6 Reasons Why Designer Sunglasses Are A Rip-Off

I don’t know about you, but when I go out in the sun, I’ll only wear a pair of hugely oversized $500 Dolce & Gabbana shades so that I’m easily recognized by the paparazzi. But apparently, says the Wall Street Journal, I need not have spent my entire month’s paycheck on my designer specs.

Investigating whether or not sunglasses like my D&Gs are really worth the leopard-print plastic they’re made out of, WSJ’s Brett Arends found six things you should keep in mind before shelling out piles of cash for brand name shades.

1. Most sunglasses are made by the same company
Whatever the name on the side of the sunglasses, there’s a good chance they’re made by Italian manufacturer Luxottica. Among the brands they manufacture for are Prada, Burberry, Chanel, Polo Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, Tiffany, Versace, Vogue, Persol, Miu Miu, Tory Burch, Donna Karan and my beloved Dolce & Gabbana.

2. In many cases, the same company is also selling you the glasses
In addition to being the shades-makers for the world, Luxottica also owns LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and Sunglass Hut. Writes Arends: “Make of it what you will. But if your financial advisor was actually employed by the mutual fund company that he recommended for your portfolio, you’d at least want to know.”

3.The markups are as big as they seem
Luxottica says its gross profit on a pair of sunglasses is $.62 on the dollar. Even after deducting sales and advertising costs, overhead and brand licensing royalties it’s still making 52 cents.

4. Those expensive sunglasses may not be any better for your eyes, either
Arends quotes a the chair of ophthalmology at Tufts University as saying that “For about $40 you can get a pair that offers 100% protection against ultra-violet rays. If you spend maybe $70 you should be able to get a pair with decent quality polarizing lenses that cut out glare. Beyond that, the medical benefits tail off pretty fast.”

5. An inexpensive pair of sunglasses from the pharmacy isn’t the worst thing in the world
According to Dr. Reza Dana, director of the cornea and refractive surgery service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, “The main reason people wear sunglasses is to block out (regular) white light… and from that point of view, cheaper glasses work pretty well.”

6. Those fancy glasses are really costing you a lot more than you realize
Between damage, loss and keeping up-to-date with the latest styles, “these things add up. Indeed they compound. Even at, say, 4% interest, $200 a year over 50 years adds up to $30,000.”

What’s the most that you pay for sunglasses?

FYI, the folks over at Glasseyes are always blogging about ways to save on eyewear.

Are Designer Sunglasses Worth the Price? [WSJ]

Comments

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  1. digital0verdose says:

    I have a pair of Ray Bans. They cost me $175. They have a unique, professional style that I have not seen on another pair of sunglasses on the $10 rack at 7-11 or any high-end retailer in strip centers or the mall. That is why it was worth the cost to me.

    Oh, I have had them for 3 years now and they haven’t cost me a penny more since the day I purchased them.

    • Green Mountain Boy says:

      Those Ray Bans you could get wholesale for $40.00

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      But if you lost them, you’d be pretty annoyed and upset, right? That’s why I don’t have $200 sunglasses.

      • digital0verdose says:

        Sure. I’d also be upset if I lost a $5 pair of sunglasses, but not because of the cost, rather because I was dumb enough to lose something like that.

        • satoru says:

          The probability of losing your glasses is inversely proportional to the cost. If you paid $600 they’ll be gone within a week. If you paid $5, your ancestors in the year 3000 will still be using them :P

          • B says:

            I disagree. People are more likely to think about the expensive pair, so they’re less likely to forget about them.

            • axhandler1 says:

              Exactly. I used to just buy cheap pairs from the drugstore for 5 bucks a pop, and they’d be broken or lost in a week. I invested in an expensive pair for a vacation last year and, being very aware of the cost, I am so careful with them that they are still as good as new.

              • trey says:

                i will pay the 5 bucks so i dont have to worry about remembering them… of course, I live in St Pete… 360 days of sunshine a year on average, just walk outside and you will quickly remember if you forgot your glasses.

            • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

              Not so. I have this pair of Target sunglasses that won’t seem to disappear no made how hard I try. I even gave them to my seven-year-old and they are still alive and kicking, and that child can’t keep up with a pair of sunglasses to save her life. It’s scary.

              My more expensive pairs have not stuck around as long. They usually break, get lost, etc… So, I stick with the Target trend of the hour. I’m not into flashiness anyway.

          • Liam Kinkaid says:

            If the probability of losing glasses was inversely proportional to the cost, that means that as the cost goes up, the probability of losing them goes down. Hence the “inversely” part. Therefore, it is logical to purchase the most expensive sunglasses ever, virtually guaranteeing* they would never be lost.

            *Not a guarantee.

          • Zarf says:

            I lose my $5 pairs all the time, and end up spending around $80 a year on sunglasses. Considering how often I would lose my phone if I didn’t keep it in my pocket (Which is 100% of the time that it is not kept in my pocket), there is no way I’d dare spend more than $15 on a pair. Two hundred dollars is a lot of money for me, and I couldn’t possibly care less about the design of the glasses as long as it’s not ostentatious. I like thin rims and small lenses, not huge plastic ones with gigantic bug-eyed lenses with rhinestones embedded in them.

            Of course, if you are a guy wearing a pair of those where I live, you’d probably get lynched.

          • Goldensummer says:

            your descendants… not your ancestors

            • Moriarty says:

              In the year 3000, the Singularity will have resurrected many of your ancestors, and they’ll all be borrowing your stuff.

      • leprechaunshawn says:

        How do you lose sunglasses? They sit on your face, right in front of your eyes.

        *sarcasm*

      • JennQPublic says:

        I bought a pair of Ray-Bans three days before leaving for a trip to San Diego. Lost them before we left for the trip. :-(

        I bought a cheap pair of sunglasses for $5 on the boardwalk while I was in S.D., and I still have them.

        That was twelve years ago…

    • Derigiberble says:

      I think there is a difference between companies which make sunglasses vs designers slapping their name on a pair of sunglasses. Ray Ban makes glasses, Tiffany just throws its label (and mark up) on anything it can.

      I have a pair of Maui Jim glasses I’ve used for over 6 years. They are wonderful, wonderful glasses which have great polarization, really tough glass lenses, and no distortion. I’ve sent them back twice, once for new pads (free) and once for new lenses ($60). Each time they sent back the glasses with a new free case, the second time they even replaced the arms, which were getting worn from use, again for free. They cost me $200 new, but I’d spend that much again in an instant.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      “Well La-de-fricking daaaaa!” (Chris Farley)

    • Skipweasel says:

      What’s a “professional style”? It never occured to me that sunglasses might be “professional”.

      • byron says:

        airline pilots wear professional style sunglasses, not chrome face cop oakleys or white wayfarers.

      • byron says:

        airline pilots wear professional style sunglasses, not chrome face cop oakleys or white wayfarers.

        • 89macrunner says:

          they also don’t wear polarized sunglasses either..fun fact. the displays/faces of plane instruments are all polarized

    • ospreyguy says:

      I was an avid gas station sunglass wearer until my first Ray Bans. The comfort alone is worth it. A nice pair of Polarized glasses is about 50-70 bucks. For $115 I not only feel better but look damn sexy…

    • webweazel says:

      I might have everybody beat on the RayBan Wayfarers. My mom bought me a pair for when I got my license. In 1986. Then, bought another pair as spares two years later. I still have them. BOTH. One pair has some light scratching on the lens, but otherwise both are in great shape. I still used them both up until last year. The hinges are dead on both pairs, and are not repairable, so I hear. I keep them in the hopes I can someday get them fixed. They’d hold out for another 24 years, I’d bet.

