Monday, August 13, 2012

Product Review: Emporio Armani Sunglasses

Ah, the allure and mystique of a pair of sunglasses. Put on a pair, and instantly be an icon of cool. At least, that's how it seems in my head. But is that how it works in real life?

I own an arsenal of sunnies- mostly cheap pairs picked up from thrift stores, or Target in the $15 range. I've owned a few designer shades in my day- a pair of white Coach sunglasses while looking sharp have worthless lens in them, no good for actually shading of the eyes. And a classic pair of Mui-Mui tortoise shell frames, that I've owned forever, are good looking and are great for keeping my eyes in my socket. So I've been wondering: are $150 sunglasses better or the same as a $20 pair? Do you get what you pay for? Or are you paying merely extra for a few fancy logo embellishments?

I turned to the Sunglasses Shop to find out.  While the site offers a myriad of choices, starting from around $25 and going all the way up nearly a thousand, I chose a mid-range pair, classic in shape, conservative in color, and a brand re-known for modern + simple sophistication: in short, something different from what I'm used to.

Behold the Emporio Armani 9739 in grey. They were chosen for their classic shape, and the fact I thought they'd be flattering to my round face. The norm for me, are round sunglasses, and these frames seem a nice blend of round with cat-eye elements. The sheer grey was something I didn't have, and the idea was that this subtle neutral would be a great color of shades for Fall.

The quality of the frames, and the lenses are pure, practical luxury. The plastic frames are smooth, and feel solid, without being too rigid, and sit comfortably on the face. They are well made, down to the last detail of the temple hinges, unlike a pair I've acquired recently, these frames are built to last.  The frames wrap around the face, offering real sun protection. Most notable are the lenses, they are gradient lenses, and provide ample protection from UV rays.  Even after spending long days in the sun, my eyes felt un-strained, which made me I realize how much squinting I've been doing in many of my  budget/novelty sunglasses. 

For those who recognize the designer label of Armani,  Emporio Armani is the sub label from Giorgio Armani, aimed at a younger market, offering easy to wear and stylish frames. The men's eyewear collection are high performance frames that offer comfort and practicality as designed for style, perfect for an active lifestyle. The women's eyewear collections are vintage inspired, yet fashion forward, serving up the shades of style and the latest fashion trends. (Source)

One thing to note however, is that some of my "bargain" sunglasses are great- the frames the are made of quality plastic, and the lenses are ones that block harmful UV rays. So I'm not saying that spending more money always means better quality, but it did become more apparent, after wearing my latest designer shades, just how ineffective some of my cheaper sunglasses were, and the difference a good quality pair of sunglasses makes. Now I'm prepared to weed out any pair of sunglasses that do not offer real eye protection. For a good explanation on how sunglasses work, click HERE.

Shopping + placing my order from Sunglasses Shop was painless- the website is easy to navigate and to place your order. This site sells internationally, and offers a mind melting array of frames. The biggest challenge was deciding on a pair, as there are literally thousands of tantalizing options to choose from,  from fancy (and pricey designer) frames to  more moderate and budget sunglasses. If you are lucky enough to live in the U.K. you get free shipping. The shipping is FAST- I got my sunglasses in less than 2 days after placing my order. 

Now I've got a hankering for some more fun Fall shades. Here are a few that are now on the SUNNY SIDE OF LIFE, WANT list: 

Check out these sheer delights from Emporio Armani.

Or these "Prints Charming" from Stella McCartney.


And there's no need to explain why these flattering-on every-face Prada sunglasses are the website's best sellers, is there?

Meanwhile I've got my sheer grey cat-eyes from Emporio Armani, which sometimes seem a little plain jane compared to colorful shapes of my many novelty shades, but their sleek, smart design give this pair top billing as my go-to shades for the upcoming Fall season. 

Disclosure: I received a free pair of sunglasses from the Sunglasses Shop, a Citizen Rosebud blog sponsor, for the purpose of this review.  The review above is an honest reflection of my experience of the product, and the opinion remains my own.

Now onto some fun stuffs: 
Sunglasses Shop is sponsoring a give-away for my readers!

You can win yourself this pair of Polaroid polarized shades between now, and Friday, August 19th. AND...this contest is open to international readers.


