So you have to wear glasses

A few weeks back I decided to make a trip to the opticians. My eyes had been getting tired from long days behind the computer and what’s more 15 years between appointments seemed about right to me.

It’s easy to forget that opticians are part of a lead generation business. I wondered what the minimum level of “blindness” one has to have before an optician recommends glasses. Is that level regulated somehow? If I went to an independent optician would I find them telling my sight was fine?

When you’re told it’s time to consider specs there is a surprising lack of counselling. I was expecting some form of bereavement support. A sympathetic tone at least. In actuality a prescription was thrust into my hand and I was introduced to a sales person who asked me what shape I liked. “How the hell am I supposed to know?! I’m in shock.”

When I first tried a pair on I was convinced everyone in the store was laughing at me. Particularly the sales person. It was like they knew I was an impostor. Someone who was only in it for the fashion statement. I left pretty quickly.

Glasses are fucking expensive. Anywhere between £300 and £600, with lenses, if you want something that didn’t look like it was designed by a child. The majority of frames are taken up by fashion’s usual suspects. Ray-Ban, Paul Smith, Tom Ford etc. However if you’re looking for something with a little edge specialist designers such as Oliver Peoples, Beausoleil and Garrett Leight offer something a little different. For the later, try the Eye Company in Soho. Really friendly staff with some unique options. My personal hunt continues.

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My name is Dan, I'm a product manager and entrepreneur living and working in London. Check out my blog archive or read more about me.