Jaden Johnston
Jaden Johnston
It’s no secret that I need new glasses. With a teething baby who thinks it’s pretty funny to grab, chew, and throw anything delicate, valuable, and within reach, my glasses have taken their fair share of a beating. Couple that with the fact that they’re six years old (that’s seventy-two in fashion-years), and it’s time to start frame shopping.Since time isn’t exactly “on my side” these days, and being the “social network maven” that I am, I decided to try out a company that I had read about on “the Twitters” called Warby Parker – an independent eyewear company that provides stylish, vintage-inspired frames that are actually affordable AND(!) sells all of their products online.There are so many cool things about this company. To start, they take their name from the journals of Kerouac, which appeals to the teen-angst rebel in me. Then they back up that bohemian-hipster vibe with some real creative juice: they design and produce all of their eyewear in-house, offering chic frames without the pricey markup. And they truly take their social responsibility seriously, to boot: for every pair purchased, they donate a pair to someone in need.But, since I’m no longer a teenager (and, *confession* – I was never really a beat-poet), the thing that reallygets me all hot and bothered about them is the customer-friendly web-sales model. Warby dispenses with the optical shop and lets you try the frames on your own time, in your own home, for free – with their At-Home Try-On program.

Surprise and delight

Try Five Pairs of Glasses for Five Days – FOR FREE?!

Warby Parker’s Home-Try-On program is simple and AWESOME:

Select five frames you want to try. They are shipped to you for FREE. You have five days to gaze at yourself in the mirror and decide your framed-fate. Once you’ve made your choice, you use the same box AND the enclosed pre-paid shipping label that to ship back all the frames.

If you don’t end up purchasing anything, there is no cost to you. And, if you decide you want to sample some more frames, you can start the process all over again. Simple, and delightful.

Of course I had to take the process for a test drive. Here’s how it went:

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I placed my order on a Sunday. They shipped on Monday, and took two business days to arrive, so by Wednesday – magic!

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First thing I found delightful: The fancy product packaging.

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It has snaps! And a cloth covering! And all of the glasses are in a neat little row. It’s an OCD dream!

All of the frames are perfectly labeled so it was easy to tell which was which. I had a duplicate order, the same frame in two different colors, and they were right next to each other in the box. It may seem trivial, but the care they took with all of the little details made the experience just that much sweeter.

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Once I got done just ogling the box, I decided it was time to get in front of the mirror. Here is a mash up of my frame selections.

Donning the frames brought on a delightful series of mood-swings, transforming me from serious intellectual to world-weary traveler to sexy librarian. With hilariously pretentious British names like the Miles, the Langston, and the Finn, I could not help but enjoy trying them on.

And walking around the house running in to things.

And pretending like I was in a Portlandia episode.

In the end, I felt like all of the frames I selected were too heavy for my face (chunky-frame lovers, take note!) But with over 30 frame shapes and 14 colors to choose from, the answer to this dilemma is clear: choose 5 more frames and do the process all over again!

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But first, time to use my pre-paid shipping label, and send back the first batch.

Easy, free, and eye-opening!

Thanks Warby Parker, this experience was truly delightful!

Author note: Special thanks to Rachel Powers for her contribution to this story, and Matt Rowell for his photography.

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