Where to buy inexpensive but quality sunglasses?
April 28, 2006 2:39 PM   Subscribe

Where can I purchase stylish well constructed sunglasses, without paying extreme designer prices?

I'd like to find a pair of sunglasses that offers clear optics, uvb protection, and as a bonus are polarized... that aren't $200-300 a pair.

I'm sure someone will suggest just buying a cheap WalMart pair... but I've lived and learned in that regard. The optical quality of drugstore off the rack sun glasses gives me a splitting headache. I'll pay more for clarity.

So where do you buy your shades? Are there online outlets I'm unaware of?
posted by JFitzpatrick to Shopping (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
uva protection too for that matter! Oops.
posted by JFitzpatrick at 2:40 PM on April 28, 2006

what about going to an optometrist and having a pair custom made for you? It'll still run you ~$100 or more, but you'll probably get a waranty with it... plus it'll fit you perfectly.

You could always go to your local department store and pick up a $30 pair there as well.
posted by idiotfactory at 2:46 PM on April 28, 2006

Sometimes those sporting goods stores (SportCheck, etc) have middle-of-the-road sunglasses. If you need them for driving, be sure to get polarized glasses, too.
posted by clord at 2:53 PM on April 28, 2006

Are you anywhere near a Filene's Basement? I used to find great designer sunglasses at the ones in Boston and Washington DC all the time.
posted by occhiblu at 2:58 PM on April 28, 2006

Uhh, "great CHEAP DISCOUNTED designer glasses," in case that wasn't clear!
posted by occhiblu at 2:58 PM on April 28, 2006

I got a pair of designer shades for $30 at Loehmann's.
To be honest, they don't seem much better than the $5 ones I get at the swap meet.
posted by clh at 3:03 PM on April 28, 2006

Sierra Trading Post currently has 145 pairs of hugely discounted high-quality sunglasses.
posted by tangerine at 3:09 PM on April 28, 2006

Well, polarized Ray-Bans are not $200+. I paid $140 for mine. The non-polarized version was ~$90. I love these sunglasses . Two non-polarizes pairs lasted me a combined 7 years of daily use in the AZ sun. My new polarized pair is even better - the clarity is incredible. I've never been one to lose sunglasses, so the cost is entirely worth it to me.
posted by mullacc at 3:41 PM on April 28, 2006

Fossil has polarized sunglasses for ~$45. I have a pair, and like them, although it'd be nice if the lenses were a bit more scratch-resistant.
posted by kickingtheground at 3:54 PM on April 28, 2006

I've loved and lost on pair of polarized Ray-Bans at about the $130CDN range, and a nice pair of polarized MEC sunglasses (that I can't seem to find on their site) that were less than $90CDN.

For my money the Ray-Bans had better lenses, but the MEC ones had much better frames and warrenty.
posted by tiamat at 4:16 PM on April 28, 2006

kickingtheground, thanks for that info, there's a Fossil store in London I'm going to have to check out now, as I only lost my MEC sunglasses recently and have not replaced them yet. I will report back shortly as to the quality of the fossil polarized sunglasses, and as to whether I bought some.

Don't you love it when ppl post Ask.Me questions that are exactly the same as you where about to ask yourself?
posted by tiamat at 4:28 PM on April 28, 2006

you might be able to find something at tj maxx.
posted by eebs at 4:59 PM on April 28, 2006

I give the average $100ish Raybans a big thumbs up in value for money.

Functionally speaking, the only difference between my RayBans and my Maui Jims is that the RayBans left me with a little more padding in my wallet.
posted by I Love Tacos at 5:08 PM on April 28, 2006

Actually, I realized one functional difference. My Maui Jims are made of that flexible titanium shit, that makes em harder to screw up.
posted by I Love Tacos at 5:15 PM on April 28, 2006

i bought mine at a bicycle shop. they look great and i get lots of positive comments about them. they only cost $40.
posted by brandz at 6:25 PM on April 28, 2006

I get mine (and sunscreen) from the cancer council. Cheap, charitable and works well! Mind you, this is in Australia. We've all got skin cancer here.
posted by cogat at 7:03 PM on April 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

Even after wayyy too much money spent 3 pairs of Maui Jims, I still can't gripe about them, though I do agree with ILTacos some (cheaper) Ray-Bans come pretty damn close. (note: first two pairs were due to theft and butt-sit-damage, not build quality.)

If you find a good discounter for Maui J's, after you buy yourself a pair ppplease tell us where the retailer is!
posted by SpookyFish at 10:04 PM on April 28, 2006

I got a great pair of Polaroids in South Africa a couple of years ago for about R400 (about £40stg I reckon). I used to hate wearing shades because they never sat well on my face and always irritated the bridge of my nose, but these Polaroids were, and still are perfect.
posted by macdara at 3:23 AM on April 29, 2006

Wiley X is a brand i'm pretty fond of. They aren't terribly expensive and the lenses are made from selenite polycarbonate which makes them good for shooting, biking, etc.

i'm also a fan of the kiosks in the mall that sells knock-offs for $10, i always look for spring temples, non-mirrored (to avoid obvious scratches) and polarized lenses. i've had a pair for over two years now that haven't given me any troubles. The trick seems to be in really checking the lenses for distortions before you buy them.
posted by quin at 1:09 PM on April 29, 2006

Reporting back for myself, I bought a pair of Fossil polarized sunglasses at the store here in London today. There were 44quid, which sucks as the same ones in the USA are apparently $44, but I like them and that's still pretty cheap for polarized. The model is called 'rod' I believe, and they seem well made, but as they're only a few hours old I can't really say they've been much tested yet.
posted by tiamat at 4:20 PM on April 29, 2006

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