making a spectacle of myself

Hey folks, it’s bee listy stopping by to help out my comrade during NaNoBlowPop month, or whatever this blogging extravaganza is called.

Tonight I want to talk to you about something very near and dear to my heart: eyeglasses.  I’ve been wearing glasses since 1987.  My first pair was a big round red Sally Jesse Raphael-type frames, and I had to wear those frames for 3 whole years!

I’ve had many spectacle looks over the years, but the high price of glasses used to make it hard to keep one’s look updated.  In grad school, I had to get my first pair of bifocals.  I was barely 25 years old, so I indulged my vanity and paid the hefty price for no-line progressives.  The next pair I got cost me about $400 before my insurance.

My beloved DKNY frames...they were brown w/ blue and green around the lenses with a library temple. And they cost $400 before insurance. RIP.

Thank goodness that I came across Glassy Eyes.  I was living in Minneapolis and working a job that didn’t pay super well, which put me in front of a computer quite a bit, and I also have a hobby that causes a lot of eye strain.  I was really into the idea of not spending a billion dollars on new glasses, and luckily my work insurance covered my exam.  So I went and got my eyes checked, got my updated prescription–which includes my pupillary distance.  (If you decide to try online glasses, you’ll need that number.)

The first pair (pictured below in 1) that I ordered from Zenni Optical were the luckiest thing ever.  Because my first pair was a success, I was willing to keep trying.  I really liked the fit & the look, and the price– $12.95 plus shipping.  (I didn’t get the anti-glare coating on them.)  So I ended up ordering a similar pair in black, and I ordered some sunglasses ($17).  These were my first prescription sunglasses, and I was overjoyed!  I started reading outside, driving into the sun, and it was lovely.

Eventually I tried a few new frames to add to my collection.  Some were hits, some were misses…then I came across some frames from Warby Parker that I really wanted, but it was time to update my prescription.  It had been three years, and there was a significant enough change that I needed new lenses, so now I have three current pairs (4, 5, & 6).

1:  from Zenni Optical – no longer in my rotation because the prescription is outdated, but I still love the frame–so I’ve ordered them in sunglasses.

2: from Eye Buy Direct – These are the Ronnie.  I didn’t wear them very often because they were too wide.  They didn’t sit right on my ears, but they were a good back up pair.  No longer in the rotation due to the outdated prescription.

3: from Zenni Optical – it’s hard to see in the picture, but the temples are bright red.  When I first got these, I didn’t like them.  I  felt like the prescription was wrong–but that was my fault.  My prescription was outdated.  The look of these grew on me, but I only wore them out a couple of times.

4: from Warby ParkerWinston in Lunar Fade.  I’m in love with these.  I love the home try-on system that Warby Parker offers, and I also love that when you order a pair, they give a pair to someone in need.  I also had a really awesome customer service experience with them.  Before I realized how outdated my prescription was, I tried to order these in my old prescription.  They wouldn’t fill a prescription more than 2 years old, which might piss some folks off, but I appreciated it because i didn’t realize it had already been 3 years since my last regular eye exam. (I had a secondary prescription in that time for close-up work, but I wanted these for everyday usage.)  They came quicker than expected, which made me very happy.

5: from Spex Club – Hobbs in clear/tortoise.  I love the heft of these– they feel heavy and sturdy in my hand, but not on my face.  I like the shape of these a lot, and I purchased them with a 50% coupon that I scored on Fab.  They also came very quickly, and the anti-glare on these is so good that they almost look like I have no lenses in.

6: from 39 Dollar Glasses – Tennyson.  One of the few disappointments I’ve had in the past few years of buying glasses online was this situation.  Over at Glassy Eyes, there’s a review of their service that replaces lenses in your old frames with your updated prescription.  I paid $39 to have this done to the DKNY frames I gush over above.  I paid in advance, sent them in, and waited…and got an email from their lab manager that my frames had broken in the processing.  I was really bummed, but they suggested I choose another frame from their inventory.  I chose the Tennyson, worried that they might be a little bit small for my face.  When they arrived, I felt that my suspicion was right, but my partner loves them, and a couple of my friends have decided that I look like an old fashioned socialist intellectual, which is fine by me.  I’m still disappointed that the DKNY frames I loved so much are lost to damage, but so it goes.

I’m more than happy giving reviews and tips to folks who want to try this out– so please feel free to ask questions about buying online glasses!

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11 Responses to “making a spectacle of myself”

  1. Amy Ecklund Says:

    I’ve considered ordering glasses on line but have been told not to due to my progressive lenses. are you still wearing the no-line bifocal and have you had any issue with them?

  2. Hmmm I like #4 the best.

  3. Amy Ecklund Says:

    I guess I won’t know unless I try. Thanks for the response

  4. My fave is #6. They make you look gentle. I’d hit on a girl in those glasses (if I was single).

  5. When I talked to the optician at Empire Vision about getting my prescription so I could buy glasses online, she warned me against it, saying that they could have prisms or other glare issues and mess up your eyes, and that in NY state only licensed professionals are allowed to sell glasses because of those reasons. It’s definitely in her (company’s) best interest to tell me that, so I wondered about the truth of it. Have you ever had any glare issues with online purchases? Also, what is the best way to take that pupil-to-pupil measurement that Zenni recommends? Thanks!

    • I was really hesitant at first and did a ton of research, including talking to my own optometrist, and i also talked to a college friend of mine who is an optometrist. He had nothing but good things to say about his experiences buying glasses online.

      There are different tiers of retailers online. I think that if you are interested in checking out online retailers, you may want to check out Warby Parker first. They are the ones who seem to be the strictest (they were the ones who wouldn’t fill an expired prescription and were following state laws for the state where the glasses would be shipped).

      Re: pupillary distance, the optician at my optometrist’s office measured for me.

      i hope that helps!

  6. Farrukh Khan Says:

    I have tried zenni and 39dollarglasses along with Goggles4u.com
    They all turned out to be very good.

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