Posted: Feb 12, 2013 10:00 AM
There's no denying that these fun sunglasses are super hip and that they'd make a great addition to your wardrobe, but are they splurge-worthy or best at a bargain? We're comparing a pricey pair of retro sunglasses with a pair that will cost you less than $20 to help you figure out which way you should go!

Ray ban wayfarers


Featured^ Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarer 50mm Polarized Sunglasses ($200, Nordstrom)

If you're a mom who loves her sunnies, you're probably drooling over your computer screen right now. When we're talking retro sunglasses, or Wayfarers (as they're traditionally called) there is no better brand than Ray-Ban. But, yikes, those babies don't come cheap! With this splurge-version, you're paying for far more than the name — Ray-Bans don't just look good, but they protect your eyes as well with their polarized lenses. Yes, they're $200 (other Ray-Ban versions are available for less but most are over $100), but this is a splurge where you get what you pay for!

Forever 21 sunglasses


Featured^Wayfarer Sunglasses ($6, Forever21)

The steal-worthy version of retro sunglasses aren't just under $20, they're under $10! If you put the steal and splurge sunglasses side-by-side, you'll certainly notice the differences — especially when it comes to the lenses (this pair has that purple tinge to it that's a dead giveaway for a pair of cheapies!). However, in other ways, they're very similar. Just like the Ray-Bans, this pair also offers 100 percent UV-protection. The Forever21 Wayfarer Sunglasses are more lightweight than the Ray-Bans, which may be an advantage if you're wearing them for hours on end... beach day, anyone?

The verdict

When it comes down to deciding if you should splurge or steal the retro sunglasses trend, it really comes down to your lifestyle and sunglass habits. If you're one to throw your shades in your purse without a care in the world or if your pair is likely to become your daughter's favorite new dress-up accessory, go with the less expensive pair. At $6 each, grab a few pair and keep a backup or two handy!

However, if you treat your sunglasses better than your first born, always keeping them tucked away in their pretty protective case, spending the time to buff away potential scratches with one of those special cloths and giving any of your children who even consider putting their PB&J-schmeared fingers on them a time-out, you are ready to make these sunglasses a splurge item in your wardrobe.

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