Adventures in online shopping with Warby Parker

It’s been a while since we’ve made a post and it’s been even longer since I’ve gotten new glasses so I thought it would be a perfect post to get back into the blogging game.

As I went to Lenscrafters for my yearly eye appointment to get new contacts I discovered that my vision has changed; gotten a little worse. Just one more reminder that I’m getting older. Thanks Father Time. But of course with a new prescription comes the need for new frames! As you do, right? I decided that my current frames, a pair from Anne Klein in purple with a rectangle frame, looked a little too old for me (this mainly came about because after I bought them I noticed more grandmothers wearing them than 20 somethings). I never wore them out and only wore them right before bed and right when I woke up. I didn’t want anyone to see me in them if I could help it. So, being a twenty something year old female with the desire to be a little more fashion forward I’m looking for a new pair of frames. Perusing through the selection of frames at Lenscrafters I discovered, or confirmed really, that I have way more expensive taste than my budget can actually afford. So rather than settle for something that’s less than acceptably fashionable, I decided to venture into online frames shopping. Now, just know that I am and have always been rather skeptical of buying things online that aren’t of the book/movie/music genres. This is a BIG step for me. So here we go:

I talked to my boyfriend (who straight up said “I don’t like the frames you have. They stick too far out from the side of your head”) and a few other people to see what sorts of websites I should look into for my affordable fashion eyewear. Several companies popped up and at first I went with Coastal.com. I wasn’t super impressed with a lot of what I was seeing. There were two or three frames that I thought would do. The biggest plus side to Coastal was that they were having a promotion for “Your first pair free” which sounded good to me. Get a free pair of glasses, just pay $25 shipping. Ultimately painless if I didn’t like what I got because I figured I would have only lost out on shipping. But no, it couldn’t be quite so easy for me. Turns out that my eyes are so bad that the prescription lenses I needed fell outside of what they were offering for free. Well damn…

So the next website the ol’ Bf suggested was Warby Parker. Surprising that he knows way more about online stores for glasses when he doesn’t even need them, but then again he’s better at shopping in general than I am and I’m ashamed to admit has better fashion sense than I do.  But I digress; I immediately fell in love with what Warby Parker had to offer.

I probably spent a total of a month perusing through what all WP had to offer. I liked too many things and spent forever narrowing it down to just a couple. While going through this process I noticed that my co-blogger happened to post a picture of herself on facebook sporting new Warby Parker frames: Chamberlain. Clearly we’re more in tune with each other than we thought, looking at the same frames store at the same time without ever mentioning it to each other (keep in mind we’ve been living in two different states for over a year now – Impressive). It just confirmed that we’re meant to be soulmate besties forever. Seeing this, I immediately text said bestie and inquire of her specific frame and use it as an indicator for how different frames would look on me. Perfect! I settle on a pair of frames: Crane. I feel accomplished, happy, “Let’s do this!” but no, They’re sold out. Ugh!

I’m also an impatient person, I don’t want to wait for them to come back in stock. I go in search of a plan B. Well, now I really can’t choose so I give in and take part in Warby Parker’s free At Home Try On. It’s going to make me wait longer but at least I’ll actually know what I like. This turned out to be most helpful. You choose five frames that you’re interested in and in less than a week a box shows up at your door and you get to try on your picks and you have five days to make a decision. I however was super excited and made my decision within half an hour of opening the box. But before actually trying on any of the frames, before even opening the pretty black box with WARBY PARKER embroidered in silver on the top, the first thing I noticed was that there was a prepaid return label for me to send them back. Super convenient!

Now what I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for: Pictures!