  2. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    They forgot to mention that Luxottica’s customer service is atrocious.

    • wickedlysane says:

      I had a fantastic experience with Luxottica. I bought a pair of Chanel sunglasses on eBay for about $200, wore them for 2 years, until the fell off the top of my head and the metal piece that keeps the arm screw in place broke.

      I sent them back to Luxottica with a check for $12 and they told me to go to any of their stores, find 2 or 3 styles I like up to $300 and call them back with the brand and style number and they’d send them to me.

      They did exactly that, but I didn’t like what I chose, so they told me to go back to one of their stores to exchange for whatever I wanted.

      I ended up with a $450 pair of Tiffany sunglasses for the original $200 I spent and the $12 repair/replace fee. The sales guy at Sunglass Hut waived the price difference between the ones I was returning and the new ones I got since I was there on my bday and I gave him my id to process the return and enter the warranty info.

      • baquwards says:

        That pretty much tells me that the $450 pair didn’t cost them any more than the $200 pair to make. They probably have a grand total of $5 invested in a $450 pair if sunglasses, including shipping them to the store.

    • XianZomby says:

      People that can really afford a $500 pair of sunglasses don’t need customer service. They just get a new pair of sunglasses.

  3. KTrenholm says:

    I found my one and only pair of sunglasses in my high school parking lot about 4 years ago. No brand on em but they’ve served me well.

  4. pantheonoutcast says:

    $30 bucks for the “house brand” at Eastern Mountain Sports – they look good, and have polarized lenses. And when I lose / break them, I can shrug and buy a new pair.

    To me, designer *anything* is a rip-off.

    • Doubts42 says:

      +1

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      It pretty much is. My sister pays too much for department store makeup when for most things, the drugstore/Walmart brands will do. I can’t convince her that she’s paying for a name.

      • merkidemis says:

        Many of the designer things I look really cheaply made, too. My wife really wants a Coach purse for some reason. I wondered into the store to take a look, just to see what the hype was about. Really, they want $700 for a loosely stitched vinyl POS?? For that price it had better be baby seal leather.

        • erciesielski says:

          I have three pairs of glasses. Two Ray-Bans (one indoor, one non-Rx sunglasses) and one Ralph Lauren Rx Sunglasses. Both of my Ray-Bans are great. They’re very sturdy and have lasted me a long time. The Ralph Lauren sunglasses are total crap. They always creak and have a general cheap feel.

          The odd thing is that Luxottica made them all.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          The Coach leather bags are really high quality. They run around $900 to $1,000. You can get one at a Coach outlet for hundreds less and people really won’t be able to tell the difference.

        • CalicoGal says:

          Coach doesnt use vinyl.
          If its pleather and says COACH on it, its counterfeit.

          Coach can be bought only at COACH boutiques, COACH Factory Stores, Macy’s, and Nordstrom’s.

      • aliasmisskat says:

        Actually, with makeup, it depends on the brand. Dior? Yes, you’re paying for a name. MAC? Far better pigmentation and consistency than anything you can get at the drugstore. Lancome & L’Oreal are the same company, but some of Lancome’s products are far superior (their eyeshadow pigments, for instance, are much brighter and more consistent). Stila and Nars are somewhere in between. You’re paying for a name, but you’re also getting a better product. And you’re often getting a more fashion forward product (i.e. colors and products that won’t hit Walmart for a year), which for some is worth the extra money.

        It’s not true of all brands (especially the couture ones), but the difference in product quality, materials quality, and product innovation is often large, especially with dedicated cosmetic companies.

    • joe23521 says:

      I completely agree. Designer ANYTHING is a rip-off. But if people are willingly getting ripped off, who am I to judge?

  5. Sunflower1970 says:

    I never evereverever buy the expensive one. I always thought they were a rip-off. Guess I was right. I think the most I’ve paid is around $15. I tend to lose them, so the cheaper the better…

    • caradrake says:

      I paid $20 for mine – they’re meant to be worn over regular glasses, and block the top and sides. I love them!

    • Hermia says:

      Yep. $15. Any more than that and I’d be pissed if they broke or if I lost them.

  6. bitslammer says:

    I love my 3yr old Serengetis bought from Costco. Real glass, optially correct and polarizied. They cost $70 but have lasted 20x longer than $10 ones would have. If I would have gone the $10 route I’d have bouthg 50 pairs by now.

    • bdgbill says:

      Man, I used to love Serengetti’s. Nothing is better for driving. Sadly, after I lost my 3rd $120.00 pair in a year, I went back to the Walgreen’s specials.

  7. DeepHurting says:

    No one buys $500 sunglasses to protect their eyes from UV rays. The protection is just an unintended benefit.

    • Entchen says:

      True. I was laid off recently and had $600 of medical spending allowance to either spend within a few weeks or forfeit. Since I was caught up on other health and dental spending, I bought a pair of $597 prescription sunglasses.

      Not being laid off? I’d have gone much, much cheaper and saved the allowance for something more practical.

  8. TJ says:

    $300 prescription Oakley’s. My insurance paid about half the cost, and I had extra money in my FSA that I needed to spend before the end of 2009. The lenses are so good, they make the supposedly high-end lenses in my regular glasses seem like crap. Plus, they look cool. I am very satisfied with them.

    • rrayda says:

      Hell, I bought a pair of $300 prescription Oakleys and have no vision insurance. They have by far the best lenses I’ve ever had in from of my eyes and have held up awesomely. Any pair of prescription glasses is going to run you in the hundreds, so why not buy the good stuff? I also vastly prefer metal frames to plastic and Oakley is one of the few brands that does metal anymore.

      • sn1per420 says:

        I got a free pair of Oakleys via vision insurance, and they were the best sunglasses I’ve ever owned. 6 years later, I still have em, but I bought a replacement on some daily deal site for $65 a year ago, to replace the scuffed up old ones.

        That said, yes, anything with a designer’s name on it is bound to be overpriced.

      • kozmo says:

        Any pair? My prescription sunglasses from Zenni Optical were less than $15. Been wearing them all year!

        • theblackdog says:

          Zenni is one of the best for cheap glasses and sunglasses. Now if I could just quit losing them!

    • dkev says:

      I did the exact same thing. I have a pair of Oakley’s for the car, a pair for outside work and a non prescription pair.

  9. Green Mountain Boy says:

    I worked as an Optician for many, many years and I’ve sold prescription eye glasses as well as sunglasses.

    The mark up on prescription eyeglass frames is 2-10 times the wholesale cost. We’d buy frames for $10.00 and turn around, mark them up and sell for $99.00. If we paid $30.00 for a frame it would become $159.00…….

    We could buy cheap designer sunglasses and mark them up just as much.

  10. Marshmelly says:

    I would never buy designer sunglasses…if not only for the amount of times I end up breaking them. I’ve been tempted to, but quickly recalled how many sunglasses I go through and how many times they’ve broken…definitely not worth it to me. Of course, I don’t buy drugstore sunglasses either. I like them to at least be stylish. I’ve found that $20 ones from Kohl’s get the job done on both the fashion and sun-blocking fronts.

    • bitslammer says:

      The thing is though that a good pair of sunglasses will hold up better saving you money in the long run. I can’t stand even the tiniest scratch on my sunglasses so I do happily pay more for real glass lenses.

      • Green Mountain Boy says:

        It’s not safe to wear “real glass” lenses especially is sunglasses since they are used outdoor where you could get hit with something…..ball, rock, golf ball etc. and lose an eye. You’re better off with polycarb lenses and just be careful about scratches.

