New research out today reveals that women are shady ladies when it comes to sunglasses with the average women spending nearly £50 on each pair of sunglasses and owning as many as 42 pairs of shades in their lifetime.
The survey, by female-friendly Sheilas’ Wheels car insurance, found that despite the fact that the majority of women (63 per cent) said sunglasses are an investment, nearly £4 billion(3) worth of sunglasses have been lost or broken, with four out of five women (79 per cent) admitting to having lost or broken a pair.
Women in London have the most expensive taste in shades, spending an average of £68 on each pair. Women under 25 are the quickest to update their collection by buying a new pair every nine months on average (1.3 pairs per year), but they are beaten in spending power by women aged 55 and over who spend the most on each pair (£60 on average).
The majority of women polled (60 per cent) currently own more than one pair of sunglasses. This is in stark contrast to ten years ago when only two out of five women (38 per cent) owned more than one pair.
The research also revealed that two out of five women (41 per cent) have admitted to switching their prescription glasses for non-prescription sunglasses, while almost a fifth (17 per cent) confessed to doing this behind the wheel of a car.
Jacky Brown, at Sheilas’ Wheels car insurance, commented: "The research shows how the costs of every day items can really add up. Now that we’re living in an age of austerity, it’s more important than ever to scrutinise our spending habits to make sure our money goes further.
"The summer sun has come early this year and holidays are fast approaching so many women will be thinking about which pair to invest in next. As women are increasingly spending more on their shades, it’s important to have adequate handbag cover should they end up lost or stolen.
"Motorists should be especially mindful to shield their eyes on bright, sunny days. There are now a wide range of prescription sunglasses to choose from as well, so there is no excuse for substituting prescription glasses for non prescriptive ones."
It’s not just women who’ll be striking a pose in a pair of costly shades over the next few months. More than one in ten men (12 per cent) said they’d definitely have their sunglasses with them at all times during the summer.
Nine out of ten men own a pair of sunglasses and half (48 per cent) have spent more than £50 on a single pair.
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Notes to Editors:
 £1,140,468,120: based on women spending on average £45.90 on sunglasses a year (average women spend on sunglasses x how often women buy sunglasses) multiplied by the population of 18 years and older females in the UK, which is 24,846,800 according to the Office of National Statistics.
 Sheilas’ Wheels used the independent online research company Fly Research who surveyed 1,015 men and women from across the UK, aged 18 and over, between the 24th and 31st May 2010.
 £3,801,560,400: based on women spending on average £51 on sunglasses and losing or breaking three in their lifetimes from an adult female population of 24,846,800 in the UK, according to the Office of National Statistics.