Coffee Break – Round Metal-Hardware Sunglasses

Old Navy Womens Round Metal-Hardware SunglassesCall me cheap, but I hate spending money on sunglasses.  It was one thing when I was a lifeguard (as a teenager) — but these days I just am not outside often enough to warrant a pricey, fancy pair of sunglasses.  These simple ones from Old Navy have 100% UVA protection, and are $9.50 — plus an extra 20% off with code BRONGAP20 through 4/27, online only.  Nice.  (They’re also available in brown.)   Old Navy Womens Round Metal-Hardware Sunglasses



  1. I completely agree about not spending big money on sunglasses, which, for me, invariably get stepped on, scratched, thrown in a purse, etc. In my experience, there’s no difference between the high quality and low quality in most regards.

    However, I’m ready for the *big* sunglasses trend to end. Those look cute . . . on someone else. I have a little face, and have had trouble finding any that flatter for the past few years. Anyone seen smaller sunglasses anywhere recently?

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, in the children’s section (I kid you not) (just noticed what I did there).

    • I have a small face, too, and I am obsessed with the big frame sunglasses that I got at Express, of all places. I think because Express tends to have a younger vibe, they have sunglasses that fit smaller faces. They don’t have weird logos/rhinestones/tacky additions, either.

      I also LOVED a pair I saw at Ann Taylor this weekend, but they weren’t exactly “cheap” (not the most expensive I’ve ever seen, but I’m not spending $70 bucks on sunglasses from AT).

    • Most of the online sites that offer glasses can put darker lenses into any pair for just a few dollars extra. I’ve used zennioptical and coastalcontacts for very cheap prescription glasses, and I’ve been extremely happy (I’ve ordered about 6 pairs and love 4 – the other two I never wear, but all six have been less than ONE from my optometrist!). I picked a thicker tortoise shell frame (overall size is still “normal” though) and turned them into fantastic sunglasses. If you don’t require a prescription, I’m pretty sure they can make them without.

      • Confessions :

        What option do you choose for the darker lenses on zenni? I was just about to spend $150 at the optometrist for rx sunglasses until you turned me on to zenni!!!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I also have a small head – Paul Frank makes cute relatively inexpensive frames.

  2. s in chicago :

    The Sunday section of the Chicago Tribune just ran a neat article where they polled more than 100 people and asked them to rank the “most expensive” of five (?) sunglasses. I believe two got it right and the majority got more than three or four wrong. Made me realize I’d rather spend money on something where quality and cost have a better link (like shoes, suits, etc.).

    • This assumes a poll of 100 people would better recognize quality shoes, suits and bags (where the brand was not obvious) and Im not sure they would!

      • I am assuming better quality shoes are more comfortable and do less damage to your feet. I don’t know what better quality sunglasses would do if someone, like me, is prone to losing them, sitting on them, or scratching them. I never understood when people spend $100+ on sunglasses. I spend about $15

  3. Anonymous :

    My experience has been that the cost of my sunglasses is inversely proportional to the amount of time I will have them.

  4. I always have a tough time with sunglasses, though, because on the one hand I lose and scratch them like crazy; on the other hand, I find it really is worth having a pair with the . . . not sure what you call it . . . polarization? Whatever it is that filters out light and glare without just making them darker like the cheap Old Navy/Target type ones seem to do. I haven’t found this at a reasonable price point though.

    • Oh, also, I tried that brongap20 code on the Old Navy website this weekend and couldn’t get it to work, sigh.

      • I think the code only works on select merchandise. AKA, not likely to work on what you actually want! It doesn’t work on the maxi dress I want.

      • Anonymous :

        you have to click thru from your own email– and you get a random discount off– from home i got 20%, from work, 35%. tried the 35 at home, no go b/c of cookies. have to click thru directly.

    • soulfusion :

      I have to have polarized lenses or I risk getting a migraine. Sure, this isn’t an issue for brief exposure to the sun but I am a big fan of outdoor time and outdoor activities (running, hiking, snowboarding, etc) so high quality lenses is something I will pay for and I will take extra caution with the sunglasses so I don’t lose them, scratch them, etc. Of course, I’ve worn glasses since I was 10 so I’m well trained in caring for and not losing glasses.

      If anyone is in need of excellent lenses (and willing to unfortunately pay the price) I HIGHLY recommend Maui Jim. Not a single sun induced head ache since purchasing them last summer and also no wrinkle-induced squinting.

