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Smart, sassy and stylish: Why red sunglasses are always in vogue

woman in a pool wearing red sunglasses

Red sunglasses are the perfect statement piece, easily highlighting any fashion ensemble. Whether it’s style you’re after or just increased levels of ultraviolet (UV) protection, red sunglass frames and lenses tend to hit that balance with ease. This can make them the perfect addition to anyone’s collection, man, woman or child. But with so many variations out there, how exactly do you go about buying the perfect pair of red shaded sunglasses?

Classy and practical, sunglasses are almost an essential part of every ensemble. The benefits go far beyond questions of style: protecting your eyes from harsh glare, reducing chances of macular degeneration, and helping prevent eye injuries from debris. 

Then there are the variations in shape, style and tint — each of which boasts of a specific utility and benefit. Red sunglasses are a great example. “Red sunglasses” is itself an umbrella term. Many different categories, shapes, styles and shades fall under the category.

READ MORE: Prescription and Designer Sunglasses Guide

Types of red sunglass frames

Red-colored sunglasses have always been in vogue. And for good reason. From Kurt Cobain and his funky clout goggles and Taylor Swift with her statement red Wayfarers to the iconic Lolita in her heart-shaped sunglasses — lovers of shades of red are everywhere. So if you have finally caved and decided to add a (another?) pair to your collection, here are some types you can choose from and splurge on:

Red aviator sunglasses 

Aviator sunglasses usually have thin metal frames that are as stylish as they are iconic, but you can also find them with red plastic frames. Owing to their oversized lenses, they also provide sufficient protection to the skin around your eyes. Whether you choose metal or plastic frames, adding red lenses is a great choice.

Red Wayfarer sunglasses

A definite crowd-pleaser, Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses feature an iconic frame design that is well-suited to fun, casual days in the sun. Perfect for light outdoor activities, red Ray-Ban sunglasses are available in both red-tinted lenses and frames.

Oversized red round sunglasses

Usually featuring a full frame, oversized glasses have been all the rage for quite some time. Big red sunglasses are perfect for days at the beach or couture shoots, and their frame materials can vary from plastic to metal. 

The thick-framed, oval Archive 1993/Series 6558 sunglasses by Christian Roth (aka “clout goggles”) are a great example. Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain famously wore the red version to the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards.

Red Clubmaster sunglasses 

The Ray-Ban Clubmaster browline style is the best option for those aiming for a more refined look. The upper parts of the frame are thicker than the lower parts, making them both light and suave. Already a popular choice among fashion enthusiasts, browline sunglasses became even more popular after being featured in movies and shows including “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,”  “Moonlighting” and “Reservoir Dogs.”

Red sports sunglasses 

Sports sunglasses come with ultralight frames for effortless movement. Red sports sunglasses tend to provide an enhanced field of vision, especially during snowier days.

The wraparound version of these sunglasses provides the ultimate protection from the sun and prevents wind and dust particles from entering the eye, making them the perfect companion for bikers, cyclists and drivers.

In fact, red-framed sport sunglasses are so in-style right now that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is often spotted pairing the Matte Redline frame from his Sutro Lite Oakley collection with almost every one of his daily outfits. If that’s not commitment, we don’t know what is. 

Red cat eye sunglasses

Another one for the vintage enthusiasts, red cat eye sunglasses are a classic. Owing to their large size, these sunglasses can provide excellent eye protection while pairing perfectly with summer dresses and bright scarves.

Red butterfly sunglasses

This style of butterfly-shaped, oversized sunglasses cover the eyes completely, providing even the skin around them with excellent protection. They are a popular choice for their balance of sheer style and practicality.

Red geometric sunglasses

One of the more creative styles of sunglasses, these are perfect when paired with tinted lenses. Red or rose metal frames paired with red lenses can elevate your style while still being reliable and efficient. 

Kids’ red sunglasses

Sunglasses are just as important for kids as they are for adults, especially since kids spend so much time outdoors. Without proper protection, kids may even be at a greater risk of eye damage. Thankfully, there are several styles and shapes of red-framed sunglasses available for kids out there. Some of these have been listed below:

Bright red full-rimmed glasses – Bright and with rounded edges, these frames are durable, fashionable and perfect for outdoor activities. Some of them even come with lenses that have mirror coatings to cut glare from intense sunlight.

Red Ray-Ban Juniors – Sassy and stylish, these red frames combine durability with fun fashion. Oversized to provide greater protection, these glasses are the trendy choice for the tiny fashionista in your life. 

McFly Red Toddler Shades – Light and durable, these little red Wayfarer-style sunglasses from ro•sham•bo baby pair thick, bold red frames with polarized lenses. They may be nostalgic in their ’80s appeal, but their trendiness ensures they will forever be in fashion.

Cheeky cat-eye sunglasses – For kids who love to follow in their parents’ footsteps, these glasses are a perfect choice. They are big enough to provide full protection to the eyes while also being adorably fashionable.

Fun folding sunglasses – These sunglasses fold into fun shapes, making the sunglasses easier to carry around when not in use.

Red lens tints

Why stop at red frames when you could look at the world through rose colored sunglasses? Sassy and chic, lenses come in many shades of red — each boasting its own perk or quirk. 