To enter you must:
  1. Be a reader of the Citizen Rosebud
  2. "LIKE" Sunglasses Shop UK on Facebook
  3. and write "Rosebud" on the Sunglasses Shop fan page wall

--->  Be sure to use the Rafflecopter widget to note your entries. That's how the winner gets chosen. 

Winner will be announce next Monday. Good luck!


Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Did it all...have a great day, Bella!

Unknown said...

These look great on you!! GORGEOUS! ~Serene

Kristina said...

They look fantastic on you.
Also, I have to say I'm done with cheapo sunglasses too. Most of the time they don't have the lenses that are good enough for blocking UV rays and they tend to break and/or scratch quite easily. Now I save up for a good pair and at least I know they will last for ages.

Jenmarie said...

These sunnies looks fantastic on you! And thanks for your review on the differences between high and low end sunglasses. I quite agree :)

Jean at said...

You've answered all the questions I always have in my head, except one. How do you keep from losing the dern things?!! I'm a disaster when it comes to any kind of glasses, prescription or not , expensive or not.

I will say you present a compelling case for better sunglasses. My favorite pair right now is from H&M but they're definitely, shall we say, inexpensive quality at best. You look great and it sounds like you won't be needing that botox anytime soon.

citizen rosebud said...

Jean, you've explained my reluctance to pay top dollar for sunglasses- that's why I normally collect a stash of budget shades, usually spending no more than 20 on a pair. BUT, come to think of it, I haven't lost a pair in years- I usually prop on my head or put in a little eyeglass case and set in purse. BUT it SUCKS to lose a pair you've just plopped some serious bank on, for sure!

The Style Crone said...

Great review and the Armani sunnies provide just the right amount of 'Bella mystery.' My mother has macular degeneration and wearing sunglasses with lenses that block UV rays in the number one way to prevent this disabling disease. That doesn't mean they have to be expensive, but the Prada sunglasses are especially delicious.

Heather Fonseca said...

There's nothing like a great pair of frames! All mine have to be prescription so I'll pass on the give away, but I do love my sunnies. Those prada ones are so fabulous!

Lisa said...

The sunglasses you are wearing are very flattering on you.

I have always purchase cheapies until recently when I tried on a pair of Juicy Couture sunnies. They felt more substantial and made to last...that is until I misplaced them.

Right now I have a pair of brightens that I love and I do notice that they are have better quality frames, hinges and lenses and are a reasonable price.

If I don't lose them, they will serve me well.

The problem I have with glasses, though, is finding a pair that is not too big for my small face. Most everything I try is REALLY big!

Beryl said...

Hi Bella - How funny that you are doing a sunglasses give away now that you are in Seattle. It is said that Seattleites buy more sunglasses per capita than any other city - due to needing them so seldom that they have lots of between time to lose them.

Style Mentor™ said...

Awesome review Bella. I have a round face too so it is good to know those Pradas work on every face. I am still eyeing them...

Unknown said...

That first photo of you is so great. So are the sunnies :).

Adrienne said...

I love those sunnies on you! I am a big fan of cats eye glasses, and these are fab!

What Lola Wants

The Closet Shopper said...

Those sunglasses look amazing on you.


Lynn Hasty said...

I thought I was in love with the Stella McCarney pair, and then I scrolled on and saw the Prada. Sigh. Your sunglasses look GREAT! My husband has a friend who is an eye doc, ad he says good eye protection is a MUST!


Jennifer said...

My sunglasses have to be polarized or I squint constantly. Without great lenses, sunglasses are worthless I love your Cat Eye Emporio Armani's and really like the frameless pair you are eyeing for fall!

Miss Simmonds Says said...

Did you see the McQueen ones on the Uk page? Swoon!!! I love those glasses on you, they look super sexy xxxx Entered the giveaway! xx

pao said...

Okay Bella, I just filled out my first entry form and entered the facebook world for the first time - scarey stuff. But you're so convincing, I had to do it!

sylvia @ 40PlusStyle said...

Great sunglasses and giveaway Bella. Just entered everything!

Susan said...

I'm saying hi! And I'm saying honestly, those Prada's are made for you. The price however isn't made for most. Ugh.