Let’s face it: No accessory collection is complete without a pair (or two) of Ray-Bans. The perfect blend of classic and contemporary, these go-to shades are favorites of It girls like Lily Aldridge to Kendall Jenner. But like many of our most beloved pieces, the Ray-Ban style has also attracted a number of knockoffs. For those who value both aesthetics and authenticity, knowing how to tell if Ray-Bans are real has never been more essential. Here’s how to get what you want without getting conned.
Genuine Ray-Bans have noticeable weight to them. Lightly toss and catch the glasses, or pass them back and forth between your hands to confirm a sturdy, well-crafted weight. While you shouldn’t expect them to be heavy, light-as-a-feather shades are a telltale sign that the sunglasses are fake.
One of the best ways to tell if Ray-Bans are real is to lightly tap the lenses. True Ray-Bans are always made with glass, whereas knockoffs are frequently crafted with plastic, which will feel, sound, and reflect light differently than the real deal.
As is true of spotting fake designer bags, the tiniest details can often reveal the most. Check for seams on both the frames and on the arms of the glasses—if there are unexpected lines anywhere other than where the arms fold back from the frames, you’re probably looking at a fake.
One of the most reliable methods for spotting genuine Ray-Bans is to look for the serial number. This can be found on the inside of the left arm of the sunglasses, unless they’re aviators, in which case the arms are too thin to fit a number. The right arm should note that the shades are made in Italy with a small “CE” logo. Both this and the model number should be neatly printed parallel with the arm. If you’re buying the glasses firsthand, the serial number should always match the number that appears on the box.
While there are definitely deals to be had, your local Canal Street vendor may not be the best place to nab your next pair of genuine Ray-Bans. Shop a certified dealer to be sure that you’re getting the real thing.
And now that you know how to tell if Ray-Bans are real, it’s time to invest in a quality pair of shades. Read on for our guide to choosing the perfect sunglasses for a square face.
This article was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.