Recently I was approached by Glasses Direct to try out their free home trial service for London Retro – and considering I was already in the market for a new pair of glasses, I jumped at the chance!
Although buying glasses online is so much cheaper than the high street, I’d never properly investigated them before, because I was always concerned about trying on frames before I purchased them. After all, you wear glasses every day of your life, sometimes for several years at a time, so who wants to be stuck with a pair that doesn’t suit them, even if they’re a bargain price?!
Luckily, Glasses Direct have a cool free home trial service, which I was completely won over by – you just enter your card details and they send you four frames of your choice to try out, completely free. There’s no secret charge or returnable fee – you just have to return the frames within seven days using the freepost box the frames came in.
London Retro have a lush selection of really cool frames to pick from, and I knew I wanted to go fairly conservative with my choices, so I selected the Ohara and Mason, which are standard square-type frames, and cat-eyed options in Loren and Presley. When they arrived, although the cat-eyes were cute, I realised that they don’t really go with my preppy style – they’d suit someone who was more into pin-up for sure!
I narrowed it down to the Ohara and the Mason, and eventually plumped for the slightly smaller Ohara glasses – the Mason are definitely cool, but swamped my face a little too much. Plus, with the squatter shape, the Ohara’s edges still gave it a cat-eye look without going too far into super-retro land!
Once I’d selected, it was time to pack these babies back up again and send them back to Glasses Direct. I was a bit concerned about whether they’d be back in time thanks to a bank holiday, but everything went super smooth.
Glasses Direct also has a nifty virtual try on service, and a style finder which can help you select which frames to request for a trial. And, you can do as many trials as you fancy – after all, this is a pretty important decision!
The virtual try-on service is available on all of the frames on the website – you just use your webcam to get started and it will take a little video of your face that then allows you to try on the frames at home. Awesome technology!
In fact, the only snag in the entire process wasn’t down to Glasses Direct at all, but rather my usual opticians – who will remain nameless! Let’s just say, when it comes to a very small part of your prescription, you might find it very difficult to prise information out of whoever did your last eye-check. The pupillary distance, or PD, is a small piece of information that allows the glasses maker to create your lenses in the right shape, and this is one piece of information that your opticians will work very hard to keep you from getting. I see their point – the cost of a eyesight check is actually a lot more than you are charged for, but that cost is offset when they sell you glasses at a higher rate than the online stores. So to prevent you from straying on the internet, they won’t give that info out – and I couldn’t even arrange a sight test at any of the local opticians to find out out, unless I committed to then purchasing glasses from them. What to do?
Luckily, the solution was super-easy. Glasses Direct have some helpful advice on their page here. In the end, I used a couple of different online tutorials to measure the PD myself. You can also send in a pair of your old glasses and Glasses Direct will take the measurement from those. Even better than this, if you decide to opt for an average PD measurement (so, not measuring yourself but using an average measurement instead), and it doesn’t work out, GD will actually replace your lenses, or give you your money back. I honestly cannot recommend them enough.
I think Glasses Direct is such an awesome service that I’ve already recommended them to my friends and family – and I’ll recommend them to you too, without reservation. If you want to check out their range, I’ve been given a referral link that you can follow here, which gets you £30 off any frames priced £55 or above (and I get a nifty Amazon voucher too! And you can also take advantage of the refer a friend scheme once you’re a customer, getting your friends money off and yourself a voucher!). These beautiful Ohara frames from London Retro were £125 (or £95 if you use the code!).
I received these glasses free in order to review the Glasses Direct service, but all of the opinions in my post are my own.