        • bitslammer says:

          20+ years and I’ve never had so much as a crack in may of my lenses and I’ve been hit by rocks on the motorcycle. Serengeti has some damn good lens technology.

      • Marshmelly says:

        Thats true, and I’m sure they do (I feel the same way about other designer products I have which have stood the test of time…purses, wallets etc). I just tend to have a poor track record with sunglasses…putting them on top of my head and then banging them into something, leaving them on the floor and accidentally stepping on them, throwing them in my purse to get crushed by who knows what…=P I would hate to spend over $100 on a pair to have them break, but perhaps if they are indeed more durable I may cave in and give them a go…

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I agree. My sunglasses were $10 and I keep them protected with a soft case. They still get tossed around in my purse, but they’ve held up surprisingly well.

  11. sirwired says:

    First, (and this should be obvious), it’s stupid to pay for sunglasses “designed” by a company that makes clothing. It’s almost certainly just a brand license, and the clothing company has little to do with the design or production of the frames, except that they may provide a couple of initial sketches and have some say-so over the final product.

    Second, don’t confuse these “designer” sunglasses with actual quality sunglasses. Yes, they all protect your eyes equally. However, some brands have better lens coatings (anti-scratch, glare, etc.), and maybe more comfortable frames. (I didn’t want to spend mega-bux on my Maui Jim’s, but I couldn’t find a frame anywhere else that was nearly as comfortable.)

    • Ovular says:

      In other words, don’t get oysters at a burger place. Buy from those with an expertise making the thing you’re buying, nothing just an expertise in something similar.

      A couple popular examples of the good stuff:: Mykita, Alain Mikli

  12. InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

    Used to buy the $7-a-pair from the drugstore. I’d lose them, they’d break, I’d get another pair. But three years ago I bought a pair of Maui Jims for $110. They’re more durable, and offer better protection as well as being polarized. Haven’t needed a new pair since.

  13. ret3 says:

    I pay about $70 every other year to get an upgrade to Transitions lenses in my new prescription, plus about $20 for some clip-ons to wear while driving since Transitions is activated by UV, which the windshield blocks.

  14. Megalomania says:

    Buying designer ANYTHING is a waste. Buy for quality, and purchase again when you need to. Sunglasses are just the current designer trend.

    • Tankueray says:

      I beg to differ. There is designer crap, and there is quality that happens to carry a designer label. Read, “Deluxe: How Luxury lost its Luster”. I was a label whore before I read that book. Now I’m just a label slut.

      I have $10 shirts that are better made than $200 ones. When I buy something I look for the quality, the luxury label is sometimes a plus. I never pay retail (luxury consignment FTW). And for glasses, be it a cheap pair or a pair of a really expensive brand… I don’t mess with my eyes, they don’t grow back people. Just like I buy well made shoes because I like the use of my spine.
      My grandmother was a seamstress, and I’ve learned many skills in my short life; so I look for quality. Or if I really like something that is low quality, I upgrade it myself.

  15. LD says:

    You can have my Maui Jim’s when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

    • JayDeEm says:

      You can have mine if you find them in the bathroom of a restaurant in Flagstaff, AZ… At least that’s what happened to my last pair. They served me for 10 years, and lenses were damaged and the ear pieces were disintegrating, so no big loss.

      I bought a new pair for around $200 (and a neck strap for $5). I wouldn’t trade my Maui’s for anything. Also, you can sent your Maui’s in for replacement lenses for $60 should they become damaged (by dropping them face down on hot Arizona asphalt for example), it’s on their website.

      • LD says:

        Maui Jims are the best, imo, especially for someone with eye issues who has to know, without a doubt, that the protection is top notch. Not something you can guarantee with cheap $10 glasses from Walgreens.

    • Sudonum says:

      I used to buy Maui Jims, but I bought a pair Costa Del Mar a few years ago and were sold. Lifetime warranty that they actually honor. Don’t get me wrong Maui Jim also honors their warranty, but it only a year.

  16. Paco47 says:

    I spend ~$200 every 2-3 years on a new pair of Oakleys. I feel the optic quality of a higher end sunglass (lens) manufacturer is far superior to a designer (expensive, but poor lenses) or sub $100 pair. Oakley, Maui Jim etc are amazing to look through.

    • Howie411 says:

      I just purchased my 3rd pair of Oakleys, my last 2 pairs last well over 5 years each, that easily pays for the $120-$200 I spent on the glasses. Also I’m pretty rough on my products so if anything can survive my wear and tear they get my money.

      • sth9669 says:

        Exactly! I can’t wear crappy sunglasses for when I play beach volleyball. One hit to the face and most sunglasses disintegrate, but Oakleys (assuming you got one of the sporty-metal styles) just take the punishment.

        I’ve had probably 5 or 6 pairs of Oakleys in the past 10 years, and they’ve all been great. I usually just wait for a good deal on them on 6pm or Backcountry.com or something and get ‘em for $75 instead of $130 or my latest pair I got from a ski resort that was selling their entire stock of Oakleys for 50% off. Best purchase ever. Driving, playing sports in the sun, they look good, they take a beating, and they have by far the best lenses of any sunglasses on the market of sports sunglasses. . .

        Just don’t be stupid and lose them, buy a case and keep track of them!

    • Sian says:

      That often? Mine generally last 8-10 years.

  17. BurtReynolds says:

    Maui Jim’s. Glass lenses. One of the best polarized lenses on the market. I have a 90+ mile round trip commute, so having a good set of sunglasses for driving is worth every cent. I may have been able to get a cheaper set that delivered close to the same performance, but I’d rather just spend the money on a known brand than spend half and regret it. The style I bought is pretty “classic”, so I shouldn’t feel fashion concious about them in a couple years.

    I might get a ‘script set of glasses in the future, I just need to decide if its worth paying completely out of pocket for them.

    • zigamorph says:

      But they can’t deflect bullets can they?

      http://www.oakley.com/innovation/optical_superiority/impact_protection

      :)

      • BurtReynolds says:

        I checked out Oakley, but most of their styles didn’t fit my face well. In the end, the Maui Jims did and I loved the view out the brown polarized lenses. I also considered Revo.

    • JF says:

      I love, love, love Maui Jim Sunglasses.

      I had my first pair for about 8 years. I broke the temple spring twice, they repaired it for the cost of shipping. I also managed to crush the lens one time, they charged for that (totally acceptable), but that was repaired too. After 8 years I managed to snap the them at the nose bridge. I was so upset because they didn’t make that model anymore.

      I did finally find a replacement pair of Maui Jim’s that I really like. I’ve had them about 3 years now….. I haven’t had to have them repaired yet, but given the number of times I manage to drop them on the ground I am impressed as always by the lens durability. Neither pair ever really got scratched…… given how hard I’ve been on my sunglasses this is really impressive.

      Did I mention I love Maui Jim?

  18. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Yeah, but what about those sunglasses that let you see in 3D? I’ll pay through the nose for that kind of awesome technology!

    • DeepHurting says:

      Now they have 3D sunglasses? I just bought HD Blu-Blockers. They let me see everything in HIGH DEFINITION! They’re so much better than my old 640×480 sunglasses.

  19. MercuryPDX says:

    Judging by how often I lose, scratch or break them…. $5 – $10.

    • freelunch says:

      FYI – every now and then there is a deal at graveyardmall.com for 10 pairs of sunglasses for $16 shipped..

