Still haven't found that perfect pair of sunnies? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Shopping for sunglasses online used to be akin to shopping for sunglasses with a blindfold on, but a new generation of online glasses shops has made trying on and picking out your perfect pair relatively painless. Whether you're on the hunt for a neutral classic or want to try out a bold new style, we've put together a simple guide to the best places to shop for sunglasses on the internet. From successful startup Warby Parker to indie brand Tortoise and Blonde, we've got the low down. So get ready to find your frames.
Designer Cynthia Rowley recently launched an eyewear collection—her answer to past troubles finding fun sunglasses that fit her face and ever-changing moods. The collection is typical Rowley—bold, arty, statement making looks—so they aren't for the faint at heart. Options include mostly thicker frames, but there are a few aviator styles, including one pair with psychedelic reflector frames.
Best for: Bold, stand out shades
Try on: Order four frames to try on at home for free. Keep the pairs for seven days, and then send all of them back with a prepaid shipping envelope.
Shipping/Returns: Free shipping for US residents, Free returns up to 30 days
Price range: $$
Insider Tip: If you're into the selection, sign up for her Fashion Insurance program. Subscribers can either pay $50 or opt for monthly payments of $5, and get half-off sunglasses purchases for the rest of the year.
Warby Parker began as a fashion startup wanting to change the world, one pair of glasses at a time. In two years, the company has grown to dominate the eyewear industry with its $95 glasses and "buy a pair, give a pair" concept. Warby's selection of sunnies is quite simple, with each vintage inspired style (there are more than 20) coming in at least two neutral colorways. T
Best for: Simple frames, in neutral colors and patterns
Try on: Choose five pairs for an at home try-on for five days. If you're lost in deciding which pairs you want to try on, they have a virtual try-on feature, which offers recommendations according to your face shape. Questions? Check this video on Warby's site for a comical step-by-step video on the whole process.
Shipping/Returns: Free shipping for US residents, free returns up to 30 days
Price range: $$
Tortoise and Blonde
Tortoise & Blonde is the newest retailer to the online game, founded by father-and-son duo Steven and Evan Weisfeld in 2011. The independently owned eyewear company just opened their first brick and mortar outpost in the Urban Oufitters SoHo store, and is planning various pop-ups around the country. But if you aren't located near NYC, no worries, Tortoise and Blonde have an amazing online selection. The site offers simple but sophisticated sunnies as ready for a rooftop pool party as a hiking trek. They create and craft their own designs and all of the sunglasses are priced for under $100.
Best for: A small, curated selection of classic sunglasses.
Try On: Keep five trial shades for up to10 days.
Shipping/Returns: They ship to the US and Canada. Free returns up to 30 days.
Price range: $$
Steven Alan just rolled out his optical collection in April and it's already garnered quite a bit of buzz. His selection of sunglasses is limited—there are only 10 options—but that only proves a little can go a long way. The 10 styles are universal and classic, and there's definitely a pair for everyone within this collection. The colorways are laidback too, ranging from tortoiseshell to transparent.
Best for: The largest selection of neutral shades in universally flattering styles
Try On: The Home Kits are pretty standard. Try six styles for seven days, and return with prepaid shipping. Unlike other retailers, Steven Alan lets you request more time with a simple email or call.
Shipping/Returns: They ship to the US and Canada Free returns up to 30 days
Price range: $$$
The glasses emporium is a online eyewear shopper's dream. Think tons of brands and frame shapes, all in one place. Options include sunglasses from popular designers like Vera Wang and Derek Lam. Unlike most of the other places that offer stylish shades on the web, Glasses.com allows you to order prescription sunglasses that put generic versions to shame. Prices tend to be on the higher side, due to the higher-end brands featured on the site, but the sale section is stocked with sunnies for up to 70% off.
Best for: The best online selection of designer sunglasses
Try On: Try 4 pairs for 7 days, or download the app to virtually try on thousands of frames after a simple 3-D face scan. Also, the risk-free shipping and return program allows for trial and error when ordering.
Shipping/Returns: Free Shipping both ways. Free Returns up to 30 days after purchase.
Price range: $$$$
How rough is it to find a pair of glasses that actually works with your face, only to find out that you have to repeat that search again when it comes to your sunglasses? Lookmatic has eliminated that dilemma altogether with its new concept of universal optical shopping. All of its frames are offered as both glasses and sunglasses, allowing you to achieve easy, across-the-board styling with your frames. You can purchase both the glasses and sunglasses from the site for only $65.
Best for: Buying both your glasses and sunglasses in one place
Try On: Lookmatic has two different options for testing out its shades: the 3D Live Virtual Try-On enables you to see yourself in Lookmatic eyewear from all angles using your webcam, while the Photo Virtual Try-On lets you virtually try-on frames using Facebook or a photo uploaded from your desktop.
Shipping/Returns: Free Shipping, Free Returns.
Price range: $
The sunglasses brand of all sunglasses brands, we dare you to try and find a person that doesn't look good in a pair of Ray-Ban wayfarers or thin classic aviators. The brand has been a sunglasses staple for forever, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Best for: Comparing all of Ray Ban's styles without leaving your desk
Try On: The 3-D Virtual Mirror allows uses your computer's webcam to virtually show how the frames fit you from every angle. You can even switch to a 4 camera view, and try on 4 different frames at the same time to compare and contrast. This is definitely the best of the virtual 3-D try-ons that are on the web, in that it actually follows your face and is almost comparable to trying on in-store.
Shipping/Returns: Free Overnight Shipping in the US, Returns up to 30 Days
Price range: $$$
Research and writing by Callia Hargrove, Erika Graham, and Christina Dun. Images by Jacqui Leonhardt.
· Steven Alan Takes a Page from Warby Parker for New Optical Line [Racked]
· Cynthia Rowley Introduces 'Fashion Insurance' [Racked]