I Can See Clearly, Now

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If you’re cursed (or blessed, depending on how you look at it) with not-so-perfect vision, you know it can be tough to find the right glasses for your face shape—especially if you’re looking for a pair that won’t break the bank.

Since the 7th grade (when I slowly but surely realized I couldn’t see what my teachers were writing on the chalkboard) I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect frames. I’ve tried every four-eyed variety there is: There were the gold wire-rims I’d rather forget, the too-cool-for-school brown cat eyes, and the Armani black rectangulars. While I usually only wear spectacles on the weekends (I’m nearsighted, so they aren’t necessary when I sit at a computer all day, and I’ve never been able to tolerate contacts without wanting to scratch my eyes out) I was ready for a change that fit my New Yorker persona.

So that’s where Warby Parker came in. The eyewear company (named after two of writer Jack Kerouac’s characters) was founded by four dudes who believe that the typical $300+ price tag of trendy eyeglasses is ridiculous. Now, they offer a collection of vintage-inspired, geek-chic frames, all for $95. And the best part? For every pair sold, they give a pair to someone in need—and with nearly 1 billion people who lack access to eyeglasses, there are a lot of people in need.

When a co-worker told me about the company a couple of years ago, what caught my attention was their at-home try-on program: Pick out five frames you like, and WP ships them to you to try-on at home, for free. Once you decide, you supply the Rx either by entering the info yourself, scanning it, or having your doctor call WP.

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After various try-ons, I ended up picking the Bensen style in Olivewood. I’m a bit of a magazine editor cliche in them with their thick, square-round mashup, but hey, I might as well embrace my inner nerd, right? For more on Warby Parker, check ’em out. And if you don’t need prescription glasses, they’ve got stylish sunnies, too.

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