I’ve always bought the cheap sunglasses you find at mall kiosks or discount stores. The most I’d ever paid for a pair of sunglasses was around $25. The quality of the sunglasses has always been cheap, and I have to buy a new pair every spring because of scratches on the lenses and broken/bent frames. This spring was no exception, but the pair I bought this year seemed especially cheap. The tortoise-shell design on the frame began to peel off after a month of wear, and I was left with very ugly brown plastic shades.
Sick of constantly replacing sunglasses, I decided to take the plunge and purchase a pair of real sunglasses. So I did what I would guess most people do when they want to purchase a nice pair of sunglasses: I headed to Sunglass Hut. I was surprised that there was not a single pair that I liked for under $140, which was more than I was willing to spend.
So I did a little internet research and found AO Eyewear, a company that has been making aviator sunglasses since WWII. The company has been making eyewear since 1826, and you can read more about their interesting history here. They still make their sunglasses in the US, although they do use some imported parts.
AO offers a ton of options for each type of frame and their prices start at $74, so I decided to give them a try. I ordered the Original Pilot Sunglasses® with gold frames and high contrast amber polycarbonate lenses. The glasses come in 3 sizes (52, 55, 57), and since I had no idea what size I was, I measured the width of an old pair of sunglasses and ordered the 55mm size.
My glasses arrived the other day and I love them! They frames look great and I love the shape of the lenses. The size does feel a little loose and I wish I could try on the 52mm to feel the difference, but it’s not enough of an issue for me to send them back.