Let’s face it: there’s no accessory more essential during the summer than your sunglasses. If you’ve ever accidentally left the house without them and were blinded by the sun’s rays all day, you know that this is true.
And while you might have some fancier, more expensive pairs in your collection, it’s important that you have a cheap pair or two that you won’t mind leaving behind on the beach or sitting on in the rental car. So, we’ve rounded up 15 budget friendly (but awesome) sunglasses under $100 that will make you look good all summer and won’t break the bank.
Knockaround Polarized Sunglasses
The name says it all—Knockaround makes cheap sunglasses in a rainbow of colors, designs, and frames that are built to withstand whatever your summer throws at it. And if they don’t, who cares? They only cost $19.
Quay Australia ShiBan Sunglasses
Founded out of the music festival circuit in Australia, Quay produces quirky, quality sunglasses at affordable prices. These boxy frames made out of olive-colored resin will make you look like you mean business this summer, even if the only business you’re looking to get into is the business of beachin’.
Sunski Dipseas Sunglasses
Sunski was borne out of two things: a surfing trip to Australia and a successful Kickstarter campaign. The result is a library of unique sunglasses, all featuring polarized lenses, lightweight frames, and a rugged travel case. The fact that they’re backed by a lifetime warranty doesn’t hurt, either. The Dipseas glasses, in particular, are named after a hiking trail in Northern California, and the clear(ish) matte frame and blue lenses will make you stand out, wherever you go.
Sunski Taravals Sunglasses
Another offering from Sunski, the tortoise shell Taravals are named for the well-known San Francisco street. The amber-colored glasses are perfect to get you from the office to your long-weekend jaunt to the West Coast.
American Optical Original Pilot Sunglasses
American Optical makes sunglasses for the military, so if you’ve been looking for a pair of badass shades, you’ve found them. They’ve been issued to the enlisted since the late 1960s and were even worn by Neil Armstrong on the moon landing mission. If they’re good enough for the military, they’re good enough for you, right?
Le Specs Badland Sunglasses
Founded in the 1980s, Le Specs has been a favorite of celebrities for years, so if you want to inject a little star power (and Euro flavor) into your summer, Le Specs is the brand for you. The Badland glasses have thick, wayfarer-style acetate frames that will look decidedly different than everyone else’s Ray-Ban wayfarers. We like them in ice blue, but if you’re looking for something more subtle, try them in matte black.
Carrera Flat-Top Sunglasses
Carrera got its start in the 1950s, producing high-quality performance glasses and goggles for athletes (the company was named after the Carrera Panamericana, the most dangerous race in the world at the time). Today, it’s still dedicated to sporting, while also producing elegant eyewear at affordable prices. These Flat-Top sunglasses won’t cost you a lot but look like they do, with a lightweight brown frame, brown gradient lenses, and gold accents on the arms and bridge.
There are a lot of sunglasses out there to choose from, but this will always hold true: you can never go wrong with Ray-Ban wayfarers. Created in 1952, these glasses represent iconic, classic Americana and have been sported by everyone from presidents to Blues Brothers. You won’t win points for being unique, but why be unique when you can be classically cool?
Profound Aesthetic X UO Sunglasses
NYC-based brand Profound Aesthetic has partnered with Urban Outfitters to create an exclusive line of sunglasses, and the X UO glasses are its best offering. Drawing on the new-found popularity of horn-rimmed glasses (which were originally popular back in the 1950s and 1960s), these glasses ape the old school style, with pitch-black acetate frames, silicone nose guards, and gray tinted lenses. Wearing these means you’ll finally get a compliment from your girlfriend’s grandfather at a summer BBQ.
Sunpocket II Sunglasses
Established in the 1970s, Sunpocket gained popularity in ski communities in Europe mainly because of its shades’ ability to fold in half. Today, they still offer their signature folding sunglasses, but in contemporary styles and colors. All pairs are made with lightweight materials and the lenses are made of unbreakable polycarbonate, so you can fold ‘em, slide ‘em into your board shorts, and not worry about breaking them. Ever.
9Five Watson Black Shades
9Five is a favored brand of the hip-hop and pro-athlete set, so you can feel fly as hell sporting these all-black-everything Watson Black Shades in the classic wayfarer style.
Fetch Eyewear Dash Sun Sunglasses
A classic shape featuring unique black, brown, and teal marbling, these frames are classic and unique all at once. The best part of investing in a pair of glasses from Fetch (well, aside from the fact that you can order them and try them on at home) is that they donate 100% of their profits to the Pixie Project, which focuses on animal rescue and adoption (get it, Fetch?).
Warby Parker Cliff Woodgrain Tortoise Sunglasses
You might think of Warby Parker only for the prescription glasses you wear in the office, but these Cliff tortoise shell glasses might change your perception altogether. Cut from a single sheet of custom cellulose acetate to maintain color parity, these glasses are classy enough to pair with a suit for your 9-to-5 and your swim trunks and nothing else for your weekend plans.
Warby Parker Oxley Walnut Tortoise Sunglasses
Another offering from Warby Parker, these tortoise shell glasses are more unique in shape and pattern than their brothers mentioned above—a thinner, rounder frame with more yellow than brown will provide you with a unique look for summer.
Oakley Frogskin Sunglasses
Oakley has a reputation of crafting sunglasses that are worn by people who are in motion—skiing, snowboarding, surfing, and skateboarding. Their signature Frogskin line—available in a ton of different color combinations—will stand up to everything you throw at them, all year long.
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