Polarized vs. Non-Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized vs. Non-Polarized Sunglasses

If outdoor sports and recreation are high on your list of favorite activities, you should consider wearing polarized sunglasses. They’ll help you see more clearly and make your time outside more enjoyable.

Traditional sunglasses work by making the sun appear less bright. Wearing them is like using a dimmer switch. On sunny days they reduce the intensity of sunlight. They also protect your eyes from UV rays. What they don’t do is reduce glare or block specific types of light.

Polarized sunglasses block horizontal reflected light. This is the light that reflects off of white snow or water on a bright, sunny day. The reflected light creates the dazzling glare that makes it so you can’t see through the water or that blinds you on the ski slope. Polarized sunglasses have a special coating that is applied in a vertical pattern. It blocks the horizontal rays that cause glare while allowing vertical rays through. LIke traditional sunglasses, polarized lenses also provide UV protection.

The glare from horizontal rays when you’re wearing traditional sunglasses changes the way colors appear. You won’t see the full impact of a beautiful blue sky or an emerald green forest. Colors appear muted. With polarized sunglasses colors are more true, shadows and highlights have more contrast, and clarity is improved.

The glare from the sun can also be dangerous during activities that require a clear view of your surroundings so you can react quickly. When skiing or mountain biking, glare may disrupt your sightline. That could cause a serious accident.

Polarized sunglasses can also reduce eye strain and prevent headaches. However, it’s important to remember you still can’t stare directly at the sun when wearing them. Also, if you’re using an electronic device that has an anti-glare screen, polarized sunglasses may make it hard to view.

Polarized sunglasses are especially popular with fishermen. They shade their eyes from the sun out on the water, and they also eliminate the sun’s glare off the water. If you look at the water on a sunny day wearing traditional sunglasses, you’ll only see the surface of the water because of the sun’s reflection. If you’re wearing polarized sunglasses, that glare is blocked. You’ll be able to see down into the water. In clear water, you can see the fish swimming below the surface. That’s a big advantage for a fisherman!

Polarized sunglasses aren’t just for outdoorsmen, however. They’re also good for blocking glare when driving, particularly when the sun is rising or setting. Have you ever been driving west at sunset when suddenly the glare on your windshield makes it so you can’t see anything but the blinding light? Polarized sunglasses help prevent that, too.

If you wear prescription eyeglasses, you aren’t left out. Polarized prescription sunglasses are also available.

The Sunglass Shoppe has a variety of unique and designer frames that can be fitted with polarized lenses, both prescription and non-prescription. Visit one of our four locations in Petoskey, Charlevoix, Traverse City, and Saugatuck. We’ll help you find the right sunglasses to fit your lifestyle and your unique personality.

Ethical Sunglasses that are Worth the Money

Ethical Sunglasses that are Worth the Money

You shop with reusable bags, buy locally grown produce, and drink fair-trade coffee. But have you ever thought about wearing ethical sunglasses from an eyewear company that cares?

Sunglasses aren’t just for summer. You should wear them all year round on sunny days when you’re outside or driving. They protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Too much exposure to these rays can potentially cause eye damage, leading to vision loss. If you wear prescription eyeglasses you can buy sunglasses with prescription lenses. If you don’t need glasses for vision you can purchase sunglasses with lenses that just offer protection from the sun.

Of course, sunglasses also make a fashion statement. As an accessory, sunglasses instantly add an element of cool to any outfit. A unique pair of sunglasses make a statement as well and tell others something about your personality.

When you choose ethical sunglasses you protect your eyes, look great, and feel good about your purchase. Here are three ethical sunglass brands you can find at The Sunglass Shoppe:

Zeal Optics Sunglasses

Zeal Optics makes plant-based polarized sunglasses that protect your eyes and the earth. Their eco-friendly sunglass frames and lenses are made with Z-Resin, a plant-based material derived from the castor plant. This makes Zeal Optics eyewear sustainable and good for the environment by being petroleum-free. They also have a smaller carbon footprint. But plant-based doesn’t mean lower quality. The Z-Resin actually allows them to produce a polarized lens with greater clarity for crisp, clear vision.

State Optical Sunglasses

State Optical is the only luxury eyewear brand manufactured completely in the United States. State’s eyewear is handcrafted at their manufacturing facility in Chicago by a select group of skilled craftsmen. They’re committed to producing only the best quality eyewear. State Optical is also committed to changing the world for the better. They proudly contribute to the Vision Council’s Opening Your Eyes Scholarship which provides full tuition, an internship, and mentorship to high school seniors from black and brown communities who aspire to become opticians. 

