By Bradley Hasemeyer
on 7.5.11
Photo by BH

Studies based entirely off of vintage pop culture speculation have shown that the quickest way to up your cool-factor is by either smoking or wearing sunglasses. Since the first has shown to cause early onset death, we’ll put our stamp of approval on a pair of shades. And unless your day job involves the paparazzi or nightclub promotion you might think sunglasses are optional, or worse an accessory for the beach or car. Erroneous.

In our UV-filled world, you need to protect those eyes just as much as you need to style your face. The problem is, there aren’t a lot of options in between the ineffective $5 knock-off Ray Bans and the $250 Persols. But if you look hard you can still find some great finds, like Raen Optics. Created in 2008 by Libre Design, Raen Optics focuses on affordable, stylish glasses with a bend toward beach culture. The pair of rootbeer Lomis ($100) optics we tested felt nicely balanced and weighted without any sense of cost-cutting, and the lenses remain sharp and comfortable after a couple week’s of use. The fact that they look cool and cost less than most anything at the Sunglass Hut mean you’ll have plenty of dough leftover for bottle service.

Buy Now: $100

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