      • Ditto. sunglasses are something I DO tend to spend money on, as opposed to other accessories, or clothing. Maybe because a “splurge” for sunglasses is still less than a car payment.

      • Anonymous :

        Kaenon lenses are great, too.

      • Second the Maui Jim!

        I usually wait until the end of the year and then spend whatever remains in my FSA on sunglasses ordered from an optometrist. The lenses are not prescription, but my FSA covers it, and I get a 20% discount as part of my vision plan.

      • Seattleite :

        Yes to the Maui Jims. Aside from the high-quality lenses, the frames are so well balanced that they’re incredibly comfortable to wear.

        And if I buy cheap sunglasses, they get lost immediately. But I always know where the MJs are, even in February.

    • Not sure that the high-end brands carried at TJ Maxx / Ross have polorization, but it’s worth checking. I always end up picking up gorgeous sunglasses there that cost practically nothing.

    • If you’re looking for cheapish polarized lenses, check hunting and fishing stores. I need polarized ones for work and I actually manage to find ones that look semi-fashionable for $15-$25. If you want nicer, more on-trend ones with better polarization, you’ll have to spend $50-$100, though.

      • somewherecold :

        I have a pair of Bolle polarized sunglasses from either overstock or campmor (purchased them years ago) that I got at a pretty good discount. My brother has a decent-looking pair from LL Bean.

    • I bought a pair of polarized sunglasses at Target for less than $20 – unfortunately, my husband immediately stole them, claiming they were “men’s frames.” E.g., he liked them, so they were his.

      • I usually buy the men’s frames (on purpose) because the are wide enough to not squeeze my temples. I never realized I had such a big head. :)

    • Obviously, reasonable price point is a relative term.
      That said, I have gotten most of my glasses at Saks Off Fifth or at NM Last Call. They generally have a good selection and unlike many similar stores (TJ Maxx, etc.), the quality tends to be much better, the glasses are not destroyed, scratched up, etc., they come with a case, warranty and the like.

      You can find nice, polarized glasses for $50 or so, and most pairs do not cost more than $100. I just bought a fabulous pair of Oliver Peoples
      sunglasses there for just under $100 and couldn’t be happier.

      • AgencyCounsel :

        I have to second Saks Off Fifth. I broke several frames of cheap sunglasses while getting into my car because I had them perched on the top of my head. I’d had enough and bought a pair of Kate Spade at Saks Off Fifth. They withstand a lot of wear and tear and head bumping.

        My husband also ran into the same issue of breaking his sunglasses. He is really brutal on frames and purchased Oakleys that have lasted several years.

  5. Kat, I would never call you cheap!!

  6. Associette :

    I am just jumping on the cheap sunglasses band wagon myself. I had worn a lovely pair of Chanels for years, but I started being so careful with them that I would barely wear them…which sort of defeated the purpose of having sunglasses to begin with!

    I ended up looking online at my favorite designers for the shapes/colors, and then buying three pairs that mimicked the ones from the designers from forever 21 (although I am more like forever 28). They were about $6 per pair and are making me quite happy.

    That said I still want a pair of white rimmed ray bans. I feel that they would look so fabulous with a black suit, black and white polka dotted scarf under the suit, and white handbag in the summer.

  7. I always roll my eyes at people showing me their new designer shades. The reason most savvy corporettes (as commented above) don’t see any difference in quality between major designer label sunglasses and others is simply that there is none. While you might make the argument that designer clothing is better in quality, tailoring, etc. these arguments do not hold for universally plastic frames, the majority of which are all made my the same company that licenses the name (Luxxotica). Ever since I read this expose in the WSJ, I will never pay more than $50 again (unless it’s prescription). If you are one of those people who want to show off a brand name logo on your glasses, you can buy Oscar de la Renta, Cole Haan, Armani, etc. at Annie Sez/TJ MAxx/Marshall’s/Century 21 for $25 max.

    • …I always roll my eyes at people showing me their new designer shades for $200 that is.

    • I have a few “designer” pairs of sunglasses but as you said, I bought them at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. I have a pair of Dior sunglasses I found at TJ Maxx, no joke. They were $49.99, got them home and looked up the model number, and they originally listed at $350. Madness. I also lose/scratch sunglasses too, but the under $20 sunglasses sometimes will have warped lenses or give me headaches for whatever reason. I think spending a *bit* more is worth it – but not $200+. Luxottica does make pretty much everything, and as a result, above $100 or so all you’re paying for is the designer name. I don’t do that for any of my other clothes or accessories, so I’m not going to do it for sunglasses either.

