I first became enamored of sunglasses worn OVER prescription glasses when I saw my friend Fran Black* wearing a pair; I suddenly noticed that there was a pair of glasses underneath her sunglasses. That’s just what I need, I thought, so I hunted a pair down.

Sally Schneider

They made my life way easier. I didn’t have to buy an expensive pair of prescription sunglasses to switch to when I was in the sun, while always carefully putting my regular glasses away. I could simply put a pair of glasses OVER my prescription ones; if I took them off, I still could see.

The ones I went with are basically a sleek wrap of plastic that claim UV protection. (They come in various tints; my favorite is “copper” a smoky brownish gray.) They cost about $15.

As with all sunglasses, I don’t have a sense of how they really look on me but don’t care; they are doing me too much good. Style-wise, there are LOTS of other options here. These big retro-ish glasses look like possibilities. It will depend a lot on the size of the prescription glasses they need to cover. As one reader let me know, it is possible to scratch your expensive prescription glasses if you don’t get a size over-glass that covers them with knocking into them.

These oversized chunkers are pretty appealing…

From what I’ve read, my big wrap-around glasses with their top and side panels may be effective in protecting from contagion, in much the way that a face shield does but more comfortable to wear. Lately, a couple of strangers have remarked on that, and asked me where I got them. The combination of mask and huge sunglasses didn’t seem to daunt them.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about the pandemic has been the license so many people feel to drop the reticence they would have maintained were there not a threat to their life. That means all sorts of face coverings and outfits designed for virus-repulsion… personal exercise routines done in public with no hint of embarrassment… Zoom calls in sweats with homely or chaotic home life in the background.

Sally Schneider

*Fran Black has written some wonderful articles for Improvised Life. I’ve rounded them up below in Related Posts.

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5 replies on “Over-Glasses Sunglasses for Instant RX Sunglasses and Virus Protection

  1. I loved the idea of over-my-glasses sunglasses until I discovered I’d scratched my prescription lenses. Now I look through scratches daily as I wait to afford new prescription lenses. When choosing sunglasses, make sure they don’t touch your prescription lenses!

  2. Sally–Doesn’t the problem of glasses fogging up when worn with a mask become even worse with these? Much to recommend them, even, as you say, for covid protection as we learn more and more about the eyes also being vulnerable to infection. But there must be no space at all between the mask and the glasses with the glasses so huge. C

  3. These kinds of sunglasses are THE BEST for those of us with prescription glasses. In my areas (far northern NY and southern NH) they are available in the drug stores, mixed in with the other sunglasses. You have to search for them. It is nice to be able to try them on to see if they fit (they come in different sizes) and how they look. I have light blue eyes which are very sensitive to light. I like the style that blocks the sunshine from the sides as well as the front. They are cheap enough to keep a pair in the car, another pair in my swim bag, a pair here, a pair there, etc. I’m so glad you found them! Welcome to the club.

  4. I haven’t had the problem of fogging from these glasses. It seems to occur randomly with my regular glasses, perhaps when the mask accidentally moves over them rather than having my glasses on top.

  5. Thanks so much for the alert. I’ve woven it into the post. The BIG glasses I like totally surround my RX glasses with no problem. But others may not fit so well.

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