When shopping for sunglasses, you’ll face the challenging decision between metal and plastic frames. While both are great, metal frames take the crown for many reasons.

Sunglasses can be the key element for completing a look. And choosing the right frames can help you look and feel good while you’re cruising through town. 

So, why are metal sunglasses better, you ask? We’re here to explain what makes metal sunglasses better than plastic.


Why Are Sunglasses an Essential Accessory?

Sunglasses have the benefit of doing two important things: protecting your eyes from the sun and helping you look cool while doing it. 

Varying in shape, size, and design, all it takes is the right pair to make you feel like a thousand bucks. Still, it's up to you to determine the style of frame that makes you feel confident and happy.


What Is the History of Sunglasses?

The history of sunglasses goes as far back as the Roman Emperor Nero

This historical figure allegedly watched gladiator fights through emerald lenses. Some people believe the lenses he used were the first pair of sunglasses invented. Others think he may have been near-sighted. 

Either way, if the emperor really used emerald stone to block the sunlight, you have to admit he had style.


How Have Sunglasses Changed Over Time?

Sunglasses have evolved since then. Over time, frames have changed in shape and material from the manipulation of wood, leather, and bone to the current use of plastic (the most common material for glasses) and metal.

Your preference when deciding on frames is essential because you’re choosing what works for you and only you. You and you alone get to decide on the sunglasses that make you feel good. 

The sunglasses your friend is sporting may look great on them, but you may feel otherwise when you try them on yourself. When you find the pair meant for you, it'll be as if you were Harry Potter finding his wand.


Metal vs. Plastic


Why Metal Sunglasses Are More Durable

Raise your hand if you've ever accidentally dropped your sunglasses or sat on them. had a moment where you snapped your head to the side too quickly — and watched in slow motion as your sunglasses flew across the room with a dramatic crash. 

We know we're not the only ones to have that happen on more than one occasion.

When it comes to glasses or sunglasses, a loose-fitting pair can result in moments of “I Can’t Believe That Just Happened Again” disbelief. We can't tell you how many times looking down has ended in a game of hot potato.

Here’s another fun fact that gives some added points — it’s definitely more durable than plastic. Have you ever sat on your plastic sunglasses, only to hear them cracking under you? That’s not the case with metal shades.

Here’s why: metal bends instead of breaking, which means you can rebend if you accidentally sit on your sunglasses.

Metal sunglasses can endure a lot. From falling asleep while wearing them and rolling over on them, to just hitting the beach or playing beach volleyball living in them, they can withstand the daily woes of trying to look good without being a hazard to yourself.

Our Lafayette Aviators are what we'd like to call "life-proof," meaning they can withstand the random wear and tear of living your everyday life. They’re made with aerospace-grade aluminum and are scratch, impact, and corrosion-resistant. They’re also polarized, meaning they cut the glare from the light. 

Thanks to their high-tech material and special features, these shades can handle plenty of accidental drops. That means they’ll look like new for way longer than plastic sunglasses. Plus, our sunglasses come with a sleek carrying case, made of reinforced steel, that fits inside your pocket. That means you have no reason to go without a pair of sunglasses.


Why Metal Sunglasses Are Eco-Friendly

What do you do when your glasses break? Do you try to fix them, or do you chuck them in the trash and find a replacement pair?

Metal produces less waste when compared to plastic. In 2020, 367 metric tons of plastic waste were produced. It only decreased by 0.3 percent when compared to the previous year.

While plastic is difficult to recycle, metal can be recycled and reused easily. Humans are already really good at recycling metal, so very little of it ends up in a landfill. On the other hand, less than 9% of plastic gets recycled after use.

Recycling sunglasses can be tricky. The trick is to divide the glasses by their parts and take them to a recycling facility. There, they will be recycled and distributed. Metal requires a specific facility.

Because metal sunglasses are durable, you don't have to worry too much about the effect your purchase would have on the environment. Metal sunglasses are a good choice because if you invest in a quality pair, you are in for a lifetime of good vibes. 