Costa Sunglasses

Costa sunglasses are made for people who love to be on the water. It’s only natural that the company would help protect what they and their customers love – the beach and the water. Costa does this through several different programs. Their Kick Plastic campaign sponsors beach clean-ups and encourages less use of plastics that make their way into the world’s oceans. Their partnership with Ocearch helps fund the protection of sharks. Through #OneCoast, Costa provides funds to coastal communities affected by natural disasters. Costa also helps reduce ocean waste with its Untangled eyewear collection. Frames in this collection are made from recycled fishing nets. As many as 640,000 tons of fishing materials are discarded in the ocean each year.

If you’re interested in purchasing ethical sunglasses, visit The Sunglass Shoppe to learn more about these brands and to try on a pair. They’ll help you find the right pair of sunglasses for your individual needs and personality. They provide services for both standard and prescription sunglasses. The Sunglass Shoppe has four locations in Michigan: Petoskey, Charlevoix, Traverse City, and Saugatuck.

3 Reasons Why We Love Maui Jim

3 Reasons Why We Love Maui Jim

If you have ever stepped foot into one of the Sunglass Shoppe’s locations, you know that one of our favorite brands we like to carry is Maui Jim. Maui Jim has been around since 1980. They started small on the beaches of Hawaii and have since gone global.

Here are three reasons why we think Maui Jim is an excellent brand with SPECtacular eyeglasses and sunglasses.


Maui Jim wants to give their customers the best view possible. They accomplish this by focusing on the color and clarity of their lenses. Since they first started selling their sunglasses on the beach, Maui Jim knew they needed to create a product that shields the sun’s harsh glare but still shows the unique colors and clarity of the world around us. Maui Jim designed their PolaredPlus2 technology, which does precisely that! With a variety of lens colors, there is something for everyone from Maui Jim!

Embrace Aloha

At Maui Jim, they consider their customers family. Maui Jim’s staff is committed to ensuring everyone has an enjoyable experience with every interaction. That is what they like to call the “spirit of Aloha!” The spirit of Aloha is a way of life that brings warmth and heart to everyone.

Independently Owned 

Maui Jim started as an independently owned company selling on Hawaii beaches and quickly grew to be the global company we know today. The company continues to be independently owned, allowing them to do things for their customers that other companies cannot do, such as free shipping and returns and personal customer service. 

Not familiar with the Maui Jim brand? Stop into The Sunglass Shoppe and check out our large variety of sunglasses and eyeglasses. The Sunglass Shoppe has locations in Petoskey and Traverse City, MI. Check out our shops in Charlevoix and Saugatuck, MI, during the summer months. 

What to Consider When Shopping for Sunglasses

What to Consider When Shopping for Sunglasses

This cold weather has us wishing for the summer months to come quickly! Shopping for summer necessities can help us get into the summer spirit, and that includes shopping for new sunglasses. If you are in the market for new sunglasses, here are four things to consider before you close the deal.

UV Protection

 When looking for new sunglasses, make sure you are looking for options that have 100% UV protection. Many sunglasses will promote UV protection, but if they don’t say 100%, then you most likely aren’t getting complete protection. If you are unsure, it’s always a good idea to ask the store clerk before purchasing.

It’s also important to note that the darker the sunglasses lenses don’t always mean more protection. Only sunglasses with the UV protection tag will provide you with the best protection for your eyes.

Bigger is Better

 Bigger sunglasses will provide you with more protection to your eyes than smaller frames. Bigger sunglasses will help prevent the sunlight from sneaking into the sides of your glasses. If you aren’t a fan of oversized sunglasses, consider wearing glasses that wrap around your face for better protection. Sunglasses that wrap around your face also provide good protection if you are into sports.

Lens Color

 Sunglasses that have a colored lens, such as pink or blue, do not necessarily help with protecting you from UV rays. This is also the case for mirrored lenses. If you are an athlete who plays sports where you need to focus on a ball, many people find it helpful to have colored or mirrored lenses. Most of the time, the color of the lens is more about preference.


 Sunglasses will do nothing for you if they don’t fit well on your head. If they are too big and fall to the tip of your nose, they will be more annoying than helpful. Make sure your sunglasses fit comfortably on your face – not too big but not too snug on your face either, which can cause discomfort.


 Consider polarized sunglasses if you think you will be near the water often this summer. Polarized lenses will reduce the glare that can bounce off the water, causing you difficulty seeing. It is important to note that polarized sunglasses do not provide UV protection; it gives you a better visual experience.

There is much to consider when shopping for sunglasses. It can be overwhelming at times. Our staff at The Sunglass Shoppe is here to help! Stop in at one of our locations, and we can help you find the perfect pair of sunglasses for the upcoming summer!