      I hit up the deal once, ended up with 6 pairs that I would be willing to wear (so,

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I buy safety sunglasses. Not only can they take an impact from flying debris up to ANSI standards, they are also good for the UV and such. Many companies make near designer brands, and/or theme varieties, like Orange county Chopper style, etc…

  20. Ellocomotive says:

    I’ve got a pair of Oakley’s that meet Mil Spec requirements and are great, high contrast polarized lenses. I love Oakley now, and will continue to stick with them. I paid 60 bucks for mine, being that I’m in the military, but I think full retail is somewhere in the area of 175 smackers. Well worth every penny.

  21. kaplanfx says:

    Do Maui Jims qualify as “designer”? Yes they are expensive, but they appear to be made by the Maui Jim company (not a rebrand like the designer glasses). The quality of both the frame and the lens seems many times better than other glasses I have worn.

  22. Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

    I was a ski instructor for several years in New Mexico. The high altitude sun and cutting wind required some decent shades. My faves were the classic Vaurnets with the little leather side covers and the high contrast brown lenses. Those were the absolute greatest! I paid $80.00 for them back in the day, now they go for $150.00.

    Overall, I want distortion free, brown glass lenses which are polarized, in a decent looking frame that isn’t going to bend or break. That said, my current favorite shades are branded by Caribbean Sun. I bought them at Wal-Mart (gasp) for $70.00 and they are terrific.

    Look good too :)

    • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

      Vuarnet FTW. Brings back memories of me in high school, where they were the sunglass du jour. Let’s not mention the closest I ever came to the snow was the Hawaiian Shaved Ice hut across the street.

  23. VashtiDuty says:

    $10. Walmart has some good polarized sunglasses.

  24. veronykah says:

    I pay less than $10 for all my shades. Strangely enough I wear sunglasses any time its light out, morning to night, winter to summer, sun to rain. I probably could invest in more expensive pair.

    Tell me about the super cheap shades Consumerist!

  25. the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

    I once paid $400 for prescription Fossil sunglasses (with insurance!) which lasted me two months before they mysteriously disappeared from the bathroom in my apartment (where the maintenance request I’d made had been performed).

    I swore off prescription sunglasses for 10 years after that until I discovered zennioptical.com on either Consumerist or Lifehacker (don’t remember) and now I just get my prescription read at the doctors office and order online. My fashionable no-name sunglasses cost me $35 bucks with shipping and run over $200 for just the frames at Lenscrafters.

    My friend priced out transition no-line bifocal lenses in a design he liked from there and it was less than $80!

    • JonStewartMill says:

      So the person who stole your sunglasses must have the same prescription as you? What are the odds of that?

  26. JollyJumjuck says:

    I bought a pair of Revos six years ago, with a 30% discount thanks to a friend who works at Lenscrafters (Friends and Family discount). Aside from a small chip when they fell on the ground when I bent over (I tuck one of the sunglasses’ arms into the front of my shirt from habit), they’ve lasted this long. Plus I get free adjustments at any Lenscrafters if needed. The sunglasses also complement the shape of my face (aviator style glasses look stupid on me).

    • ptkdude says:

      I’ve been a Revo fan for quite a while. Last year I broke the pair I had (I was drunk and acting a fool), and shattered one of the lenses. I called them up, told them what happened and that it was entirely my fault, and that I wanted to buy a replacement lens. The style had been discontinued, but they offered to replace them for free, provided I could provide the original receipt, which I could :-)

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      Aviators look stupid on everyone.

  27. Schmeeky says:

    I picked up a pair of Kirklands for $28. 100% UVA and UVB protection and polarized lenses in the most comfortable pair of sunglasses I’ve ever worn.

    Style-wise, it’s Costco. So it won’t win any fashion contests, but it’s not going to draw unwanted attention.

  28. Hungry Dog says:

    My choice of sunglasses are my military sawflys. These are capable of surviving multiple shotgun blasts without piercing. Luckily I have never had to test that claim.

    • Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

      Hopefully they cover your entire head. Otherwise, after multiple shotgun blasts, the only thing left would be your eyeballs.

      Just sayin….

  29. papastevez says:

    8 pairs of oakleys. 7 of which were free (legit free, not stolen free).

  30. sugarplum says:

    I’ve had the same pair of prescription D&G’s for years…I recently had the RX updated but the glasses themselves are holding up well. I guess if you want a ‘designer pair’ get a rather classic style and they can last many years. I had FSA and Vision insurance at the time, too, so the overall price wasn’t too bad. I wear them everyday and they are comfortable, which was important, too.

  31. TechnicallySpeaking says:

    Who buys sunglasses anymore? I make my own at home.

  32. satoru says:

    I’ve never spent too much on sunglasses, but I do generally spend a pretty good penny on my regular ones. I like the expensive lenses because my prescription is somewhere between ‘blind as a bat’ and ‘coke bottle lenses’. Having the thinner lenses reduces weight from a practical standpoint, and look good too. I’ve favored titanium frames over the years mostly for weight, and durability. These Lindberg frames I have now are great and the case is pretty slick too :)

  33. Aeirlys says:

    FTW! Usually I read these things and find out I’ve been grossly overpaying for things, but $70ish for polarized glasses (black w/ simple frames so they stay in style longer) is exactly where I would top out for sunglasses.

  34. Kuchen says:

    I have one pair of sunglasses that I still wear that I bought at Paul Harris before they closed all their stores in 2001. I think I paid $12 for them. I would pay more if I could ever find a pair that I liked as much and that fit comfortably on my giant melon head.

  35. diasdiem says:

    ZZ Top approves.

  36. jvanbrecht says:

    *sigh* I just lost my 5th pair of $200 to $300 Oakleys in a river while tubing down it..

    My wife is mad at me….

    The reason I buy that particular style and brand, is that they do not give me headaches while I mountain bike with them.. almost all others do, especially my normal prescription glasses, which is why I wear contacts.

  37. B says:

    Yea, but my HD Sunglasses are for real, right? Cause they make everything look more real. I’m still waiting for the 3D version to come out, that’s gotta be even better. Imagine, being able to see in 3 dimensions.

  38. The Seeker says:

    Is it possible you haven’t lost your Maui Jims because they were more expensive and you keep better care and track of where you put them?
    I’m not criticizing you, but many times what something costs affects how one treats and handles said item.

  39. Commenter24 says:

    I typically buy nothing but Ray Bans. Back when I was flight instructing full time, I tried out a pair of cheap $10 sunglasses from Walmart. The lens quality was very poor and it was very difficult to read charts and checklists with them on because it blurred everything. Cheap sunglasses = fine for driving, not so much for flying when you need to read maps, charts, checklists and instruments with smallish numbers. I do lust for some Maui Jim’s, though.

    • Commenter24 says:

      I should clarify: I do NOT buy the Ray Ban aviators. They are hideous and I usually want to punch those wearing them in the face.

  40. Mulva says:

    Any time I spend anything over $40 on sunglasses, I invariably lose them. The clincher was the $200 prescription pair that I’m convinced fell out of my bag on an airplane (which I assumed meant I had zero chance of recovering them).

    I never, however, seem to lose the $10-20 pairs.

  41. StutiCebriones says:

    These people *like* huge markups. It keeps money from going to schools, fire departments, road maintenance, and other icky things.

  42. AngryK9 says:

    Not only do they own Pearle Vision, Lenscrafters, and Sunglass Hut, they also own Target Optical, Sears Optical, and the Optical Shops of Aspen, among others. Other brand names to add to the Lux list of ownership are Oakley and Ray Ban.

