We were driving somewhere along the waterfront, when my mother suddenly cried: “Wow, look at that huge ship!” Everyone started discussing it, but I was noticeably quiet…because I couldn’t see it!
That’s when my parents realized I needed glasses. I was in the fifth grade when I got my first pair, and I’ve been wearing glasses ever since. Now, years later, my prescription requires extra-thin lenses to reduce the weight of what would otherwise be “coke bottle” lenses, and trifocal lenses. Add the cost of transitions (the coating that makes lenses darker in the sun so I don’t have to carry sunglasses) and reasonably chic frames, and the cost for a new pair, is a small fortune.
I’ve looked into online sites that say they’re less expensive than bricks-and mortar-stores, but most of them don’t offer progressive lenses or they have just a few boring styles of frames. Then I learned about Felix & Iris, a new company that offered progressive lenses with a lot of options, and that had a wide range of fashionable frames, for about a quarter of the cost of what I’d normally pay for my glasses, I wanted to try them out, but I really didn’t think that at that price, the quality or the fit could be very good. Can you really get good, maybe great prescription glasses and order them in your PJs at home for a bargain price?
Felix & Iris boasts more than 10 years in the eyewear industry, offering single vision lenses for $119, bifocals for $249, and progressives for $299. They also include, free of charge, anti-reflective, scratch-resistant, and UV lens coatings. When it comes to the frames, you can choose from metal, acetate, titanium, and flexible and even the rugged TR-90 frames. Some selections are even hypoallergenic. All of the Felix & Iris prescription lenses come standard with impact-resistant polycarbonate plastic (it’s the most durable lens material and it’s lighter and thinner than other types of plastic lenses). If however, you have a strong prescription like mine (e.g. stronger than +/- 4 and/or CYL +/- 2), they offer high index 1.67 lenses which 20% thinner and lighter than ordinary plastic lenses. If you just want non prescription sun glasses or tinted lenses (available in 7 colors) you can get non-prescription lenses of CR-39 plastic. There are also four different sun glass options including gradient lenses and magnetic clip-ons.
When you are buying glasses in a bricks-and-mortar store, you have to wait until the glasses arrive back from the lab and that takes some time, but when you order glasses online, there is a bit more of a process. You have to select the frames, then wait for them to arrive at your home. You try them on, select the one (or ones) you want, return them, and then wait until your glasses are crafted and shipped back to you. This process does take time (more or less,depending upon how quickly YOU choose and act, and also how fast production takes on the other end). If you need glasses to take on a trip in less than a week, this isn’t going to be the safest way to order glasses. But for those not in a big rush, there are savings and other benefits involved, and Felix & Iris covers shipping both ways and offers a 30-day Fit Promise policy, which allows you to return your glasses for a full refund if they don’t turn out as you’d planned.
THE FIT KIT EXPERIENCE: The key to ordering from Felix & Iris is their unique “Fit Kit” which lets you try on four frames of your own choosing and then select the one that suits you best (no obligation to purchase). So the first step is to order the Fit Kit by visiting the Felix & Iris Website: http://www.felixandiris.com/ There, you’ll take the Style & Vision Quiz which is just 9 questions about your style preferences and face shape. After that, you’ll automatically get suggestions for the size and type of frames that Felix & Iris believes will work best for your face and your prescription needs. Since I have a very narrow face and require a small and narrow frame size that isn’t the most popular, the options, even in a regular store, are usually limited. I found to my disappointment that out of the many chic and pretty women’s frames, on the website weren’t available in my size frame, and the ones suggested for me were kind of plain and unappealing. But the next step for me (and I really did do this in my nightgown and robe), was to use the Felix & Iris Virtual Try-On Tool, and my own web cam. This allowed me to try on a variety of frames that were close to the right size, and see how they looked on my real face, in real time. It took me a short while to figure out how to manage the web cam and the Try-On-Tool, but once I got the hang of it, I was able to see myself in the frames in a way that I could never do in a store (because once I remove my glasses I can’t see a thing). It was fun, and not only that, there was no pressure from salespeople to make a quick decision. Using the drop-down filters that Felix & Iris provides (e.g. progressive friendly, trifocal eligible..) I found frames that would work with my prescription the best, and finally selected four frames that I thought would look nice (see them below):
THE TRY ON EXPERIENCE: To order the frames you want, you fill our a form and leave a minimal deposit which will be returned if you don’t buy the glasses (mine was waived as I am writing an editorial review). Email communication was good throughout the entire process. In about ten days, the Fit Kit arrived with the four frames I had selected. What surprised me was how substantial the frames were. I really didn’t expect them to be that nice.
To select my frames, I tried all of them on for some friends and for my husband, but everyone liked a different one. So after a lot of consideration, I simply picked the ones with the most flattering color, which turned out to be the ” Chelsea, ” a rectangular-ish teal frame with a fun detail design on the earpieces. I got a bit worried with I realized that I would have to mark the lenses myself with the included felt tipped marker, but when I selected my glasses (they come with non prescription glass in them), I followed the instructions, and when my actual glasses arrived, I’d done everything right and the glasses were a perfect fit! * I sent all the frames back in the original box, and waited…Felix & Iris also verified my prescription by email before making the glasses, just to be sure.
It took a while, maybe another ten days, but my glasses finally arrived, in a nice, hard sided glasses case, with a cleansing cloth. Since I hadn’t had them adjusted which is something I’d normally expect in a store, I didn’t think they would fit well or e comfortable.To surprise, they fit perfectly and even better, the precision and quality of the lenses compares to the high end ones I normally wear.
THE BOTTOM LINE: I am extremely satisfied with these Felix & Iris glasses. I never would have believed it if I didn’t experience it for myself, and now I’m sharing this experience with you. So if you’re wondering if it’s true, yes, it really is: you really can order high quality prescription glasses at a reasonable price that look good and fit well, in the comfort and convenience of your own home — you can even do it in your PJs, if you wish. Below is a copy of my actual order, so you can see the cost and what I received. It would be difficult to match this price.
If there is a downside, it’s that you are doing most of the ordering and decision-making yourself, and you have to have patience, and double check to be sure you did everything right. You won’t be able to try the glasses on to see if they are comfortable, although you do have the Virtual Try On Tool to see if you like they way they look. And if you are impatient or you need glasses in a hurry, this might not be the best way to go. There is more process involved in buying an item like this online, but given the overall value and quality, I would definitely recommend Felix & Iris. My next pair will probably be from Felix & Iris, as well.
Ready to rock a new pair of specs? Visit the Felix & Iris Web Site
If you like this, post, speak up! Leave a Comment, and Share the post.
learn more about my other web sites: About Leather and Lace Advice & Leather and Lace Spice ; Alison’s Personal Web Site ; Like Leather and Lace Advice/Spice on Facebook
BOOK PROJECT! Road Gypsies: the Unsung Lives & Untold Stories of Rock and Roll Roadies. Without roadies, the musicians don’t go on stage. Like” the Road Gypsies Book Project Facebook Page, Follow on Twitter @RoadGypsiesBook