Thursday, 20 July 2017

Trialling glasses with Specspost

2017: the year I finally got an eye test. After months (okay, a couple of years) of self-denial regards my ability to read small print, I finally relented and went to the optician. I was unsurprised to find that I had entered a new phase in the journey towards middle age; yes, I now require reading glasses.

In all honesty, I was quite happy with this outcome. Not only was I getting a bit fed up of futile attempts to read the text on my instagram feed, but since glasses got trendy I'd started to feel I was missing out on a whole different world of accessorising. Also, who knew going to the optician could be so relaxing! I had a lovely afternoon, cocooned in a world of hushed voices and gentle eye exercises, and I thoroughly enjoyed picking out my prescription lenses.

So, as a new glasses wearer, I was really excited to hear about SpecsPost, an online retailer offering a fuss-free way to buy your prescription glasses and sunglasses. Operating since 2009, SpecsPost offers lower than the high street prices on a great range of glasses for both men and women - you choose your frames and lenses, add in your prescription and get your glasses dispatched direct to your home. You can also try before you buy, a very useful facility for those starting out on their glasses wearing journey like myself. It's also great if you want to try some of the more fashion-forward glasses in the range and break out of your eye-wear style rut.

If the idea of navigating the technical aspect of glasses makes you feel a bit nervous about buying them online, the SpecsPost help pages has a really handy FAQ section (the first question being: "I've never bought glasses online before; how do I start?") covering everything you might be unsure of (how to make sure you get your prescription right, what to do if you just need reading glasses, etc.) plus there's a whole section dedicated to lenses.

But what about the actual glasses? The choice is impressive, with 'safe' options as well as more fashion-led choices, plus if you like the look of, say, Alexa Chung, you'll enjoy browsing the glasses in the celebrity section (covering everyone from Johnny Depp to Zooey Deschanel.)

There's also a good selection of sunglasses in the Petite range - available with prescription lenses, these had me at 'petite' as I always struggle to find sunnies that don't swamp my face and make me look weird. This option is available for both men and women, and includes some cool styles in everything from classic tortoiseshell to neon pink (perfect for festivals and starting at £24.99, not a prohibitive expense should you mislay or break them.)

With three on offer to trial, I picked a pretty broad selection: a pair of classic tortoiseshell wayfarers in a petite size, some slightly-out-of-my-comfort-zone black round sunnies and - now that I'm a fully paid-up member of the speccy crew - a pair of Alexa Chung style numbers that you can have with a prescription lens.

I loved the try before you buy aspect of this service - I was able to properly consider each option in the comfort of my own home without a sales advisor breathing down my neck. And you really don't want to make an expensive mistake with something as necessary as your glasses.

I found each pair really comfortable - the frames are light but sturdy and stay put (there's nothing worse than a pair of glasses slipping down your nose.) The petite sunglasses really were petite - for me, they were perhaps a bit too small (I'm obviously not quite as petite as I think I am) while the standard round sunglasses were perfect - a great size and style, I totally fell in love with these although they were the glasses I was least sure of initially.

I'm not sure I can carry of an Alexa look, though - given it's early days for me on the whole wearing glasses for necessity thing, I'm not sure I'm quite ready to be so experimental yet. But in terms of comfort and quality, these are fantastic options for the price. 

And that's the last part of the equation, right? Prescription glasses and sunglasses can be pretty spendy and gone are the days where I can countenance the idea of parting with £150 for a pair of designer sunnies. With the non-prescription glasses I chose coming in at just £25.99, SpecsPost are offering a really affordable alternative to the high street. 

As for me, I'm very happy with my new sunglasses, a departure from my usual eye-wear choice. And next time I need a reading glasses update, I know where I'll be looking first...

This post was written in conjunction with SpecsPost who kindly loaned me some glasses to try. 


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