Note: You CAN do the in-home try on thing for just Sunglasses, even if you don’t have a prescription, but not all of their sunglass frames are available for the in-home thing… such as the “Downing” shown here. But shipping is free both ways.
They’re an internet darling. Famous for their in-home try on program & updated retro styles, Warby Parker made a name for themselves in the prescription eye wear game. But in the not too distant past they started targeting more than just team four-eyes. Warby Parker dove into sunglasses… and you didn’t need a prescription to buy them. Now, those of us who are lucky enough to ace an eye chart (for now) were being tempted to get our ugly mugs in a pair of their sweet looking sunglasses. But with their sunglasses ranging from $95 – $145… are they worth it?
Short answer: Yes. If you’re smart enough to actually look at the measurements of your chosen pair… BEFORE you buy.
The Downing with its blue polarized lenses.
Their sunglasses are made in China, but Warby Parker isn’t shy about being proud of the quality. Plus, the lenses are polarized. There’s usually a pretty large markup for polarized lenses from other brands, but all of Warby Parker’s models feature polarized lenses. It’s standard for them. Still, $145 is awfully steep, and I was looking to replace my recently misplaced Ray Ban New Wayfarers. So, something more casual, with maybe a hint of retro style. The “Parkers” with their keyhole bridge and blue lenses (Mr. Ripley meets Thomas Crowne?) were the pick. Click, click, boom… (Warning: Dreadful early 21st century rawk wardrobe) and they were ordered.
Two days later they were on the doorstep. Warby Parker even sent an email with the tracking # with the subject “let the obsessive package tracking begin.” But the things got here so fast that I never even had a chance (or the need) to track the them. Impressive. (Note: They shipped 1st Class USPS… maybe it was just a slow couple of days for the Post Office?)
Lightweight yet the frames feel strong. Real comfortable to wear.
The quality is definitely there. They’re not as heavy as a pair of Ray Ban New Wayfarers, but they certainly don’t feel flimsy. The hinges operate smoothly, the frames are glass smooth, and the colors are rich but not obnoxious. They’re super comfortable too. Noticeably more so than my missing pair of Ray Ban New Wayfarers. All of the edges have been slightly rolled/softened so they feel good in your hands, and more importantly, on your face. Presentation is nice too, with a box, hard case, & soft case all inside the shipment.
The only downside of the Downing is that they’re small. Like, really small. Like, they’d look great on Mrs. Dappered who’s 5’3″. For those on the vertically challenged/slighter side, go for it. Or, if you prefer your accessories small (say, a 38mm watch) then give em’ a shot. But for those of us with noggins so large that we’re basically batting practice before The Gathering, you’ll want to know that the lenses are under 50mm wide, and on average, Warby Parker appears to stick to smaller sized frames (although there are options in the mid 50s range).
Hover over the ruler (or the sunglasses themselves) to see the specs for the specs.
To see the measurements for each style, simply roll over the subtle ruler icon in the lower right (or, just roll over the glasses themselves). Totally missed it. The Warby Parker site is so clean and sharp, that this major point of reference was completely glossed over by a certain Affordable Men’s Style website editor/writer dude. BUT… shipping is free, and so are returns. So a quick email to Warby Parker customer service resulted in a pre-paid shipping label.
Warby Parkers aren’t cheap. But plenty are going to say that between the style, polarized lenses, and the free shipping & returns, they’re worth it. Just don’t order a pair without, y’know, checking out the sizes first. But if you do, it’s nice to know you won’t get hit for return shipping charges.
Note: The “Downing” is available w/ prescription lenses for $150. Expect a full review of the Warby Parker prescription in-home try on & purchase experience in the coming weeks.