I remember when I first noticed it. I was watching TV and realized the subtitles were uncomfortably blurry — to the point where I couldn’t read them. I stretched my neck backward, and I squinted. Nothing changed. Maybe they’re just too bright, I thought. Not too long after, sitting in the passenger’s seat of our car, I noticed it again. Cloudy license plates, murk road signs and a shaky outline of the mountains with a slapdash paint job. I covered one eye then the other and compared. It was clear as day. Unless I bought something up to my nose, my left eye saw the world in a fuzzy blur. Do I need glasses? I wondered, surprised given that my mother just became a glass-wearer a few years ago.
I made the first appointment I could snag, and hightailed it to the optometrist. After several tests, she confirmed it. I needed glasses. She printed out my prescription, and I was on my way. The next part was my favorite: shopping for frames. I’d heard many good things about Warby Parker, so that was one of the first places I jumped to. For my first pair, I was looking for something fairly simple and reliable, and Warby Parker’s tried-and-true shapes fit the bill for this rite of passage. Not to mention, I was instantly drawn to the fact that the company allows you to pick our five glasses to “try on at home.” No strings attached.
So I selected my top contenders, punched in my address and waited. A few days later, a crisply clean box arrived in the mail, with five, clear-lensed frames neatly packaged and tucked inside. I spent a couple of days alternating between my two top choices, letting the bridge of my nose get used to the weight, my temples adjust to the pressure. I even messaged my friends some photos, asking them to chime in. At last, I settled on a pair, sent back the trial box with the included pre-paid label and placed an order. When the real deal landed in my mailbox just a week later, I was so excited. I pried the box open, whipped out my new frames and slid them on my face. I’ll never forget the feeling — of seeing my bedroom spring back into focus. I realized I hadn’t seen the world around me quite so vividly in a very long time. In fact, I loved my glasses so much I immediately began looking around for another pair.
In my quest for cute eyewear, I found so many fashionable pairs that I’d be remiss not to share my findings. Tiny cat-eye frames that mirror the elongated, dramatic sunglasses trend that became an obsession of many, many celebrities. Geometric frames that give us a taste of life a few decades into the future. Chic 90s styles that feel retro but unequivocally modern in the same breath. Then there are the simple ones, too — reliable frames stripped of both embellishment and gimmick. So, if you’re looking for eyewear that’s got a little something extra, here’s a shopping list for you.
COVID-19 notes: This post is not sponsored in any way. I’m including Warby Parker here for the obvious reason — how the company has made it possible for customers to shop online with ease during a pandemic. (I also loved the fact that with every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker gives a pair to someone in need.)
Dependable and affordable
Welty | Whiskey Tortoise
Transparent SoStellaire5 Glasses
Looking into the future
Circle T 02
80s Stranger Frames (From the Millie Bobby Brown collection)
Subtle, but elegant
0MK3023 3342 52
Classic, clean, simple
Signature 03 square-frame glasses
Cool cat (eye)
Artcal cat-eye glasses
Cat-eye logo glasses
Duetto aviator glasses
‘Don’t cut me off’
Tom Ford Eyewear
Cut-off square-frame glasses
Put on a bold face
Rectangular frame glasses