As with virtually anything else in life, there is a time an place for sunglasses. Most would agree that the benefits of protective eyewear are tried and true. Still, there are times and places that your sunglasses are not appropriate. Additionally, there are also times and places that they're just not going to do you any good.
The etiquette of eyewear is not a topic that is often discussed. We would all like to think that everyone would make the right decision in deciding when to take and when to leave behind the sunglasses. Still, there are obviously those that could use a little help on the subject. For those people, and as a reference for the rest of us, compiled here are just a few of the occasions in which sunglasses should be left in the car.
Wearing sunglasses indoors anywhere is almost always not appropriate. If you have a medical condition causing sensitivitety to artificial lights, you may be excused from this rule. To everyone else that insists on wearing shades indoors, you should know something crucial. The rest of us are watching you, waiting for you to walk into a wall or trip over a chair.
Socially, wearing your sunglasses indoors is often just plain rude. When you are trying to carry on a conversation with a person that is wearing sunglasses for no apparent reason, it can be rather distracting. While you may think that you are putting out the mystery-man vibe, you're actually just telling people you are not interested in what they have to say. If you plan to make it a habit of giving off this attitude, expect to receive the same in return.
Unless you are Corey Hart and need to "keep track of all the visions" in your eyes, sunglasses at night seem a little silly. For the same reason you should not wear sunglasses indoors, wearing them at night should be avoided as well. Again, you may think you look cool, but just about everyone else will think you're drunk or trying to cover up a black eye. Whether or not it is socially acceptable, sunglasses at night is just not a good idea.
Consider what a pair of sunglasses is meant to do for you. They are designed to shield your eyes from the violent radiation of the sun and make it more comfortable for you to see. While your efforts of protecting your eyes from the brightness of the street lights, you may be doing more harm than good. Logistically, it can be dangerous to wear dark shades at night, particularly while driving. Why inhibit your vision more than the darkness of the night already does? Find another way to tell people you're cool.
Some situations are acceptable times to wear sunglasses, but still carry rules to be considered. For example, you have been invited to a friend's house for a mid day barbeque. This is a perfectly good time to wear that great pair of sunglasses you got last week. However, if those sunglasses are completely opaque or mirrored on the outside, reconsider for something that shows off your eyes a little.
In a social gathering or setting, people will presumably strike up conversations with others they find interesting. It can be difficult to approach a new person and say hello. When that person is wearing dark, reflecting sunglasses, they may find themselves sitting alone watching everyone else mingle. For this circumstance, consider a shade of lens that protects your eyes and still allows your features to be seen. This will help you seem more approachable and less intimidating.
There are other times that you may want to wear sunglasses and social acceptability does not get in your way. You will not, however, enjoy any of the benefits of sunglass protection, as these high intensity lights are much stronger than the UVA and UVB rays emitted by the sun. Any kind of welding equipment, tanning beds and eclipses all emit high intensity light for which your sunglasses are no match. Special protective eyewear is needed while working with welding equipment and while in tanning beds. Additionally, a pinhole camera is the preferred apparatus for viewing an eclipse.
When deciphering where and when to bring the sunglasses, a little common sense will go a long way.
Protect yourself from high intensity light with specialized eyewear designed for that particular activity.
Know when sunglasses are needed and when they are not. Taking a moment to consider a few factors will save you embarrassment and possibly injury later.