Five of the Best On-Trend Sunglasses Under $50


My life is a constant debate over the merit of expensive sunglasses and inexpensive sunglasses. My husband and I discuss this at length, always agreeing to disagree (he cannot see the error in his thinking) at the end of the day. He believes sunglasses should cost very little since they’re “easily broken, lost and left behind,” whereas I believe that the more you spend on glasses, the longer they’ll last. Let me just tell you a little story. My entire college career was spent losing $20 trendy, cheap sunglasses to the confines of my handbag. Crushed, broken, snapped; my wallet, my phone, my behind – something always broke my glasses when I set them so gently into my handbag.

When I made the decision at the tender age of 21 – just before we got married and headed off onto our honeymoon – that I was going to purchase a pair of black Chanel sunglasses, my husband was absolutely against it. Absolutely against it in every possible concept of the idea; but he gave me the good old tried and true, “Whatever you want, honey, I support you. Some lessons are – sadly – better learned the hard way,” speech with just enough kindness so that I knew he would always support any decision I made, but just enough sarcasm to know that he was just waiting to gloat and tell me he was right.

Um, not going to happen.

Fast forward more than 10 years and a dozen pair of very expensive sunglasses later and I still wear those black Chanels on a regular basis. I also wear YSL, Dior and Gucci. In fact, all my glasses are those four designers. And guess what? I buy a pair of glasses maybe once a year – if that. I buy them in a timeless fashion so that they never go out of style. I buy them in colors that go with everything I wear, and I wear them all on an equally rotating basis. My husband, on the other hand, goes through his $50 sunglasses once a month. He cannot keep them; it’s not in his power. I’ve been trying to convince him for years to splurge, but he doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

I do: Why? Simple – the more you spend on something, the more you take care of it. The mindset of “Well, they were only $50 so I can replace them in a second,” is not there. When you spend $500 on a pair of glasses, you better have them forever. Additionally, they always come with the correct cleaning cloths, the correct cases and they are not easily broken since you learn to always put them in the case when you take them off – always. I haven’t broken, lost or destroyed sunglasses in 10 years. Which leads me into one more quick story – just for fun.

My husband almost got to give me the “I told you so,” sunglass speech about 6 years ago. We were at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas with friends when we decided to get into the ocean with its massive waves. I was wearing a pair of brown Dior sunglasses I’d purchased the year before in Hawaii. My husband warned me not to wear them into the ocean with the waves so fierce. Naturally, I ignored him. And then a giant wave hit me right in the back of the head and off went my glasses, sucked into the oblivious that is the ocean, never to be seen again. Our friends were in the water with me, laughing and pointing to my husband onshore, with his hands in the air and an expression I did not care for on his face. I was not getting out of the water anytime soon! I was pretty upset – very upset, really – and I knew I’d never see my gorgeous glasses again. How could I be so careless?

A half hour passed and we made the decision to get out of the water and head up to get ready for dinner. As we swam back to shoe, I stepped on something very hard and thought at first it was a sea shell, so I bent down to drag it out of the sand where it was buried. I swear on the lives of all four of my children, it was my sunglasses buried in the sand in 3 feet of water! The moral of the story is this; my husband will never get to say “I told you so,” to me. Also, don’t wear your sunglasses in the ocean.

I can’t change my husband’s mind about expensive sunglasses, but I can help him find nice ones that are less than $50. I can also help you find the most on-trend glasses this summer that are not expensive, but are still stylish. Just make sure you take care of them like you would something more expensive. For more options, visit sites like

sole socieity vivian

Sole Society Vivian Glasses – $29.95

Right in the middle of your $50 budget, these timeless frames are so very old Hollywood glam, which means as long as you care for them appropriately you’ll wear them forever.

crimson visual

Crimson Visual – $38

Available at Nordstrom, these exceptionally inexpensive glasses definitely do not look cheap. They look like more expensive glasses that are designed to last a lifetime. They’re timeless, and the best part is that you won’t care all that much if something happens to them.

kenneth cole

Kenneth Cole Aviators – $30

These Kenneth Coles are perfect for someone that wants glasses that do not look cheap but that also look really timeless. Aviators are flattering on just about every face shape, and that makes them a great choice for men and women.

BP Ipso facto

BP Ipso Facto Glasses – $12

These exceptionally cool aviators are going to get you so far in the world of style. Classic, timeless and absolute perfection is how I will describe these. And the best part is that they are so affordable for anyone – you can get them in every color.

isaac mizrahi

Isaac Mizrahi Geometric Glasses – $48

The fab glasses are pretty on par to flatter any facial shapes, and that’s what makes them so special. The price is just right, too, which  means they’re within reach of any budget around. These stylish frames will get you through the rest of the summer and probably a few more seasons.

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images


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