Where should I get prescription sunglasses?
April 20, 2004 11:40 AM   Subscribe

Where should I go to get prescription sunglasses? Some place like this? More inside . . .

I know my current prescription but I'm not in the market for new "regular" frames. My current glasses won't accept clip ons. I live fairly far away from any eye doctor who would have a decent selection of frames. It doesn't make sense to spend big dollars on non-prescription glasses and then throw away the expensive lenses. Any thoughts?
posted by dhacker to Shopping (17 answers total)
I work making prescription spectacles, most opticians should carry a good selection of frames, any of which can be sunspex.

Alternatively the site you link, or one simular would be a good bet, however any frame looks drasticly different when your wearing it as to how it looks in a picture or even when held in your hand.

Some sites offer a service where you can upload your picture and 'try' the spectacles on your photo.
posted by john_son at 12:04 PM on April 20, 2004

I've just gotten them from my regular optician -- it's just like applying a tint to plain ol' prescription lenses, except the tint is a lot darker.

Alternatively, my last pair of glasses came with a clip that actually matched the glasses and looked good. It "clipped" to the frame with a couple of teeny magnets. Was great, till I lost the thing.
posted by Vidiot at 12:05 PM on April 20, 2004

But what if you want something more hip than standard eyeglass frames? I find even large optomitrists only carry one brand of sunglasses like ray-bans. I know there are issues with how much a sunglass lens can curve and still have a clear prescription, but pretty much every cool pair of sunglasses these days are curved.

Aren't there any cool prescription sunglasses out there?
posted by mathowie at 12:22 PM on April 20, 2004

I've got prescription Oakleys. A pair of these. I got them through a local optometrist by using their dealer locator. Ruby Project and Vuarnet have prescription lenses too. These can take longer to get than regular lenses (they may have to get lenses from the manufacturer) and cost a whole heck of a lot more, but what cost fashion, right?
posted by bonehead at 12:51 PM on April 20, 2004

Not to derail too much, but what if you already have frames and need prescription lenses (regular and tinted)? Should I go to Binyon's in the mall or are there better alternatives (online or b&m)? My current lenses cost waaay too much in a fancy boutique, so there's no way I'm getting them there.
posted by turbodog at 1:00 PM on April 20, 2004

Mathowie hits it for me. If I go to a Sunglasses Hut (or some such mall type store) and buy my hip frames I'm paying for lenses that are no good. I think what I want to do is go to my Sunglass Hut and pick out the frames I like, then order them with my prescription from an online store. Does that make sense?
posted by dhacker at 1:04 PM on April 20, 2004

turbodog, if you have a costco membership, they'll toss lenses into almost anything for about $50.
posted by mathowie at 1:16 PM on April 20, 2004

dhacker, I've tried to do the same, and it was a big pain. First, make sure the sunglasses place has a return policy, then buy what you want (try not to go too curved), then take them to an eye doctor/lab to see if they can do lenses. I did this about ten years ago on some ultra hip sunglasses but it took a couple tries to get right.
posted by mathowie at 1:18 PM on April 20, 2004

mathowie -- they'll put prescription sunglass lenses into anything? Or do you just mean regular lenses. Cuz that's a great deal. I also (used to) have those sunglass clip-ons that attach to my regular glasses with tiny magnets. When you lose those, and you will, you can't buy them. You have to replace the whole shebang.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:20 PM on April 20, 2004

mathowie, what i'm saying is that i would only shop for my style/model from sunglass hut/shack/barn but not buy them there. i would buy the whole thing frames/lenses from an online retailer. i would assume that i'm then only dealing with one place.
posted by dhacker at 1:26 PM on April 20, 2004

Flat lenses most optometrists can do, but many cannot (or will not) do the curved glass for wrap-around frames. That's one of the reasons the Oakleys and others are so expensive.
posted by bonehead at 2:32 PM on April 20, 2004

There are problems with trying to fit lenses to wrap around frames, I've tried it, it only works in a very limited prescription range and still without much succsess.

Oakley are the only company that I've used that have a high success rate. The reason they are so expensive is that the lenses have special power corrections applied to the prescription to stop the bending effect in the periphery of the lens that is normally associated with a curved frame.
posted by john_son at 4:28 PM on April 20, 2004

I've just gotten them from my regular optician -- it's just like applying a tint to plain ol' prescription lenses, except the tint is a lot darker

The tint can actually be any colour or darkness, they're just dyed lenses, if you have a pair that you find to dark take them back its a simple and quite fast job to remove a tint completly or partially.
posted by john_son at 4:32 PM on April 20, 2004

Some designers provide Rx adapters for sunglasses.

There's also eyeglasses.com, which provides custom frames
in addition to tinting and polarizing services.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:38 PM on April 20, 2004

Rx adapters work very well and being small they do keep lenses very thin, even in high powers. They are ideal for sport but can look a bit wierd for day to day use.
posted by john_son at 4:41 PM on April 20, 2004

So if the Oakley's in the link are $160 for non-prescription, how much are they with your own lenses?
posted by smackfu at 10:43 AM on April 21, 2004

Oakleys are about double the price in perscription, really expensive, but worth it if you can spare the money.
posted by john_son at 3:44 PM on May 16, 2004

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