This post is sponsored by Kohl’s, but all opinions are entirely my own.
Shortly after college, when I had a little extra money to spend on my wardrobe, I purchased my very first pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses. They were the original Wayfarer sunglasses with bright red frames, and I wore them everywhere – while commuting and going on casual walks, all the way to more rugged, outdoorsy Pennsylvania adventures like biking, hiking. Now, 7 years later, I still reach for them on the weekends while out exploring the Bay Area.
I love them because they’re retro, quirky, and fun, not to mention they’ve lasted me longer than any other pair of sunglasses I’ve owned. And amazingly, they’re still in (almost) the same shape as the day I first purchased them.
Now that I’m spending more time on-the-go with my commute up to San Francisco every day – which involves a car ride, train ride, and a 20-minute walk to my office – I was on the hunt for another classic style, only in a more neutral, everyday-wearable color. I searched long and hard for what would be my next investment pair of sunnies and ended up going straight back to Ray-Ban.
I tried on everything from their Clubmaster style to their Wayfarer, and then fell in love with their new, updated version of the latter, appropriately named the ‘New Wayfarer‘. Inspired by the originals, only with a slightly smaller and softer eye shape, they look classy, cool, and perfect for everyday. They’re also available in tons of sizes and color combinations– from black shiny frames to tortoise Havana frames (my favorite!).
Between these two pairs, I tried my fair share of drugstore, mid-level, all the way to high-end designer sunglasses, but Ray-Ban sunglasses continue to be my all-time favorites. Here are just a few reasons why I personally believe they’re worth the investment…
They provide maximum protection from UV rays. In addition to blocking visible light, it’s even more important that your sunglasses provide 100% UV protection. Many cheaper sunglasses are made of tinted plastic, which provide little or no UV protection and may actually harm your eyes by widening your pupils (thanks to the dark tint), allowing more UV to enter them. And the more harmful UV rays that enter, the greater the chance of causing long-term eye damage and even permanent vision loss.
Don’t assume cheap sunglasses provide this level of protection, even if a sticker on the lenses says, “blocks UV.” Make sure to find ones that provide 100% UV protection – the percentage is key here. With Ray-Ban, there is no guessing – all of their lenses provide 100% UV protection.
They keep your vision sharp. Cute bargain sunglasses might ‘appear’ to provide clear vision when you first try them on, but be careful – after you wear them for a full day, they can cause eye strain if the optical quality of the lenses is lacking. This can be due to an inexpensive lens material (like plastic), or even warpage of the lenses in the frame.
Instead, look for higher quality lens materials like glass (sometimes referred to as ‘crystal’) or polycarbonate. Ray-Ban uses these materials in all styles and ensure the highest clarity in their lenses are well. Their military-grade green G-15 lens, for example, provide ‘natural vision’, which I guarantee you’ll notice within the first few minutes of wearing them! I couldn’t agree more with Ray-Ban’s quote here – ‘Life through a lens, though you won’t notice difference.’
On top of that, with properly ground lens – like you’ll find on Ray-Ban sunglasses – there’s never any distortion around the edges, meaning you’ll be able to wear your sunglasses comfortably all day long.
They’re durable and will likely last you for years. As I mentioned earlier in this post, my 7-year-old pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses are still in excellent shape, and I expect they’ll last me yet another 5-10 years. Everything from their acetate frames to the crystal-clear lenses, and even the smooth-gliding hinges feel super sturdy and well-made.
Their build is so durable that they can withstand everyday wear and abuse that would have otherwise caused my bargain brand glasses to break. From dropping them on rocks while hiking (guilty), to getting them chewed up by the dog (in my boyfriend’s case), all the pairs owned by myself and family and friends have held up throughout the years.
They’ll never go out of style. Invest in a pair of sunnies in a classic aviator or cat eye style and they’ll always be fashionable. Ray-Ban is the maker of some of these OG styles – from the Aviator styles in the 1930’s to the Wayfarer in the 1950’s, all the way to the New Wayfarer (which I’m wearing here). Invest in a pair, and you’ll likely be reaching for them for years and years.