Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What it’s like to do the Warby Parker home try-on.

My glasses of ten years* broke a year ago. And it just so happened at the worst time possible: before my insurance kicked in. Okay, maybe not the “worst time possible”. That seems a bit extreme given the current economic climate. How about, “it occurred at an inconvenient time”? Much better.

So my glasses broke and a friend of mine recommended I try an Internet retailer named Warby Parker. They sell designer frames, with prescription lenses and shipping, for $95. Plus, they donate a pair of glasses (it’s not clear if the glasses are from their collection) to someone in need.

So I went to their site, uploaded a photo and decided to go with a pair of black, horned-rimmed glasses named, the “Huxley”. After a year, they are working just fine.

But that got me to thinking … maybe I should get a back-up pair, just in case? However, since my situation wasn’t as dire, I decided to use their “home try-on” option. You log in, select five frames and they ship the glasses to you for free.

I chose the Felton with a fade, the Digby in a whiskey tortoise matte, the Huxley in sandalwood, the Roosevelt in Bondi blue and the Wiloughby in striped chestnut.

Then I created criteria for judging based on whether they “enhanced”, “diminished” or were “neutral” versus my current frames. The categories were as follows:

Cool Factor
Desire to punch me
Desire to make out with me

Some frames faired better than others, with the Digby and the Felton coming out ahead. It was a fun experiment and free, too. All I had to do was put the frames back into their original packaging, use the provided mailing label and drop the whole thing off within 5 days at a UPS shipping location.

*Giorgio Armani’s