I updated my look and got new glasses online through Zenni Optical, and I have to say that I'm quite pleased by the whole experience. First off, I like the glasses. I've worn wire frames for years and decided to go with thicker plastic ones so as to look fabulous, hip, and contemporary, which I'm sure my kids will agree, I am the embodiment of. The problem is that glasses are so darn expensive. Even when I go to the bargain bin, they still set me back around $125, and believe me, that's cheap. Frames alone will cost you around $250, and that doesn't include lenses, which I think is crazy. When you buy the cheaper frames, however, you have to take what you can get, and it's not always ideal, to say the least.
Enter online glasses. What a great idea, though it's not without it's limitations, especially for someone with a big head like me. Granted, it's not perfect, and I've sent back glasses because they didn't look right, but it worked out in the end. There are several online glass retailers, and I went with Zenni because they had good prices and the selection wasn't half bad. The pioneer in this field is Warby Parker, but their prices are much higher.
This is how it worked: I measured my pupillary distance PD (you can figure out what this is) and from there chose some frames. They have tons of frames designed for different sized faces, and the key is to pay attention to the PD. I uploaded a pic of my face onto their site and when you choose a frame it super-imposes it onto your image. Again, it's not perfect, and it's not the same as actually trying on the frame, but it's pretty darn good, and so much cheaper. I've spent hours trying on frames at the optometrist's office and gotten nowhere, so I was ready for something different. Plus, Zenni will give you 100% credit for returned glasses, or some percentage for a cash refund.
I purchased a couple of frames and returned them before finally finding ones that I liked. What's crazy is that for a pair of standard no-frills glasses, the lenses are free. I paid about $30 for mine, and they include a scratch proof coating. You can get different add-ons like glare reduction or even a tint (I bought sunglasses, too), for around $3-4. Bifocals, which I think are a complete waste of time, cost more.
In the end, I am all for online glasses. A few months back I forgot my glasses and had to use my backup pair that I keep in the car, but the prescription was old and I could barely see. I ended up driving without glasses, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It was then that I decided to get backups, but to put new lenses on the old frames would cost about $100. If figured for backups, why not just buy them online for $30? Here's another crazy thing - a screw came off one of the arms of my new glasses so I contacted Zenni to request one and they offered to send me a completely new frame. I declined and ended up going to the optician in town, who gave me a screw for free, but that's pretty good customer service, even if it's wasteful.
This is so much fun I may have to get another pair... then again, maybe not. Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to mixture-photographique for the pic.