Ray-Ban has been making timeless sunglasses for over 80 years— here’s why they’re worth the money

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  • Sunglasses have become a trendy accessory, but one brand has been a classic in the market since the 1930s.
  • Ray-Ban has been making high-quality frames that are functional and stylish for over 80 years, and people love them even still. 
  • Keep reading to see what makes Ray-Ban special, and why many of my Business Insider teammates and I consider ourselves loyalists.

There are a lot of ways to judge how great a product is. There’s function — does it really do its job? There’s budget — is the price right? The list goes on and on, but a good way to judge how great a product is is longevity. If a company has been thriving for years, it’s safe to say they probably make pretty good stuff. 

Ray-Ban has been making functional and cool eyewear for over 80 years. Today, the brand still offers some of the best sunglasses on the market. 

They’re functional

While sunglasses have become a fashion accessory all their own, at the core of it, they’re made to protect your eyes. Every pair of Ray-Bans delivers on this front. All Ray-Ban lenses have UV protection, but the exact level of varies among the types of lenses. Here’s what Ray-Ban offers:

Classic lenses absorb 85% of visible light and block most blue light, while providing a “natural vision” because they don’t alter colors you see around you. 

Mirrored lenses reduces glare for visual comfort ke snow and water. Colors look clearer and brighter. 

Polarized lenses block more than 99% of reflected light around you, eliminate glares, and enhance contrast. Everything looks clearer and brighter.

You can also find gradient lenses and vintage-style colored lenses from the Legends collection. Another great feature from Ray-Ban is the ability to get prescription lenses. Choose from a wide range of classic Ray-Ban frames and make them yours with custom prescription lenses. You can even make them polarized. 

Of course, nice lenses needs to be complimented by equally nice frames, and luckily, Ray-Ban has those, too. You can find high-quality metal and acetate options in small, standard, or large sizes to get the perfect fit. A majority of Ray-Ban customers go for the standard size, but if you’re on the fence, you can check out the brand’s size guide

The high-quality frames, protective lenses, and just-right fit make Ray-Bans (no matter the style) equal parts performance and fashion. That means they’re just as fit for a leisurely day on the town as an active day on the water, in the snow, or wherever you like to go.

They’re stylish 

From the iconic to the contemporary, Ray-Ban has a strong selection of stylish pairs fit for every face. You’ll probably recognize Ray-Ban’s three most classic pairs: The Aviator ($153), The Wayfarer ($153), and The Clubmaster ($153). While eyewear trends come and go, these three pairs are classics. Insider Picks social media associate Victoria Gracie swears by her Ray-Ban Clubmasters. “In the past,” she says “I’ve had trouble finding sunglasses that fit my face well, but Ray-Ban’s Clubmasters seem to do the trick. The quality is also top-notch — I’m not as careful as I should be with my Ray-Bans, but they’re still in pristine condition, and the mirrored lenses don’t even show any scratches.” wayfarersSince the 1930’s, Ray-Ban has expanded their collection to include a range of more trendy styles. All year round, you can find new, limited-edition sunglasses inspired by history, people, and even some cool collaborations with other brands. If none of the styles speak to you (though, I think you’ll find something), you can create your very own pair from scratch. Pick the shape, frame and lens for a combination that’s exactly what you want. You can even choose the color of the temple tips and add an engraving. 

Personal Finance Insider reporter Liz Kneuven has both prescription and regular Ray-Bans. She credits her love for the Erika sunglasses to the unique shape that’s slightly round but still angular. “Before those glasses got really popular, it was hard to find anything that shape. They’re just so flattering,” she says. “For me, it’s all about the shape. I’ve owned and shopped for several pairs of nice sunglasses, but I’ve never been able to find any other round-ish ones that complimented my face shape like the Ray-Ban Erikas do.”

The Round Metal sunglasses ($153) are by far my favorite Ray-Bans, and truthfully, my favorite sunglasses ever. I’m already on my second pair. Inspired by musicians in the 1960s, this style is just retro enough. They’re understated, but universally flattering, and they edge up pretty much any outfit I wear. Whether it’s a sundress and sandals or ripped jeans and a plain white T-shirt, the gold frame and dark green lenses on these match everything. While they are a little pricey, I feel like I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth of wear. Plus, I’d rather pay a little extra for comfort, quality, and the peace of mind that my eyes are actually protected from the sun.

Pricing

The range of prices you’ll come across when shopping for sunglasses is huge. You could pick up a pair for five bucks at the local bodega or drop over $500 on a pair from your favorite designer label. Ray-Ban falls pretty central on the spectrum, with pairs starting around $150 and going up to about $500 for ones made with an ultra-light titanium frame.

With Ray-Ban, you know you’re getting quality lenses and durable frames that can keep up with you through whatever activities your day brings. Cheap sunglasses are a great way to try out new trends without spending too much money, but make sure that they have UV protection, too, as many pairs are more fun than functional. On the other hand, just because a pair of sunglasses is very expensive that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a higher quality UV protection. You may be paying more for the designer label. I’ve spent more than $150 on sunglasses from other brands before, and was ultimately disappointed at how they (barely) blocked the sun from my eyes. From these experiences, I’ve decided that $150 on a pair of Ray-Bans is actually pretty fair — just do your best not to lose them. 

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The bottom line

Ray-Ban is a heritage brand, and for good reason. They’ve stayed true to the classics, but have also managed to keep up with the trends without losing sight of their brand. The end result is a brand with universal appeal that everyone from your younger brother to your best friend to your grandma is proud to rock. Whether you’re a Ray-Bans loyalist, or new to the brand, it’s definitely a great place to pick up your next pair of sunglasses. 

Shop all sunglasses for men, women, and kids at Ray-Ban

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