Have you ever stood and stared at a sunglass display in a store window wondering what on Earth could possibly possess people to pay thousands of dollars for a piece of metal, wire and plastic to sit on the end of their nose? That’s a pretty common reaction from the average Joe when they find themselves faced with the exorbitant price of a pair of designer sunglasses. The question is, are designer sunglasses really worth the money? Or are ambitious retailers just taking advantage of the fact that most people think bigger (or in this case, more expensive) is better?
In most cases it’s the latter. A recent study done by an organization known as Street Cents showed that when it came to effectiveness, comfort and durability, the big name brands had very little on their generic counterparts. All of the sunglasses surveyed provided effective protection for the eyes from UV rays, the harmful rays given off by the sun that cause your skin to turn a lovely golden brown and can cause irreparable damage to your eyes.
When it comes to choosing a pair of sunglasses you should always stick with ones labeled “100% Protection from UV Rays,” which per industry standards translates to blockage of at least 98% of UV light; however, as most sunglass industries adhere to this standard the price tag has very little to do with it. A five dollar pair of sunglasses may be just as effective when it comes to protecting your eyes as their two thousand dollar counterparts.
Durability is another question many people ask when they plunk down the price for a pair of designer sunglasses. There’s no denying the fact that regardless of how careful you are, your sunglasses are going to receive some abuse. They’re going to be scuffed, scratched, scraped, dropped, bent and broken, and that’s before they fall into the hands of a member of the five and under crowd! If a company is going to put a three hundred dollar price tag on their product, the least they could do is make sure it could stand up to the abuse of daily wear-right?
Look at the Titanic. The ship cost seven million, five hundred thousand dollars to build back in 1912, which is the rough equivalent of four hundred million dollars today. (Gotta love inflation.) Millions of dollars, and one little iceberg wipes it out. If you needed proof that more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better, there you have it!
The same is true of designer sunglasses. While there are some companies that take the time to be sure that their frames are reinforced and their lenses as scratch proof as possible, when you get down to the bottom line you find out that they’re every bit as vulnerable as the pair you saw next to the checkout at the grocery store.
So are designer sunglasses really worth the money you’re going to pay for them? That’s entirely up to you. Statistically speaking, designer sunglasses are no different than their dollar store companions. The difference is in the way they make you feel. If a pair of sunglasses with a four hundred dollar price tag brings a smile to your face and a bounce to your step, go for it. If four hundred dollars can make you feel like a million bucks, it was worth every penny.