Does anyone even call them shades anymore? Probably not. Question – What’s more acceptable: referring to sunglasses as “shades”, or, calling money “lettuce”? Regardless, sunglasses are one of those things that have retreated from the cost middle ground of $40 – $100. Most are either above $100, or so cheap they look like something you got by cashing in a bunch of Kool-Aid points. The options below won’t set you back too much
lettuce, bread, legal tender, yet still retain plenty of good looks without getting too trendy.
Banana Republic Corbin Sunglasses – $78.00
Surprisingly nice. They’ve got stronger angles than the Ray-Bans, so they look a little meaner and more substantial. By no means does that lump them into the skater/boarder thickums category. Really well proportioned, rectangular lenses, and pretty comfortable. Best for larger faces. With sales, these could become a terrific value.
Brooks Brothers Navigator & Aviator Sunglasses – $95.00
First the good news: Both look incredible. Just enough unique details to make each stand out quietly. Check out the subtle tie striping on the ear pieces of the squared off lens Navigator, and the not too gigantic sweat bar/bridge piece on the Aviators match the overall tortoise print. Now the bad news: Looks like they’re made in China, and $95 is pretty expensive. They’re on the way for an in person. Standby for that. Ships/returns free with Nordstrom.
Ray Ban New Wayfarers (RB2132) – $72 – $94.00
They retail for above $100, but keep an eye on Amazon and for accessories sales at retailers like Brooks Brothers and BlueFly, and you might be able to snag these for well under a hundred bucks. Much, much sleeker than the original wayfarer clunkfest. Plastic = more casual, but they’re certainly appropriate for dressed up affairs. If going through Amazon, make sure the sunglasses, if not sold direct by Amazon, are at least “fulfilled” by Amazon. Unless you’re on the much smaller side, most guys will want the 55mm size. First column, third row. Full review over here.
J. Crew Factory Metal and Plastic Aviators – $19.50
And they could go for as low as $13.65 during an extra 30% off sale. So the cost of shipping would start to sniff at doubling their “value.” Metal has that standard aviator shape. Plastic let’s you look like the driver without the Scorpion jacket or head stomping footwear.
Ray-Ban Caravan in Gold – $78.92 ($130)
UPDATE: Yesterday they were in the $60s, now they’re the $70s. Credit Jason with the catch. Well then. That’s the lowest I think many of us have seen these at from a legitimate source, which happens to be Overstock. Unless they’re not the real, made in Italy deal (says they are), then these are a steal.
Marc Anthony Round Sunglasses – $19.99 ($36)
Fair to say these were, um, “inspired” by the Tom Ford 108 sunglasses Daniel Craig wore in Quantum of Solace? $20. Also available in a darker gunmetal. The Tom Ford pair aren’t the easiest to pull off, so these will probably be even more difficult.
Warby Parker Polarized Thatcher in Greystone – $95.00
God love it they’re GREY. Not black, not your standard brown tortoise, grey. Subtle as well. From Warby Parker, who most of you know by now has that home-try on policy for their eye-glasses, as well as a real nice return policy.
Calibrate Navigator – $69.50
Not too tall. Not too bulky or too wispy. Owns that grown-up middle ground on style and affordable price. From the Nordstrom house brand Calibrate that does not let down very often. But, it’s free shipping and returns if they do.
Fossil “Nick” Polarized sunglasses in rust – $70.00
First seen over here, and it’s hard not to like that color (unless you and Andy Dalton have a similar complexion and hair color.) Minimal branding, unique, and polarized for seventy bucks. An unmistakeable retro feel, so keep the rest of your getup current, or risk looking like you’re in costume.
American Optical Original Pilot Aviators – $39.99 – $75.99
Obligatory. But respectfully so. Made in the USA and the chosen sunglasses for a lot of you guys.
Any other suggestions? Are you an expensive sunglasses guy, or are you the “I get mine at 7/11 because I break them all the time” type? Leave it all the comments section…