New glasses, who dis?

So, I have been getting progressively more blind in my many years of life. As such, I’ve found that I enjoy having a variety of glasses – because I want my ability to see to match my moods and/or outfits as I please. Unfortunately, there is some difficulty in making that happen.

I’ve run into a few problems:

  • My style vs. current fashion
  • $$$
  • Insurance
  • The greedy eyewear industry

My style vs. current fashion

I have a few distinct parameters when choosing frames. I prefer full metal frames. I like an oval-ish or rectangle-ish shape. I need to have the adjustable nose pads (which only come with metal frames). And they have to fit my head, which is small but not super small.

What I don’t want for my frames includes the Ray-Ban style, aviators, or really anything with super chunky, especially at the top corners. Everything in fashion is that, or is a plastic frame.

A simple google search for glasses, none of which are my style.

But some years ago, I was able to find frames that I really loved! Except the prescription needed to be updated, so I couldn’t wear them anymore. Which meant I had several frames that I loved laying around useless. 


Glasses, with the desirable features, are expensive. Even Zenni gets expensive once you add on features. So replacing a full set of fashionable glasses every 2 years when I update my prescription is pricey, and as a millenial, I can’t justify it without serious extra money.


Those of you who by some miracle actually have vision insurance know that the big thing advertised is how much money they reimburse for the frame. But if you can’t find a frame you want, then… What? And at least in my case, I have to get the new frame (that I spend hours looking through the optometrists options to figure out which one I hate the least) to get whatever measly amount of the lenses is covered. And then I still have to pay like $80 or more to get whatever isn’t covered. This was perfectly fine when there were frames I liked but I don’t like any current eyewear so the whole thing feels like a scam.

The greedy eyewear industry

Much like fast fashion, the eyewear companies want you to be getting new frames every year. That way, they make money, because noone cares about polluting the earth with frames that are perfectly serviceable but are out of fashion or no longer have a functioning prescription.

They want you to get their new frames. And they are the ones who work with optometrists and insurance companies to prioritize the selling of their fast fashion frames. So when we as consumers say “hi I really like my old frames, and none of these new ones. Can I please just replace the lenses as a personal fashion and eco-friendly choice?”, insurance companies and optometrists are like, “no why would I discount your glasses without a new frame?”


The whole damn industry

Now if you look around, there are places on the internet that will replaces lenses. I mean sure you gotta pay them, it’s still not covered by insurance, and you have to pay postage to ship your glasses to them. But, if you really want your old frames, and you happen to have the cash, I think that it is worth it.

“But Pandora, what do I do while my frames are gone and I don’t have glasses?!”

Probably you, my observant reader

Well this only works if you have a spare frame in the meantime. If you don’t already, I suggest you always have a cheap pair around without the bells and whistles, which you can get from somewhere like Zenni, currently $6.95.

I used LensesRX to get mine. They have a discount code every month for about 20% off if you look for the code on their site. Or you can use the code BCARD for 15% off (which doesn’t benefit me in any way, but if you don’t have the spoons to go spelunking through the site, I hope this makes life a little easier for you).

Their prices are more reasonable than some of the other sites I found. I used a black friday discount, which was extra nice because I got to save $53 on them.

$265 for 3 sets of lenses with all my customization choices, with a $53 discount, and only $3.99 shipping for a total of $215.99.
For thin/light, scratch resistant, uv coated, transition lenses, it was $105 (before discount).
For thin/light, scratch resistant, uv coated lenses with a blue light filter, it was $55 (before discount).

In case anyone was wondering about the math, I got two $105 sets and one $55 set, so total of $265 before discount.

My 3 favorite frames, fitted with shiny new lenses.

I am just so pleased with the result. I’m excited to get back to having a choice about which pair to wear. Life is good. And I hope this helps anyone else in my predicament.

In pandemic-world, we have to enjoy the little things, right?

Stay safe out there!

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