Why Metal Sunglasses Are Higher-Quality

Metal sunglasses also get bonus points for their superior quality. When you compare a pair of metal frames to plastic frames, you can instantly feel the difference. The metal shades are more substantial and have a heftier feel in your hand, which is an instant indicator of quality.

In addition to feeling better, metal also looks well-crafted — but we can’t say the same about plastic. Plastic sunglasses start looking dinky and cheap after just a little bit of wear and tear.


What Are the Different Styles of Sunglasses?

Imagine walking down the street on a sunny day. 

You notice a well-dressed man in a tailored suit sporting a pair of the sleekest aviator sunglasses you've ever seen. His partner beside him showcases the latest trend in sunglasses straight from Paris. Across the street from them, a local musician wears a pair of round-rimmed glasses reminiscent of John Lennon. 

The three of them are different, but each wears a set of sunglasses that works for them.

For sunglasses, metal frames give you a host of options to upgrade your overall look. But your choice in the frame style depends on what you like and what you think works for you.

Classic styles worn today include the vintage round-framed sunglasses worn by musicians John Lennon and Ozzy Osbourne, the rectangular style frames worn by David Bowie, and our favorite: the iconic aviators.

Aviators sunglasses like our Lafayette Aviators are a timeless design that reemerged in popularity around the time of the Tom Cruise-helmed film Top Gun: Maverick. Designed with aerospace-grade aluminum, our aviators can polish up a look and leave you feeling like the captain of the sky.


Finding Comfortable Sunglasses

When you wear your sunglasses, do you feel too much pressure on your temples? Are they too loose or too tight on your face? Are you comfortable? 

Like prescription glasses, you want sunglasses to fit your face and sit on your nose comfortably. 

Metal frames can be molded into different shapes when compared to plastic ones. Plastic is a cheaper material to purchase but can be broken easily with the right amount of pressure. Plastic frames can also tend to sit awkwardly on your face.


Why You Only Need One Pair of Sunglasses

Having multiple pairs of sunglasses is a dream to some, but having good-quality sunglasses should be an overall goal.

Options are always fun. You never know when the urge to bust out a pair of neon yellow sunglasses will take over you, but knowing that they're well-made and long-lasting can only add to your list of reasons to buy a pair of metal sunglasses.

Metal sunglasses don't make you sacrifice your quality of life. They stay in place if you are biking down a mountain, trying to hail a cab, or having a late-night gaming session. They can adapt to you and keep you looking good in the process.

Sure, those less expensive sunglasses are nice and all — but in the end, the ones you invested in will continue to live on and prosper with you.



When buying sunglasses, are you getting your money's worth?

Investments can occur in more than just stocks and businesses. People invest in designer bags, leather jackets, memorabilia, and sometimes lifestyles. It's a way of preserving products and allowing them to appreciate.

With sunglasses, you're investing in your quality of life. By purchasing well-made sunglasses, you give yourself the best protection from UV rays while also knowing that you didn't sacrifice your wallet.

Who says you need to spend hundreds of dollars on sunglasses when there's always a more affordable one with the same premium features?

All Citizens’ Lafayette Aviators provide you with the same quality as other high-end brands — at a fifth the price. So, while most plastic sunglasses cost between $100 to $300, you can grab a pair of better quality metal sunglasses for just $75

Do yourself a favor and think about the quality of the product before you pay. Ask yourself whether or not the sunglasses you're holding are worth the money and if you believe they are worthy of the investment.

In the war between metal and plastic frames, you may go through an adventure or two when coming to your decision. 

Design, styling, comfort, and quality of life can affect your feelings about making such an investment, but in the end, metal frames may be just the thing for you. The next time you're deciding between metal and plastic sunglasses, remember this article and pick what's best for you.



How to Tell If Your Sunglasses Are Really Protecting Your Eyes | University of Utah Health

Only 9% of the World's Plastic Is Recycled | The Economist

The Evolution of Sunglasses | Google Arts & Culture

How Cooperation on Trade Can Help Tackle Plastic Pollution | UNCTAD

July 14, 2022 — Bridget Reed

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