Call it a Fancy purchase in the making for oh... about fifteen years. Possibly longer. Can you believe it took me that long to get a new pair of glasses? But good things come to those who wait, and even better things come for those who wait for a reeeeeeally long time.
Why the long wait, Magpie? I've been a contact lens user for many years; they're comfortable, easy and no-fuss, but I started to get glasses-envy when I saw more funky vintage-style frames making a comeback. Glasses as style statement! But selecting frames is a big decision and I am a terrible decision-maker. Enter Rivet and Sway, a brand-new online eyewear shop with an eye towards truly stylish and unique frames. I love the names they give their designs: All Who Wander, Faster Pussycat and of course my personal favorite, Umami, which is the frame style I just purchased and very happily received in beautifully designed packaging, I may add.
Buying eyewear online? That's crazytalk. I'm sure people said the same thing about shoes and see how crazy that is now. The secret is a combination of home trials and free shipping. Rivet and Sway lets you select three favorite frame styles and trial frames are sent via two-day shipping for you to test out. You can keep trying on/sending back frames until you get a style you like, and then when you're ready to order, you fill out their form with your prescription information. They price their glasses at a flat $199, which is reasonable for designer eyewear. Within a week, you'll have your glasses delivered, and if they don't work out, you can send them back within 60 days. Very low-pressure, which I appreciate, since I hadn't tried on eyewear frames in over a decade. I was lucky to try them on at a preview party, so I could skip the back/forth mail trials, but in some ways I think deciding on your own time is better, get your friends or family to decide if something is a good fit or not.
Here's the skinny on getting your eyes Riveted and Swayed:
Have your prescription up to date! And make sure it's for glasses NOT contacts; there are different measurements for both. Take down the prescription requirements from Rivet and Sway's site when you go to the optometrist, just so you know you've got everything you need.
Read their Golden Guidelines page under their Style Advice section of the site as a guide for what a proper fit is for frames, as well as color selection. Eyewear is like clothing, sometimes an item can look much better on the hanger than it does on you, or vice-versa, something you never would have thought would look good, looks great when you try it on. Be wild and crazy -- there are some really great color options for some of the frames.
Strong prescription? Stick with the thicker frames. I am literally blind as a bat, half the reason I didn't get glasses was that lighter frames could never handle the lens thickness I required. I had to skip the lighter metal frames from Rivet and Sway's designs, but the style I chose, Umami, handles the lenses just fine, and they use lightweight polycarbonate, so not heavy at all. They can handle fairly strong prescriptions, but call them with questions if you have astigmatism or other special eyewear needs.
Jaunty Fine Print: photos by Denise Sakaki, fancy-schmancy eyewear from Rivet and Sway