My first pair of glasses were a bright red, translucent plastic and I could not stand them. I was eight years old when I got them, at that stage in every kid’s life where the last thing that she wants is something that makes her stand out. I felt incredibly self-conscious in them and couldn’t wait to be old enough for contact lenses.
I wonder what eight-year-old me would have thought about me, 25 years on, picking out a sample pair of glasses from online prescription glasses retailer Firmoo and going for a pair that were pretty similar in size and shape (but not colour) to the ones that she rejected in primary school?
Can I confess something? I actually like being a glasses wearer. Sure, your Zooey Deschanels and the like might have made oversized librarian frames a fashion statement, but this is a conclusion that I cam to years ago. I tried contact lenses, and they were nice enough but – whether because of my intensive computer use or my slightly weird prescription, that involves astigmatism as well as pretty hardcore short-sightedness – I found them pretty uncomfortable and always ended up with headaches. I’m sure they would be nice to have for special occasions, but given the number of times I’ve gone to my optician for a free trial and then forgotten to go back I’m probably blacklisted.
Sure, they could do with some windscreen wipers and they make wearing sunglasses a pain (unless you don’t mind doubling up, or inherited a pair of clip-ons from one of your American friends’ mummies), but I happen to think they fill out my face nicely. And you can go as bold as you like with your eyeshadow when there’s a pair of specs between your eyelids and the world anyway.
Because my prescription is a bit complex, I had always been nervous about shopping for new frames online – but Firmoo made the process easy and hassle-free. I picked a blue and tortoiseshell style*, and took advantage of the site’s facility allowing me to virtually “try them on” by uploading a photo (I have a terrible habit of tilting my head in photographs for a flattering angle so it probably wasn’t the best representation, but it was a great feature). Firmoo either lets you scan in your latest eyetest prescription or fill in the details, and then glasses are made to order with a pair of single-vision lenses.
As my fellow short-sighted readers will know, higher prescriptions sometimes call for more expensive lenses to avoid unsightly lens bulge. Firmoo offers 1.57 index lenses as standard, and while you’re free to go for something thinner at an extra cost I decided just to risk it (I mean hey, they were free anyway, right?). Obviously it’s something you have a little more freedom to play about with when you’re purchasing a fuller frame, but I was really surprised – and impressed – by how little lens bulge there was when they arrived.
I’m not sure where Firmoo is based, but they appear to ship all over the place – something that was neatly reflected by the stylish hard case the glasses came in. They also arrived with a lightweight pouch and – most exciting of all – a tiny keyring screwdriver so that you can tighten them to fit! I got regular emails from the site keeping me updated with the manufacturing and dispatch process, which was really comforting given my nervousness about ordering something like glasses online. I even got an email telling me that my lenses would take slightly longer to manufacture than usual because of the astigmatism!
Firmoo has a fantastic range of great value frames which is updated daily, plus the kind of hands-on customer service you need when you’re shopping for something as personal and medically necessary as glasses. They’ve certainly cured me of my nerves about buying glasses online, and at those prices I’m tempted to make like my friend Trina and collect specs to match every outfit (I’ve spent up to £300 on two pairs of glasses before). If you fancy giving them a try, you can get 15% off your first order.
Have you ordered glasses online before? Did you get what you were after?
DISCLAIMER: I was sent a pair of prescription glasses for review purposes, but I was under no obligation to do so positively and all opinions are genuine. See my full disclosure policy.