6 Stores to Shop for Stylish Optical Glasses on a Budget
If you’re in the process of shopping for a new pair of optical glasses, you’ve probably figured out that there are plenty of new and legacy brands alike that’ll charge you $300, $400, or more for a new pair of glasses. That may be worth it if you love a specific company or are attached to a given style, but for most guys, it’s more of a priority to find stylish glasses on a budget. As luck would have it, there are plenty of brands that enable you to buy a new pair of glasses for $200 or less, prescription lenses included.
Even better, many of them enable you to shop or even try on glasses at home, for less money and with better customer service than you get at most stores in the mall. In addition to Warby Parker, which introduced many stylish glasses-wearers to the idea of affordable frames, there are plenty of places where you can find great-looking but budget-friendly glasses. Check out our favorite brands that will help you find stylish glasses without breaking the bank.
1. Classic Specs
Classic Specs is a Brooklyn-based brand that offers optical glasses (and sunglasses) for just $89 a pair. The company offers styles that are inspired by the classics and constructed of high-quality Italian acetate, with stainless steel reinforced hinges. Both prescription and non-prescription lenses are crafted in Los Angeles of anti-reflective and scratch-resistant polycarbonate. You can try before you buy with a home-trial kit of up to five frames. The site also offers a virtual try-on feature, which helps you visualize what a style will look like on your face.
Cubitts is a British brand that offers optical glasses in a wide range of classic styles for £125, which converts to a little under $155. (Shipping costs £15 outside the E.U.) Anti-scratch and anti-glare coatings are standard, and Cubitts uses thinner, higher-index lenses for strong prescriptions for much less than what you’d pay at your local optician’s shop. Cubitts frames are crafted in a process that takes six weeks and involves many stages that are completed by hand, and are made of single sheets of Italian acetate. The brand’s lenses are made from CR39, a plastic which was used to make aircraft windshields and is thinner and tougher than traditional lens materials.
3. Fetch Eyewear
Fetch Eyewear is a unique company in that it’s pledged to donate all of its profits to improving animal welfare (through rescue, veterinary care, and education). The brand offers a range of classic and contemporary frame styles at a price of $125. Fetch offers a try at home program, which enables you to pick your six favorite frames and try them out for seven days, which helps you narrow down the styles that you like. Fetch uses the same manufacturers that make many of the high-end glasses that designers charge much more for, and the lenses used in Fetch glasses include anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coatings.
Frameri offers glasses that use a unique interchangeable lens system, which enables you to change your glasses like you would your other accessories (without owning multiple pairs with their own sets of expensive lenses). Frameri’s glasses, which cost $99 a pair, are designed in Cincinnati and handmade in Italy. The brand partners with a small, family-owned factory that uses Italian Mazzuchelli acetate. Frameri’s lenses are scratch-resistant and anti-reflective, and you can move the lenses between frames, or take advantage of the flexibility to make your everyday optical glasses into sunglasses for a weeklong vacation.
Primframes is a U.K.-based eyewear brand that offers minimal, vintage-inspired frames starting at just £20, just over $24. (The standard international delivery cost is £10, though the brand does offer free international delivery on orders over £50, which can be helpful if you need a couple of pairs of glasses.) Primframes’ glasses are made with injection-molded plastic, which is lightweight and flexible, plus less costly than acetate. Lenses are all given a scratch-resistant and anti-reflective coating.
6. Steven Alan Optical
Steven Alan Optical is one of the most stylish places to find an affordable pair of optical glasses. Each frame is designed by Steven Alan in New York, and the frames are hand-crafted of Italian acetate from a 150-year-old factory in Norther Italy. Each pair also uses rose gold-plated hinges and custom wire cores. A pair of Steven Alan glasses typically costs $195, including lenses and free shipping within the United States, and you can use the brand’s virtual try-on feature on its website or check them out at your local Steven Alan store.