  8. Diana Barry :

    Does anyone know a good source for prescription sunglasses? Should I just suck it up and pay $300 at the optical shop at my eye doctor’s?

    • I commented about this above, but I’ve been very happy with zennioptical and coastalcontacts. You need to know your prescription and the distance between your pupils.

      • I got a pair of glasses from WarbyParker dot com, and have been very happy (one caveat: I do not wear glasses every day).

        $100 for both frames and lenses, no annoying logos or tacky details, and it was super easy and quick. If you are in NYC or San Fran, they have a showroom; otherwise, they will mail you up to 5 frames to try on free, in-home. Oh, and bonus, for every pair you buy, they donate a pair to someone in need.

      • Diana Barry :


    • If you have a strong prescription, optical stores cannot make prescription sunglasses for you (something to do with the curvature of the lens). I tried to find them all over Chicago, with no luck.

      I had to order them online. I went with Rudy Project sunglasses. I bought frames that were about $100 and the lenses cost me about $250 -$300, which is what I pay for regular lenses (I have really bad eye sight). They are the best purchase ever! I am outside all summer (beach volleyball and cycling) so having prescription sunglasses means no contacts (yeah) and great eye protection.

      • Well, the problem is that most sunglass frames won’t accomodate the curvature of the lens. You have to pick the right kind of frames, and then an optical store can make them for you.

    • Along the same lines: any recommendations for the super-nearsighted?
      I have a new prescription, but just blew my insurance allowance (fat lot of good it did me!) on a non-tinted pair. My correction is -9.25 and -10.75 and I’m having trouble tracking down a site that can make prescription sunglasses for me. I suppose it goes without saying that I’d like high index (i.e., lightweight) lenses. =)

  9. Threadjack:

    I am going to Texas this weekend for the Indian wedding ceremony/reception of a friend from law school. I am also going by myself – boyfriend is swamped at work and my other travel companion (another friend from law school) ended up not being able to afford the travel arrangements to go.

    So – I’m a little nervous about going by myself, but not willing to miss out on the experience. Any words of wisdom about what to expect, and what not to miss?

    • You didn’t say what religion your friend is from but it really doesn’t matter – all Indian weddings are loud and colorful. Take the opportunity to wear all of the sparkly things you’ve always wanted to wear, most outrageous shoes you own and colorful formal wear (it’s definitely not a “simple sheath and pearls” event). Enjoy yourself! Indian people are very friendly =).

    • Are you wearing a sari? When my friend got married, a very large portion of us non-Indian ladies wore saris. I had an Indian friend give me lessons on how to put it on, and she even let me borrow some her great jewelry.

      The attire, the food, the music – it was all so fun. Try not to be self-conscious and just enjoy yourself!

      • I”m not brave enough for a full on sari, but there is a local store that sells Indian clothing that I’m hoping will have a fun scarf/wrap/something to keep from feeling like I’m underdressed. :)

        • Saris are great! I wasn’t planning on wearing one to a big Indian wedding I went to last year, but at the last minute changed my mind, and I’m so glad I did. It is comfortable and I felt super-pretty in it. Many of the women who wore Western dresses said they wish they had gone in a sari.

    • Anon-ee-mouse! :

      Where in Texas will you be? (If you’re comfortable replying). There are great food/sight seeing options around Texas that many people aren’t aware of.

      • I won’t have much time for outside sight seeing. I fly in Friday night and out Sunday morning, with wedding events most of Saturday.

    • Another vote for taking the plunge and trying out the sari. I was pretty scared the first time I did it (for a friend’s wedding), but they are so fun and make you feel so beautiful. I really think it’s an experience you should not pass up. It’s worth the hassle for the pictures alone — seriously. I love to wear saris now and take the excuse every time I can (fortunately, my husband’s Indian so they come around often!).

      If you are interested, two logistical things: 1) You won’t be able to just buy a sari “off the rack” the day ahead. Even if you aren’t getting a matching blouse tailored, some work needs to be done to the skirt. You should see if your friend (or a relative) can loan you the sari and petticoat rather than purchasing. 2) You’ll need someone to wrap you into the sari. I just showed up at my friend’s wedding 1/2 hour early with a big stack of safety pins and grabbed a middle-aged auntie to wrap me. Now that I’ve been through my own wedding, I would suggest that you ask the bride if you can borrow her sari-wrapper for 15 minutes and $20 (she’ll have a woman there dedicated to dressing her). Either approach will work, but the latter is better.

