La vie en rose
Maui Jim Sunglasses
Everyone loves cool shades— not merely for being chic but for the simple pleasure of being less squinty but the fact is this is not just an indulgence but an absolute necessity in caring for one’s eyes and the delicate skin around the eyes. Early cataracts are one of the consequences of reckless sun behaviour and it is crucial that the glasses one chooses have actual UV protection rather than merely coloured lenses.
Here is what you need to know for optimal sunglass choice and protection that I learnt about when I finally added these darling Maui Jims to my favourite super-light Silhouette shades.
- Wear sunglasses everyday — UV eye damage is cumulative over a lifetime and it is so crucial for children to get into the habit and also because their eyes are still developing. In winter especially they are a handy way to keep the wind out as well not to mention fend off the reflected light from the snow hypothetically white but in NYC we call 50 Shades of Grey ☺
- Complete UVA/UVB protection — broad spectrum is key and you just can’t take it for granted. Maui Jim offers 100% UV protection — this is a big deal when you consider the impact of sun damage — see Suncare Revisited.
- Polarized lenses rock — these are actually better than regular lenses since they reduce glare by filtering out reflected sunlight from surfaces like water and the pavement. Of all the features I adore about my sunglasses — this polarised view of the world is the most vivid and exciting element— it’s the way I felt when I first heard music through noise cancelling headphones — to see the world through polarised lenses has the same effect — you can see the signal without the noise. I wonder sometimes if hyper-realistic artists like Atkinson Grimshaw or even Edward Hopper have eyes that are preternaturally gifted with such a polarised perspective. It’s not got a lot to do with UV filtering but it’s really easy on the eyes.
- Hue do you love- I love that my lenses are Maui Rose — the UV protection is clear and the colour is merely a choice so when you’re sifting through a drugstore brand there’s no reason to get a false sense of security with darker colours. I personally would prefer la vie en rose (one of my favourite songs) that delights me every time I look at it let alone pick it up and put it on. This can make it difficult if you’re driving but I don’t drive and they suit me just fine.
- Lens quality — so you have great glasses but it’s important to have high quality consistent lenses or the protection can be patchy at best and affect your vision in the worst case. It is for this reason that I feel safer in Maui Jims — I have eyes that dart around and especially down to read my phone (see Hunchneck of Notre Phone) and I can trust these shades to have me covered all ways.
- Size matters — a general heuristic for sunglasses is that size matters and it’s better to have bigger glasses — I personally feel coverage matters more — the sporty slopiness of my glasses keeps the sun out from the sides far more effectively than bigger shades. I also have a smaller face and when I wear Jackie O style glasses they just fall off and I tend to leave them in their boxes languishing in my bag rather than working to protect me for fear of losing them. I prefer smaller glasses that I will keep on for longer.
- Fit matters — if you’re planning to wear something every day no detail is too small to ensure an easy, happy experience — you must watch out that the glasses stay on easily — they have to fit your face — no amount of specs can tune you into the need for a suitable fit — they can’t pinch the nose and can’t be so close to your eyes that your eyelashes brush them.
- Style matters — now I am not going to suggest this in terms of fashion — aviators are timeless, buggy big glasses are also the rage from year to year as are the minimalist frameless ones but the best style is one that suits your face. I have a round face with round eyes — if I wore round frames I would look like Ms. Full Moon — I know my shades work for my face and that’s why I wear them so often.
I am especially attached to my Maui Jims as I got them in Maui when I was there for a college friend’s wedding. It was the most magical trip as I personally would not have sought out a beach holiday by myself but each time I reach for them to wear I have a brief flash of a visual from that trip — the greeny-blue sea, the volcano, the red cliffs and seeing some of my dearest friends together.
Louis Armstrong has a great version of this song but my favourite is Edith Piaf’s — mainly for the line — voila le portrait sans retouche — an unembellished portrait of the man to whom she belongs. But everyone should know these lines —
Quand il me prend dans ses bras
Il me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose
When he takes me in his arms and speaks to me softly I see the world through rose-coloured glasses. She’s talking about the safety and happiness that envelops one when true love is at hand and that’s how I feel about my main man Jim ☺