Learning to love glasses + buying frames online that suit you

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never quite embraced glasses-wearing, even though my sight is so poor that without lenses I couldn’t even blog because I can’t see a foot in front of my face to see a computer screen. But I’m really trying to give glasses a chance and involve them in my outfits more… and of course my obvious solution was to just buy myself a new pair – clearly I’d love them if I just got some new ones!
And then, I realised I’ve properly – not just ‘maybe they’re under the bed somewhere’ – lost my pair of black vintage frames as seen here. After turning my house upside down and having a tantrum I decided it was a sign from the shopping gods (that’s a thing) that the time had come to finally buy frames I’ve had my eye on for a while… because they’re black too, and while I had the others I obviously couldn’t justify having both (there is, after all, some method to my shopping madness). Some might think I purposefully lost the others… actually I think that – I know what I’m like. Regardless of the hows and whys, the new frames became mine…
Rayban rx5226 catseye in black
In case anyone wants to know, they’re the Ray-Ban RX5226 in black.
And rather than the usual shopping guilt/regret where I agonise over returning anything that cost me more than £50, from the word go I knew I was going to keep them.
Rayban rx5226 catseye in black
Rayban rx5226 catseye in black
It was another triumph of online shopping! You see, I refuse to buy my glasses in an actual shop, where you can try them on first – the choice is too poor, the prices are too high and there’ll always be a ‘helpful’ shop assistant just waiting for the moment to push any other pair into your hands rather than the ones you actually want. When you can get such good prices online and can take a decent amount of time to decide if they suit you, I’d never go back now!
Rayban rx5226 catseye in black
But there is a bit of a knack to doing it and getting it right and I think it helps if you’ve already got another pair/pairs that suit you first…
Rayban rx5226 catseye in black
So here’s how I think it can work quite well to buy frames online that should hopefully suit you.
Ideally, use an old pair as a size guide
Use the width and depth measurements from another pair for guidance – I’ve got quite a small face and I never want frames that are wider than my favourite pair. Pretty much all websites will list these measurements to help you and if they don’t, I’d find another retailer who actually knows what they’re doing instead (it makes about as much sense to me as not listing waist and hip measurements).
Get on Google image search
You’ll find most frames you can buy online are brands that are quite widely available and being sold by several stores… and where something’s widely available, there’s selfies! Google the frame number to find as many pictures as you can and especially note how big or small the frames look on different shaped faces… this is also where knowing if you’ve got a relatively larger or smaller face can help as a comparison point. Note the difference between those who have heart-shaped, oval, square etc faces. If you don’t find much looking up the frame number, the brand and the general shape e.g. ‘cat eye’ can work well.
Do a ‘virtual try-on’
Find the best price after a thorough search (and don’t rely on Google Shopping for this), but also look around to find a seller who offers a virtual try-on if yours doesn’t: there’s a few big US sellers in particular who let you upload photos or even use a moving webcam to see how the frames might look on your face. I find these really helpful – adjust the frames to roughly the width of a similar pair and you’ll get a really good idea of if the lens depth and shape are right for you before you order. It probably won’t be perfect, but it’ll sure help to pick up if anything is really ill-suited.
Give them a chance
Most companies will have a generous returns procedure (always check it first when ordering frames with a prescription!) that allows you some time to wear the frames before deciding if you like them. Don’t feel you need to decide right away – I like to wear them for at least a few hours and just check in the mirror now and then and get used to them before I decide if they’re right for me. I nearly always don’t like them the first time I put them on, from the shock of seeing something different!
So that’s how I think you can shop ‘blind’ as it were – pun definitely intended! But you tell me – did I do a good job?? Would you/do you buy glasses online?



  1. January 28, 2015 / 2:10 pm

    urgh, lost comments again!

    I think you've done a good choice of picking a suitable frame, as these are very flattering on you. I love the shape.

    I might have mentioned it before but I refuse to go anywhere else other than my optician that I've had since I was 8 years old!!

    Only 4 more sleeps…!

    • January 29, 2015 / 1:21 pm

      I've been like that about my dentist – I've had the same one since I've had teeth! And the ridiculous thing is I live *miles* away now! x

    • January 29, 2015 / 1:22 pm

      The trick is finding a good deal on ones you actually want 😉 they're definitely out there, just takes some patience with Google! I got these for about £50 less than I've seen them on most other sites… x

  2. January 29, 2015 / 2:54 am

    These are gorgeous frames! I think they look perfect for you. 🙂 I buy my glasses online too, because I just cannot stomach paying $300 + for frames.. Ugh. And then there's your lenses as well! So expensive!

