Warby Parker

• 15 February 2012

If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know how excited I get to share great finds with you--ones that are both stylish and budget-friendly in particular.  I've been dying to share this little online treasure, Warby Parker, a hip, new-ish brand my husband recently called to my attention.  The premise is this...boutique-quality, vintage-inspired, modern eyewear for just $95 (including prescription lenses!).  If you wear glasses full-time or occasionally, don reading glasses each morning when you read the paper, wear prescription sunglasses, or just like the trendy look of wearing glasses, you've got to check out Warby Parker.  I find the site well-designed, thoughtfully laid out and easy-to-use; it reminds of an eyewear version of a Mac computer :) 

Started by two buddies tired of bland, overpriced eye wear only available to an elite group of people, Warby Parker set out to make great style available to everyone, regardless of geographic location.  You see, it doesn't matter if you live in the city or the country as the "Home Try-On program" allows you to choose 5 pairs to try on in person--free shipping on both ends.  The entire process can be done online...whether it's late at night, early in the morning, or on your lunch break.  Super convenient.  No more schlepping all over town just to pay higher prices and waste time (p.s. I'm not being paid or reimbursed at all for this post...just really, really excited to share!).  

I don't wear glasses full-time, so the idea of obtaining stylish glasses for a great price is very appealing, especially since our insurance doesn't cover such purchases (I'm sure most of you are in a similar boat).  I've never been able to justify the fancy schmancy prices in high-end boutiques, even if I like the styles; so I end up at Lenscrafters or Costco.  But this isn't exactly exciting, and certainly not as budget-friendly as Warby Parker!  The good news is that it's not just a good idea, but it actually works.  My husband's new Warby Parker glasses arrived in yesterday's mail and he is now at work today donning his new frames and loving them.  Added bonus: for every pair of glasses you purchase, Warby Parker donates a pair to someone in need a la Toms.  Hearts and wallets across the world will feel a little lighter as a result :)

Let me show you how the "Home Try-On" program works...all you need is a computer with a webcam:

1. Jump on to the Warby Parker website.

2.  Click "men" or "women"...then "optical" or "sunwear".  

3.  Start by choosing your face shape and width...just click a couple of boxes.  I chose to not specify color as I wanted to keep my options open and leave room to be surprised.

4.  Once you click these boxes, Warby Parker brings up the frames that fit your exact profile.  If there are only a few, don't be worried.  Warby also suggests alternative frames a little later on that you can explore.  

5. Now you'll want to "try on" the glasses before you choose your 5 to try on in person.  You can use the "Virtual Try On" option to help you choose your five best options.  Simply click on the "Virtual Try-On" button on the right sidebar.  Then click on the "photo" button and a screen will pop up asking you to upload a picture from your computer or to take an instant picture via your computer's webcam.  I chose the latter and snapped a quick image.  

6.  A picture of you will pop up virtually wearing the pair of frames you selected.  You can click on the glasses icon under your picture if you need to adjust the glasses on your face.  

7.  You'll notice that Warby Parker suggests similar looks you may like and I definitely suggest giving those a try too. 

8.  If you find a pair of frames you are interested in trying on at home, click on "Shop this Look".  Then click on the "Home Try-On" button on the right sidebar and the frames will automatically be loaded into your cart...for free of course.  You can do this again 4 more times until you have a total of 5 pairs in your cart. 

9.  Once you're ready to go, you'll be asked for your contact information and a credit card number; but don't worry, they won't charge you for the frames.  You'll see a $1 authorization charge pop up, but that'll go away in a week.  Your Warby Parker frames will arrive in 2-3 days via UPS (free shipping) and a sleek, little package awaits you.  

10.  Try on your frames and see what works.  Find something you like?  Awesome.  Take note of the style and color, place the glasses back in the box, and slap on the prepaid label Warby Parker included in your package.  Drop off your bundle at any UPS drop off point.  If none of them work, try again (I'm on my second and final round); but hopefully you'll have instant success like my husband, who immediately found a great option. 

11.  Last, jump online to the Warby Parker site and order the frames you like (be sure to mark the right color).  To save yourself even more time, click the "call my doctor for prescription" option upon checkout...so easy, right?  My husband was loving this last step--such a huge timesaver!  

11.  A few days later a new pair of modern, vintage-inspired, {and inexpensive!}, glasses will be on your front porch.  To think the whole process took less than hour to complete, and you were able to do it all within your own time table.

If you happen to live in a few choice locations, you can check out Warby Parker's showrooms in person.  But honestly their website is so easy to navigate, I don't feel bad at all that I'm not in New York, San Francisco or Oklahoma City (?!).  I love that great style and pricing is available to anyone, anywhere.  At some point, I hope they offer kids glasses too (hint, hint). 

Anyway, that's the 4-1-1 on Warby Parker...good luck to those of you who give it a whirl.  We are huge fans! 

all images are screen shots from Warby Parker, except for the snapshots of my package


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