At Home Try On Box Presentation
Warby Parker At Home Try On box

All Laid Out for Trying On
WP frames

Wiloughby in Striped Chestnut

Wiloughby Striped Chestnut

Welty in Plum MarblewoodWelty Plum Marblewood

Baxter in Pinot NoirBaxter Pinot Noir

Sims in Burgundy FadeSims Burgandy Fade

Pierce in GreystonePierce Grey Stone

Frames Laid Out In Order of PreferenceFrames in order of preference

The Winner: Welty in Plum MarblewoodThe winning frames

Now I realize that these are all very similar in style and color. It’s what made it so hard to choose a favorite online. In the end the decision came down to the weight of the frames on my face; Welty was definitely the lightest. How far down the bottom of the frame came down on my cheeks, where the top of the frames landed in relation to my eyebrows or lashes; Welty fell closer to my brows instead of right at my lashes. I hate when I can feel my eyelashes touching the top of the frames. Ultimately, Welty won because when wearing them I can look up, down, and side to side without the frame itself actually getting in the way of my line of sight. My current frames (the Anne Klein ones) fail in all those areas of critique.  Another big difference between Welty and all the other frames was the nose piece. There’s that little notch at the top that seemed to hold them higher up without me feeling like I had to keep pushing them up; which is probably what makes them sit higher/closer to my brow line.

With a final decision in mind I’m now prepared to order! One thing I found interesting with ordering from WP, you yourself cannot input your prescription. You must either upload a picture of your prescription with your Dr.’s information, have your Dr. call them, or there’s the option to let them know by email later, I assume with a picture once you’ve gotten one. Another thing that is asked for, even though it’s not easily apparent (I had to search through their FAQs the next day) is that you must have your pupillary distance (PD) specified on your prescription. If you don’t though, because I didn’t, you can figure it out on their site with their personal PD finder. It’s actually quite easy and once you’re done it’s all set up in an email format they’ve prepared for you that you can send it in later. So I suggest reading the FAQs before you fully order your glasses; I didn’t do it until the next morning because I still just felt like something wasn’t right about my order. Hopefully all is well now; I’m sure I’ll be contacted if not.

Everything about this process Warby Parker has made extremely fun and easy. I didn’t have the same experience with Coastal.com. I know that there are other sites that offer in home try ons as well. I’m just lucky that WP was my second stop and I was happy. They’ve honestly thought of everything! Their primary collection of frames are reasonably priced at $95 which include your lenses unless your prescription is so strong that it would require a thicker, heavier lens. In this case you have the option to choose a high index lens which allows for you to have a stronger prescription without the weight and thickness and this option is a $30 add-on. But still, with a total cost of $125 it’s way more affordable than the $200-$600 frames (without lenses) I was looking at in Lenscrafters.

I haven’t actually gotten my final glasses yet, I’ll have to do an update post when they get here, but so far I’m extremely comfortable and happy with the whole process. At this point I would definitely recommend that anyone else looking for new fashionable glasses at a more affordable rate should make Warby Parker their first stop shop!

New York City…where all the girls are pretty?

Oh, hey!

It has been quite some time since I’ve done an update! I thought that living in NYC would inspire me 10x more than usual, but I think my brain has been in a spin from the daily craziness! In any case, I am hoping that now that I am finally feeling settled (or more than 50% settled…is there truly a thing as feeling settled in NYC??) I will be able to write more.

In the meantime, here is a happy new year photo from moi!

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Furry Fashion

It has come to my attention that a current fashion trend (to some extent at least) is that of “furry” and animal-like accessories.  I’ve been noticing it in magazines mostly, but also on blog pages, that animal prints, furry collars or trims of clothing,and hats have become quietly popular. Not a lot is said about this little accent, at least not that I have read. But, the other day I was watching Anderson Live and Anderson’s co-host was Sharon Osbourne (don’t we all just love her?). She’s pretty famous for all of her little dogs from when the MTV show The Osbournes was popular. Well, she still has a ton of little dogs. However, the point is that Anderson is doing a holiday bit on his morning show about misfit gifts (from Rudolf and the Island of Misfit toys). So, this one day his misfit gift for the audience and for Sharon was a hat/scarf combo from Spirit Hoods. I immediately fell in love! I love animals. I love wolves in particular. Everything there is to do with them. I have little wolf statues, clothing with wolves on it, and for a few years when I was younger I even had relatives adopt wolves in my name as a gift. I love them! So, after Anderson’s misfit gift segment I went to check out this Spirit Hoods site. I love it! they even give proceeds from some of their products to organizations that support specific animals: Spirit Hoods’ “ProBlue” label.  I fell in love with the Red Wolf  hat/scarf after visiting the site. I even sent a text to my co-blogger Alex asking if I should get it.

