What I’ve Learned about Sunglasses, after Losing 3 Pairs in 3 Years


Sunglasses have been around longer than most of us have been alive, they became possible when polarization was created in 1936.  Ray Bans were introduced in 1937, originally made for airplane pilots, but celebrities of the 50s like James Dean and Audrey Hepburn helped rise sunglasses to popularity for the modern folk and made them a style for the public.  I have yet to buy my own pair of Ray Bans and I probably will keep it that way after what I have learned about my ability to keep sunglasses on my face, and the truth behind the high cost of Ray Bans.

As of now, I have lost 3 pairs of sunglasses in 3 years, (one pair per summer) in which the lake consumes them and they are lost forever.  I thought I had escaped this year, summer had passed, sunglasses intact, but little did I know, the ocean’s waves would steal my most recent pair.  I wasn’t as upset as most might have been since the sunglasses I owned were only $15 and not $200. After losing the battle over my sunglasses with water Ima stick with my “cheap” sunglasses.  

But if you are unlike me and want to splurge on name brand shades I have some advice that might help you from losing your sunglasses too.  My tip would be to get yourself some sunglasses straps, also known by the name croakies. They’re almost exactly described in the name, a strap that attaches to the ends of your sunglasses and the loop is then placed around your neck.  This is to ensure your sunglasses stay on your face and not in the ocean. They come in all different kinds of styles, colors, materials and I bet you can find one that fits your vibe.

Another piece of advice I want to share is about making you, the consumer, more aware of what you are purchasing.  When you shop for items in a store you are given the illusion of choice, multiple brands for the same product, slightly different prices.  Often the different “brands” you choose from are owned by the same company, so in actuality, there is no choice. This is most likely true for the sunglasses you are buying, Ray bans, Oakley, Coach, or Michael Kors.  These brands along with dozens more are all owned by Luxottica; an Italian eyewear company that has vertically consolidated a large portion of the eyewear industry and raises price immensely.

Luxottica has created a virtual monopoly over the eyewear industry and continues to grow.   In 1999 Luxottica purchased Ray Bans along with a few other brands and began remarketing them into high fashion glasses, along with a high fashion price.  What used to cost $30 in the 50s, $50 in the 80s and around $80 in the early 90s, after Luxottica’s rebranding Ray Bans became around $130 that we think of today.  I’m not asking you to become an activist against corporate consolidation, but I hope you will be more aware of what sunglasses you are buying in the future or anything for that matter.