Glasses have been a part of my identity for as long as I can remember and have come with various degrees of love and hatred as I have gotten older. I spent a good portion of my younger years having my parents buy designer branded glasses (completely unknown to me) due to the lack of price and brand transparency in common placed opticians and have now transitioned into buying them from independent retailers so I can understand what I am buying right from the beginning.
To that end, knowing where to shop for glasses can be quite the challenge, especially finding somewhere that will fit your frames with all the added extras for a decent price but whether it is through personal experience or recommendations, I’ve got a few places for you to check out!
Iolla is my new found love for glasses shopping and is the place I transitioned out of opticians for. It offers beautifully designed eyewear at an affordable price point no matter your prescription. I, personally, don’t want to miss out on perfectly crafted eyewear because I can’t afford top dollar brands. And just because I don’t want Gucci branded on the side of my frames, should not mean I have to compromise on the style of something which sits on my face all day. That’s where Iolla comes in.
This Glasgow based brand has a showroom in Glasgow’s city centre as well as the West End, they also have one in the St James Quarter here in Edinburgh as well as a recently opened showroom in Manchester. Not only are they well designed, every pair costs £85 each for frames, prescription, coatings and lens thinning. Prices do vary for traditional optics as well as multifocal lenses but even then, they offer highly competitive prices.
If you’re looking for the best priced glasses around, I genuinely believe Iolla will be hard to beat. And if you’re not in the area, you can of course order online. Check out their website for more information!
Now if you’re looking for a lot more options and glasses that lean on the designer market then Jimmy Fairly is probably your next best bet. You’ve got beautiful colour tones and angular shaped frames, which have been expertly designed in Paris. Priced at on average £129 these are frames I’d probably look at getting once my prescription settled down as you’re getting both quality and a spark of creativity in design.
I’ve heard nothing but good things about this brand and to that end, often celebrities and micro-influencers alike are seen with a pair of these. So if they can, why can’t we? Additionally, they’ve got good values at the heart of their mission as for every pair bought, they donate a pair to someone in need.
Check out what they have to offer.
BlooBloom are not a brand I have heard much about but after doing some research, they are now firmly on my list of places to watch. At a price-point between the two aforementioned stores at £95 per pair, BlooBloom are a solid option for anyone looking to buy a new pair of glasses.They offer the unique chance for you to order 5 frames to your home (in the UK) for free to try on with no obligation to buy. So you’ll get your own showroom from the comfort of your home.
As well as numerous styles to choose from, like the previous brands they also do sunglasses and include most additions in their pricing. Check them out!
Ace & Tate
Finally, the brand you probably heard of from most bloggers five years ago and carry on being a steadfast company in the glasses market, is Ace & Tate. More on the pricy side with frames starting at £110, you are however guaranteed quality and a diverse range of designs.
And if you’re near a store, you can also book a free eye test which is a win win if you ask me. Ace & Tate are what I call reliable and if that’s what you’re after then this is a sure bet.
More information is on their website.
As I have gotten older, glasses have definitely become more of an accessory and joy for me to wear. Its no doubt that I still get the Harry Potter comments, the guys trying to chat me up by stealing my glasses and putting them on or the random conversations to do with eyewear (which aren’t always that bad). But I become less in tune with the reasoning for them when I know I am wearing a pair that suit me and fill me with confidence rather than an excuse for people to give me unwanted opinions on my appearance. Lets just say, glasses are an experience but I am extremely grateful that I’ve found glasses that give me a sense of identity (and allow me to see… that’s always useful) and don’t break the bank because expression should not come at the price of a ridiculously reduced bank balance.
Have you got anywhere you rely on for frames? Let me know!