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The Best Online Glasses Stores for Women

online-eyeglass-shops-for-womenA reader wrote in the other day asking me to update our post on how to buy eyeglasses online — I’m still buying them (a pair or three every two years, approximately), so I thought we’d talk about the best online glasses stores for women because finding cute eyeglasses for women — online — can be difficult. As a reminder, these extremely affordable options can be great if you’re the kind of person who likes to change eyeglasses frequently like other accessories, if you’re looking for a back-up set to keep at your office, or if you’ve got a situation where someone keeps losing them, destroying them, or more. (I started buying online after my first son destroyed two pairs of eyeglasses…) Note also that if you have flexible spending dollars to spend before the end of the year, many of these will qualify, so now is a great time to buy.

I’ve bought from GlassesUSA most recently, but there are a lot of other great places to try out…

Some general tips for buying women’s eyeglasses online:

  • If you have a pair of old eyeglasses you love, measure the frames, nosebridge, and more — and take a picture of your eyeglasses (and you in them) so you can save it in your files. I regularly compare the measurements of old eyeglasses to new ones I’m considering.
  • I find it easiest to winnow down the selection if I’m looking for one particular color, so I almost always sort by blue — for you that may be clear, tortoise, or something else.
  • When in doubt, pay for a thinner lens.
  • Unfortunately, most prescription sunglasses can’t get a really dark tint — I still love them. I started buying them back in my contact days so I could go for a run in the morning without putting my contacts in before my shower; now that I wear eyeglasses 90% of the time, I’m thankful to have more stylish sunglasses that I can also see out of.
  • I tend to save any relevant pictures and measurements into one folder on my desktop– if I take pictures of home try-on glasses, if I save the “virtual try-on picture,” etc — and then I can flip through all of them at once on my computer.
  • Note the return policy carefully – most stores have really excellent return policies, just check before you buy.
  • Consider recycling your old eyeglasses when you’re happy with your new ones.

Some of the companies we covered in our first round-up are still around, and we won’t go into them too much today:

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Wearing Fun Glasses at Work

fun glasses at workDo you wear “fun glasses” to the office, either as a hipster statement or geek chic? Would you consider a bright and wacky pair of glasses for work, or do you try to stick to brown, gray, or metal frames? Do you judge colleagues if they’re obviously wearing Warby Parkers or “cool kid” glasses? Some readers used to joke that thicker-framed, geek-chic frames were birth control glasses — do you still think of certain styles like that? Do you switch glasses up based on your mood and outfit (treating them as jewelry or an accessory), or do you have functional pairs, like “important meeting” glasses or “working alone at office at night” glasses?

We’ve talked about some of my favorite spots for buying glasses online — I’m still addicted; I just got my first pair of Warby Parkers and another two pairs from GlassesUSA — but we haven’t talked about the propriety of geek chic glasses at the office in years. So let’s discuss.

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Adventures in Online Eyeglass Purchases

How to Buy Eyeglasses Online | Corporette

2016 Update: links have been updated below; please also check out our latest discussion of the best online glasses stores for women!

Readers, have you bought eyeglasses online recently?  A number of new stores and services have come out, and since I personally needed some new eyeglasses, I thought I’d write a post summarizing my experiences.

After some cornea troubles a few years ago, I wear eyeglasses about 85% of the time — and I recently decided that I really, really needed some new eyeglasses.  See, I used to have a LOT: three metal eyeglasses (two that were super old, one through the LensCrafters thing in 2011), two plastic framed “stylish” glasses, and two prescription sunglasses.  Of the eyeglasses, my son basically destroyed three pairs (ah, toddlers — in his defense they were old anyway), one pair was only comfortable for wear in short spurts (my “going out glasses,” for when I was too lazy to put in my contacts), and the final pair — which have became my “everyday” glasses — somehow yank out a few strands of my hair every time I wear them.  Ow. (As for the sunglasses, I didn’t need any new ones, I just WANTED them. So sue me.) [Read more…]

‘Geek Chic’ Glasses and the Office

2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - ArrivalsCan you wear hipster/geek chic eyeglasses to the office — especially if you’re young?

I’m hoping for your input on a quandary I’m having. I’m starting my first real job this summer so trying to build an adult wardrobe now. I am nearsighted and strongly prefer glasses to contacts for everyday wear. I love my (only) current pair; they’re big and plastic and perfect for me. But can I pull off “geek chic” in a professional (though not very conservative) environment, especially as a 21 year-old intern?

As a fellow glasses wearer, I’m curious to hear what the readers say here.  I think that ‘geek chic’ glasses can be great — I’ve even recommended them to a reader who was wondering how to to make her look edgier.  However, there is a sliding scale with these things.  The wackier the glasses are, the more that people will remember (and form opinions about you) based on your glasses, at least at first.  In other words: if a particular boss thinks you look like a bit odd/hipster/weird/[insert negative word here], you are probably not going to get a lot of work with that person.  You may say, “fine, I wouldn’t want to work with someone that stodgy anyway!,” and an outward statement about your personality can be a great way to whittle down who you work with.  (Glasses are in a different ballpark than heavily tattooed arms, but you may want to check out that discussion as well.)    That said… you don’t want to be so limited that only a few people in the office want to work with you — so if your office is filled with more “stodgy” types than not, you need to exercise caution.  (And just in terms of style, I personally prefer not to have a certain pair of glasses be my trademark, but that’s just my $.02.)  (Pictured above: I was sort of surprised to see Jenna Lyons wear what I would classify as geek-chic eyeglasses to an Oscars party, but if they become your trademark look then I suppose it’s weirder not to wear them.)

So here would be my approach:  wear multiple pairs of glasses.  [Read more…]

Coffee Break – 3-Pocket Glasses Stand

Bushakan 3-Pocket Glasses StandIf you’re like me — and you have a few pairs of glasses floating around your home or workspace — I love these beautiful glass stands. Not only do they give your glasses a place to “live,” they also look gorgeous and classy. Prices range from $49-$225; the ash wood one pictured is $180 at Bushakan. 3-Pocket Glasses Stand

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How to Edge Up a Conservative Look

how to be edgy.indexedHow can you “edge up” a conservative look (and still look professional)? Reader T wonders…

I’m in a creative field (aspiring commercial director) and recently came out of a personal branding seminar where I was given the suggestion to “edge up” my look, which I think is actually a good idea. I dress pretty polished (J. Crew, Theory) – any suggestions? I do tend towards bold shoes and bright handbags, but I think that’s not enough and need something visible from the waist up (i.e. during an interview or over coffee). I’m leaning towards always making sure I have one statement piece of jewelry – chunky ring or bib necklace – but would love to hear other suggestions, from the temporary (giving my hair a gray streak, painting one nail a different color) to the more permanent (a small tattoo on the wrist). Any suggestions for how to do this without spilling over into kooky art-teacher land?

My gut reaction here: gaaah, don’t get a tattoo! I actually think the statement piece of jewelry idea is a good one — this is one of the only times I would encourage someone to think “volume” in terms of accessories, but layered bracelets, rings, or necklaces can all have a big impact. There are lots of other ways to edge up your look in ways that are not permanent. Here are some ideas on ways to push your naturally-conservative style towards an edgier vibe: [Read more…]