Bright or rosy-hued tinted sunglasses lenses allow more light in and are perfect for low-light conditions such as cloudy days. The lighter shades are perfect for extended wear, while the cherry-tinted ones are ideal for medium light settings. The dark red wine and maroon lenses are ideal for bright days as they block out the sun’s harsh glare and reduce strain on the eyes. 

LEARN MORE about the benefits of different lens tint colors

Daring in their boldness, red tinted sunglasses have forever been the darling child of pop culture. Think John Lennon’s iconic round teashades that he wore with red-tinted lenses (among other colors). Or the very distinctive pair of metal-rimmed, red-tinted Oliver Peoples 523 sunglasses worn by the notorious Tyler Durden, Brad Pitt’s character in “Fight Club.” 

More recently, the enigmatic character of Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., pushed thick-rimmed, red-tinted glasses into the spotlight, strengthening their place in the pop-culture hall of fame.

Advantages of red lens sunglasses

Ever a popular choice, sunglasses with red lenses are not just stylish but also practical. Some of their many benefits have been listed below:

  • Reduced eye strain – By blocking harsh glare from bright lights and blue light from computer screens, red lens sunglasses tend to reduce eye strain and comfort the eyes. So it is not surprising that they are a rather popular choice among gamers and other avid computer users.

  • Increased depth of field and enhanced vision – A reduction in glare and eye strain provides better visibility and decreases distortion. Since red glasses provide enhanced vision, it makes them a great companion while driving.

  • Better adjustment to contrast – These glasses help your eyes adjust to color contrast and, therefore, can be very soothing to the eyes.

  • Great option in any weather condition – Whether it is cloudy, sunny or snowy, these sunglasses can protect the eyes while providing outstanding visibility.

  • Perfect choice for winter sports – Since red sunglasses can block the harsh glare from snow, they are the perfect choice when engaging in winter activities like skiing or sledding. 

  • Longer wearability – Because of their soothing properties, wearers can keep these glasses on for longer periods of time compared to other tinted sunglasses.

  • A fashionable statement piece – Red sunglasses make for a definite statement piece that pairs easily with everything, from casual beachwear to tailored power suits.

Things to look out for while buying red sunglasses

It is not enough for red sunglasses to only have stylish red-tinted lenses or frames. When combined with certain features, they can also ensure better protection and comfort for your eyes. Some of these features have been listed below:

  • 100% UV protection – UV exposure can be extremely detrimental to the eye. So, if possible, your red sunglasses should feature lenses that can protect your eyes from 100% of UV rays.

  • Larger coverage – When your sunglasses are larger, they can provide better eye coverage and protection. Oversized red sunglasses ensure that the skin around your eyes is also better protected from harmful radiation.

  • Polarized lenses – Polarized lenses can reduce the glare coming off of reflective surfaces. When combined with a red tint, red polarized sunglasses can significantly reduce the strain on your eyes and provide much-needed comfort.

  • Optical clarity – Both the sunglasses’ central and peripheral field of vision must be clear, regardless of the red tint’s intensity.

  • Impact- and scratch-resistant lenses – Lenses that are resistant to scratches and other impacts are more durable. Polycarbonate lenses are a great impact-resistant option and can be added to your red frame sun glasses to offer greater efficiency and durability.

Where to buy red sunglasses

Sunglasses are widely available in eyewear shops and online stores. You can certainly find cheap red sunglasses, but it is crucial to select an option that is budget-friendly and also reliable. Some of the top online stores include:

  • Oakley – One of the biggest names in the eyewear industry, Oakley is not likely to disappoint you if you venture into its online store in search of red sunglasses. From signature Holbrook shades with Prizm Dark Golf tint to Frogskins Lite with Prizm Ruby lenses, Oakley has a variety of red frame styles and tints.  

  • Ray-Ban – As a leading brand in sunglasses and prescription eyewear, Ray-Ban offers a plethora of options when buying red sunglasses. For example, there are Aviators with red frames and red mirrored lenses. Ray-Ban has a great collection of red Aviators for kids. With stores in multiple locations, each boasting of a range of cool options, Ray-Ban may be the answer if you are on the lookout for a stylish pair of red sunglasses. 

  • EyeBuyDirect.com – This top online retailer provides different types of red sunglasses. There are different styles of red frames available for both men and women.

  • FramesDirect.com – An international eyewear retailer specializing in eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses, FramesDirect.com sells top brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley, Versace, Burberry and Dolce & Gabbana.

  • LensCrafters – This international retailer is known for its prescription eyewear and prescription sunglasses. They provide great options for different face shapes so you can choose a pair depending on your personal style and need. You can also visit LensCrafters brick-and-mortar stores if you prefer the in-store experience.

  • Costa – Since Costa Del Mar (or “Costa”) specializes in polarized sunglasses, they are a great choice when buying sunglasses. Depending on the activities you engage in, you can choose a pair from the vast collection of red sunglasses they have on offer.

When it comes to in-store locations, Pearle Vision is the largest franchised optical retailer in the United States. If you are looking for prescription sunglasses at an in-store site, they may be the best option for you.

Whether you are looking to make a fashion statement or just get a pair of sunglasses that will keep eye strain at bay, red tinted sunglasses are a great choice. Chic and classy, red sunglasses are also comfortable, versatile and practical. Depending on one’s style, mood or need, one can easily pick a pair from among the vast number of choices available out there.

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