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Because I sadly did not buy this item (due to a combination of how expensive it kind of is for me right now and because I need to use that money to get to New York to visit my bestie!) I decided to come up with my own alternative fashion item.  That same afternoon I had a dentist appointment and afterwards planned on making a trip to good ol’ Target. So, numb-faced and all (I couldn’t talk and my lips felt like pillows) I ventured over to Target and found myself: a furry scarf!!

So here I present to you an inexpensive equivalent for the somewhat current furry fashion piece for $19.99. No need to spend $100 or more on pieces that could very well be out of fashion by the new year (I even tweeted @AndersonLive about how I didn’t know if I could pull it off because I didn’t know how long this trend will last); just head on over to your local Target or neighborhood dress shop (the “no-name,” indie stores are a great option as well!) and get yourself a furry accessory.

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It’s super warm and makes me feel “exotic” and expensive and as long as you wear it with purpose no one will ever question that it might look weird to be wearing fur (since we know how controversial of a topic that can be – I’d never wear real fur/leather). I highly recommend the furry scarf or faux fur lined hood/hat.  It’s something that everyone could pull off as long as the whole ensemble is kept simple (the fur is a pretty big statement all on its own). So happy hunting and good luck and stay warm and enjoy the holidays and snowy days in your warm furry scarf and hat!

Holiday How To: Wine Tasting

Several months ago I won a dinner at Habitat restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pa and because Alex would be leaving soon I decided to take her out to dinner there. Habitat is a fairly upscale restaurant that serves local, (mostly) organic dishes, and being upstairs from a small jazz bar where the music drifts up into the restaurant, it was a rather lovely experience. Alex and my’s waiter at Habitat turned out to be a former bar owner and when we ordered a bottle of wine he uncorked it for us and had me smell the cork and taste the wine before pouring a glass. I asked what the purpose of smelling the cork was (I wasn’t as wine savvy as I thought). His answer was very educational and because this was new news to Alex and me I thought it might be helpful for the rest of you as well. Hopefully you can use this to show off your wine savvy knowledge at your next holiday dinner party.

After ordering a bottle of wine, the waiter should show you the label on the bottle. This is for you to make sure that it is the wine you ordered and that the year is what you expect it to be.

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The waiter should then uncork the bottle at the table you that you can watch and be sure that no part of the cork flakes off into the bottle. After the cork is pulled, the cork should be offered to you in order to sniff. As odd as this may feel or look the purpose of this is probably the most important part of the wine tasting process. When you look at the end of the cork that was touching the wine, it should appear wet, or damp. This tells you that the wine has been stored properly and the cork remained expanded and no air was let into the bottle. While smelling the cork you should be looking to make sure there is no hint of mildew or anything out of the ordinary. If anything does not smell quite right about the wine mention it to the waiter and either try another bottle of the same wine or move on to option two.

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If everything smells and looks ok with the cork the next step is to taste test the wine. The waiter should pour a small amount of wine into your glass, which you will swirl gently, smell, and sip. Swirling the wine helps to aerate the wine, bringing out more of the flavors. Smelling the wine (especially while you sip) brings in more of your senses to allow you to experience more of the flavors of the wine as well. If all looks and tastes good: Enjoy!
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If you’re hosting a wine party at home, I always like to have a bunch of wine glass charms that people can choose from to add a little something special and fun to the party and let’s everyone remember which glass is who’s.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and festive holiday season and enjoy being classy with you wine!

Greetings from Hurricane Sandy’s Zone C, NYC

Here in New York City, on the island of Manhattan, I am having an inappropriate reaction to this impending hurricane. It’s like 1 am and I can’t stop reading Twitter updates about this ‘day after tomorrow’ situation and kind of … Continue reading