Vintage Finds

Ray Bans: Olympian II

You know that scary looking thirft shop that sits on a sketchy corner with people always hanging out in the parking lot full with a random assortment of probably stolen shopping carts? One would think that they are smart NOT to go inside, but I’m here to tell you: you’re stupid if you don’t.

Say hello to Value World aka: you’re new best friend. Blythe and I shop here A LOT and I encourage you to do the same. There are four locations around the city and each is stocked with so many goodies that I hyperventilate just thinking about it!

Today, I’m going to share one of my MVPs of Value World finds.

It was a typical Value World excursion. My friends and I were on the hunt for 90s windbreaker jackets to wear during homecoming. Of course I come to the register with a lace cream dress, combat boots, and an oversized sweater while everyone else is holding neon hats and other 90s garb they’ll never wear in real life. The line was long on this particular day and some lady was using a bijillion coupons so we had time to kill. On the counter there was a small wicker basket filled with old sunglasses, mostly ones with heavy prescriptions. Being college kids, we start putting them on and goofing around. We dig to the bottom of the basket and spot a small black case with the words “Ray Ban” printed on it. My friend Karissa immediately snatches it up like it’s a game of capture the flag. Meanwhile, I’m thinking to myself, “There is no way that case has something in it and even if it does it’s just going to be something from lame.” I could not have been more wrong.

Inside was a perfectly in tact pair of vintage Ray Bans manufactured by Bausch & Lomb, the founding company, dating the glasses back before the mid-1980s. The joy my little baller heart felt at this moment is purely indescribable…this trip could not get any better. It was my turn to ring out and I hand the sunglasses over to the cashier. I ask how much the Ray Bans will cost (assuming to hear $10, $20) and she asks, “Do you want the case as well?” Ummm…DUH. “Fifty-cents all together.” I think my jaw dropped so low I could pass as Jim Carrey. FIFTY CENTS FOR VINAGE IN PERFECT CONDITION RAY BANS!? THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE. After some research and help from the fine gentleman at the Sunglass Hut in Keystone, I found that these particular shades were from the Olympian series launched in the late 70s and early 80s and retail between $100-$300 depending on their condition.

See folks, the moral of this story is that never waste your time at those vintage shops where they mark up prices and try convince you you’re buying an original, unique item. Just go to Value World, dig around, and laugh at those fashionistas wasting mucho dollars on “great finds”. THIS is a great find. The employees of Value World, god love em, simply do not know what kind of merchandise they are dealing with. Use it to your advantage to look fly as hell. Truly, this is the definition of Ballin on a Budget.

Happy Hunting,



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