By Rich Kane
By Joel Beers
By LP Hastings
By Dave Barton
By Patrice Wirth Marsters
By Erin DeWitt
By Taylor Hamby
By LP Hastings
Geek glasses are still cool.
Blame the hipsters, or if you are a hipster, blame Buddy Holly (the original hipster). Or, if you're me, blame that damn Zooey Deschanel, whose adorableness makes me want to run out and get bangs, a ukelele and geek glasses, knowing full well that I'll probably look more Ugly Betty than New Girl.
And yet I still try.
Fortunately, it's become easier than ever to rock the librarian-chic look thanks to a new crop of online eyewear shops that specializes in affordable, vintage-inspired specs. There's the cult favorite Warby Parker (www.warbyparker.com), as well as Classic Specs (www.classicspecs.com), Mezzmer (www.mezzmer.com) and Eyefly (www.eyefly.com), a spinoff of discount e-tailer Bluefly. All offer frames and prescription lenses for less than a Benjamin (with even lower prices for bandwagonners with perfect vision), plus free shipping and returns, so you can try on various styles at home, risk-free. No more having to walk into a sterile optometry office to peruse the glass shelves while praying you don't knock down the displays. Instead, Instagram sesh!
In my recent search for a new pair, I checked out Los Angeles-based Lookmatic, formerly known as Spexclub. On its mod site (www.lookmatic.com), shopping for glasses is as straightforward as perusing for shoes—and just as addicting. There's a virtual try-on feature, for which you upload a photo of yourself to see how different frames fit your face. For style inspiration, a blog offers photos of bespectacled celebs.
"Eyewear is a necessity, but it can be so much more," says Joe Cole, Lookmatic's creative director. "Why not buy a pair that goes with this outfit or that one?"
I visited Lookmatic's pop-up shop at LA's TenOverSix boutique and tried on handful of pairs, including the Rivers Cuomo-esque "Vesper," the cat-eyed "Kat"and the "Jesse" in a rockin' shade of red. Design-y types would swoon over the "Apprentice" in a brown, wood-like pattern. After posing in a mirror for a while, the clear winner was "Hobbes," a super-thick-rimmed rectangular style that screamed 1950s nerd. While lightweight and comfy, the specs were so wonderfully geeky I wanted to go read books and solve calculus equations. You know, if I knew anything about calculus. They were adorable.
Suddenly, it was all clear. . . .
This column appeared in print as "Specs-tacular!"