    I like Zenni Optical ~ that's where I buy all of my frames. They might not be as fashionable as some other shops, but I like what I find on there, and they are not expensive so upgrading scripts or styles is not that big of a deal. Win, win if you ask me! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    • January 29, 2015 / 1:24 pm

      Ah thanks 🙂 Yeah don't get me started on the charges for lenses… why they don't automatically thin them once they get over a certain prescription I don't know but it drives me crazy. I can't help having poor eyesight!

      I really like Retro Peepers for super cheap frames you can later get reglazed… I have yet to buy a pair from them, but the styles are amazing and it's only a matter of time! x

  3. January 29, 2015 / 4:44 pm

    Ooh, I have these frames, too – although I have to say, they look much better on you than they do on me! I'm also a huge fan of buying glasses online: I'd probably buy EVERYTHING online, though, if I possibly could! I have quite a few pairs now that I've bought online, though, and have no complaints at all – and yes, it's definitely cheaper!

    • January 30, 2015 / 1:33 pm

      Me too! Online is so much better… but definitely for glasses – the savings can be huge!

  4. January 29, 2015 / 7:51 pm

    Yeeeeees! You did an awesome job, I'd say. These really flatter your face shape, and they've got a vintage-y look to them that will still look great with more modern outfits that you might want to wear. That's an issue that I feel like I run into with my very retro looking frames – they always looked a bit weird if I was dressed more modern or trendy.
    I'm desperately in need to new glasses, but I have had some really terrible experiences shopping for them, so I keep putting it off. I think I'm going to take your tips and try to do some online shopping. What are the US companies that you mentioned who have virtual try-ons? I think that would be really helpful.

    • January 30, 2015 / 1:35 pm

      Thanks 🙂 exactly, I liked that they could go with modern too – but then, that tends to be what I look for all the time!

      I'm desperately trying to remember which sites I used but I think Mister Spex was one of them for the virtual web cam… most companies call it 'Virtual try on' so if you google a frame you like and that phrase you should start coming across them. I definitely spotted it across a few sites. Sorry, my memory is failing me!

  5. January 29, 2015 / 11:15 pm

    These frames are a beautiful choice! I love that they are bold and unique! I can remember so many changes with buying frames, too many choices and nothing ever looked good. Just a few years ago I got laser eye surgery as my vision was just so bad. Now I can have some cute glasses without having a prescription. Thanks so much for the fabulous buying tips!


    • January 30, 2015 / 1:36 pm

      I'm so intrigued by laser eye surgery – one day I'd like to have it done… but then I also think people look at you weirdly in the UK if you wear frames when you don't need them!! But you would save lots of money on prescription lenses, yes!

  6. January 30, 2015 / 12:28 pm

    Awesome suggestions. In the full eight years that I've been a bespectacled lady now, I've only owned one pair of frames (and one pair of prescription sunnies), as I love them unendingly and want to keep them with me as long as they'll last. That said, variety is the spice of life and I've been thinking this year about adding a second pair. Given that I live in a small town with few options, let alone vintage appropriate ones, I know that I'll be turning to the web in all likelihood if I do and so your helpful, terrific suggestions were lapped up and committed to memory, dear gal. Thank you – and may I add, your new frames look thoroughly gorgeous on you!

    ♥ Jessica

    • January 30, 2015 / 1:38 pm

      Glad to help! I don't think I'm an expert but this is the third pair of frames I've bought online now, so I feel like I've learned enough to do a better job at it these days 🙂 and thanks for your lovely comments, as ever x

  7. January 30, 2015 / 2:30 pm

    I m all the time saying oh thanks God I still see good, but if I have problems with that I would choose some nice retro frames like cat eye. I love yours.

  8. January 31, 2015 / 6:02 am

    I buy my glasses online too! I don't even feel bad if they end up not looking good because places like Zenni Optical are so inexpensive. I love this pair you picked out here. I need to find some like yours because they're adorable!

