There are a lot of cool things out there that make us wonder — do they really work? In our I Tried It series, we set out to use them in the real world and have determined that, in fact, they really do.
On Trial: The completely customizable Knockaround Sunglasses
Tester: Caitlyn Fitzpatrick, who has never spent a lot of money on sunglasses (and intends to keep it that way)
The Brief: Picture it: You’re standing in front of a wall of sunglasses at the store, and you try on five, 10, maybe more options. The shape isn’t right on one, the color isn’t right on another, and the trend continues until you find a pair that's far from perfect, but it'll do.
Thankfully, now you don’t have to shell out a ton of dough to get a pair of sunglasses that you merely sort-of like. In fact, you can get a one-of-a-kind pair by designing them with Knockaround.
Everyone has their preferences of what they’ll spend “a lot” of money on. For me, it’s shoes, purses, and timeless clothing pieces that I’ll wear for years to come. If there’s one thing that I will never spend a lot on, it’s sunglasses. Maybe it’s because I don’t wear them every single day. Or maybe it’s because I lost my favorite pair in the back of an Uber in San Diego 4 years ago and I’m still not over it. But I digress.
When I heard about Knockaround, an affordable sunglasses brand from San Diego (total coincidence, I swear) that allows you to design your own pair for $30, I jumped at the opportunity to give the process a test run. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to love the result — after all, it takes me forever to hunt down a pair that I kind of like in the store. Luckily, I was proven wrong.
To start off, you head to Knockaround’s Custom section on their website. You’ll be prompted with six styles — although they have many others, these are the only ones that you’re able to customize: Premiums, Fort Knocks, Fast Lanes, Mai Tai, Torrey Pines, and Paso Robles. Since I love Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer shape (but would never pay $100 for them) I went with the Premiums, which have a similar vibe.
Once you choose the style, it’s time to start picking colors. Just a heads-up: There’s a lot to consider. You can pick separate hues for the front and each arm of the sunglasses (and even the color of the logo that appears on the arm), so you can get as neutral or funky as you’d like.
I’ll be the first to admit that I like classic pieces that I can wear with just about anything in my closet, but even that came with some options. Knockaround offers sunglasses in black, white, navy blue, tortoiseshell, clear, and more on the neutral spectrum, and some come in a glossy finish, others in matte, and some in both.
The lenses are just as important as the color of the front and arms, and they can completely change the look of your sunglasses. Knockaround offers more classic ones like Smoke (black), Smoke Gradient (a black to silver), Silver Smoke, and Gold. But their extensive color range for their lenses includes gradients of blues, yellows, and pinks. Most of the lens hues also come in polarized versions that will reduce glare from the sun.
Once you make all of these decisions — don’t worry, it’s much easier when you’re actually on the site than reading about it — you’ll have designed your own sunglasses from Knockaround. Five of the styles are $30 and one is $35, and your order comes with a soft case.
Through the process, I probably chose the most boring option you can get: All black. But hey, it works for me and I’m very happy with how they turned out, which is the point of all this, right? As I said, I lost my favorite pair of sunglasses in San Diego, and now the city has given them back to me (in a sense).
Closing Argument: We all want something that feels personalized for us, but custom products can come with a hefty price tag. For those who want the designer feel without the designer cost, Knockaround will give you sunglasses that are perfectly you, yet affordable.
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