Clip-Ons or Fit-Overs: Which Do You Prefer?

Sunglasses. They are something everyone needs but are often not fully appreciated until you reach into your glove box and realize yours aren’t there. People who already wear prescription glasses just to see may have an even stronger attachment to their sunglasses given that it is hard to find a pair that works well with prescription lenses. There really are only two choices: clip-ons and fit-overs. Which one do you prefer?


Clip-on sunglasses were all the rage back in the 1980s. By the mid-90s, they started to fade away to the point that they were nearly impossible to find in the early to mid-2000s. They are now making a comeback, much to the delight of prescription lens wearers who broke their last pair of clip-ons a decade ago.


Fit-over sunglasses are just what their name implies. They are completely separate glasses that fit right over prescription lenses. Media outlets are calling them new, but they really are not. Fit-overs have been around in numerous forms since the mid-1990s. What’s new today is that fit-overs are no longer just utilitarian sunglasses intended for senior citizens. They have become fashion statements that are stylish as anything you would wear without prescription lens.


Pros and Cons of Clip-Ons


Let’s say you are a brand-new retailer buying inexpensive sunglasses in bulk and then selling them at a local flea market. You would be wise to include a selection of clip-on models. Why? For starters, clip-ons are the most convenient type of sunglasses for prescription lens wearers. They fit easily into a pocket or purse when not in use, and the lenses flip up and out of the way when you do not need them but want to keep them attached to your glasses.


Eyeglasses with clip on sunglasses on white background

Eyeglasses with clip on sunglasses on white background

Another great benefit of clip-ons is that you do not need a pair designed specifically for your prescription lenses. Clip-ons are manufactured in standard shapes and sizes that cover just about every prescription lens frame.


The big downside to clip-ons is that they are easy to misplace. Because they are nothing more than two lenses and a single clip, it is not hard to set them down somewhere and forget about them. It’s not hard for a pair to fall out of your pocket with you being none the wiser. And, of course, clip-ons tend to be pretty cheaply made. You have to be careful with them.


Pros and Cons of Fit-Overs


As long as we’re talking about buying inexpensive sunglasses in bulk, you should probably include a good selection of fit-overs in your inventory as well. There are wholesalers like Olympic Eyewear that sell both generic and designer brands at relatively good prices.


The strongest upside to fit-over sunglasses is that prescription lens wearers can use them without having to remove their prescription lenses. Along the same lines, a cheap pair of fit-overs costs a lot less than prescription sunglasses or transition lenses. They can even be used as standalone sunglasses if somebody without prescription lenses wants to borrow them.


As far as disadvantages go, the biggest one is the bulk. Even the smallest, sleekest, most fashionable pair of fit-overs is still a separate pair of sunglasses that has to go on top of the prescription lenses you’re already wearing. That means more weight on the face. If you are wearing a baseball cap, that means more bulk under the bill.


For prescription lens wearers who need sunglasses, the two best options are clip-ons and fit-overs. If neither option is acceptable, the only thing left is to invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses or transition lenses for your current frames.