It’s not always easy to tell the difference between men’s and women’s sunglasses, because they're not typically labeled for gender. Most sunglasses are simply distinguishable by their location in the store, with men's versions sold near the men's section and women's near women's clothes and accessories. While there is no difference in the lenses used for men and women’s sunglasses, the frames and overall styles can vary greatly.
One of the biggest characteristics of women’s sunglasses is an extremely large frame design or small frames with very thick arms. These oversized features make women’s facial features look smaller. The overall design of the frames will have more curves, both around the eyes and along the arms of the glasses. These curves mimic the softer and curvier facial features of female wearers. Many women’s sunglasses also have flashy embellishments such as emblems, bright colors or bold metal accents.
The biggest sign that sunglasses are men’s is that the bridge, the piece that sits over the nose, is wider. Likewise, the arms on men’s sunglasses are typically longer than on women’s sunglasses because men have wider faces. Men’s sunglasses also have more straight lines than women’s. In many cases, the arms don’t have any pronounced curves at the ear area. While there are some colored frames for men, most men’s sunglasses come in neutral or muted finishes that don’t stand out.
Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.