If you’re jonesing for just a little bit of retail therapy right about now (as a treat?) shopping online can feel like a godsend. It’s also one of best ways to support the brands you want to make it through the lockdown, and stock up on necessities (or “necessities”) without ever changing into a pair of hard pants. Luckily, it’s never been easier to track down all the creature comforts of pre-pandemic life, provided you know where to look, and if you’re in the market for a new pair of glasses the internet’s got you covered.
Are we at the point yet where we’re all desperately craving any sort of physical interaction we can get, including the types we used to avoid like the plague? I typically put off buying a new pair of glasses for as long as possible until I’m basically stumbling around half-blind in desperate need of a different prescription, but faced with the reality of an actual fucking plague the idea of taking a leisurely stroll around the carefully-arranged display cases in my local optician’s office has me near-trembling with excitement.
If you’re starting to get nervous about upping your own prescription, or if you plopped yourself down on the couch and immediately heard that telltale snapping sound (oof), don’t panic—the world wide web offers a massive and multi-varied selection of eyeglasses to shop, and lets you skip the multiple in-person appointments (aaah, appointments!) and go straight to the source. Here are some of the best places to start.
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A decade since the site launched, Firmoo has developed a hardcore cult following largely due to its selection of funky, unusually affordable frames. Some of the site’s small quirks still need some ironing out and returns aren’t free, but if you’re looking to find a pair of glasses few other people have and don’t want to drop some serious coin to do it, Firmoo is for you.
Perhaps the punniest of all options online, Eyeconic’s selection of frames from brands both big and small is definitely extensive, but skews towards the pricier end of the spectrum. Along with free shipping and returns, and a pretty unparalleled price-matching program, the site also boasts a a frequently-updated blog featuring helpful guides to all things glasses.
Liingo’s selection of styles is substantially smaller than some of its counterparts, but the site’s completely free at-home frame trial coupled with an expansive return and full-refund policy makes it the perfect place to go if you’re unsure of which frames will suit your face shape best.
SmartBuyGlasses’ premise is a simple one, and it’s all right there in the site’s name. The online operation offers a wide selection of big name brands via a fairly seamless shopping experience and a solid virtual try-on setup that ensures you won’t end up with frames that don’t fit your face.
Roka was founded by two former athletes with a penchant for performance design, and that commitment to industry-leading R & D still runs through the site’s offerings today. Roka’s selection is small but curated with very few styles that wouldn’t look good on most men. As of now the site charges $10 for an at-home try-on, but it credits the cost to to you if you end up purchasing the frames.
You know you’ve built the right kind of business model when other brands pop up claiming to be the “Warby Parker of X.” The company that did it first still does it best: Once you start shopping the brand’s frequently updated selection of affordable styles, it’s hard to even consider going anywhere else to get your glasses.
Glasses USA is the place to go if you want to explore the seemingly endless options shopping online offers. Range is the name of the game here, and Glasses USA has it in spades. If you don’t yet know exactly the style you’re looking for or need to track down a hard-to-find pair you once bought and promptly lost, head on over to the Glasses USA site and start your search. (FYI: the company doesn’t currently offer an at-home try-on service, but it’s still a great option if you don’t mind the gamble.)
If you find the internet’s array of options a bit overwhelming, Lenscrafters might be the best site for you. The Lenscrafters online shop offers a browsing experience akin to the one you’d find in any of the chain’s physical retail locations: A curated selection of classics (with the few requisite standout styles) that doesn’t immediately inundate you with an endless barrage of choices. It’s a no-frills shopping experience that let’s you get in, get what you need, and get out with time to spare.
Jins is like the Muji of eyeglass sellers, which means it stocks well-priced, well-made frames designed with a decidedly minimalist bent. In addition to opticals, Jins sells a host of blue light-blocking glasses. If you’re not always wearing your prescription lenses, it comes in handy to have both.
If cost is your primary concern, EyeBuyDirect is your place. The frames are cheap. Cheap-cheap. Nearly all around $30-$50 cheap. Sure, that doesn’t include your prescription, but you really can’t beat the frames themselves when it comes to price. Besides the overt price consciousness, EyeBuyDirect is also a solid option for those who don’t have to wear glasses all the time. (We’re looking at you, readers.)
Montreal-based Bonlook makes a ton of frames, but it goes especially in on thin-rimmed options. If you like the feel of an aviator but wish the thin frame was a different shape, Bonlook makes it—and likely in a few colors, too. Plus, select pairs are available for at-home trying if that’s more your speed.
The other fun thing about shopping on the internet is the opportunity to find places whose missions aligns with your own personal priorities. Coastal partners with the Essilor Vision Foundation to offer a Buy One Give One program, so you can look good and do good, too.
Felix + Iris
Felix + Iris has a stellar at-home try-on program, allowing you to pick four frames for testing at your leisure from among a number of choices, all around $120. If colored frames are your thing, you’re in luck: The site has en extensive selection of styles.
Recently, the fashion industry has (rightfully) faced pressure to introduce more sustainable, eco-friendly practices and products across its supply chain. Proof uses cotton-based acetate and recycled aluminum to echo that same spirit of sustainability. Wherever there’s an opportunity in the manufacturing process to make things more sustainable, Proof is conscious of it. Come here to snag a really good pair of glasses, stay to help make the planet a slightly greener place.
Zenni is the ideal one-stop-shop for the whole family. The site offers a range of frames for men, women, and kids, including optical, sun, and clip-ons. The site is super easy to navigate, with options for filtering by prescription, color, shape, size, and special features. If you know exactly what you’re looking for—or exactly what you’re not—the experience is a breeze.
Even those who don’t, like, need glasses need glasses these days, thanks to technology that’s advancing faster than the human body can keep up. Blue light-blocking glasses used to be a niche market, making the options pretty limited. For better or for worse, those days are long gone. Ambr is trying to make blue light glasses themselves more mainstream by making shopping for a pair (or two) actually fun.
Lensabl aims to be the one-stop-shop for all your eyewear needs. The site specializes in seamlessly replacing the lenses on any pair of glasses you already own, but also offers a solid selection of their own frames if you’re looking (heh) to buy a new pair outright. Plus, the site’s comprehensive virtual try-on program all but guarantees you’ll end up with a pair you’ll actually look forward to wearing, at a price way better than what you’d get shopping in-person.
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Source : Esquire