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NYC's 5 Best Shops For Sunglasses

Sunglasses are the quintessential New York accessory, providing instant glamour or a sense of whimsy to any look. With the sun finally showing itself this spring, it's time to refresh your collection. If you're looking for lenses that provide protection from harmful UV rays, as well as frames that make you look like a million bucks, these venues can offer you just the right look at prices that are made in the shade.

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Shopping & Style Sunglasses, Three Monkeys Eyewear
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A happening unto itself, a visit to Three Monkeys provides a unique, trendy shopping environment plus comfortable spaces tailor made for trying on endless looks. At prices from $20 - $250, Three Monkeys carries the best sunglasses available worldwide, including iconic Ray Bans, Diesel, Cutler & Gross, classic Armani, and Prada. Three Monkeys own line of sunglasses are super-stylish, with a young, edgy sensibility, reflecting the store's Chilean roots.

Vintage sunglasses ranging from the late 1800s to the 1980s for men and women can be found here at around $135. Do you fancy yourself a modern Steve McQueen? Go for the 1960s, Bullitt-inspired Persol 714's. Is Breakfast at Tiffany's more your style? Then the 1960s, oversized tortoise shades will enfuse your look with Hepburnesque glam. About 70 percent of the stock at Fanny's is fabulous vintage, but cutting-edge, current styles in summer's hottest colors can also be found here. Fanny's services are fabulous, too. This is where to go if you need replacement parts for antique frames or pince nez, or if you need your frames reshaped. Budding film directors take note: Fanny's rents frames for photo shoots.

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New Oakley frames from Specs For Less
(credit: Specs For Less)

With five locations on Staten Island, Manhattan and New Jersey, Specs for Less is your best bet for bargains on today's designer shades. An unending list of top brands can be found here, including Burberry, Calvin Klein, Tiffany & Co., Ray Ban, Fendi, and Maui Jim. If you wish your sunglasses to be prescription, you will be pleased to know that all Specs stores are staffed by licensed professionals, well versed in the latest eyewear technologies. For style, comfort and safety, you can trust your eyes to the Specs staff. Many insurance plans are accepted here, and warranties for frames and lenses  are included in the purchase price.

Shopping & Style Sunglasses, In God We Trust
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All-purpose style emporium In God We Trust features apparel, jewelry and assorted collections of mega-shway stuff with a Brooklyn sensibility and irreverent flair. Practically everything here is manufactured locally with the highest standards of craftsmanship and integrity. All sunglasses sold at IGWT are from uber-hip manufacturer, A.J. Morgan, and never go above $15. Hundreds of styles for men and women range from retro-inspired cat's eyes to ultra-modern plastic brights, in patterns like animal prints and plaids. With two stores in Brooklyn and one in downtown Manhattan, you're never far away from grabbing your next cool look.

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Shopping & Style Sunglasses, Silver Lining Opticians
Photo Credit: Silver Lining Opticians via Facebook

Heiresses and lottery winners will love celebrity haunt, Silver Lining Opticians. While bargains here are in short supply, a carefully curated selection of high-quality, elegant sunglasses is not. Choose from the largest selection of unused vintage eyewear available in NYC or contemporary brands that are less off-the-rack and more on-the-money. Iconic elegance is the goal here, but be prepared to shell out big to polish off your fabulous look.

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at
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