19 April 2011

Ray-Ban vs Topman

During my day trip to London, my friend, Shehryar, decided to pop into Selfridges on Oxford Street to buy himself a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses. Whilst browsing through the different styles available, I came across a pair that looked extremely familiar to my own Topman shades...

Friends, Claire and Lilly, demonstrating the stark similarity between both styles of
shades. Claire (left) wears a pair of Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunglasses while Lilly (right)
sports the exceedingly cheaper equivalent from Topman
Priced at £123, the Ray-Ban Clubmasters cost roughly 10 times as much as my pair from Topman, even though their browline designs are strikingly similar. But does the higher cost mean they are any better in quality and aesthetics?

Appearance-wise, there are a few subtle differences. For starters, Topman's sunglasses have slightly wider lenses than the Clubmasters. The colour of the metal used in each style is also different, with Ray-Ban preferring gold rather than silver. In addition, there is a small variation in the detail at the corners of the frames. Therefore, in terms of aesthetics, personal preference ultimately decides which style looks the best.

However, in terms of overall quality, Ray-Ban is victorious. Unlike the pair from Topman, the Clubmasters' plastic frame is reinforced with metal, naturally lessening the chance of breakage. Of course, this also makes the sunglasses heavier, but I believe this is acceptable if there is added strength.

Nonetheless, in my view, a price tag of £123 does seem much for a pair of sunglasses, regardless of how good the quality might be. However, this did not stop Shehryar from purchasing a pair of black Wayfarers at the same price. I suppose at the end of the day, you just need to ask yourself whether you want to pay for the designer label or not. For me, the cheaper pair from Topman will do.

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