  43. SmackmYackm says:

    I have only ever purchased a pair of name brand sunglasses in my life and they were Oakley Fives back before they were big and stupid looking.

    Anymore I only ever get the $15 gas station rack sunglasses. I can almost always find something with a simple and efficient design. My current pair has lasted me almost 2 years.

  44. odarkshineo says:

    First pair of Oakley’s stolen, second pair lost…finally gave up wearing a pair of CK reaction now…

  45. damageinc says:

    I’ve used a pair of $10 kiosk sunglasses and a $150 pair of Oakleys (though I only paid around $60). I can say without a doubt that for that $50 more, I will always choose the Oakleys. The lens clarity is a world of difference, especially in very bright light and glares. I didn’t buy them to be fashionable, but rather because they are known for their quality, and if taken care of, will last me for years. Another key factor here is that I didn’t pay MSRP for the Oakleys…anyone else who does is a fool. Its not hard to find them on sale, clearance, and/or stack discounts, coupons, and cashback.

  46. jhazelton says:

    I dont know if I agree with this. I have gotten pairs of sunglasses from target that break a couple of months later. This may be because they are cheap or because i know they are cheap so i treat them as such but regardless, I have had the same pair of $200 sunglasses for 4 years now, no scratch on them, and still in style. Those $200 pairs probably have saved me money from the never replacing them, and time, from never having to go to the store to pick out a new pair.

  47. zigamorph says:

    I love my Oakley’s. Not only are they not made by little kids in China like the ones this post says we should buy. They are made in the good old USA.

    Plus can they deflect bullets? :)

    http://www.oakley.com/innovation/optical_superiority/impact_protection

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      They’re tough; Army issues Oakleys to all soldiers, not sure about the rest of the military

    • nobomojo says:

      yep, the lenses are made of plutonite (Oakley’s proprietary polycarbonate), which is a safety plastic material that will not shatter like glass or CR-39 (regular plastic) can.

  48. nobomojo says:

    I sold high-end designer eyewear for 3 long years so I have some inside information and I don’t agree with all of the points. 1) mostly true. 2)true unless you shop locally 3)not true UNLESS you purchase your luxotically sunglasses from luxottica. I sold glasses at a locally owned shop and I can tell you, we did not make a lot of money off frames. We made money off stock lenses, which have a HUGE markup. The prices of 99% of the frames we carried were set by the manufacturer. Meaning the manufacturer wanted us to sell Oliver people for $260-395 or else we could risk losing our account with them. so again, it depends. 4) true. just make sure you’re getting 100% UVA UVB protection and if you want it, polarized lenses. 5) that is true. but I think everyone knows that what you pay for, at least partially is the BRAND NAME. compare a plain polo shirt from Lands End and a Lacoste polo shirt. You’re paying for the little crocodile logo. You’re basically buying a lifestyle, a state of mind, a feeling etc. 5)true, but in my experience the slightly more expensive ones last a lot longer (I tend to beat up my glasses). PLEASE NOTE: if you buy your sunglasses at an optical shop, then come with at least a 1 year warranty, you usually get a free fitting, free adjustments, and free nosepads or scews if you need them 6) my theory is if it makes you happy and you’re not going to become homeless, buy it (within reason).

  49. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I won’t pay much at all, mostly because I lose them, sit on them, step on them, etc. Why pay $500 for a pair of shades when I’m only going to destroy them anyway? I might as well put $500 in cash in the blender. I’d rather have the money to pay for a plane ticket to go see my honey.

    Once someone left an awesome pair of big, green, Liz Claiborne Jackie O-style glasses at the deli I worked at in CA. We hung onto them for a couple of weeks in case the owner came back, but no one ever did. My boss said I could have them. I LOVED those glasses. I wore them for a year until one day I sat on them and broke them. I was heartbroken.

  50. redskull says:

    I bought a pair of Oakley’s way back when I was young, dumb, and still living at home so I could afford to throw money away on such things. I don’t remember the exact cost, but it was well over $100. Those glasses were the worst piece of $#!+ I ever bought. The stems broke, the lens cracked, the replacement stems broke, the stem hinge broke… and I wasn’t dragging them behind the car either, this was from normal everyday use.

    I finally got fed up with them and threw ‘em in the trash. Nothing but glasses from Target for me from now on, thanks.

  51. hmmhmm says:

    Most people here fail to realize that people buying expensive luxury goods are paying more for the exclusivity and the right to down on others. Look at me! I can afford driving a Porsche wearing D&G shades wearing Gucci with a LV bag under my arm.

  52. Sajanas says:

    Even regular glass shouldn’t cost as much as they do. I payed about 400 for mine, but they were probably assembled from things that cost very little. Apparently there exist mail order places in China that can make glasses for $15 if you have the proper sizing specs. Assuming they’re not laced with Cadmium, I hope it can bring down the prices here.

  53. Jnetty says:

    I have a pair of Oakley’s that I paid about $200. I have had many cheap glasses in the past and nothing has compared to the Oakley’s. I have had them for almost 5 years now with no problems with them.

  54. buggurl says:

    Dollar Tree…where they’re a dollar. I can have multiple pairs in multiple colors and coordinate to all my outfits. Occasionally, I will pick up better glasses at discount stores, but I’m still not paying over $10 for a pair.

  55. Ender says:

    I’ve never really understood the appeal of designer sunglasses. I understand that they probably have a distinct style and quality, but most of them just aren’t worth the price. It’s a huge mark-up for a brand name alone. I’m sure I can find an equally good-looking pair for a fraction of the price. I just hope that if I do make good money at some point in my life, that I don’t lose that frugality.

  56. John Gage says:

    I bought my $120 Ray-Bans 5 years ago. I find if I pay more for them, I keep much better track of them and don’t put them in places where they would likely break (pockets, car seats, etc).

    I’ve purchased cheap glasses in the past but I find I don’t pay as much attention to them and lose them more often.

    This may not work for everyone but it works for me.

  57. merkidemis says:

    I spent $100 on a pair once. Titanium frames, polarized lenses, awesome. Lost them after 2 weeks. I never pay more then $25 now. You can get fine polarized ones for $15.

  58. one swell foop says:

    The same arguments go for eyeglasses as well. I’ve got some Prada frames that I got a screamin deal on, but that normally retailed at $250. Prada, like many other frame makers, simply look at the designs available from their high volume manufacturers, pick the ones they want their label on, and mark up the price hundreds of percentage points.

    That’s why my next pair of glasses is coming from http://www.warbyparker.com/
    Made in the US, many of the designs appeal to me, and they’ll ship 5 pairs of frames for you to try on so that you know exactly what they look like on you before you buy.

    That being said, I’m off to buy a $185 pair of raybans….

  59. megan9039 says:

    $150.00
    I have a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses that I love. My hubby and I go fishing and they help with the glare off the water. They discontinued the ones I have, so I hope that last for several more years. They do have a good repair program.

  60. milkcake says:

    My conctact lens already has UV ray protection. I don’t know how effective it is, but it’s there. I just buy cheap sunglasses.

  61. Sian says:

    I will continue to pay 50-60% of retail for Oakleys and love them, thx.

  62. Kevinsky says:

    every two years when I get new glasses, I choose a set that comes with a custom sunglass clip-on. That’s about a $40-$60 price tag on top of my glasses, but it’s worth it for being able to clip some decent-looking shades onto my regular glasses and not look like an old man with a dollar store clip-on

  63. energynotsaved says:

    Took my daughter to Costco for the eye exam and pair of glasses. It all costs around $250. We then got home, went on line and ordered a backup pair from Zenni. The backups are cuter and fit better. Of course, she did have to order them and wait a week. (Oh, wait, we did that at Costco, too.) Then we had to pay for the glasses, lenses and shipping. (Oh, did that at Costco.) Did I mention that it was $8 for the glasses and $5 for shipping? Didn’t get that at Costco!

