Shopping Online for Prescription Eyeglasses and Sunglasses [Part 1]

Prescription Eyeglass Shopping Online. 
How hard could it be? 

I've seen some amazing prices online for glasses and I've been tempted to order a pair to see the difference. I ordered the Warby Parker: Free Discovery Kit to see how well this online shopping for glasses would work out! You get to choose five frames to try out at home for five days.  The shipping is free to you (and back).  And, if you order they offer free returns if your glasses just don't work out. 
This seemed like a great opportunity to me.

Did you know that about 60% of Americans wear prescription glasses or contacts?  
I was born with bad eyesight.  I started wearing prescription glasses at about age 3 when it was determined that I am rather nearsighted.  My vision got worse and worse until my teens when it started to level out.  I've had a few rises and falls in prescription in adulthood.  But, mostly my vision floats along the edge of "If I lose my glasses I'm fucked!".   I actually envy babes who only wear glasses to drive or read... without my glasses the world looks like a frantic Monet painting.

Finding new glasses has always been a pain in the butt, for me.  As a kid through teen I was wearing adult glasses (which looked like Sophia from Golden Girls).

My head and face are huge... so, all of the cutie femme frames hit stores in the 90s (when people decided glasses could be fashionable) and they didn't really fit.  Frames finally got awesome and great designers were realizing that they could lend a lot to prescription eyewear... and none of those fit me.  That's about the time that I found out that I like wearing Menswear frames.  I like playing up my strong features. But, most of all... I like that mens glasses actually fit my face comfortably.
So, yeah... I have an obsession over vintage style "Dad Glasses", right now.  I like adding a little "Hot Dad" to my vibe. 

My current glasses (which I love a lot) are the Statesmen by DITA.  I was deliberately looking for a pair of glasses that were like Zachary Quinto's in American Horror Story: Asylum.  Because *POW* those are great glasses.  The Statesmen are totally Quinto glasses, but more refined and upscale.
They were quite pricey.  But, my Ditas are the nicest glasses I've ever owned in my entire life.  The lenses are the thinnest possible in my prescription (and lenses are always what cost a lot, for me).  The lenses alone were $410.  The craftsmanship on these frames is top notch.  They will last me a lifetime!  They retailed for $600.  With my insurance discount I ended up paying about $400 on them off of my FSA. 

I had also ordered a pair of amazing Tory Burch sunglasses from Lens Crafters, but the lenses were ridiculously thick and pushed into my face.  I've been feeling rather discouraged about getting badass prescription sunglasses, since... but, I refuse to lose hope!  My perfect prescription frames are out there waiting to be found. 


I am very nearsighted.  So, my prescription makes my eyes appear smaller, further away and closer together. 

So, I require my lenses to be a bit larger than the width of my face (which is hard to find in women's sizes).

I think that's really the first hurdle in attempting to shop online for glasses.  I need to try frames on before I commit to them.  I only recently started caring about eyeglass sizes.  If you already have a pair of glasses that you love you will find it way easier to shop for eyewear online.

The size for my DITAs is 55*18*145.  The size of your glasses can be found on one of the arms. Mine was on the left behind my ear.  I've also seen sizing be closer to the temple. 

This is how the sizing works. 
The first number is the size of the width of your lens. 
The second number is the bridge of your nose. 
The third number is the length from temple to the end of the arm (behind your ear). 
Sometimes there is a fourth number (which is the height of the lens).

Since I know that the fit of these Ditas is super comfy (after wearing them for a year)... then, I know about the size I want glasses online to be. 

When I hit the Warby Parker website I made sure to sort them by "wide" and compare sizing at the bottom of each pair against the sizing of my DITAs.


My Free Home Try on Kit arrived with each frame in its own little cubby and in a plastic bag with the frame name on it.  The frames were all clean and in new condition. 
What I loved most about this discovery kit was that I got to pop in my contacts and wear these out and about (like they were my actual glasses) and see how comfortable they were.  This is something you really don't get when you go to a store to try on frames.  In fact, I've had many times throughout my life where I have fallen in love with some glasses in store (the Tory Burch sunglasses) and hated them when I wore them out and about. 




SIZE:  55*17*145
STYLE:  Nash in Crystal
The only pair of regular frames I got with untinted lenses. 
The Nash is my "try something totally not your style" pick.  Clear frames make me think of Chemistry safety glasses.  These glasses had the closest fit to my DITAs as well. 

These are $95.  Lenses included.  Whaaat?!

I might need to get these! 
I like the fit.  I really like the clear frames.  Wasn't actually expecting to like anything from this set enough to buy it! 
Ordering these will give me the chance to do a Part Two on this blog, though (and tell you about the quality of the finished product). 


SIZE: 54*18*145
STYLE:  Ames Graphite Fog

The Ames style is closest to my Ditas.  I actually love these a lot.
These fit me well and they look great.  They have that same "Hot Dad" vibe that I love so much. 
My main issue with these, for myself, is that they don't have nose pads.  I like the keyhole shape over the nose aesthetically, but my lenses in this frame would put a lot of weight and pressure on two small parts of my nose.

Verdict:  I had to pass on these.  But, if you have a low prescription, they should work out great for you!


SIZE: 54*18*140
STYLE: Piper Jet Black
The Piper were the pair of sunglasses I was most excited to try out!  If these black ones had worked out for me I would have ordered them in Petal Tortoise (which is gorgeous).   They don't offer the Petal Tortoise version of the Piper for the "At Home Try On" program.  Yet, from the photo I can tell they are amaaaaaah-zing!!!
I love subtle cat eye lenses.

On an average sized face these would be glamorous oversized vintage Hollywood chicness.
On me... they are a tad too narrow.  Keep in mind that I have a big skull with a big face attached to it. 
Even if you are plus sized and have a chubby face, but are like 5'7 and under... these will likely look great on you!
I found the length of the arms from temple to ear a bit short, for my taste, as well. 

I wish these came in a 58*18*145!
Then they would have that perfect cat eye look on my face.
They don't look awful but I feel they would be more flattering a little larger. 
Maybe Warby Parker could be convinced to release a line of larger sunnies? 
I should email them.  Hmmm.


SIZE: 52*21*145
STYLE: Banks in Ginger Crystal

I snagged this pair because the size looked great and the color online appeared to match my hair. 
I also dig the thick frames and chunky cat eye.  These ended up surprising me and were probably my favorite of the sunglasses I got.  The lenses are unfortunately too small and close together for me to actually order them (they have a goggles vibe that I'm not loving). 
I loved the fit from the temple to my ears.  The bridge is perfect. 

The quality of this pair is amazing.  They are thick and sturdy.  Really well made.  The Ginger Crystal color is really pretty.  These would be stunning on someone with a smaller face! 

I love these a lot!  I would have purchased these if they had been more like 55*21*145
Just a little bigger and these would have been my favorite prescription sunglasses forever and ever.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog where I devote an entire review to THE COLONEL MONOCLE...
Because, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to try a monocle (and the results were hilarious).


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