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 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 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!


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.


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.


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!

Alex’s Closet For Sale!

As some of you know, I am moving to NYC later this month. It was pretty clear for awhile now that I needed to downsize my closet and make way for new stuff…but now that I’m moving to a tiny little place on the Upper East Side I really need to get rid of some stuff! It’s hard to part with clothing, but sometimes it just has to be done. I have lots of goodies for sale on my eBay store, all of which are gently, very-gently used, or brand new items. All proceeds will go towards the Alex-Manhattan-Survival fund. As an added bonus I’ve decided to give a 15% discount to Modern Material Culture readers, just make sure you mention the blog as a note during check-out!

After my crazy, crazy life calms down just a bit I’ll be back in action with lots of new material and hopefully some fun NYC discoveries (or, as is typical in my case, mishaps).

Check out the slideshow below for a sampling of soon-to-be-added items to the store! Thanks!

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Vintage Beauties: Anna Karina

Recently I have been rekindling my fondness for Jean-Luc Godard films. During undergrad school we studied Godard in several of my classes, which is how I first learned about the director. The first movie of his I saw was Breathless and it has been true love ever since. Yesterday I watched Pierrot le fou. I have always been an Anna Karina fan—I mean, I have a thing for any quirky actress rocking bangs—but now I am truly obsessed. So, now I present, Vintage Beauties: Anna Karina.

Anna Karina was born Hanne Karin Blarke Bayer in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 22, 1940. Her parents were less than adequate. She lived with her maternal grandparents until she was four and then in foster homes until she was eight. After that she went to live with her mother and stepfather, where she felt unwanted and unloved. Her stepfather regularly physically abused her and after one instance she decided she was going to run away to Paris.

It was the summer of 1958 when Anna, who spoke little French, arrived in Paris. A local priest assisted her in securing a small room on the rue Pavee near the Champs Elysees and behind the Bastille. Shortly thereafter a lady named Catherine Harle approached Anna at the Les Deux Magots café and asked her if she would do some photos for the fashion magazine Jours de France. Harle was not impressed with her modeling during the photo shoot, but still gave her some other contacts to investigate, and soon became a top model in Paris. While shooting an advertisement for Elle, she met Coco Chanel, who is credited with changing Anna’s name from Hanna Karin Bayer to Anna Karina.

Jean-Luc Godard first laid eyes on Anna when she was featured in a soap ad for Palmolive, during which he was casting for his movie À bout de soufflé (Breathless). Interested in Anna to play the part of one of Michel Poiccard’s previous girlfriends, he sent her a telegram requesting an appointment with her. Godard told her she had the part if she wanted it, but that the part required nudity, which Anna refused to do. Godard had been under the impression that she had been nude for the Palmolive ad, to which she replied “Are you mad? I was fully clothed in those ads, and the soapsuds went up to my neck. It was in your mind I was undressed” and stormed out of the meeting.

Anna went on to become Godard’s muse and wife. Their relationship was stormy and hostile, eventually getting divorced in 1965 after making a host of movies together such as The Little Soldier (1960), A Woman is a Woman (1961), Vivre sa vie (1962), Pierrot le Fou (1965), and Alphaville (1965). Anna continued to take on roles with other directors, although she is best known for being Godard’s French New Wave film star.

I don’t want to go too in depth with Anna’s biography, but I found a really detailed page at if you are interested in more Anna deets, especially concerning Anna and Godard’s relationship.

A few more favorite photos, of course…

Of course, while watching Pierrot le Fou, I had to emulate Anna’s classic look of heavy bangs and winged black eyeliner:

Oh, web cam photos.

In any case, I am pretty sure that Anna is the original Zooey Deschanel. I dare you to challenge me on that one.