs- so they forged their own metal, a combination of surgical stainless steel and titanium that had not been made before and is now manufactured with a patented process by Ovvo (more technical details here: https://ovvooptics.com/technology/).
This hypoallergenic material offers remarkable lightness, flex memory and strength. From an optician’s standpoint the strong material is tough to move during an adjustment but we have confidence when we get it into position- it will stay there- preventing the relaxing that can happen with plastic frames. I like to joke it’s the only pair of glasses I can fall asleep in and they aren’t at all crooked in the morning.
Emily’s hooked on Ovvo glasses
Back to Emily – she’s on her 3rd pair of Ovvo frames now as Raylan just passed his 3rd birthday. Coincidence? Probably not… toddler proof? Definitely, as her story above shows.
When we sat down to pick her second pair in December of 2017- she said, definitely Ovvo. We found one of the great pairs from the latest collection that incorporates a cut-out design, one of the latest eyewear trends. She loved them, and when I pulled out the catalog to see the other colors, she fell deeper in love with the Sapphire color. We ordered it in but started the lenses using the stock frame. When the lenses came back she could choose between the two colors. I love giving patients this option – they have two choices of frame color to pick from when they come to pick up their lenses and we can pop the completed lenses
into the favorites and they are on their way- looking amazing of course.
Don’t forget sunglasses!
Since I had the catalog out as we were looking at alternate colors- Emily started to look at their amazing sunglasses options. I noticed she has an awesome insurance plan through the local credit union she works for and her insurance would be available again in January – mere weeks away. She got a little giddy at the idea of having prescription Ovvo sunglasses. I’d remembered seeing an awesome design at an Ovvo trunk show we had done and showed her the catalog. “That’s the one!” she cried and we ordered it in in Shiny red! When she came to pick up her new glasses and choose the color, the sunglasses had arrived! We were able to make the frame measurements, wait until the calendar flipped to 2018 and order these beautiful sunglasses.
Emily, Raylan and I had a marvelous photoshoot with the talented Katheryn Moran of Katheryn Moran Photography to highlight these wonderful frames. It was fun to watch Mommy and son share such natural tender moments. We are glad to see that these frames have become a beautiful part of her look and an indispensable tool in her mommy bag. With all the things the Mama’s have to worry about- broken glasses can be crossed off the list with Ovvo eyewear.
Join us and fall in love with your new frames. The most stunning, thoughtful, provoking eyewear collection you will ever see. A masterful designer influenced by Pop Art, the Beat generation and Art Deco married an optician with an exceptional attention to detail and passion for quality and the result is Anne et Valentin eyewear. It’s a true love story and we can’t wait to share the passion behind this beautiful, handmade eyewear.
Here we are on October 3rd still enjoying summer like sun with the wonderful fall crisp to the air. I find myself wearing my sunglasses year round while I drive – especially on those wonderful days the sun peaks out after the rain and the sky is glorious- but the glare is blinding.
It’s a great time to come check out our sunglasses inventory- all sunglasses frames in stock are 30% off through the end of the month. We’ve got such a great variety this year thanks to our partnership with INVU Sunwear- which offers beautiful polarized sunglasses at a great value.
What’s your style? Luxurious, Ombre, Engineered, Classic, Glam, Funky, Fashion-foward, Athleisure, Fun? We’ve got it all. Stop by soon to check out our sunglasses sale!
The weather today could NOT make up it’s mind! When I dropped my kids off, it was pouring- my 3 year old cried, “We need a boat Mom!” as we ran into her preschool. When I picked them up four hours later- the sun was out, sky was blue, a perfect PNW afternoon. But… the road was still wet… so I was temporarily blinded by the concentrated sun rays hitting the puddles going right into my eyes until… I put my polarized sunglasses on. Sweet relief.
I’ve recently come across some really great explanations of how polarized lenses work to reduce glare – and I hope to shed some light (pun intended) on how these work- so you can hopefully gain a new appreciation of this great technology!
The glare of the sun on flat wet surfaces- such as roads, the surface of the ocean, snow reflects from that horizontal plane- concentrating all that light into a blinding reflection. Polarized lenses have a polarized filter oriented vertically to block light coming in horizontally. Besides removing the intensified and scattered horizontal light, the vertically aligned light polarize lenses allow to pass is preferable to the visual system- creating a significantly more comfortable view. Non polarized sunglasses indiscriminately filter all light- horizontal and vertical. They reduce glare but don’t eliminate it.
By filtering all components olight- a less sharp image is the result. The selective light filtering of a polarized lens actually creates a sharper picture!
Summary of the benefits of polarized lenses:
Improves visual comfort
Improves contrast and clarity
Not all polarized lenses on the market are created equal. The quality of the filter used and how the lenses are manufactured determines the glare reduction. Drug store “polarized” sunglasses may only cut out 10% of light, where premium polarized lenses such as Xperio lenses by Essilor cut out 99% of reflected light.
Next time you’re driving on a gorgeous day when the storm has lifted and the sun is shining down on large puddles of morning rain and reflecting right into your eyes- consider an investment in a quality pair of polarized sunglasses. They will greatly improve your driving experience!
Dr. McEathron often talks to patients about how to slow down age-related vision changes to their vision and eyes. It’s his gentle way of bringing up the inevitable- along with the rest of our body- our eyes change as we age. This blog post is part one of a discussion on how to slow down those birthday induced changes to your eye health and vision.
Here comes the sun…
There is much talk about protecting your skin from the sun- wearing sunscreen daily and link between UV exposure and skin cancer- but let’s talk about your eyes. The tissue on and around our eyes is thinner and more sensitive than the rest of our body. Eyes can sunburn with a great amount of sun exposure in a short time. This effect is called photokeratitis and can be very painful. Symptoms can include watery eyes, burning and feeling like grit is in your eyes. Thankfully it is typically short-lived (up to one week) and usually has no long term effects.
Long term UV exposure to our eyes can however have long term effects, including on our age-related vision changes. UV-A and UV-B light rays speed up the process of forming a cataract and increases the risk of macular degeneration. Both of these conditions affect your vision – cataracts make the world seem cloudy and blurry- which cannot be corrected with glasses, only surgery. Macular degeneration is a loss of the central vision- a blind spot that is irreversible. As previously mentioned- the skin around the eyes and tissue on the eyes is very thin. Consequently, excessive sun exposure without proper protection can lead to skin cancer and premature signs of aging, therefore furthering age-related vision changes.
Sunglasses protect your eyes today and tomorrow!
Whenever you spend time outside, there are easy ways to protect your eyes from the sun to help reduce the risks discussed above. Wearing quality sunglasses that provide 100% protection against UV-A and UV-B radiation is the first step. Transition lenses (that darken in sunlight) also provide 100% UV protection. Wrap-around sunglasses provide the most amount of protection. Don’t forget about protecting children and young adults eyes too! They typically spend the most time in the sun. Therefore, implementing the sunglasses habit can make the biggest impact to their long term eye health. It does this by reducing the amount of accumulative hours of UV exposure!
See Cleary – Check Yearly
In addition to sun protection- yearly eye exams to monitor eye health in all of these risk areas are very important. If you have any questions or concerns- please contact us for an appointment today or stop in to talk with one of our opticians about sunwear!
BINYON VISION CENTER
411 E. Magnolia Street, Bellingham WA 98225