Where I grew up in Seattle, sunglasses are more of an accessory than a necessity. I’m sure you can guess why! I never invested in a quality pair. I’m not kidding; I had four pairs, one from Old Navy with cracks in them, a hand-me-down pair, a pair that I got for free at a trade show, and lastly, my favorite, a pair of lovely light brown Marc Jacobs sunglasses that someone lost, and I found. My lucky day!

Now that I’m in Colorado, it’s a whole different story! After arriving here and experiencing this blinding bright globe in the sky called the sun, I realized that sunglasses weren’t just a fashion statement for a sunny day. I NEEDED them, and for the first time I wished that my one good pair was darker!

I recently read an article about choosing the right sunglasses. Apparently, those cheap ones do your eyes more harm than good. Sunglasses like that, without proper UV protection, darken your view enough for your pupils to enlarge, but do not protect you from harmful rays. Basically, this allows even more UV light onto your retina through the enlarged pupils than if you simply went without sunglasses.

So I threw my cheap pairs away and went shopping in our optical department to get a quality pair for myself! Val, from our optical department, pulled out a couple of pairs for me to try. He told me that he already knew which ones I was going to like the most and that it was between a pair of Gucci’s and a pair of Maui Jim’s. He also said that not many people could wear the shield style of sunglasses, but that based on the shape of my face, I could. Talk about expertise! For some reason I had it in my head that I wanted aviators though, so despite loving the first ones that I tried on, I went ahead and tried on some Coach, Ray Bans, Marc Jacobs, Versace, Kate Spade, and pretty much everything on the shelf, only to come back to the first two pairs that Val had picked out for me. As it turned out, the aviator style I had thought that I wanted really didn’t fit my face well. How amazing that our optical team can even pick out the best style for every shape of face before we try anything on!

I couldn’t decide between the Gucci and the Maui Jim‘s, so Val told me to take them outside in the sun and see which ones I liked better. WOW! The difference was undeniable! Suddenly the sparkles on the Gucci pair stopped begging me to take them home, because these Maui Jims were blowing my mind! Not only do they block the light so I didn’t feel the need to squint at all, they actually made the grass, the trees and the sky look more vibrant! It honestly feels like I’m not wearing sunglasses when I have them on, the field of vision is wide, colors come to life rather than being dull, and the world is clearer than it’s ever been.

I returned inside and declared my choice to Dawn in the optical department before going on about how amazing these lenses were. She asked me if I wanted to know what made them so amazing. She then proceeded to tell me that my pair of Maui Jim’s have an anti-reflective treatment that blocks reflected light and glare from behind to provide a clear view and eliminate eye fatigue. These optically correct, distortion-free lenses feature patented treatments to infuse views with color. There is a polarizing film that eliminates reflected glare from any flat, smooth, or shiny surface for a crisper view. For example, they make it possible to see below the surface of water. The lenses have a bi-gradient, a protective mirror at the top and bottom of the lens, so it squints for you! Take that, wrinkles!

If you are looking for a great pair of sunglasses, the optical department has something to fit every budget, and every face. Everyone on the optical team really knows their stuff! Whether you are someone who likes to shop around and try on multiple pairs or someone that wants to pick something quickly and get on with your day, these folks will send you on your way looking and feeling great!

I enjoyed my experience so much, I convinced our optical department to offer a 10% discount on both prescription and non-prescription sunglasses through the end of October. Come in and experience the difference for yourself!