Uniqlo Sunglasses Review: Are they Worth the Low Price Point?

Stylish design and UV protection.

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I recently needed a pair of affordable sunglasses at short notice. I noticed that Uniqlo had a decent selection, including some styles that I liked, so I thought I’d buy a pair and try them out.

The brand is known for the relative quality of its clothes for the low price point. But sunglasses seem they’d require a different area of expertise.

So, will the brand’s glasses be able to live up to this reputation? Here is my Uniqlo sunglasses review to help us find out.

Uniqlo Sunglasses Review: First Impressions

Uniqlo’s sunglasses range instantly stood out because they had some good-looking takes on classic designs like Wayfarers, Clubmasters, and Aviators. I went for the Wayfarer-style glasses because I like this shape and it suits my face.

Upon picking the glasses up, I noticed that they also fold up to a smaller size, which is a pretty unique feature at this price point. It certainly makes it easier to fit them in a bag and you can even put them in your pocket. I wouldn’t put them in jeans pockets as I feel they might break, but I’ve put them in the front pocket of a denim jacket without much trouble.

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I think they look pretty good too. The tortoiseshell may be plastic, which means the pattern doesn’t go all the way through the material as it does in acetate frames, but it still has a rich and deep color.

Decent Build Quality for Affordable Frames

The first thing to note is that these are a relatively affordable pair of sunglasses. They are made from molded polycarbonate not acetate like more premium styles. In practice, this means the glasses feel lighter and more throw away than my Ray-Ban Wayfarers. They also lack metal reinforcement through the temples, and the hinge is made from molded plastic, not metal.

But, that doesn’t mean the glasses are of poor quality. The hinge, for example, still feels relatively solid. It’s tight enough so the temples aren’t loose, which ensures the glasses fit snug on your face. You can even access the screw, which could potentially allow you to tighten them up if they become loose. Although I wouldn’t want to do this too often, for fear of the thread wearing away.

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The glasses also seem relatively scratch resistant. I’ve been wearing them for a couple of weeks now and both the lenses and the frames are scratch-free. The short time span means that isn’t a huge achievement, but at the same time, I’ve definitely had cheap market glasses that were pretty much done by this point. But maybe that’s just me becoming more careful as I get older.

Do They Protect Your Eyes?

These glasses offer UV400 protection. This means they block out almost 100% of harmful ultraviolet rays. This is actually the same as you’d get on a more expensive pair of sunglasses. They aren’t polarised though, which means they let in a lot of glare when the sun either shines or reflects into them. This isn’t a major issue, but it can be quite off-putting at times.

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It’s also worth noting that Uniqlo says these glasses also block out 25% of blue light, which is useful if you want to stop the glare from your smartphone or computer monitor.

You Don’t Get Any Added Extras

When you buy these glasses, that’s all you get. There’s no glasses case to store them in or cloth to keep them clean. That’s not an issue for me as I have plenty of cases lying around at home anyway, but if you don’t it’s something to think about.

There is also no option to get prescription lenses fitting in the frame. Uniqlo isn’t an eyewear store so that’s pretty much as expected.

Uniqlo Sunglasses Review in Summary

At just $19.90, Uniqlo sunglasses are decent and affordable shades. They protect your eyes from the sun and some blue light, and they look good doing so. The frame I tested didn’t feel premium, but it also felt pretty well made for what it is. And the fact that they fold up is a nice added benefit that has already made carrying them around easier for me.

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Duncan Elder

Duncan is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boardwalk. He's a menswear writer who has spent the last 15 years developing his own sense of style, which lies at the cross-section of mid-noughties indie and Uniqlo-inspired minimalism.

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