A few months ago I wrote about Kent Wang’s tortoiseshell shades, which are a great value, especially for guys like me who lose sunglasses annually or more often. (Update on my sunglass situation: This summer I already lost my Kent Wang pair, but a friend found my previously lost Ray Bans in his car so I figure I’m even.) Since then Kent has added an aviator model to his collection of value-conscious, classic accessories, and he sent me a pair to try.
Like the tortoiseshell frames, the aviators are a strong value at $55, filling the price niche between drug store versions and Ray Ban-level, Luxottica-made sunglasses, which start at about $100 (and current Ray Bans ain’t what they used to be). The Kent Wang’s are clearly superior to the cheapies you buy at the beach when you forget or lose your sunglasses, and they compete with $100+ versions. The wire frame is sturdy, the finishing/weld points are clean, and the gray lenses are polarized to reduce glare. Two features make them a little more modern than your standard aviators: the lens shape is slightly more square and less deeply curved than the teardrop shaped classics–a little more David Bowie than Douglas MacArthur–and the gold finish is matte vs polished.
Kent’s frames come in one size–54mm lenses, 21mm bridge, 145mm temple–and it’s a size that happens to fit me well. I felt the bridge was slightly broader than my other sunglasses, which also works for me. Your mileage, of course, may vary. They do not come with a case. For what it’s worth, for all the sunglasses I’ve lost that came with cases? I still have the cases. If you’re short, let me know.