Confession: it’s been about four years since I got new glasses.
I got my eyes checked and got a new prescription last year, but figured I’d deal to it post-trip. That time came a couple of months ago, hastened by the breaking of my current pair.
My eyes are a lot more sensitive than they used to be (age? allergies?) and I can’t bear the thought of wearing contacts everyday. Laziness and comfort wins over vanity.
ClearlyContacts.co.nz has a great offer – first pair free – but with my terrible vision, my first pair was still gonna cost about $120 with shipping and high index lenses.
In comparison, getting new frames and lenses from a brick and mortar place would cost at least $400. However, I’d have the peace of mind knowing that those glasses would fit perfectly.
That’s a big difference in cost and a hard saving to pass up, I know. But I can’t overstate how important fit is. I’m one of those people who will be driven crazy if my glasses don’t fit just so and sit just right on my head. Which is easier said than done.
I have a freakishly wide head that rules out the vast majority of frames, which pinch into my temples. I need nosepads because of my pancake flat Chinese face, as I can’t just perch my frames on the bridge of my nose. (I wonder if this is why I have such trouble with snorkelling masks…)
Did I mention I’m also super picky about colour and style? I’ve only found one pair offline that I really like and that also fits well.
Most frames look and feel wrong before I’ve even got them all the way onto my head, so I’m very wary about buying frames off the internet. Even if I find a frame looks good on the virtualthat is a perfect numerical match on all my measurements (did you know those numbers on the inside of the arms of your glasses actually correspond to the length of your lens, bridge and arm? I didn’t!) and thus theoretically a good fit, and looks good in the ‘virtual mirror’ on the site, that’s not necessarily a guarantee that it will work in real life.
Everyone says they’re the real deal; I’m not concerned about quality or legitimacy. The only issue is true fit – something that’s hard to determine online. But since Clearly Contacts has a 365-day refund policy, I figured it was worth giving it a go. After all, it could only go one of three ways:
Outcome 1: Pay $120, find the Clearly Contacts pair fit like a dream, and voila, I’ve saved maybe $300
Outcome 2: Pay $120, find the Clearly Contacts pair don’t quite work for me, return it, and then buy the full priced pair in store. Once I get my refund, I’m no worse off financially.
Outcome 3: Pay $400 or so for the full priced pair in store and rest in peace with the knowledge I have a pair I love that fit perfectly (but wonder if the Clearly Contacts pair might have sufficed)
My first pair from ClearlyContacts just weren’t right. Technically they should have been more than comfortable – maybe even a little wide, on the loose side – but they pinched in. I thought they might wear in like a pair of shoes after a few days, but they didn’t.
Returning them was pretty easy – I just had to repackage them and send the box back, and my money was returned to my Paypal account not long after.
I thought I’d give it one more go before throwing in the towel. The second pair cost me a bit more – I couldn’t find any other frames that qualified for the ‘first pair free’ offer that a) I liked the look of and b) fit my measurements. But what do you know! It fit like a dream; the only downside is that this frame feels a lot flimsier and I’m not sure how long it will last. If it manages at least a couple of years, I’ll be okay with that.