Starting Member
As long as we are on the topic... my own eyeglasses adventure

I've had the same dark blue plastic Gucci (should I say Luxottica?) frames since the thicker frames came back in style 5 or 6 years ago. Unfortunately, since Luxottica makes most of the "designer" frames out there, every single person now has frames that are nearly identical to mine. I'm also headed to law school and getting away from the hipster/hippie computer application scene for something a bit more (or less, depending on how you look at it) "professional". About a year ago, I decided it was time for a new pair.

I went to a few stores in New York and New Jersey and finally decided on a pair of Alain Mikli frames (store is in Short Hills Mall). Unfortunately, the frames were about $700 (without lenses), more than I was willing to drop. I found a pair on Ebay, but when I got them, I started not liking them: they were a bit wide for my face (Lesson: don't listen to the sales person, bring someone you trust with you to evaluate the frames). I was frustrated (my own fault) and decided to keep my old frames.

A couple of months ago, my girlfriend said she'd get me new glasses for my birthday, she was completely sick of my old ones (I think it had something to do with the fact that I am wearing them in any picture of me and exes from the last 5 years). We cased New York - price wasn't an issue this time. There was a great New Yorker article on good eyeglass stores in New York so we did a quick tour. I found some places helpful, but most places were snooty. It was hard to draw a line over who was just trying to sell me something and who actually had a good eye for what would look good on me. I also have a -4.25 prescription, so the lenses can start looking a bit thick on rimless frames and I knew that I didn't want any glasses with any visible branding. New York was pretty much a bust. I knew I didn't want Luxottica frames as they are generally overpriced mass-produced junk, and some of the handmade frames were nice, but I couldn't justify paying $1500+ for a handmade or vintage frame. The salespeople really ran the gamut - just like someone mentioned about car dealers. I had salespeople that were really trying to push a sale, others that were disinterested, and still others that didn't seem to know much about their product or didn't care to listen to me when I talked about what I was looking for. We came home to Boston unexpectedly empty-handed.

Next we toured Boston. We went to most of the shops (including the one rated "best" by Boston Magazine) as well as some chains like Cambridge Eye Doctors. Again, it was extremely difficult. Quality of associates and frames varied ("I don't want any frames that have a brand on them and I want something fairly unique" "How about these Ray-Bans that say Ray-Ban on them? They are what all the hipsters are wearing, so they must be cool!!").

Finally, we ended up at a small shop called "Eye-Q" in Cambridge. Service was personable, and more importantly, we didn't feel pressured to buy and the frames they had were refreshingly unique. The salesguy actually listened to what I wanted, asked questions about what I like and what I don't like (this was actually the first time this happened unprompted) and asked me about my general style and fashion. He helped me select two frames that I liked and they told me that they do custom tinting - not only of the lenses but of the frame itself. They were not cheap, but I finally found frames I felt good about (one roundish tortoise-shell, one very thick dark brown plastic that fades from top to bottom - no branding!). When I came to pick them up, they actually kept the store open a half hour late because I had hit traffic.

Overall, getting new glasses WAS an extremely frustrating and difficult experience (I tallied 40+ shops by the end of it), not unlike buying a car (something I have to do in July - DOH), but it's worth it, especially since they are something I have to coordinate with my outfit every day.
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Alexander Kabbaz

Tech and Business Advice Guru
United States
New York
East Hampton
That is an excellent recommendation. The first question I pose to a new client is this: "You've been wearing shirts your entire life. What is it that you don't like about all the shirts you've worn?" And I make a list of every issue which remains permanently in the client's file. It may be a little thing ... but it may also be the most important thing.


Advanced Member
United States
Actually, since I started using auto brokers to buy cars - they handle the whole deal as one package and deliver the car to my house - the two remaining giant shopping hassles I have to tolerate are buying spectacles and buying shoes. I hate both ordeals.

I simplify the former somewhat with brand loyalty - currently, I buy exclusively Theo frames, which I can only find in Atlanta at Salle Opticians (at Phipps Plaza), so I know EXACTLY where to go; the remaining problem is deciding frame (Theo has many nice ones for my face) and color (each Theo frame is available in a myriad of colors.)

I did discover a new Japanese frame brand - Salt - which I quite like, though, so the next go round might be more difficult!


chatsworth osborne jr.

Senior Member

I guess only someone with 20/20 vision could fathom opting to wear glasses for vanity. Admittedly, I did get a pair of cheap windowpane specs in high school shortly before flunking the eye exam myself, so I speak from experience.

Unneeded eyewear is an ultimate challenge for the frivolous aesthete. The pinnacle of both useless accessories and of personalization and coordation with one's features.


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
United States
Finally, we ended up at a small shop called "Eye-Q" in Cambridge.
Is it just me, or does Cambride (Harvard Square area) have more eyeglass stores than normal? It seems like there are 2 on every block.


Starting Member
Is it just me, or does Cambride (Harvard Square area) have more eyeglass stores than normal? It seems like there are 2 on every block.
Yea, I noticed the same exact thing, makes it easier, or more frustrating, however you want to look at it. We also liked a few frames at 241 Optical right down the street - no branding, unique styles, good salesguy. They were much less expensive than Eye-Q, but 241's selection and quality was slightly inferior. If budget was an issue, I probably would have bought my frames at 241.


Senior Member
The only thing worse than buying a new car is buying new glasses!!
I thought you might have been talking about the price of eyeglasses but I can see from other posts that buying glasses can be a taxing job. I guess I've been lucky in the past in that I was able to quickly find frames that I liked. That could change though as my prescription is up for renewal and I didn't find a pair of frames I liked at Costco so its time to make that trip into eyeglass land.
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