  64. Vermifuge says:

    I got some nice Fosil sunglasses with polarized lenses for under $50 while on vacation no less. A nice frame a good fit and I’m sure I could have saved a few bucks on eBay. That said there is no substitute for my Mykita Glasses. Hand made in Germany.

  65. kerrington.steele says:

    if you HAVE to have designer sunglasses, go to Nordstrom Rack, Off Fifth (Saks Fifth Avenue), or even TJ Maxx / Loehmanns, etc. a $250 pair of shades can be $60-$80 with the same big ugly logo on the side. the styles will be limited but at least you can satisfy your brand-craving.

    Nordstrom Rack even keeps the hard cases for all the different brands in the back room and will bring out a new case for you when you check out, so everything matches!

  66. Big Mama Pain says:

    It’s the same thing with designer hand bags; they’re often made in the same factory as the counterfeit ones, and certainly with the same materials. I try to stay within the $5-$10 range; mine are a pair of Fossil that I got at their outlet store for $10 like four years ago.

    • CalicoGal says:

      “they’re often made in the same factory as the counterfeit ones, and certainly with the same materials”

      incorrect. Counterfeit bags are made in factorys that use child labor and cheap materials and workmanship.
      Authentic ones are often made in China, but at corporate factories using quality materials and workmanship.
      If you have a counterfeit COACH I can tell a mile away. They’re truly vile and support organized crime, child labor, and terrorism. I am not speaking in hyperbole. If it matters to you, do some research.

      • prizgrizbiz says:

        So the authentic ones are supporting political and freedom oppression, lead and cadmium products? Much better!

  67. MikeHerbst says:

    On the plus side of “Name Brand” sunglasses: Good “big” companies like Maui Jim offer a repair service that is very worthwhile, cost-wise.

    Early this spring I had the “sports” frame on a pair of MJs break after 5+ years of use. I liked the way the lenses performed, so I went and bought a new pair in an aviator style, which is where I read the blurb about the repair service. Not long after I chipped the lenses in the 2nd pair (my fault, dropped onto concrete) and decided to give the repair service a try. I sent BOTH pairs in with the standard authorization form, etc. and shortly after received one brand new pair (to replace that with the broken sports frame) and new lenses in the second pair. Total cost was $70 ($10 standard repair fee + $60 for new lenses out of warranty), but this included two new hard cases (total value like $45) and some other accessories. The equivalent of two new pairs of (name brand) sunglasses for not much cash, so I was pleased. I now keep the sports lenses with my sports gear, leaving the second pair for daily use.

    So yes, chasing the “next cool thing” can be expensive, but quality eyewear that you use for many years, and can repair if needed, can also be considered an investment.

  68. COBBCITY says:

    While I spend a heck of a lot more on my clothing, I wear sunglasses that usually are $5 a pair and no one seems to know the difference. I am known for loosing or breaking them constantly… I am not putting money into something I won’t be able to find in a few weeks.

  69. MustWarnOthers says:

    I got a pair of cobalt blue Rayban Wayfarer sunglasses from my Fiancee for my birthday. They were around 110.

    They never ever move the slightest bit on my face, even when running around playing football/frisbee on the beach. I bought a pair of replacement lenses which were darker and polarized for about 30 bucks from an optometry store.

    Lenscrafters changed the lenses out for free. Overall, they’ve been a great purchase, and the ray ban lenses (luxottica lenses) are durable and really great at reducing glare.

  70. CrisA says:

    My sunglasses cost me about $400, but it wasn’t the frames I was paying for. I mean, they’re designer frames, because that’s pretty much eyeglasses stores sell, but most of that cost is paying for my ridiculously expensive prescription lenses. Sadly, there’s no way to cut that one.

  71. KyBash says:

    “Engineer’s Glasses” are available at any good welding supply shop. Since they’re made for people to wear in factories, especially around welding equipment, they’re impact resistant, block U-V, are polarized, etc. etc. etc.

    Many styles comes with side shields, but you can clip the rivets with a pair of side cutters.

    Inexpensive, very durable, great protection, and they don’t look like the cheap crap you find on supermarket racks.

  72. Clyde Barrow says:

    What?!? Italian manufacturer Luxottica doesn’t make Wal-Mart brands?

  73. polishhillbilly says:
  74. Beeker26 says:

    Wait, you mean dollar stores aren’t the only places that sell sunglasses???

  75. SOhp101 says:

    Yes designer sunglasses are expensive. Yes they’re marked up like crazy. Yes they’re made by the same company. Guess what though, this applies to fashion in general and anything that you purchase to differentiate yourself will cost you. Good thing I get sunglasses/glasses as gifts.

  76. jpdanzig says:

    I spent a ton on frameless progressive prescription eyeglasses from Lenscrafters (it’s worth joining AAA for a year even if you don’t have a car to get a 50% savings at Lenscrafters). So when it came to getting sunglasses — I bought a pair of Fitovers for under $50. They work great, and you can find a pair online that will fit nicely over your glasses, whatever the shape or size.

  77. eightfifteen says:

    I only wear Blue Blockers

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Png-PC0ews

  78. Roe says:

    It’s really not about the name, the cost, or the design. It’s all about the lenses. If you buy a pr. of Foster Grant’s and put them in front of the projector lamp (at the optometrist office) and look at the letters on the wall (eye chart), you’ll see that they’re not as clear as they could be. If you do the same thing with Serengeti”s or Maui Jim’s, etc., then the letters will be considerably crisper.
    The reason is that they are OPTICALLY ground lenses. The cheap, otc sunglasses are stamped out lenses which have warpage. What I have found is that the designer glasses with names such as D&G (clothes or accessory designers) are not usually of good optical quality. If you’re going to spend a lot on sunglasses, then go with the professionals who have been doing it for years. Maui, Ray Ban, Serengeti, etc. You’ll get much more bang for your buck and you’ll be seeing more clearly.

  79. chaquesuivant says:

    The most I’ve paid for sunglasses was 350.00 for a pair of Matsudas. They weren’t for me, they were a gift. They were Matsuda – a high-end Japanese brand – and they were originally 1200 dollars – they were discontinued and hard to find. Very nice – classic style – hard to break. But I don’t pretend for a second that they offer more protection than a 70 or 100 dollar pair. They were a unique cool gift that are much beloved by the giftee – and that’s what cost extra.

    For myself, I like higher-end glasses, but I restrict myself to a max of 100 – 150. I shop close-outs etc. I’m also not in the habit of losing things. If I were, I would buy cheaper glasses – and no one would be the wiser. This being said, why don’t I just buy cheaper ones anyway? Because I like the fit of the more expensive glasses better. I’m willing to pay a little more for it. But really, After a certain price, there are diminishing returns in most areas for most items – not just glasses.

  80. failurate says:

    I like Oakleys. I had a pair of Razor (wore for a couple of years, then gave to my dad), Frog Skins (had for several years, then broke them), and Fives (lost maybe two years after getting them). The Fives were sent to me free from Oakley when I broke my Frog Skins.

    I have been buying the cheap sunglasses for the last several years, but if I were to buy a more expensive pair, it would be Oakleys again. The Razor was my favorite. They sell for about 4 times what they originally cost on e-bay now.

