One Guy Recommends: Warby Parker Glasses

I’ve needed glasses since I was in elementary school, but I’ve never been a glasses person.  I’ve never particularly liked the way they look and, even more, I really don’t like having to shill out a bundle of cash to buy them.  Contact lenses have long been my daily ritual, but as contact wearers know, it isn’t very ideal not to have a pair of glasses available to throw on when you wake up in the morning, or don’t really feel like putting your contacts in.  Nonetheless, I held out for more than 7 years from buying new glasses, preferring to either walk around semi-blind or to wear my twisted and scratched emergency pair.  Undoubtedly my prescription had changed in that absurdly long time period, but I really didn’t have much interest in going through the process of buying new ones.

That is, until I came across Warby Parker, an exclusively online retailer of fashionable glasses.  Unbelievably, Warby Parker will send you a pair of glasses, including prescription scratch resistant and anti-reflective polycarbonate lenses for $95.  That’s right, I just said that you can get a cool pair of glasses, including prescription lenses and frames, for $95.  With free shipping.  And, you can even have them send you 5 pairs of glasses (without prescription lenses installed) to you to try-on at home and make your decision – once again, for free (although this is depending on how much stock they have, and availability has been hit-or-miss).  You can also upload a picture and do a “virtual try-on” directly on their website.  They also have a fantastic, no-hassle, no-questions return policy if you get your glasses and aren’t entirely satisfied – you guessed it, returns, even postage for them, are entirely free.  But wait, there’s more…  When you buy a pair of their glasses, they’ve agreed to give a pair away to someone who needs it in the poorer areas of the world. Amazingly, your $95 makes you charitable too!

All this would be for naught if the glasses looked like they cost $95, but they definitely do not.  In fact, for the first time in my life, I actually enjoy wearing my pairs out and about, and semi-regularly I’m making a conscious decision to leave my contacts in their case.  For anyone that’s seen me squinting my way through life for years, this will come as a complete shock.   Warby Parker’s line runs towards a cool take on old-school glasses.  I particularly like their tortoise-shell finishes, but their black models also look great.  With roughly 35 to choose from, pretty much everyone that isn’t hell-bent on wire frames will find something they like.

Warby Parker was started by four friends that met at the famed Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, the website has been live only about a year.  Like me, these guys grew fed up with paying $300+ for a pair of glasses, so they used their business backgrounds to figure out if there was another way while maintaining a high standard of quality.  The good news for us is that they’ve most certainly figured out a way to make this happen. Their glasses are produced on the same production line as high-end, pricey frames sold by famous labels.  Their lenses are installed in the same shop used by high-end manufacturers on Madison Avenue in New York City.  In other words, you’re getting a top notch product with everything but the gaudy brand name on the side.  Warby places their name very discreetly on the inside arm (as you can make out in the pictures), giving the glasses a sleek appearance unmarred by giant brand names or logos.

The only drawback used to be that they didn’t ship to Canada.  I had two pairs  shipped to me when I was on vacation in the U.S. and ended up keeping both pairs (at that price, how can you not?).   Good news: now they do!  I went with their ‘Japhy’ and ‘Sibley’ models, both in dark tortoise finish and I’m so thrilled with my experience with Warby Parker that I feel like this is becoming almost an infomercial.  I cannot recommend enough that you head over to warbyparker.com.  They also carry womens’ glasses, so pass along the word to your wife, girlfriend or anyone else in the market for a new pair of glasses.

1 Response to “One Guy Recommends: Warby Parker Glasses”

  1. 1 Matt
    August 2, 2011 at 9:25 am

    None of them looked good on me as they did on the models. Looked into them and the virtual try on is not very accurate. Everything looked good and honestly many styles looked exactly the same. When I tried to get the home trio – they were disasters. Many frames and styles are not even available for home try on. The matte finishes look like toys my kid would play with. And they have a very limited selection of mens sunglasses which is problem as most people need prescription regular and sunglasses…Id probably try them if I was just looking for an emergency pair. I like the concept but they have a ways to go Also the sunglasses are not going to be available for home try on which is another problem and currently the pix they have up do not match the actual frame colors on the site for the sunglasses. It seems it would be a smarter decision to do a home try on for the sunglasses than have a customer order a prescription lens (which has to cost them more) and then return it no questions asked

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