The elusive perfect glasses

March 05, 2012

Wish these had worked out... 

The last year and a half of being a full-time glasses wearer (after years of contacts) has made me rather excited to be using eyewear as a fashion statement, rather than just bringing the world into focus. I mean, you wear them more prominently than just about anything else (honestly, most people don't even notice shoes, which are my other obsession), so why settle for just one option? While they are usually too expensive to even consider more than one new pair every few years, I've been thrilled to find options like Warby Parker, Jimmy Fairly and even sites with discounted name brand frames that make changing it up a legitimate possibility. 

Now on the hunt for the perfect pair of big black glasses, I've had a hard time settling on something, as the last thing I want to do is, well, settle. My first attempt (see above photo) was rather disappointing since they couldn't be touched without squeaking like crazy and it was confirmed the lenses weren't fitted properly in the frame. Opting to not test my luck again ordering something all the way from the U.S. when this might happen again, I figured my best bet was to find a pair nearby. Jimmy Fairly is the French Warby Parker, but I wasn't sure I was wowed by any frame (other than these awesome ones I'd want in sunglasses), not to mention the fact they only offer the try at-home program in France. My next stop in researching options brought me to a few brand-name discount sites based here in Germany, the most deeply-discounted and reputable-looking one being SmartBuyGlasses. The prices made me wonder why anyone would ever pay full retail!

A competitor site, MisterSpex, is a bit more expensive, but they let you try on a few pairs at home first (albeit, only after putting down a hefty deposit for the price of all the frames). Knowing I could get my money back, I figured 'what the heck' and sent off for my four favorites. Below are the two from the bunch that I decided are serious contenders,  but I'm still not convinced I've hit on exactly what I'm looking for (like this, this and this). 

First and foremost - I love the black! For years, I've loved black glasses on other people, but felt like with my porcelain skin and then-platinum hair, it was just too jolting a look on my overall paleness. Now being a redhead, all that has changed. I'm also really big on the angled sides, which I think detracts from my seriously prominent cheekbones. I like the really clean, simple fronts - no logos, no temple detail. What gives me a moments pause is my worry that they are too close to a pair I already have in terms of width and lens height, making them a bit further from what I was hoping to find and perhaps not unique enough to justify a whole new pair.

I can't lie, I've been pining for a pair of Tom Fords since he first started making glasses, but never could dream to afford them until now (I found these for less than half the usual going rate!). Even imagining them in black - which were sold out via this site - I'm not sure the shape is the most flattering (they too much resemble the shape of my big forehead, perhaps..). I love that they are closer to that more 'square' lens shape, but there's something I can't put my finger on that has me unsure about these ones. 

There are also two pairs I've tried on here in town that I still can't get out of my mind...

These I was drawn to originally because of the great grey shade, but I have found that they are available in black as well. The size seems to more perfectly fit my face and they do give me more of the taller lenses that I was looking for, but I had put them on the back burner as my husband wasn't a big fan. I still really like them, even though they're not 100% like the Nerd Brille I was searching for.

I picked up these original Wayfarers as a fluke, thinking I wouldn't like them at all. Turns out, I loved them! They were just thick and over-sized enough, but looking back at the photos, they seem to overwhelm my face so much more than they did in person. They were actually the only pair yet that both my husband and I had an immediate positive reaction to, and you can't go wrong with a classic (right..?). Perhaps I should stop poring over all my choices and just go with what I loved right off the bat...

Friends and strangers alike, if you've managed to make it through this rather lengthy post of my hemming and hawing, I would love to hear your opinions. I think I've spent too much time in front of the mirror debating these frames, not to mention countless trips back into the same local shops to the point they probably figure I've started casing the joint. Is there an obvious standout here that I'm not seeing? Do you have any frames that you would recommend I try? Should I keep looking for something better..?

*Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische