Setting your sights on new specs

As we sail forward in our years, new glasses are not only a visual but aesthetic essential.

Keeping eyewear up to date is easy and relatively cheap on the sunglasses front (if yours are non-prescription) but a major spend for prescription reading glasses.

Dad was an opthamologist who issued dire warnings about drugstore readers.

If I
did buy them, though, I'd head for Amy Sacks, the designer who'd has taken the generic reader from drone to delicious. The adorable olive Katarina (among other colours) is on sale for $60, your choice of magnification.

My local optician bought a pair of Amy's and put in her own prescription lenses, a shrewd move. Where are y
ou going to find hip frames for that price?

Another way to save is to use an online supplier like

You can either choose the frame you know you want, or order some to try on, then return them for free, indicating your pick. The free return offer is good for one round, so order your "maybes" in one batch.

You can talk with them if you want to discuss lens options. Prices are very good, and you can return or exchange on many lenses.

Their Jean Lafont frames ($425) appeal: they're not too severe and boxy, and the brown-turquoise combo is fresh and fairly wearable.

My current (or as I'm beginning to think of them, "old") glasses are Lafonts; they've bounced in my bag and been worn hard for years.

Maybe a mo
re classic tortoise shell? The Oliver People Bridget looks charming-nerdy and at $185 on sale, a good buy.

Two more ways to save on frames:

1. Flea markets, either real or "FleaBay", sell frames. Many are vintage-enough to be cool again, like these Cazals with rhinestones, for $50 (current listing). You still have to put your lenses in, but you're saving on the frames.

2. If you are traveling to a developing country, take your prescription and have your glasses made up there. You will find name brands or acceptable knock offs in urban centers. A friend had three prescription pairs made up in India for less than $50 each.

Lends a whole new meaning to "seeing the world"!


materfamilias said…
I'm so envious of those whose lens prescription is inexpensive enough that the cost of frames is the main consideration. My last lenses cost about $800 (progressive, plus my prescription's strong enough that I'd be looking through coke bottles if I didn't get the high-carbon-indexed or whatever that technology's called). The only advantage is that after that, even $500 for the frames doesn't seem so bad!
~Tessa said…
I'm going next week to help my mother pick out new frames (hers will cost in the range of materfamilias). I want to try "transitions" because I rarely wear my glasses (I'm a contact lens gal) but when I do, I need sunnies as well. Have you tried them?
Anjela said…
Thanks for the information. How apposite for me. I went to pick out a frame last week. for the first time in my life.(Groan) I picked a Kate Spade frame (I picked a frame I liked and it happened to be that brand)which seems to fit my enormous head.
No one in my family wears glasses. I suddenly need glasses.
I had perfect vision with no degeneration they told me a few years ago. So, I read with relish the option and frames you showed ..... which, if one must wear specs, looked really rather becoming.
Thanks Duchesse
Duchesse said…
Anjela: That's indeed a 'passage'. I looked at the Kate Spades on the glasesetc. site and liked them too.

ma: Whoa.Wow. I hope you have good vision care benefits!

tessa: Have not tried but I understand they take some adjustment to the effect.
Mardel said…
I understand Materfamilias' comment as my lenses cost a fortune as well, and as one eye is considerably different than the other usually I must pay for the fancy new fangled high carbon whatever they are lenses or I'd have one coke bottle and one skinny lens, certainly contributing to an off-kilter view of the world.

I love the idea of being able to change my glasses like they were jewelry, and envy friends with their collections of readers. I guess just changing the look periodically will have to do.

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