Big Glasses Are In

In case you haven’t noticed, big glasses are in. I’m sorry, “vintage-inspired.” Fashion models in ads, celebs, your über-hip friend, they’re all wearing biggish glasses. Not the Woodsy the Owl glasses of the 80s but more of the Mad Men hipster glasses of the 60s. The interesting thing about any retro fashion trend is that great design from the past is great for a reason—it endures the test of time. A Chanel suit or Wayfarer sunglasses or penny loafers will forever look good because of their simplicity and cleanness of design…form following function.

My new online discovery, Warby Parker, offers vintage-inspired prescription eyewear with a fashion forward twist. I haven’t been this excited since I discovered Zappos a few years ago. That free shipping both ways thing really appeals to my inner cheapskate.

Prescription glasses online? Weird, right? Not so fast: Home try-ons, free shipping both ways, lots of cool styles, not like you get at Sears Optical (no offense), and all for $95. And with a nod to new technology, their website has a “virtual try-on” feature; upload a photo of yourself and click to try on each pair to see how they look on you. So I decided to give it a go.

I uploaded my photo, “virtually” tried on a few dozen pairs or so, chose five I liked best and placed my order for their free 5-day home try-on. The try-ons come with clear lenses. When they arrived I got everyone’s opinion, made note of the pair I liked best, then shipped them all back (for free) using the prepaid label they included and went online to place my order. I sent them my prescription and in 10 days I got my cool new vintage-inspired glasses custom fit with anti-reflective, polycarbonate prescription lenses. I did not pick the frames in the photo above; those made me look too much like my friend Brains from The Thunderbirds. I got the tortoiseshell ones on the far right in the photos below.

If you’re really into glasses, they’re so cheap you could even order a few pairs for different “looks.”

A final note: Warby Parker has a program called Buy a Pair, Give a Pair. With every pair of glasses they sell, they provide a pair to someone in need.

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