With most optical stores being closed or partially closed during the lockdown, buying glasses online has become a reality for most of us.
Buying sunglasses online is pretty straight forward – Do they look good? Do they sit straight? Do the lenses protect my eyes? – but buying prescription eyewear does raise a few more questions.
There are two parts to the spectacle transaction. Buying the frames online is not as hard as you might imagine. If you know the company, even the style, from experience, then it’s a no brainer but if you have discovered some new frames that you fancy the look of then you do need to be sure that they will fit you and accommodate your prescription well. Some companies offer online virtual try on systems (some are better than others), others like Kirk & Kirk, prefer a more personal styling approach through our Personal Shopper service where you can get human guidance from one of our designers.
Every good company will offer you free returns if they are not right when you receive them, as long as you have not put new lenses in them!
When it comes to lenses, please be careful. There is a reason that opticians spend years qualifying and there is a very good reason that an eye test at an independent optician takes much longer than a quick vision check in a chain store or, in some cases, online. When a good optometrist checks your eyes, they can tell so much about your general health and sometimes even save lives. Do not rely on an online vision test to prescribe your lenses. Having your lenses fitted virtually is a risk in any circumstances as the optician is not present to check them when you receive them. You will have noticed that when you collect new eyewear from a store, the optician always adjusts your frame to ensure that the prescription is correct and that the centre of the prescription is sitting in the centre of your eye.
The stockist list (retailers) at kirkandkirk.com gives a good list of optical stores and should help you find an independent optician near you but if there is nobody listed in your area, please email us at [email protected] and we will try to help you find a good optician in your area.
In the current lockdown situation, we are seeing a massive upsurge in online eyewear sales. Please make sure that you get a quality eye test with an independent optician and invest in high quality lenses with durable coatings that will last. It can be an expensive purchase but this is a medical transaction as well as an investment in your personal style. Treat yourself properly. You get what you pay for.