    Jamie | PetitePanoply.com

  9. February 1, 2015 / 3:55 am

    Heheheh I'm almost positive I have those same pair of glasses! They're my favorite although I hardly wear them. Honest question-how do you do your makeup, especially your eye makeup when wearing glasses? I find that an issue…
    Olivia | Her Name Was Celebration

  10. February 24, 2015 / 7:20 am

    I love your eyeglasses frame! Thanks for sharing and I found a new shop, I usually ordered eo-executiveoptical.com, they have limited eyeglass categories on their website, so I need to their shop to buy one. I'll follow your tips.:D

  11. Anonymous
    April 28, 2015 / 11:57 pm

    You are sooo right about the "helpful shop assistant". I went shopping for new glasses some months ago and wanted to buy a basic ones that I saw there at 35 dollars, but instead I ended up buying a pair that I did not like that much, too big for my face, in a weird color, and that cost 100 dollars. I still don't really know how that happened, but the woman must have been some kind of a wizard with hypnotic powers I guess. That day I decided I was going to buy my new glasses (in replacement of those ones), online. In fact, I want to buy the Ray Ban RX5226, the ones you have, but I cannot try them on anywhere here, since that model is not available in my country. They are quite expensive when bought online, in my case, since I live very very very far away, and bring stuff from abroad makes things cost twice the price, so I can't afford to choose the wrong pair. I know the basic info: 49-20mm, which makes me think they are quite small size and they are not going to fit comfortably. I'm also afraid there will be no enough space for my wide nose, since the 20mm are the distance between the lenses and not the actual space available. Can you help me decide?? Can you comment on the fit and the bridge and whatever other thing it may help me decide?? Please?? Thanks!! Regards from Chile!! Carolina.-

    • May 1, 2015 / 12:48 pm

      Oh no, that's no good! Such a shame you were talked out of getting what you wanted. I wasn't able to try my Ray Bans on before I got them either, hence why I really carefully considered it as outline here. I've just gone and measured the bridge of my frames – at the smallest point that touches your nose at the very top of the bridge the cap itself measures 10mm – but we're talking about that's for the bit right at the top where your nose is almost entirely cartilage. I'd say that generally, they are small frames in terms of overall width and fit – if you have a wide face, they're not going to look like they do on me here. If you search for some images you'll see how small they look on people with bigger faces. I actually still really like the way they look and wish mine weren't so big on me, but I'm pretty petite generally so knew it'd be this way! I guess I would just advise you to find a site that lets you return them, or lets you try the frames without the lenses in. Or you could buy them without the lenses and then get them put in at a local opticians if you like them. Sometimes it's worth it if you really like something!

    • May 1, 2015 / 12:49 pm

      That was meant to be 'gap' not 'cap!

  12. Anonymous
    May 1, 2015 / 7:09 pm

    Yes!!! I was watching some pictures and they look ridiculously small on very wide faces. I think they look the best in oval faces. I have a small and very round face, wide and round nose, round eyebrows, round cheekbones, I'm all round. I can see from the first picture of your post that the glasses are in fact, kind of rounded. Hmm, maybe they are not a good fit for me, but the model is sooo beautiful. The bridge is ok, my nose has no chance to fit in a space with less than 10mm available. Regarding the overall length, I do have glasses with size 49, but they have spring hinges, which allow a more comfortable fit. Hmm… anyway, I will see if I finally get these cat eye glasses or my other option, a COMPLETELY different model, a rectangular one (Ray Ban 5150), it's also a small size (50mm), but with flex hinges. Regarding your glasses, I don't think they look big on you, they look quite perfect and proportionate, at least from what I can see in the pictures. Thanks for answering!! Carolina.-

    • May 4, 2015 / 9:41 am

      They're kind of rounded, but I don't think they're rounded enough that they'd accentuate a round face… but it's hard for me to say as I've got a heart-shaped face with a pointy chin and cheekbones, so quite different I guess. I think the hinges on these would expand to allow for wider fit, but it's whether or not they'd suit you that's probably the big problem. It sounds like you might be better off with more rectangular wider frames from what you're saying… Glad if I've been helpful in any way!

    • Anonymous
      May 4, 2015 / 9:37 pm

      I took the risk!!!! I ordered the cat eye ones. Much bolder than the regular rectangular eyeglasses, right? I wanted to go outside my confort zone and look different from the rest. Here, in my country, people are very very very conservative and don't like unconventional outfits. Here, uniforms and dark colors are preferred (for school, work environments, formal/informal activities). People would look at you with disapproval if you wear bright colors or unusual accesories. Our capital city is kind of more cosmopolitan, but not as much as it could and should be. Our problem is that we are very far from the rest of the world. Oh… and we were talking about glasses!! You were very helpful, anyway. Not everyone I wrote answered me back. I don't even know why they encourage the contact if they will ignore your comments or questions anyway. Thanks! Carolina.-

    • May 7, 2015 / 12:16 pm

      Ah welld one! I love the shape of these glasses and you're right, they're a bit different, but still not ridiculously 'far out', so I hope they work for you! Glad to have been helpful!

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