5 Reasons You Should Consider Wearing Goggles on the Slopes This Winter

5 Reasons You Should Consider Wearing Goggles on the Slopes This Winter

As we have stated before, it is just as important to protect your eyes from sunlight in the winter as it is in the summer. The same goes for when you are skiing or snowboarding on the slopes! Although wearing sunglasses would protect you from UV rays when you are skiing or snowboarding, they won’t protect you from all the elements of winter. We suggest investing in a good pair of ski goggles if you are into winter sports.

Here are five reasons we think ski goggles are necessary when you are on the slopes.

They will never fall off

 When skiing or on a snowboard, you can pick up some pretty fast speed going down the mountain! If you are only wearing sunglasses, they can easily fly off depending on your speed. Avoid the fear of losing a good pair of sunglasses by wearing ski goggles. Ski goggles include a tight strap and should fit snug around your entire head, so they don’t go flying.   

They protect you from flying debris

 With the speed you are going when traveling down a mountain on skis or a snowboard, you never know what you might run in to, and you may not have enough time to get out of the way if there is flying debris or dust in your way. If you are wearing ski goggles correctly, they should be sealed around your eyes so small particles or dust can’t get into your eyes. This is especially important if you are night skiing, where your vision may be more altered due to the darkness.

Reduces glare

 Snow is bright! If the sun hits snow the right way, it can produce a blinding glare and prevent you from seeing what’s in front of you. Purchase polarized or tinted sunglasses to help minimize the sun glare. They will also help with UV protection.

Protects your eyes if you are in an accident

 Hopefully, it will never happen, but there is always a chance of losing control on the slopes and getting into an accident with another person or a tree. If you lose control and end up hitting a tree or running into branches, your eyes will be protected from anything going into your eye and causing damage if you wear ski goggles. This will help you avoid more damage that may have happened.

They will keep your eyes from drying out

 The winter months bring dryer air, which can affect your eyes when you are out on the slopes. Having that dry air enter your eyes when you speed down the slopes can be very uncomfortable. If worn correctly, ski goggles will suction snug around your face so as not to let in any air as you are speeding down the slopes. You will feel much more comfortable on the mountain when you don’t have dry eyes.

Have we sold you on the importance of ski goggles yet? If we have and you are not sure where to start looking for a good pair, stop into the Sunglass Shoppe, and we can fit you for the perfect pair! The Sunglass Shoppe has locations in Petoskey, Charlevoix, Traverse City, and Saugatuck, MI.

5 Reasons You Should Consider Wearing Goggles on the Slopes This Winter
Bifocal vs. Progressive Lenses

Bifocal vs. Progressive Lenses

It’s no secret that as you get older, your eyesight changes. Rather than carry around multiple pairs of glasses for different uses, many lean more towards purchasing bifocals or progressive lenses. However, which is better: progressive or bifocal lenses? This depends on which will work better for you.

Let’s look at the difference between bifocals and progressive lenses to help you determine which is better for you.

Bifocal Lenses

 Bifocal lenses are lenses that have a line separating each prescription. In most cases, the top prescription is for distance, and the bottom prescription is for reading or viewing things up close. Bifocal lenses only allow for two different prescriptions.

Progressive Lenses

 Progressive lenses do not have a line separating different prescriptions. Progressive lenses look like a single prescription lens but can allow you to see better at up to three different distances. There are many kinds of progressive lenses.

  • Standard progressive Lenses

The most affordable progressive lenses. These lenses give you a wide reading area.

  • Short-corridor progressive lenses

Used more in smaller frame eyeglass frames. They do not have as wide a reading area as the standard progressive lenses.

  • Computer progressive lenses

Used for short-range viewing, such as looking at a computer. These lenses are created to give clear vision at about 16 inches to 6 feet.

  • Premium progressive lenses 

These lenses are customized to your prescription and frame size. They provide a vast reading area. They are the easiest to get used to.

  • Ground-view progressive lenses

Lenses that are good for people who spend a lot of time outdoors being active. They give you a better vision when looking down at the ground or driving. These lenses are great for golfers.

Which is right for you? 

If you have discovered that your eyes are changing due to age and it’s time to get eyeglasses with different prescriptions, knowing what you know now can help you decide if you should get progressives or bifocals. Consider your lifestyle. Do you stare at a computer for most of the day, or are you outside working looking out into the distance? If you decide on bifocals, will the line in the middle of the lens be challenging to get used to? Whichever lenses you choose, it will help give you a wider range of vision and improve your quality of life.

Stop into the Sunglass Shoppe, and one of our experts can help you find the perfect fit for what you are looking for. We have stores located in Petoskey, Traverse City, Charlevoix, and Saugatuck, MI.