Sunglasses: Balancing Style with Safety

Like an olive in your martini, sunglasses can be that final garnish to your latest outfit. They can also be an eye protective essential when battling against ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun whenever you venture outside.
While sometimes we pack our sunglasses away during darker winter months, they’re actually just as important on the ski slopes (or après-ski) as they are while relaxing on a white sand beach.
“Whether it’s winter or summer, cloudy or sunny, you’re always subject to ultraviolet exposure,” says ophthalmologist Elliot Levine, M.D.
Author Hope Dworaczyk Smith wears sunglasses while driving a convertible
With a sunglasses collection that rivals anyone (including Elton John!) and as a self-care advocate, Hope Smith understands that when it comes to choosing your next pair of ‘sunnies,’ finding a style that packs a punch vs. the sun isn’t always easy.
Let’s break down the importance of eye-care, the right kinds of sunglasses to look for, and then of course the styles that will dominate 2022!

Why Your Eyes Deserve Attention

Getting sun exposure can offer a whole host of benefits including helping us produce Vitamin D, lowering blood pressure, and even help you get proper sleep. On the flip side, the sun’s UV rays pose several potential harms, specifically to your eyes.

“Like all things, [sunlight] moderation is key,” says optometrist Joe Schneiderhan, O.D. “Your eyes can handle some time in the sun without sunglasses, yet too much of the sun’s UV exposure has negative effects on your eyes and vision, potentially causing short-term and long-term damage.”

Entrepreneur Hope Dworaczyk Smith reads a newspaper outdoors with sunglasses on
Some of the potential hazards when it comes to sun exposure for your eyes include:
  • Photokeratitis — a sunburn of your eye, this can happen when you have excessive exposure to UV rays over a short period of time. A common cause can be tanning beds.
  • Cataracts — causes the lens of the eye to become cloudy, and can result in loss of clarity or vision entirely if left untreated.
  • Skin cancer — not on your eyes, but on your eyelids and skin surrounding your eyes. This skin tissue is ultra-thin, and requires a little extra attention.
On a more cosmetic level, over exposure to sunlight can also cause wrinkles and lines around the eyes, and accelerate the signs of aging. As Schneiderhan says, “Healthy eyes are always in style”

Specs to Look for When Buying New Specs

Whether you’re browsing Google, having your attention grabbed by yet another Instagram ad, or out in the wild at an actual shop, it can be hard to look past the style and aesthetic of a pair of sunglasses.
But there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to finding the right pair.
For protection purposes you’ll want to look for sunglasses that have a high rating against UV rays. The most effective pairs will have a rating of “UV 400” — this means that they block out 99-100% of harmful UV light.
Hope Dworaczyk Smith at the edge of a swimming pool with sunglasses on
For protection purposes you’ll want to look for sunglasses that have a high rating against UV rays. The most effective pairs will have a rating of “UV 400” — this means that they block out 99-100% of harmful UV light.
Another important consideration is what you plan to do while wearing the sunglasses. If you’re planning on skiing or spending time on or near the water, finding a pair of polarized sunglasses will help limit the amount of glare on your eyes and improve visibility. Polarization however doesn’t equate to protection from UV light, so you’ll still want to double check the rating of whichever sunglasses you’re looking to buy.

Sunglass Styles Shaping 2022

Now let’s get to the icing on the cake — style. No matter your budget, there’s plenty of options out there to choose from, and that will all take your look from “WHOA”, to “WELL DAMN.”


With all types of frame styles, finding the right pastels that suit you really comes down to color:
Philanthropist Hope Dworaczyk Smith poses for a photo wearing sunglasses and a black outfit

Oversized ‘70s

Sunglasses inspired by the ‘70s typically feature oversized frames in a bunch of different styles, like aviators. Here are some potential options:

Angular Frames

To make a bit more of a statement, check out different styles of angular framed sunglasses, which optometrist Natasha Luthra says are one of the strongest trends popping up in 2022 so far.

Some Much Needed Sunglass Style Inspo

When it comes to collections, even Elton would be jealous of Hope Smith’s vintage sunglass collection. She even recently made her Instagram followers drool with this exciting reel showing off her sets of sunnies. From Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent, Hope’s sunglasses collection has more sets than we could hope to wear in a whole year (but we’d love to try).