A Spectacle of Spectacles

So as you already know, I’m one of those four-eyed types. And I loves me some variety in my glasses. But at work we have this thing called “The Disney Look”, which is a set of guidelines to make sure that everyone falls into the general realm of presentability, and nobody goes too crazy. You won’t find any orange mohawks in the look book, that’s for sure.

Since moving from the role of quirky game show host to actual front-line person working under her own name, I’ve been wearing my most plain pair of glasses. Which wasn’t that plain. Black front, white arms. I figured I should invest in some new glasses in solid, unobtrusive colors.

See, in my collection, my usual ones are on the left. There’s another pair of black, but they have hot pink highlights. And the far right pair are actually two shades of blue. At least I have more cleaning cloths than I’ll ever possibly need. They’re great for glasses, and also for my cellphone screen.

Normally I’d order new glasses from Zenni Optical. Most of these pairs are from there — the zebra, the orange, the red, the clear. But their glasses take a long time to arrive, due to being made overseas and sent via ultra-slow post. A couple of other pairs are from Glasses Unlimited, which are also good specs but start at $9.99 per pair. (Zenni starts at $6.95.) This time I decided to branch out and try a new place.

I got two pair from Eye Buy Direct — same $6.95 price as Zenni, but made in the USA with faster shipping. I did check out a few other sites, but Eye Buy had the best selection. I got two pair, one in black and one in brown. With shipping, it came out to $19.85. Add in that they accept Paypal, and I was a happy camper.

As you can see, they arrived well-packaged. Each pair was wrapped in a cleaning cloth (with the company name on it), packed inside a hard case (with the company name on it), and packed in a good-fitting box (with the company name on it). These guys do a great job of keeping their name in front of you. The website address is even printed on the inside of the arms of the glasses.

As for the turnaround, it was way faster than Zenni. I placed my order on the 6th, and they arrived on the 16th. Ten calendar days is a pretty good time.

Each pair needed some adjustments. My glasses always do — I think I have one ear a little lower than the other. Everything is slightly cattywampus fresh out of the box, even glasses I get from the actual optician. Fortunately, adjusting plastic framed glasses is pretty easy if you have a hair dryer. I set the dryer down on its side, turned it on high, and warmed the bridge and arms in front of the hot air. They can be gently (GENTLY!) adjusted a bit at a time until they fit. Of course, if you’re nervous about your own gentleness, you can go to an optical shop and they should adjust them for free using the hot sand. Although they may give you grief for buying glasses online.

I’ve found that the key to buying good glasses online is paying close attention to the size of the glasses. I have a couple of pair (the orange-fronted ones in particular) that are cool-looking, but way too wide for my little child-sized head. Those took quite a bit of hot-air adjustment.

I’d advise taking a look at the arms of a pair that fit you really well. There should be some numbers there:

These, by the way, are glasses that cost around $300. Thank goodness for vision insurance. Anyhoo, there’s a set of three numbers, like an IP address for your specs. The numbers are: lens width, bridge width, arm length. So each lens in this pair is 50mm wide, the bridge over the nose is 15mm wide, and the arms are 135mm long. These are pretty small glasses overall — the bridge is especially little, and 15mm is about as small as you get with adult glasses. Still, there are a lot of choices for small heads like mine.

Here’s a sample of the measurements most glasses places will give you (this is from Eye Buy Direct):

Yes, they’re cool glasses. But the bridge is 18mm, which means they’d be sliding down my dinky nose. And the arms are 150mm long, so they’d practically wrap around the backside of my head. So despite the fact that they’re not all that wide overall, these glasses would be ill-fitting in a lot of ways. Although they’d probably fit Scott’s giant melon really well. If only he needed glasses. The lucky dog.

I wore the black pair to work yesterday, and they were just fine. Even driving home at night. Now I don’t have to worry about my specs violating the Disney Look.

A great fit, plain enough for work … and of course, a cat in the background. Or else it just wouldn’t be a photo taken in my house.

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  1. I love eye buy direct! And cats! Hooray for a post about both. 🙂

  2. I feel as though you have opened a whole new world to me. I had no idea that eyeglasses could be had so inexpensively. Now all I have to do is get an exam and find out what my new prescription is. THAT seems doable. Thanks for writing all of this out.

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