      I suggest watching some Bollywood videos on youtube and getting an idea of the “stereotypical Bollywood” dance moves. You’ll feel much more comfortable joining the dancing if you know how to “twist the lightbulb” ahead of time.

      Indian culture and people are very friendly and open. They will be thrilled and honored to see you trying to wear a sari and dance to their music. You shouldn’t worry about feeling silly or disgraceful at all!

      • And, as to your original question, the ceremony events and receptions can vary a lot by culture, religion, and caste of the families.

        If there is a bharaat (the groom’s processional), I think you should join it regardless of your relationship with the groom. It’s a big, fun, dancing parade.

        Hindu ceremonies can be quite long, and I understand it is common for people to show up late, talk during, and walk around to stretch their legs when they get bored. :)

        Some weddings may not have a dance reception. I’ve been to a few that didn’t. It has, however, in my experience been common that there are dance performers at one of the receptions (either the night before or the main event).

        There is no tradition like in Western culture of “not showing up the bride.” More bling is better! Bright colors are better! Lots and lots of jewelry is better! If there were ever an excuse to wear the most obnoxious real or costume jewelry you own, this is it. Honestly, the first time I went to an Indian wedding, I was so afraid of getting something fancy and blingy, and my in-laws just laughed at me …. Now I know better.

      • In response to the first MM comment — I can’t imagine any sari wrapping woman accepting $20, because as far as I know, the woman dressing her is related to the bride!

        • Even better then — a particularly sari- competent relative that she’s already hand-selected! However, I know a number of women who’ve hired sari-wrappers because none of the US relatives felt competent to do it — if she does that, $20 is about right to pay.

    • Supporting all the other comments here — it will be lots of fun! If you are young — you can get away with wearing bright colored matching skirt/top lehanga-style (although, I suppose I have never bought anything like this from a non-Indian place…). But bright colors are a must! And bright jewelry! And sparkly things. We are obviously a culture of magpies :-).

      • Ha ha, yes – I’m Indian & magpie is the operative word!

        Go ahead, bring out the bling, enjoy! When else are you going to get to wear a sari??

        • Lol, definitely magpies. Also, this is definitely the time to be excessive with makeup. Glittery eyeshadow, super saturated lip colors and gloss – do it all. Please let us know how the wedding went!

    • Is it an all-day thing with multiple events? In my experience, when there are breaks between daytime and evening events, most people change from day saris to evening-wear saris (darker colors and more sparkle). You don’t have to change — some people don’t, particularly the non-Indians — but it can be fun. Wear *really* comfortable shoes. Shoes that you could dance/jump around in for a few hours or all day. People generally will not be showing much skin…if you have spaghetti straps, you may feel more comfortable with some sort of wrap, but make sure it wouldn’t get in the way of dancing. If you join in a bharaat, you’ll be happier not carrying a purse.

    • After reading all of these comments, I’m making a mental note to myself to make friends with an engaged Indian woman soon! These weddings sound like such a blast!

      • Dress modestly as the occasion and culture dictate, but other than that, I must just add – Dang it’s hot here right now. (I’m in Austin – not that it matters ’cause it’s hot all over.) Mid 90’s and dry as a bone. No rain in over a month.

  10. MissJackson :

    I cannot believe I’m about to say this because I previously thought that I was the cheapest corporette out there, but: I love my designer sunglasses, and I’m glad that I paid almost $200 for them.

    I own very little in the way of actual designer-anything. My D&G sunglasses are now 3 years old, but they are in pristine condition (because I carry the hard case around with me, and use it). I care about them, so I actually take care of them in contrast to the 4 pairs of $20 Target sunglasses I used to buy each year.

    I love them because I get to wear them all the time (and all seasons), so the “per wear” price is miniscule.

    Realistically I know that they are not any better than $20 Target sunglasses. Yet, they make me happy. I’ll own it.

    (This is the most materialistic I have ever felt!)

    • I’m glad you love them! They were obviously a good use of money for you.

    • There’s nothing wrong with spending whatever you want on sunglasses. It doesn’t make someone cheap to not spend a lot or make you materialistic because you do spend a lot. I just hate the women who act like they are too good to spend $20 on a pair and need designer everything! I know I will not bother with taking good care of an expensive pair of sunglasses and to me, it would just be annoying. Plus, I’m not outside much unless it is at the beach or pool and there’s no way I would bring expensive ones there. The sand and my sunscreen would destroy them and some little kid would surely step on them. But if it works for you, then enjoy and I’m sure you look great in them!

