I joined the ranks of the four-eyes after I noticed one day in the 6th grade that I couldn’t read the board in math class. My first pair of glasses were small ovals with thin wire frames. I would’ve rather died than be seen wearing them in public (middle school angst at its finest). I quickly opted for contacts instead, but recently, as glasses have now evolved from the ultimate symbol of geekdom into a trendy accessory, I’ve found myself wearing my frames out and about. (Don’t worry, I’ve upgraded from my Harry Potter days)
Retro-inspired eyeglasses with thick rims in bold colors are fashionable statement pieces that can be worn as eye-catching accessories for an everyday outfit. It’s healthy for your eyes to take a break from contact lenses every now and then. And when you’re toiling away at the library during finals week, cute eyewear can make you feel like less of a slob in your leggings and oversized sweatshirt by adding a touch of polish and wisdom to your ensemble.
Unfortunately, a simple pair of prescription eyeglasses can be absurdly overpriced. Cute, durable frames generally cost between $300 and $500, and that price doesn’t even take into account the extra fees for prescription lenses. Trendy London-based eyewear brand Cutler and Gross sells its glasses at $470 per pair and Zoey Deschanel’s go-to, Oliver Peoples, costs even more. Finding a stylish pair of glasses that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket can often seem like an impossible task.
But not anymore! Four UPenn graduates have revolutionized the eyeglasses market with Warby Parker, their chic brand of vintage-inspired glasses that cost only $95 apiece (including prescription lenses!). As their website states, the Wharton alumni aim to provide “an alternative to the overpriced and bland eyewear available today” and rebel against an unjust industry “that is controlled by a few large companies that have kept prices artificially high, reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options.” Even more a reason to support them, the company is like the TOMS for eyewear; for every pair of glasses sold, the company distributes a pair to someone in need of optical aid.
Warby Parker has a distinctly retro aesthetic to it, from the individual designs all the way down to the name, which is a combination of two Jack Kerouac characters. On their website, you can find a variety of horn-rimmed glasses fit for Buddy Holly himself, as well as browline styles, cat-eyes, and Windsor frames inspired by Gregory Peck’s Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. The company also sells a line of adorable patterned sunglasses from its collaboration with SUNO, a philanthropic clothing label inspired by Kenyan, Indian, and Peruvian prints.
To pick out your own pair of Warby Parker eyeglasses, you can either do a “virtual try-on” by uploading a picture of yourself on their website or opt for the “home try-on,” an option in which you pick out five different frames. The company will mail them to you for free to test out for five days. The brand also has a few showrooms in major shopping areas like New York, California, and Chicago.
Feature Image From: warbyparker.com