    • failurate says:

      Has anyone tried reading anything on the Oakley website? They use the most asinine gibberish to describe their stuff.

  81. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    I just bought a really cute pair with black-and-white checkers on them for $6 on St Mark’s.

  82. el-brazo-onofre says:

    My brand is Daiso. $1.50/pair, with proper UV protection. I bought six pair the last time I was there. If I lose one or my kid breaks one, I’ve got a stockpile.

  83. savashley says:

    i’ve got a pair of Dior Hommes I got back in 8th grade at Saks and I still have them 7 years later, and I also have a pair of Costa del Mars I got about three years ago which I still wear as well, they’re amazing. I can’t say enough good things about Costas, they’re durable and they have great protection, better than my Diors!

  84. UnicornMaster says:

    1- They’re all made by the same manufacturer isn’t a good argument. These are all still top brands, and it’s like saying VW makes Audi and Porsche.
    6- 50 years? I can make that argument about anything. If I drink one less cup of coffee a day I can save $360 a year, which adds up to $70,000.
    And if you go through 1 a year and can’t afford it, you should not be buying things on credit.

  85. phonebem says:

    I always wear Oakleys (typically from their military sales site a great deal if you only want black, which I do). With their distortion-free optics and impact resistance they are cheap insurance on the motorcycle.

  86. TTFK says:

    When I first got my contact lenses back in 1998, I spent $90 on a pair of Oakleys for two reasons:

    1. I was finally rid of the huge-frame 80’s glasses I was stuck with as a kid. I could finally look normal.

    and

    2. Turns out with contacts I have much more light sensitivity. It is fantastic at night, but during the day I had no choice but to wear sunglasses on sunny days. It was a price I happily paid.

    After breaking them two years later, I switched to $5 convenience store knockoffs and never looked back.

  87. LatinoGeek says:

    I have a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses that I bought in Vegas on my honeymoon; this was in 1999. If I recall, I paid about $180 for them. I still use them to this day, and would not hesitate to buy another set if something were to ever happen to them.

    The $5 dollar pair in the drug store don’t even compare to the build quality and style of my Maui Jims. plus, they’re polarized to reduce glare dramatically and are crystal clear. Unless you’re scatter-brain who looses things constantly then I would suggest you never buy an expensive pair.

  88. samabi says:

    You forgot Oakley. They also own them

  89. TheGreySpectre says:

    I have a pair of oakleys and I consider them well worth the cost. The lens are much better quality then the lenses on any of the cheaper sunglasses that I got, they are cleared, offer less distortion and are harder to scratch. Cheap sunglasses also do not offer me the ability to switch lenses for different conditions easily. I did not buy my sunglasses for the style aspect, I bought them because they fit well and I liked the lenses.

  90. Buckus says:

    I make my own sunglasses at home.

  91. jimstoic says:

    I’ve bought a couple pairs for close to $300. The first was a pair of Valentinos with blue lenses. I loved them. I have a photo of myself wearing them just before I lost them at a rest stop in Washington state. (I returned to the rest stop, but they were gone.) The other was a pair of Japanese-made Salt glasses. They were stolen. I have bought a lot of $150 glasses and currently have a beautiful pair of gold Gucci glasses I got on sale.

    My favorite pair of glasses came from Argentina. I can’t remember the name, but it’s an Argentine company and they are made in Argentina and not sold in the U.S.

  92. yagisencho says:

    $225 for a pair of designer shades with polarized glass lenses. Coming up on two years now and they’ve got years of wear left in them. My previous pair survived five years of heavy use. My eyes (and ears, and nose) are worth it to me to buy a pair of comfortable glasses that work well.

  93. Froggmann says:

    I’ve bought premium sunglasses ONCE. Figured since I hold on to cheap sunglasses for at least a year or two I could handle the premium ones. Nope lost those in about 5 weeks. Yep, still have the same cheap ass replacement ones I bought after losing the good pair.

  94. HenryES says:

    I have to wear them most any time I’m out during the day, so I have a good collection of pretty nice ones. I got a lot of them from Sierra Trading Post, and I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than $75.

  95. Purplerhinoboy says:

    I was a long time Oakley sunglasses fan until Oakley was bought by Luxottica as well. Oakley sunglasses and script glasses are now junk. No attention to detail. Too bad as Oakley was the last brand of anything I would “overpay” for and was glad to do it!

  96. rawrali says:

    I have to add to all the commenters who swear by their Maui Jims. I have a pair of Maui Jims and a $30 pair of sunglasses that I alternate between (one black, one brown). I went through at least 6 of the $30 pairs in a short amount of time before my Maui Jim purchase – either the lenses got ridiculously scratched despite taking good care of them or one of the arms broke off. I am probably slightly more careful with the Maui Jims due to the price, but they are still in great shape years later. So some high-priced shades are worth it if you’re out in the sun a lot. If you just need them for driving to the mall or walking through your neighborhood, you can get away with the cheaper ones.

    Full disclosure – I work for a company that owns a percentage of Maui Jim and therefore get their sunglasses for around 50% off. So I sleep a little easier about the price of my sunglasses. However, I will continue buying Maui Jims even after I move on and no longer get my discount.

  97. Conformist138 says:

    I, uh, wear normal seein’ glasses that are an unusual shape. well, not so much “unusual” as “no one ever bothers making sunglasses-attachments in this really common, nerdy shape”

    So, no sunglasses for me unless I don’t want the ability to see clearly more than 6″ in front of my nose. (No insurance, prescription sunglasses are too expensive for me to justify purchasing)

    • Goldensummer says:

      There are places that make custom made clip-ons. There are some independent places but you can also find an optometrist near you who uses one of the large clip on companies and they’ll trace your frame and then make you a clip on. Its pretty neat.

  98. yami990 says:

    i already usually pay around 200-300 hundred for a pair of glasses due to ridiculously expensive lenses so paying for frames that don’t feel cheaply made is necessary, just add another 60 for transitions lenses. living in Arizona there’s no way of forgetting them since i’m somewhere around the range of blind as a bat and coke bottle thick glasses. so usually it’s a matter of searching for frames that fit my face and look decent. preferably flexable metal since they sometimes fall off. so just get the ones that will work as both sunglasses and regular glasses since i need them all of the time.

  99. MrEvil says:

    Technically I don’t pay for sunglasses, I get Rx frames with the magnetic clip-ons. Much more convenient than swapping my spectacles around. The only time I change glasses is when I go shooting, I have Rx Safeties for that.

  100. aleck says:

    And in a related news flash: designer jeans are made out of the same cotton as any other brand.

  101. Link_Shinigami says:

    This is weird because tons of other sources say quality sunglasses are worth the investment. Seriously, you get what you pay for and cheap throw away sunglasses break and generally look awful; They feel like crap in every sense.

    People spend good money on sun glasses and they last and take more abuse (If you’re stupid enough to put them through such a thing) than the cheaper ones. 3+ years with good expensive or 3 months with cheap pairs? In the long run, you spend more on cheap ones thinking it’s cheaper in said long run.

    How’s the saying go? Humans will take $10 today instead of waiting a month to get $100.

  102. TimothyT says:

    Maybe it’s just me but this is kind of a “No Duh” story. A necessity of sorts with options of utilitarian, prestige, or glamor.

  103. Britt says:

    I paid $12 at Claire’s for my current pair, and they’ve lasted several years. I paid about $20 for my previous pair, and sat on them within a week. I figured it’s not worth it if my fat ass is going to hit them eventually.