    • I’m right there with you (and likewise have Cheapskate Credentials; I am an avid thrifter). I love LOVE *LOVE* my $75 Brighton sunglasses and get compliments on them all the time. The shape, the details, the color are all perfect for my face shape and hair and skin tones.

      I think of them as an accessory, comparable to a nice piece of jewelry, and take good care of them. I’ve had them for 4 years so far.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t usually spend a lot on sunglasses. However, several years ago, I won a pair of $200 Fendi sunglasses from a website sweepstakes. I LOVED them. I eventually broke them, and I miss them very much. I haven’t come around to spending that kind of money on sunglasses, but after having those, I completely understand why one would, and I probably will when I find the perfect pair. I wear them virtually every day of the year and consider it the same as having a decent handbag and a nice coat.

    • Same here. I love my Miu Miu sunglasses and don’t regret spending my (then) monthly student allowance on them.

  11. Threadjack – I am going thru rehab for an injured ankle and now sprained toes. I love cute high heels, but can’t wear them. Can’t wear pointy toed shoes, and flats tend to hurt part of the tendon that has the ankle injury. Any suggestions for low heels that are fashion forward?

    • Diana Barry :

      Not sure you should be looking for heels at all – did your physician or PT mention anything about the kinds of shoes you should be wearing? I would start with them first and see if they recommend anything to you.

      I have really nice loafer shoes with egg crate soles from softwalk. Not really fashionable, but have been awesome for me through pregnancy and injuries.

      • Basically the dr and physical therapist are telling me whatever is comfortable is fine for me. In fact, the dr said he didn’t think flats would be very good, but if I felt ok, he was ok with them. I have boots with about a 1 inch heel that are comfortable right now — but I’m not going to be able to wear them much longer.

  12. Speaking of Old Navy, I recently bought this sundress:
    It fits great and looks much more expensive than $30.

  13. Anonymous :

    BRONGAP35 gives you 35% off

    • These typically only work if you’ve received the email with that specific discount (they go up to 40).

  14. I usually bargain shop for absolutely everything (I learned it from my grandmother. Filene’s Basement was her mecca.), but unfortunately I can’t bargain shop for sunglasses because I need prescription.

    That said… I used my company’s vision plan to get RayBans from the optometrist. They were about $200. And I’ve had them for a couple of years. Of course, I’m very careful with them. They’re far more stylish than my regular glasses.

  15. Housecounsel :

    I used to lose multiple pairs of sunglasses every summer. I finally splurged on some designer ones – at Nordstrom Rack! – and I am so incredibly careful with them. I always put them in the hard case! I wear them year around. The snow is blinding during these Chicago winters.

  16. Sydney Bristow :

    Does anyone know if it is possible to get prescription sunglasses darkened? I finally broke down and bought a pair last year with the darkest tint they offered at Lens Crafters, but they just aren’t dark enough for me (my eyes are very sensitive to sunlight). I tried looking on Google, but didn’t have any luck.

    • You’re probably going to have to bite the bullet and get custom lenses made to fit your specifications. I’ve just decided to wear contact lenses and cheap sunglasses instead of trying to go the prescription route because I find that I get a lot more headaches with the prescription sunglasses than I do with the $10 TJ Maxx pair.

  17. Oh man, I hear you regarding the sunglasses thing… I always spent as little as possible for sunglasses (given that I almost always break, scratch, or lose them). That being said, in a moment of weakness, I recently dropped $100 (they were on deep discount) for a pair of Oakleys.

    Can you believe, I love and cherish them now? :-p They look so much better than my old cheapies, too. More substantial? Maybe I won’t need to actually buy 3-4 pairs throughout the summer now, if these hold up…

    Jury’s still out on whether they make it through the summer w/o incident. ;-)

  18. I used to have the same philosophy on sunglasses. Never wanted to pay much. But I never seemed to find a pair that fit. The cheap ones bent, broke and never fit right. So I never wore any pair more than a couple of times.
    Last summer my mother bought me a pair of Oakleys as a treat. Now I have changed my mind. They fit perfectly, are extremely comfortable and I wear them constantly. They look as good as new almost a year later. I would never go back to the cheap ones again.