It seems like whenever you watch a movie or TV programme where law enforcement officers of any type are featured, they appear wearing big sunglasses with mirrors on the lenses. Exactly what are these shades for and why are they always used?
The answer is that Mirrorshades (as they are called) are usually associated with police as well as government officials for a practical and psychological reason.
Mirrorshades are sunglasses with a reflective optical finish outside of the lenses to make them appear like little mirrors. The mirror finishing could reduce anywhere from 10 % -60 % of the light that travels through it before the light makes contact with the wearer’s eyes.
Mirrorshades are good sunglasses for anybody that spends a lot of their time outdoors, perhaps also on a motorbike or in a vehicle for many hours every day.
However, Mirrorshades have another feature than just protecting the eye. These sunglasses prevent another person from making eye contact with the wearer. The mirrors are created to ensure that an observer will see his own image when attempting to look into the eyes behind a set of Mirrorshades.
It is because of this that Mirrorshades have ended up being preferred sunglasses for policemen and soldiers. Their appeal with policeman in the United States has gained them the nickname “cop shades”. Just like when a suspect is in an interrogation room they are unnerved by looking into a window and being unable to see who or what is looking back at them. For the same reason Mirrorshades are frequently preferred by serious poker players.
You should be aware of this effect as it can deter or unsettle people from making conversation.
Mirrorshades are available in many different designs. The sunglasses most used by police and military are called “Aviators”. This style received its name around the 1940’s and 1950’s when they were the normal sunglasses for military pilots. In the 1930’s, Ray Ban created this design and also sold it to the United States Military. The military issued the sunglasses to their pilots to protect them while they flew. From there a favourite amongst sunglass styles was born.
Another popular style of Mirrorshades is called the Wraparound. This design of sunglasses contains either one or two smooth, semi-circular lenses that cover the eyes and also look like the shape of protective goggles.
Wraparound sunglasses are the preferred style in the world of extreme sports. They are often seen used by skiers and snowboarders as well as racing cyclists.
The Mirrorshades are created with a layer on the outside of the lenses of the sunglasses. The finish could vary from a quite easy form composed of a solitary layer of really thin film all the way to a thicker, a lot more reflective type. The thinner layer of film can be easily damaged with very little pressure, and is sensitive to seawater. These sunglasses need to be treated with the utmost care.
The more modern reflective layers on Mirrorshades normally have several levels making them more durable and also less likely to become scratched. While these sunglasses may be more expensive, you get just what you pay for.
So choose wisely.
Mirrorshades will be good for your eyes and also your style.