All in the eyes of the beholder . . .

Last week, I told you about my investigation into buying eyeglasses online. As I write this, I am one step closer to actually doing it. Last Saturday, I received two boxes in the mail, one from Warby Parker, containing five eyeglass frames I had chosen to try on at home, and another one from Felix + Iris with four more frames. A few hours after that, I saw, not one, but TWO TV ads for Warby Parker. Ironically, prior to my online search, I had never even heard of the company, which I discovered along with Felix + Iris, in a Google search for “the best places to buy eyeglasses online.”

One of the packages

All the frames were individually wrapped in little plastic socks, each with the distinctive name of the frame printed on an attached sticker. One by one, I tried them on, taking front- and side-view pictures with my computer’s built-in camera, while I sat in front of the screen and tried my best to look like a male model. I also made notes about each frame on the enclosed card that came in one of the boxes. I learned where to find the dimensions, which, in most cases, are printed on one of the temples of the frame (temples are the long “thingies” that go over your ears). The information includes the lens size, the bridge width, and the temple length itself, all expressed in millimeters. I discovered that my current frame is 50 by 18, by 135, which translates to a “medium.” What a shock! 

“The Wabash” side view

On Monday, I visited my optometrist for a refraction (an eye exam for the specific purpose of obtaining an eyeglass prescription). My optometrist did his best to compete with the online pricing of both companies, but the selection of frames he offered was limited to just a handful, none of which made me tingle with excitement. And the combination price for the frame and lenses exceeded that of the online sellers by over a hundred dollars.  A non starter.

“The Wabash” front view

Once I had tried on all the frames, I packed them back into their respective boxes, sealed each one, attached the return labels, and mailed them. There was no charge to receive them, nor did it cost anything to ship them back. Four more frames will arrive next week. I’ve already chosen two frames from among the nine I already received, and will narrow my selection to “ The One” after I have tried on all four of the new ones. Then, it will be time to buy.

“The Lowry” front view

Oh, I almost forgot the PD (stands for pupillary distance). That’s the distance in millimeters between the center of each eye. It used to be that your optometrist would carefully take that measurement and send it off to the eyeglass factory, along with the technical measurements he obtained during the refraction. Instead, I used the “tool” on the Warby Parker website to measure the PD myself.  

“The Lowry” side view

The process was simple. I sat in front of my computer with a standard credit card held beneath my nose (magnetic strip facing foward and oriented on top). I took a picture, then uploaded it to the Warby Parker site. In about twenty seconds (or less), I received an onscreen message saying “Got it!” which meant that they had calculated my PD.

Later on, curious how they were able to calculate the P.D., I put two and two together, and came up with the answer. I took the photograph I’d taken of myself and magnified it on my computer screen until the size of the credit card in the picture measured exactly three and a half inches (its actual width). Then, I used a metal ruler and carefully determined the distance between my pupils, center-to-center, in the picture. I got a measurement of 62 millimeters. I went online and “live chatted” with a representative from Warby Parker, and learned that the PD they had arrived at was 63 millimeters (nearly a perfect match with my own result). That gave me a stronger sense of confidence than I already had going into the process.

So, now I’ll wait until Tuesday, when I should receive the additional four “try-on” frames. I’ll make my final choice, and, presto-change-o, I’ll make my first online purchase of a pair of eyeglasses. Then, I’ll have to wait the requisite ten to twelve days until my trusted mail lady brings me my new specs. I can hardly wait! As comedian Yakov Schmirnoff used to say, “What a country!”

(Oh, don’t worry, I will definitely post a picture of the winners. Hope you like ‘em.  I’m certain I will!)

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About AuthorJoePerroneJr

I am a former professional fly-fishing guide, and I write the Matt Davis Mystery Series, which presently consists of five books: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, Broken Promises and Deadly Ransom. The series is set in the real town of Roscoe, NY, in the Catskill Mountains, where I guided for ten years. I love fly fishing, movies, cooking (and eating), and music. To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my website at:
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8 Responses to All in the eyes of the beholder . . .

  1. allenrizzi says:

    I would go with the “Clark Kent” model – It could give you some super powers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for explaining this process, Joe. I want to do this because my optometrist never has any frames I like and they are very expensive. Warby has the best looking frames I’ve seen online. So glad you shared this experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. KiM says:

    The pd is another thing my optometrist got wrong. The distance may have been correct but when I look down my pupils don’t go in the same amount and I had to rotate my head to the right to look thru the part of the lens I was supposed to. They said they’d make a note of it but after finally getting the reading part down low enough (either 12 or 14) that I didn’t see thru it when trying to drive they’d given up on trying to make them correct – for me. I’m looking forward to “seeing” how your actual prescription in them goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks, Jane. You’re too kind. Actually, I’m leaning toward the Lowry. I agree, however, the main thing is that the lenses are accurately produced and I can see well. Holding my breath . . . 🙂


  5. Jane Raffo Nocella says:

    Of these two, I vote for the Wabash. Oh wait, this isn’t a contest is it? I’m glad you are enjoying the process so much. I’m pretty sure whichever frame you choose, you’ll look great. The idea, of course, is to SEE great. I’m anxious to see and hear about the end result.

    Liked by 1 person

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