Sunnies in the Mail

Sunglasses scale the mountain of brand with fashion purpose, a leader of accessories. Ray-Bans. Prada. Chanel. Aviators. Jackie Os. Wraparounds.

Whatever. Show me  “polarized” with a snug fit and I’m interested in your sunnies. At this stage with these eyes, I refuse to take chances against UV damage and more importantly, my sclera will not be a landing pad for airborne objects. Go cheap and the eyes pay the price.

Typically, shopping for sunnies outside of my low vision specialist’s office means coordinating transport and mobilizing to a retail location unnaturally crammed with fragile objects in minimal square footage under harsh fluorescent lighting. Basically, my nightmare even on a “good” vision day. Let’s avoid it.

And I can. I discovered Warby Parker eyewear. My sister-in-law (thanks!) told me about the company which capitalizes on American adoration of free shipping and returns. Try before you buy. Their website shows off their glasses and sunglasses from multiple angles and featuring complete measurements and description. Rx lens are offered. There’s a virtual try-on function and plenty of information about the fun shopping process. The best part besides not being in a cramped store, is you can select up to five frames to “try at home” for five days to test drive before you commit. What’s not to love.

I ordered my trial box. Stockton texted me a photo of the tidy package at work the day it arrived. I felt giddy and couldn’t wait to try on the sunnies. I tore into it at home, for the first time in months eager to look into bright light. Pair after pair, I noted fit and compared styles. Stockton snapped photos so I could zoom in and see how the shades looked on my face.

Jet black. Whiskey tortoise. Rum cherry. Warby played my weakness for color names. The frames felt lightweight, some too big, but others comfortable. Friends critiqued selfies for me. I put on a pair when I played fetch with my terriers, the green squeaky ball flying through the backyard against the sunset. I wore my favorite choices on the commute to work, testing them against the morning sun glare as cars traveled alongside us on the beltway. Choices, choices.

I have a renewed respect for mail order companies, transferring my childhood immersion from L.L.Bean and J.Crew catalog page flips to stylish website browsing and link clicks. Warby Parker conveniently brought their glasses to me. I love it. In a few days, it’s decision time.

One of the welsh terriers naps on the couch wearing red sunnies

Have you checked out Warby Parker? Do you shop online? What are your favorite companies and what do they do best? Have you had a negative mail order experience? Tell me about it.

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for posting about this! I’m constantly on the hunt for good sunglasses. I’m also visually impaired, so I relate to the perils of tightly-packed stores full of fragile things. I think I’m addicted to this website! I’d love to see what style you ended up getting. 🙂

    1. The Warby Parker website is great for browsing, no pressure. Someone knows what they’re doing over there. I’m debating between Laurel and Madison styles right now. Do tell me if you sample any sunnies, too.

  2. floridaborne says:

    I like the Noir 23’s. Then again, I’m very light sensitive. They also have fit-overs for people who need more light.

    I’ll check out Warby Parker, as I’ve never heard of them.

    1. Fitovers are great when you need that light outta here. Mine are starting to wear out a bit, if I wear them awhile I get a headache.

      1. floridaborne says:

        I started wearing a cap and that cut down on the number of times I have to use fit-overs. 🙂

  3. Joy says:

    Ooh, I’m always looking for good sunglasses. My problem is that I tend to lose mine, so I can’t spend too much on them! I just lost my fave pair while on vacation, and last year I lost my Coach prescription ones that I had gotten at the low vision clinic…SO upsetting! I’ll check out this site! I buy everything else online….clothes, groceries, stuff for my kids…..my neighbors must think I’m a shopaholic because we get like 4 packages a day, but it’s all stuff sighted people would be going to the store for!

    1. That’s frustrating to lose a favorite pair of sunglasses.
      Which retailers have you found to be the most reliable for online shopping? Any places on your blacklist? I’m curious!

  4. Casee says:

    I like getting prescription sunglasses from http://www.glassesshop.com/ I think the lab they use is in China but after I got my “good pair” of eyeglasses from my doctor’s clinic I wanted a back up pair but I didn’t have a lot of extra cash so I took a flyer on this place with a coupon that they had on the sight. 10 days later I had a pair of sunglasses that fit my prescription just fine and some money left over. The nice thing about the sight is that you can order all of the fancy lenses too if you want. The frame selection isn’t the greatest but for a backup pair of prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses they work for me. I haven’t had to send any product back to them so I have not tested their return policy. I have two pair from them and will get a third later in the summer. They work much like Warby Parker which is another site that I really like too. Thank goodness for online shopping!

    1. That sounds like a great backup option, Casee.

  5. Drew says:

    “Whiskey tortoise” is my new favorite phrase. I hope you ended up with a pair in that color just so you can belt out “Stockton! Bring me my whiskey!”

    1. Alas, a new habit is born.

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