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Great Ex-SPEC-tations

*This post was written a while back, WAY before COVID-19, but I thought it would be fun to roll it out in a time when it's not necessarily possible, safe or practical to get to your optometrist in person. Some of these companies may have suspended online try-on options, but check back to give them a shot when they return! Hope y'all enjoy!

The journey to get to my favorite pairs of glasses has been long, winding, and probably induced 10-15 new eyebrow wrinkles. While most have heard of or tried Warby Parker, I wanted to test out a few different options for free home try-ons to make sure I was picking the best frames. Check out my opinion below, followed by where I actually ended up landing my new glasses!

1. Fetch- Best mission! This one donates 100% of net proceeds to animal welfare. They had a lot of trendy options and also a fantastic return policy and warranty.

2. Felix & Iris- Winner for most options by far! The prices were slightly higher than others, but overall it was where I found the largest number of possibilities. They gave you a little marker in the box as well, which allowed you to mark up the glasses and where your pupils fell, measurements, etc.

3. Cooper & Crwn- This one I vote trendiest! I thought I wanted to step out of my comfort zone with my new pair, but ultimately I felt way too uncool for most of their frames. Their method was one of my favorites though, because they allowed you to pick three and then they added on two additional options, one based on your preferences and one that was a “wildcard” based on current trends. They also came on cards that had a printed ruler on them, allowing you to photograph yourself wearing them and get measurements all in one! Their packaging was beautiful and felt incredibly classy!

After all was said and done, I ended up with the Chelesa glasses from Warby Parker (in the tortoise which is no longer an option, sadly!). However, I did get a few extra pairs from some discount sites, and my favorites ever ended up being from Lensabl!

Zenni- Zenni is a popular online retailer that always has the best discounts. I got a pair of browline glasses from here for about $20, but you can find some for as low as $5. I was pleased with the quality and fit since they were so affordable, and I knew that since they were so trendy I wouldn’t wear them every day. Their prices were incredible, and shipping was pretty quick… however the selection wasn’t all I had hoped for. Many of the frames were really trendy and seemed to run big, in my opinion.

Coastal- I got my FAVORITE glasses of all time here many years ago, for free! They run great specials and have all kinds of options from super cheap to designer. They also accept returns for a whole year, no questions asked, even after your prescription is put in.

Lensabl- After reaching out to Walmart and Costco to learn about putting prescription lenses in existing frames (near impossible!), I discovered Lensabl, and I am SO glad I did! I found a pair of reading glasses that I loved (from Peepers), and mailed them off along with my prescription. They installed prescription lenses and returned them all to me with the coolest little cleaning kit and collapsible kit. I loved that I could try them on and make sure I loved them BEFORE I bought the glasses. It cost $77 for the lenses and shipping, and then the frames themselves were about $20. I will warn you, the whole process took about as long as I expected (even though I got my hopes up for it to be faster based on their marketing). You have to ship your specs there, they have to receive them, cut the lenses and mail them back, totaling up to be a pretty hefty timeline. I want to say mine were at my door in about 2.5 weeks.

With the discount online glasses brands, 9/10 times they won’t be perfect. I found the PD is the most important thing to get right, so take good care in measuring that (I usually use the Warby Parker site). For fit issues, I learned that basically any optometrist can heat and bend the arms (sunglasses too!) to make them stay up better on your nose. When push comes to shove, I also used these little silicone grippy things, but got made fun of entirely too much by my family.

All in all, I would much prefer one solid pair and several “fun” pairs, so it was a blast to test out and learn more about all of these options.


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