  104. CalicoGal says:

    My favorite glasses cost 5.99 at Tuesday Morning. And I am in a panic right now cause I can’t find them…
    I hope they’re in my husband’s truck…

  105. pot_roast says:

    So… Dolce & Gabbana, Dooney & Burke, Coach, and the rest of the designer stuff is overpriced. Wow. Stop the presses. This is huge!

    The most expensive sunglasses I bought were a pair from Oakley, and the only reason I bought the Oakleys is because I needed a pair with a certain ANSI rating at the job I was working. I got a Fossil gift certificate as a gift and bought a $40 pair from them, and they’ve lasted 6 months so far.

  106. asten77 says:

    I get them at sporting goods stores or target for $20 or less. I get them scratched, bent, or squashed enough I won’t spend more.

  107. mcmunchkin says:

    My last pair of Coach sunglasses were about $160. I had them for 4 years because I took care of them, kept them in a case, and used a crappy pair of sunglasses for when I went running. I just recently bought a new pair of Ralph Lauren sunglasses for $130. I intend to have them for a while. I’m always willing to spend a lot of money on something that a) lasts a long time, b) looks really good on me, c) really fits, and d) I will wear every day.

  108. careerpurgatory says:

    I also bought about a $70 pair of Serengeti’s from Costco, I also managed to break them within a year, the Costco person told me to send them back to Serengeti and they’d fix them for free. I just paid to have them shipped one way, and my glasses came back and they looked like new!

  109. adamrush says:

    Having been in the business for a while…you could really use this argument to justify about any “designer” item, right?

    Increasingly, handbag construction has shifted out of Italy in favor of cheaper labor in Asia, thread count in materials like cashmere and merino wool are absolutely on a percentage decline from what was used at the luxury level just five years ago.

    Designer items aren’t put on the market as “qualitatively better” the way toothpaste with “tartar control” has an added benefit making it better than the same toothpaste without it. True was a time when people turned to Louis Vuitton for its expertise in trunkmaking or Dior for the ability of its couture tailors–but that was a good 20 years or so ago. To pretend otherwise is a bit naive.

    No, what you’re paying for with a designer item is…wait for it…”design.” Marc Jacobs’ *concept* for Louis Vuitton and Galliano’s *concept* for Dior–the ideas they have for form, shape, color–that’s what commands your premium.

    We, as consumers, may think this is silly, or we may think the prestige of it is fantastic, but to presume designer prices aren’t “worth it” suggests too narrow a focus on a single-type of consumer behavior–not the breadth of what all consumers value.

  110. nobodyman says:

    Of course all the above is true, but it’s also worth noting that most of these “Designers” have do virtually no designing. My wife worked for the company that manufactured Roberto Cavalli glasses. The inhouse designers did everything, and Cavalli’s input was little more than him picking out the ones he liked and which ones he didn’t. Other times he would send emails that said that he wanted glasses that looked like the kind that [insert hollywood starlet here] wore [at the emmy’s / at the oscar’s / while in rehab].

  111. aaron8301 says:
  112. ChuckLez says:

    $15 from Walmart for a good driving pair (was hoping to spend less but all looked like crap or applied too much pressure). They look pretty good and are just fine for what I need.

  113. Smultronstallet says:

    I bought a pair of $6 sunglasses from Meijer almost a year ago. They have served me well; I wear them every day, rain or shine. I could never justify spending more than $10-20 on a pair, even if I wasn’t an extremely broke college student.

  114. Bryan says:

    I got tired of buying pair after pair after pair of $10-15 sunglasses from various places and having them break every 2-4 weeks. Bought a pair of Tifosi Torrets (used by bicyclists primarily). $65, and came with three sets of lenses (dark, red for cloudy days, and clear), and a case. Got a set of their polarized lenses for $25 and I have been set. I have had them over a year and had zero problems with them. Much better optics then your typical gas station sunglasses.

  115. Geekybiker says:

    I find that $40-50 seems to be about the least I can spend on sunglasses and be happy. Cheaper ones have poor optical quality, and always seem to feel like they’re not quite straight. I don’t care much about brand names, but I go care about quality.

  116. angienessyo says:

    Had the same pair of sunglasses for 13 years that I bought from Fashion Bug for like $5. They surely aren’t the best protection but I don’t do a ton of stuff outdoors so they do the job.

  117. Tankueray says:

    re:
    3. I really can’t believe that my $500 Chanel sunglasses cost $250 to make. Yes, I bought $500 sunglasses, no I don’t believe the materials and labor were even close to $50; I just wanted them.

    6. I haven’t bought a new pair of sunglasses in 5 years. I have 3 pair of fashion sunglasses and 4 pair of Oakleys for work/sport/shooting/sex… About 2 years ago, my limited edition, 6 year old Oakleys broke at the temple. They miraculously had a replacement in a box of spare parts and sent it to me. A year later I had to replace a rubber nose piece. $30 every couple of years for replacement lenses and I’m good. So in 10 years I’ve spent maybe $1000 on sunglasses. I spend more on my prescription glasses then that.

  118. TheMacGuy says:

    I had a pair of Army issued Oakley half jacket sunglasses that cost $160. (http://www.oakley.com/pd/1146) They became badly scratched. The supply Sgt. would not issue me a new another pair so I shopped around. I found some made by Dewalt and sold at Lowes hardware stores. They look and almost the same. and I can not tell the difference while wearing them. They cost $9.97
    (http://www.lowes.com/pd_90381-48394-DPG51-2C_0_?productId=3061993&Ntt=dewalt+safety+glasses&Ntk=i_products&pl=1&currentURL=/pl__0__s?newSearch=true$Ntt=dewalt%20safety%20glasses$y=0$x=0)

  119. the_wiggle says:

    hmph.

    my maui jims were $300 13yrs ago. best money ever spent & well worth saving up for. still have’m & they’re still in great shape.

    like anything else, do your research & pay your money.

  120. EcPercy says:

    Hum… the most I will spend is around $20. I can get a good pair of polarized glasses for that price and it doesn’t hurt my feelings if I manage to damage them or lose them.

    I bought a pair of Oakley sunglasses one time. All I remember is that they had the titanium frames and cost about $120. Next day I had them hanging on my shirt and got into a wrestling match and bent the frames. Never again…

  121. adam395 says:

    $65 for a pair of bullet-proof shooting glasses with swap-out lenses from Oakley, and they not only look good but do a great job keeping the glare down and any powder or blow-back from a poorly-gauged burn (muskets really throw up the soot). That’s more than can be said for a $300 pair of Chanel glasses.

  122. smo0 says:

    I’m with you on the $500 dollar pair of Dolce and Gabbana’s…. not sure if there’s much to be said about this, however: last weekend I went to a car race with the boyfriend and he wear perscription sunglasses (and he’s the most frugalest guy I know) – I had my expensive Italian shades on and we were both facing directly at the 5 o’clock sun – for any of you living out west – you know that’s intense… he had his hands over his eyes to watch the race, I didn’t. He asked why and I told him I didnt know – so I handed him my glasses for a hot minute and he immediately goes, “I need to get a pair of these!” Kid tested, mom approved?

  123. lonestardeals says:

    I’ve had occasion to handle a good number of different brands of designer eyewear. The quality is better than the cheaper kind [most of the Safilo/Luxottica group provide 100% UV protection and the frames are definitely better], but I don’t think they are really worth the MSRP. You can get authentic designers at a discount on eBay [just make sure the feedback rating of the seller is 100%]. I believe that those sold on eBay are generally overstock items from upscale department stores.