The Best Sunglasses under $100 – Spring 2011

The Best Sunglasses under $100 – Spring 2011

Sub $100 Shades – The Best of Affordable Sunglasses

You buy a CD off Amazon and you know it’ll fit in your CD player.  Buying shoes or clothes off the internet carries a bit more risk, but if you know your brands then sizing can be relatively dependable.  Buying sunglasses online can be a total nightmare.  You just don’t know how they’ll look until they’re on your face.  It’d be like getting a haircut over the internet.  And although you could probably rig up skype, a robotic arm, and a flowbee, it’s probably not the best idea.

The point is (there is one?) shopping for sunglasses online is risky.  So know the return policies and take shipping costs into consideration before you click “purchase.”  With that all said, these all have potential:

Cole Haan Acrylic Rounded Sunglasses – $53.00 (reg. $75.00)

The not from the 80s retro look.

For the guys who like the retro key-hole sunglasses look, but don’t want to go full bore Talented Mr. Ripley or wear Ray Ban Clubmasters.  Respectable brand on the ear piece as well.


Fossil Polarized Carver Aviator – $55.00

Modern shape, classic look.

Polarized for under $100?  Try under $60 if they’re from Fossil.  Their Carver Aviator gently squares off the lenses so you don’t get that droopy Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas look.  Logo looks to be barely noticeable, a tonal stamped “Fossil” near the temples.


Banana Republic Adam – $98.00

Persol-ish. A little. Tiny bit.

Proof that plastic frames can be professional looking.  Available in black or tortoise, logo is kept to the inside, good weight and feel, and since they’re GAP inc, easy to catch on sale.


Cole Haan 745 Pilot – $95.00

Professional and blingless.

Keeping the flash to a minimum with black frames, not silver.  Great bridge piece, thin metal frames, and extra points for the deep brown tortoise ear pieces.  You can mix brown and black.

L.E.C. Modern Aviator – $49.50, Classic – $39.50, Square Aviator – $49.50

$50, $40, $50.

Lands’ End Canvas has you covered if you want a classic style but don’t want to spend more than $50 to get it.  Inexpensive sunglasses can self destruct pretty quickly, but with the LEC guarantee (return it if it fails you, whenever) you should be covered.


Ray Ban New Wayfarer RB2132 – $75.00 (reg. $119)

The new standard.

Don’t know if I’ll ever stop singing the praises of these.  Slimmed down compared to the original wayfarer, perfectly balanced for most faces/heads, made in Italy, and you can feel how durable they are as soon as you unfold the ear pieces and put them on.  The real deal.  Hard to find on sale.  Fulfilled by Amazon and link gets you to plenty of size/color options (thanks to Kahtan in the comments).  Look for 55mm width if you’ve got a medium to larger sized head.  Under that, 52 mm might be your best bet.  55mm with tape measure pic over here.


Polo Green Lens Aviator – $99.98 (reg. $150)

Three colors and all working well together.

This is how you do a silver frame.  Black ear pieces and green lenses.  Not as tall through the lense as you’d think (look at the straight on view).  On sale for just under $100.


Club Monaco CM6509 – $29.97 (reg. $89.95)

Insanely inexpensive.

Did someone leave the machines on at the Club Monaco Sunglasses factory?  Pretty sure these have been on sale since last spring. says they’re only available in store, but a quick phone call to 1-800-SUNGLAS and a customer service rep will, according to the website: “assist you in ordering these sunglasses for shipment directly to your home or office.”  That’ll work.  For $30 (plus shipping of course.)

Got other sub $100 Sunglasses suggestions?  And how much is too much for a pair of shades?  Even if you won’t spend more than $20 and always get your sunglasses from the gas station, leave your comments below…