Thursday, June 04, 2015

Eyeglasses, Warby Parker, Great Customer Service & Good Deeds, Indeed

I have been talking about them since their inception — Warby Parker that is. The main attraction for me is their business model which is a take on the one-for-one model. The other big reason is my love of eyeglasses — lots of glasses. Long ago I figured if I have to wear specs they should enhance my personal style not just be a mindless add-on. Over the years, I have owned and worn hundreds of pairs (of glasses that is) and the overall style of the WP inventory appeared to be a good fit with my style aesthetic. (Oh god, did I just use the word aesthetic?)

Well, yes…yes I did use the “a” word. But let’s move past that without judging, okay? Quite frankly, part of my delay in jumping into the Warby Parker program was that I agonized over narrowing my selection to just five styles for the Home Try-On Program. I felt more pressure to make the right decision early on which is quite different than my normal pattern of walking into the optical shop, trying on every pair available and making my decisions in person. Oh the stress of it all!

While many frames work well with my face shape, the problem lies in the fact that my face is quite large. Yes…one could say that I have a fat head; but I prefer to say it is just wide — much wider than average. Consequently, I have a really hard time finding frames in shapes I like that are wide enough to flatter. What size you ask? My current RayBan sunglasses are 55mm from side to side. Yes…that’s pretty damn wide for a woman; and truth be told, I would like them to be a bit wider than they are. I know, I’ve heard all the jokes and just laugh along with them! After all, life is way too short to worry about the size of my face...right?

Moving on — I finally made the big decision and placed my Home Try On order via the Warby Parker site. The process was easy; and, if memory serves me right I had the package in my excited little hand about five days later. Cue music — here comes the big try-on scene.

I really wanted to love this style — but while it is labeled as wide with a width of 50mm — the style seemed a bit narrow and the downward slope on the upper bar…honestly, not the best look for me at this point in my life. I’m really not looking for something that gives the illusion of a drooping face…my face is doing a pretty good job of drooping on it’s own, thank you very much.

Perfect size, and shape but color (or absence of)…not so great. I tried on the crystal thinking it would be a fun option as I have had crystal clear frames many times in the past and was crazy about them. Not sure it has to do with age or me just being me — but these frames seemed to disappear into my face — makes sense though, right? I loved the shape, size and weight of these frames and will try a different color option (most likely Greystone) in my next Home Try On package. At this point I am trying not to be bummed. Two up and two down.

Oh how I wanted to have this frame fit. Disappointment. The color was a magnificent and flattering blue -- a perfect complement to my green eyes; but the 49mm width just didn’t work. A narrow frame makes my eyes look as if they are very close set and further emphasizes the overall squareness of my face and my jawline. Back in the box they went. I'll admit, I tried them a few different times to see if somehow they might look different; but I reluctantly let them go after a few heavy sighs. I am now three up and three down — things aren’t looking so great at this point. (Is there a pun in there someplace?)

Next up and I am excited the moment I slide these beauties out of the protective bag. The weight is terrific and the color is fabulous. Everything about this frame makes me happy. Fingers crossed that the 51mm width measurement doesn’t trip me up. I put them on and boom — we have a winner! Everything about this frame is perfect — they feel substantial, the bridge is comfortable (and will be more so as the swelling from MOHS surgery finally disappears at some point in the hopeful not-to-distant future) and they are just wide enough to be super flattering. So the decision is made — these are choice number one — perfect for my clear lenses.

As for sunglasses, I only selected one style for this round of my Home Try-On Box; and, like the Duval, as soon as I slipped these babies out of the bag, my heart went all-a-twitter! Dramatic I know…but, in my book, there is nothing better than a great pair of sunglasses that are different from all the others out there. You know me…I don’t do so well with a look that I see coming and going (remember, I got kicked out of the Brownies for not wanting to wear a uniform). The weight is substantial and the color is a perfect vintage throwback — it reminded me of the bubbly fountain cherry Cokes we got as kids in the 60s at the Hickory Hop! I slipped them on; and, while I do wish they were a tad wider than their 53mm size they definitely are just a smidge from perfection! 

Two out of five — all and all a good day! I finalized my order online and then waited with anticipation, hoping the lenses and frames would live up to my expectations. I got the sunglasses a few days later all wrapped in a pretty top quality spiffy box and case. (Honestly, I was surprised by that.) I figured the other pair were being shipped separately so I patiently waited for their arrival. A few days went by and I sent an email to Customer Service — seems that there was a snafu around a confirmation email. The problem was immediately solved (she says with her best Peter Sellers Inspector Clouseau accent that converts a one syllable word into two syllables!), the missing frame was expedited and I had it in my hot little hands three short days later.

I am so over the top with the quality of both frames and lenses. They are as good as any of the glasses I’ve had in the past. And, most importantly, while I love the way they look -- I love that we did good all around!

P.S. My next Warby Parker Home Try-On Box will be winging it’s way to me shortly; and, once again I had a hard time choosing just five styles. I went for Banks, Lowry, Cass and a few others that were suggested to me by a bubbly WP customer service rep who seems to know her inventory! So thanks very much for that. Keep an eye on my instagram and twitter feeds -- I'm sure to be sporting these new treasures in a pix or two!!

Curious — do you switch up your eyeglasses like you do shoes — styling the frames to top off your finished look or do you pretty much go with one pair that works for everything?