HomeSix most popular designer sunglasses or similar styles for less

Six most popular designer sunglasses or similar styles for less

woman wearing designer sunglasses for less

Anyone in the market for new designer sunglasses has likely experienced a bit of sticker shock. But a continued search might just lead to a far less-expensive set of shades that look just as cool as the first. 

When the styles are similar and both offer the same UV protection, it’s difficult to comprehend the substantial price difference. 

Are expensive sunglasses worth the cost? And are they really that much better than cheaper options? Sometimes, sometimes not. In most cases, it depends on where you’re buying them. 

Some pricier shades include sizing and engraving customizations, along with an eye-catching logo. Sometimes designer shades better accommodate prescription lenses, and (depending on the vendor) you may even be able to use your vision insurance to help cover the high cost. 

Less-expensive frames may not carry the flashy logo like those designer specs, but many are available with prescriptions, lens coatings and other customizations. And they’ll give you the look you want and protect your eyes just as well. 

Six expensive sunglasses: Designer vs. less-expensive

Take a look at these six popular frame shapes and how the expensive and budget-friendly styles measure up. 

SHOPPING FOR NEW SHADES? Explore your options at an optical store near you or shop online

1. Aviator designer sunglasses

Hunting for some cool new frames? You can’t go wrong with a classic pair of aviators. Ray-Ban introduced this iconic style in the late 1930s to protect the vision of pilots, cutting down glare and helping them to see more clearly. Since then, people love these lightweight frames and dark lenses for their vintage style and comfortable fit. 

Whether you’re browsing for an inexpensive back-up pair of shades or wanting something completely customized, there are plenty of options out there.

Ray-Bans RB3025 L0205 58, $154+

  • 100% UVA/UVB protection

  • Metal frames in 10 colors

  • Compatible with corrective lenses

  • Available for purchase with insurance

  • Customizations include a variety of lens colors and coatings, colored temple tips, size options and more

Seeker Aviators [EyeBuyDirect], $39+

  • 100% UVA/UVB protection

  • Metal frames in four colors

  • CR39 and polycarbonate plastic lenses

  • Compatible with corrective lenses

  • Customizations include gradient, mirrored and/or polarized lenses

  • Anti-scratch lens coating

2. Cat-Eye designer sunglasses

If you like your eyewear to protect your eyes and accentuate your cheekbones, grab a pair of cat-eye sunnies. With countless frame colors and accents, this timeless style has been a longtime favorite of celebrities and fashionistas for generations. 

Cat-eye frames are widely available in both prescription plano sunglasses. Check with your optician to ensure the shape will work with your corrective lenses. 

Michael Kors, $161+

  • 100% UVA/UVB protection

  • Acetate frames in two colors

  • Plastic lenses

  • Compatible with corrective lenses

  • Available for purchase with insurance

Sun Rhyme Cat Eyes, $45+ 

  • 100% UVA/UVB protection

  • Acetate frames in four colors

  • CR39 and polycarbonate plastic lenses

  • Compatible with corrective lenses

  • Customizations include gradient, mirrored and/or polarized lenses

  • Anti-scratch lens coating

SEE RELATED: Women’s eyeglasses: Pick from these trendy frame styles

3. Wraparound designer sunglasses

Looking for a sportier style that will stay put in highly active situations? Try wraparound (also known as shield) shades! Wraparound frames are an excellent option for everything from outdoor activities like fishing to higher-impact sports like tennis or soccer. 

Many wraparound styles also feature lenses with additional coatings and treatments to keep your vision as comfortable and glare-free as possible. Depending on your outdoor sport of choice, you may want to keep an eye out for lens coating add-ons and impact resistant frames to help you stay on your game. 

Oakley Ridgeline, $146+

  • 100% UVA/UVB (and some blue light) protection

  • O Matter™ frames

  • No-slip Unobtanium® nose pads

  • Prizm™ lenses featuring HD polarization, Iridium® (glare reduction) coating and HDO® Optics

  • Impact resistant

Smith & Wesson Elite Safety, $6

  • 99.99% UVA/UVB protection

  • Nylon frames

  • Polycarbonate lenses

4. Heart-shaped designer sunglasses

Do you wear your heart on your sleeve? Heart-shaped shades may be just right for you. These attention-grabbing, smile-inducing frames just keep on trending, and there are countless colors and variations available with or without a prescription. 

When shopping for these fun frames, look for styles that offer anti-scratch coatings as their non-traditional shape may make protecting them in a case more difficult. There are prescription options available, but they may not be as readily available as more typical shapes. 

Saint Laurent New Wave SL 181 LouLou, $420+

  • 100% UVA/UVB protection

  • Acetate frames in six colors

  • Nylon lenses

  • Frames are not compatible with corrective lenses

Darling Heart, $39+

  • 100% UVA/UVB Protection

  • Acetate frames in four colors

  • CR39 and polycarbonate plastic lenses

  • Compatible with corrective lenses

  • Customizations include gradient, mirrored and/or polarized lenses

  • Lenses include anti-scratch coating

5. Square designer sunglasses

Looking for something a bit more traditional and everyday? Go with square frames. This classy, practical style is available in an endless array of colors and finishes, and they complement every face shape

There are square-shaped shades for every budget, and these classic frames also make them a great option for prescription sunglasses

Versace Square, $241+

  • 100% UVA/UVB Protection

  • Acetate frames in black

  • Plastic lenses

  • Polarized option

Tempest [EyeBuyDirect], $42+

  • 100% UVA/UVB Protection

  • Acetate frames in three colors

  • CR39 and polycarbonate plastic lenses

  • Compatible with corrective lenses

  • Customizations include gradient, mirrored and/or polarized lenses

  • Anti-scratch lens coating

SEE RELATED: How to pick shades for your face shape

6. Round designer sunglasses

Like square shades, round shades come in a wide variety of styles and colors for everyday wear. Go with Lennon-style metal frames or make a statement with a vibrant, plastic frame. 

This universal shape is perfect for corrective lenses, as long as the frames are thick enough to accommodate the prescription. 

Ray-Ban Round Metal Remix, $169+

  • 100% UVA/UVB Protection

  • Metal frames in 11 colors

  • Compatible with corrective lenses

  • Customizations include a variety of lens colors and coatings, colored temple tips, size options and more

Guru, $29+

  • 100% UVA/UVB Protection

  • Metal frames in two colors

  • CR39 and polycarbonate plastic lenses

  • Compatible with corrective lenses

  • Customizations include gradient, mirrored and/or polarized lenses

  • Anti-scratch lens coating

While you’re exploring your options online, review the website’s return policy plus available add-ons and payment options. Your perfect pair may not be as expensive as you fear. 

Some optical shops will also special discounts and payment plans on prescription sunnies if you’re also purchasing new prescription eyeglasses. Ask an optician or eye doctor near you for details.

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