Statement eyeglasses

Two years ago when I last bought glasses (not pictured above), I spent what seemed to be an exorbitant sum, rationalizing that they were cheaper than the spectacles at the tonier shops but more than the ones at at Wal-mart. Still, they were expensive, costing so much that when Mitch asked what I paid, I told him, "You're happier not knowing." (When finally copping to the price, I was right, he was happier not knowing.)

Circumstances have conspired to render the costly, Italian eyeglasses obsolete. Not only did my right retina decide to part ways with its underlayment, but my fancy glasses are also falling apart. Happily, my retina has been lasered back into place (incidently, a much costiler proposition than buying chic, European eyewear), but a new prescription is looking likely.

I adore glasses and am living proof that Dorothy Parker didn't know from men; the night I met Mitch I was wearing a pair that looked those pictured above: Coke-bottle lenses and all. (Little did he know how much those bespectackled hazels would eventually cost him.)

Glasses are so much easier and less fiddly than contacts and they allow you to dramatically change your look by simply swapping pairs. I've often fantasized about how fun it would be to have a wardrobe of specs, purple cat-eyes and round tortoise shells, John Lennon wires and Liz Clayborne windshields. Plastic and rimless, sunglasses and lorgnettes (which are back, by the way), I'd have drawers filled with them.

But given my myopia--and growing need for magnification--a wardrobe of eyewear is hardly practical. I've also been put off by the short-lived nature of my current pair so have sworn off pricey goggles. What to do?

The search begins. Ever the grad student, vintage appeals. Wearing vintage eyeglasses is like playing a daily game of dress-up and most competent opticians can fit them with lenses. Here are a smattering from Ebay:

 

In plum! For $20!

 

For a more owl-ish look. Again, for $20! 

Granted, a bit much for everyday, but with the right coat and bag...from Etsy.

Some online retailers have taken pitty on the near-sighted but fashion-forward and started offering retro-inspired glasses with lenses for a reasonable price. (Some of these vendors also donate proceeds to charity.)

Take Warby Parker. They offer frames and lenses for under $95. I'm liking the Fillmore: 

Upload a photo of yourself and you can do a virtual try on.

At Spex Club all prescription glasses are $78.

These are serious contenders: 

If you do a bit of surfing you'll also see how the presbytorpia of Boomers and Xers has changed the market for readers, many of which can be customized with prescription lenses.

Eyebobs? I want one of each, including the following: 

I'm not sure if the Phillip-Johnson-meets-Catwoman (below) readers can be outfitted with individual correction but "Meow!"

 

Offered by Melissa Eyewear at $145, this leopard-print number is more costly, but can't you imagine staring down clients in these cuties?

 

If you're one of those lucky ones who only needs help checking the price on that Thakoon jacket you've been coveting, then for $69, you can be swanning around in Seeqa's Monaco. If only!

You're probably like, she's gone all-off-topic again. But if anyone needs to pay close attention to the health of their eyes, it's knitters. If you haven't had a proper eye exam in a while, get one. Some retinal detachments can be prevented with lasar repair. They've made amazing strides coming up with clever ways to repair our windows to the world. And then we get to buy new window coverings!

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