OK so I got new prescription sunglasses. I felt (and I was agreed with) that my current simple metal frames were not cool enough, considering I now live (for the moment) in a city with plenty of sunshine. I’d seen a few reviews of these cheap online sunglasses stores, so I decided to take a risk and go for it. I suspect a lot of these places depend on the “for this price, why not” crowd. For $40, even if they sucked, it won’t be too bad.
After reading about a few places, I plumped for Optical 4 Less. They seem to get good reviews, and they had the frames I wanted, so I dug out my lenses prescription and went through the site’s ordering process. They give you many choices about lens type, materials, coatings and so on, and obviously that adds to the price. The website laid it all out pretty clearly, breaking it down into clear steps. I had to measure the distance between my pupils, which I did following these instructions. My sunglasses were pretty much the most basic you could get, with simple not-very-powerful lenses, no coatings and just a simple tint – “brown3”, the darkest brown they had. They came to $40 including shipping from Hong Kong. If you want special lenses, or any other fancy features, you pay extra – I saw one type of lens that would add $180 to the price. For that much I would probably visit a local store.
I ordered them on June 15th, and on Saturday June 27th I had a card in my mailbox to collect a parcel from the Post Office. I must remember to get stuff delivered to work, to save these lunchtime trips to collect parcels. When I finally got my hands on the box, here’s what happened. Look, an unboxing slideshow!
I’m very happy with the glasses. They are good quality frames – not flimsy, the lenses are working fine, and the shipping was pretty quick. If I had one complaint, the tint is not quite as dark as I would have liked. I chose the darkest brown, and they could do with being just a tad darker. But they are great, and I would recommend them.
The ones I chose are the “Freeway” model, which is an obvious ripoff of the Oakley Thump sunglasses so beloved of tedious renegade douchebags everywhere. Only joking, they are actually a copy of the famous Wayfarers from Ray-Ban, as immortalized by the Blues Brothers, that one line out of that one Don Henley song, and beloved of tedious hipster douchebags everywhere. They don’t have the little white Ray-Ban logo in the corner, but I can add that with Tipp-Ex, so that’s not a problem.
The link above is to The Blues Brothers 2000, which I’m sure you will agree was superior to the original because it had John Goodman and a child in it, John of course reprising his roles from King Ralph and The Borrowers. Hint: Never see a movie where the poster has John Goodman (or anyone else) looking shocked on it. He was great in True Stories though, despite David Byrne effortlessly acting him off the screen.
I actually got these frames in my continuing effort to more closely resemble John Cusack in Grosse Point Blank. Perhaps I should dye my hair and become attractive and talented too? Hmm? I got my black suit altered. Or perhaps Joachim “He’s Mad” Phoenix in Walk The Line. Either way, I will use them to watch you weave then breathe your storylines.