Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Help Me Pick Out Cute Glasses (That Don't Cost An Arm And A Leg!)

Last Monday I read about Warby Parker on the Yes And Yes blog post, How to be a Grown Ass Woman: Health + Personal Care in reference to cheap glasses.  I think I'm behind on this since Warby Parker has been around for a while but I had never heard of them.  Warby Parker sells discounted trendy prescription eyeglasses (frames AND thin polycarbonate lenses with anti-scratch and anti-reflective coating) for $95. They also offer prescription and non-prescription sunglasses for $95. Here's my experience figuring everything out.  If you want, you can skip to the bottom to see the pictures of the frames and tell me which one(s) you like best.  Thanks!

Research (Google Search!)

I've been thinking about getting new glasses for a while and have saved some 50% off JC Penney ads from the Sunday paper to remind me to go check out what they've got.  I was there about six months ago and found only one pair I even cared about but didn't totally love.

I thought Warby Parker sounded neat but wasn't sure what to really think of it since this was the first time I remember hearing about it.  I did some more research and found that they sound like a great company.  They own the manufacturing plant that makes the glasses and so they can sell you glasses for much cheaper.  Most glasses are really expensive because they're all made by one big company, Luxottica, and they can charge as much as they want since it's essentially a monopoly.  And any other companies left over charge the same amount, because they can.  Warby Parker is also nice because for each pair of glasses you buy, they help people in developing countries get new glasses as well.  It's particularly cool because they let those people select their own glasses, so they can get something really stylish, rather than old donated ones. 

I was impressed by Warby Parker and figured it was probably a pretty decent way to get glasses since my vision insurance only covers glasses or contacts every other year, not both.  I wear contacts every single day, so that's was I always get with the allotment.  But I could really use some new glasses.  I did some calling around and found that I've had my current 2 pairs of glasses (purchased on the cheap at Sears 4 years ago!), I figured it was time to get some new ones.  Plus my prescription had changed enough to warrant something new.  With my vision insurance I can buy things out-of-network and get reimbursed.  It's confusing, but it looks like I could be eligible for getting back $30 on the price of the lenses. 

I've got a stronger prescription, officially referred to in the eye care biz as "Coke-bottles", so I'll have to spring an extra $30 for the thinner high-index lenses, but that is still a TOTAL steal.  And my vision plan reimbursement of $30 is great since that at least covers the cost of the thinner lenses. 

Picking Out Some Options

My Tiny Noggin

I searched through the frames that work well for narrow or medium face widths and that interested me. They have very few for narrow faces but a lot for medium faces.  They have a nice filter so you can search by material, color, shape, and width. 

Available For Try-On

I then narrowed it down even further based on the ones that were available for home try-on. There's no way I 'm going to buy glasses that I can't try on first. Of course they have a great 30-day, no-questions-asked return policy so you could easily buy them and return them if you don't want them, but I'm so picky that there's no way that I could deal with the hassle of all of that.

So after looking through the options and narrowing it down to the ones available for home try-on, I had a short list of 6 possible frames that I liked best.  Since you can only get 5 sample pairs to try on at home, I removed the most generic choice in an attempt to stretch my style to something a little newer and fashionable/trendy (In the last few years I've been trying to branch out to new/different/interesting choices).

They have a virtual try-on, either using one of their models or you can upload your own picture. I loved being able to upload my own photo since it was a little closer to seeing what they might look like on you.  I also loved that they showed most of the glasses on a model with a rotatable view since they might look great by themselves, but appear totally different on a person's face. 

Requesting The Contenders

I entered my details to create an account and gave them my credit card number as a deposit for the glasses they'll send to my house. I really liked that in addition to the style, I could also pick the color of the frames, so they won't be all heavy black or weird green or whatever. You get 5 days to try on the sample frames they send.  If you don't like any that you selected, you can send them back and get another set of five frames . 

I received a cute shipping notice on Friday and was excited that I would be getting them on Monday, but there was an awesome surprise in Saturday's post, the Warby Parker home try-on box!
Tell me which one you like best! (click for a larger image)
Click on the image to see it larger and please email me to let me know which one(s) are your favorite! I've got a couple I'm leaning towards but I've also found a second set of four frames I really like and might get a second try-on box sent to me after I ship these back. 

How To Order

Once you've figured out which one you want, you go online and order them with your prescription information from your eye doctor.  The only thing is when it comes to ordering glasses, you need your pupillary distance, which is a measurement of the distance between your eyeballs so you get the 'sweet spot' of the lenses right in the middle.  For some reason most eye doctors in the US don't measure it during your eye exam (in Canada it's mandatory).  It's only needed when you order glasses and the optical department usually measures that at the time when you select your glasses. You can go to most optical departments to have it measured or Warby Parker has a neat app to measure your pupillary distance. How handy is that?!

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) gmail.com. It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!