Warby Parker's Virtual vs. Real World Eyewear Smackdown

Warby Parker's Virtual vs. Real World Eyewear Smackdown

Sonia Zjawinski
Jun 23, 2010

A little over a month ago we posted about Warby Parker, a new eyewear company that lets you use your webcam to try on stylish (and very inexpensive) prescription glasses. Since we ourselves are in the market for new specs, we decided to give their virtual try-on a whirl and asked you to vote for your fave frames. Some of you had some valid concerns in the comments regarding the accuracy of the virtual try-on, so we asked Warby Parker to send us the frames we "tried on" so we could show you a side-by-side comparison of their virtual world and real world specs. They were very kind in granting our wish.

Because of Warby Parker's quick rise in popularity, they didn't have all the colors I originally tried on, so I redid my virtual try-on to be more accurate. Here are the four styles -- Huxley, Roosevelt, Hudson, and Wiloughby -- with the virtual try on the left and the real world fitting on the right.

While the virtual try-on isn't perfect, it is pretty close to the real thing. Occasionally, as you see, the frame's size doesn't quite match-up, but since Warby Parker offers free shipping and no hassle returns if you don't like your specs, it's really a no stress experience.

I personally enjoyed doing this much more than heading to an eyewear boutique. I'm not one for having strangers push their opinions on me when I'm trying stuff on (leaving a comment on a post is much less aggressive) so being able to take these frames for spin in the comfort of my own home, without the sales pressure of going to a retail outlet was refreshing. Plus, I was able to actually go out and do stuff with my fave pair on to see how they feel on a day-to-day basis.

The glasses themselves are well crafted and felt good resting on my nose. Some, like the Huxley in particular, were a bit heavy, so for those of you who can only wear glasses, the fact that you can return these if they start to dent the bridge of your shnozz is a great perk. I was trying these on withing a Rx lens in them, so once I get my real pair in I'll update you all on the lens quality.

And while Wiloughby seemed to be a crowd favorite in the initial vote, I'm leaning towards the Hudson (second place in the polls). I may go for the black model, though I'm also looking at their Sandalwood Matte. I'll post a final image of my purchase on Unplggd's Twitter account, so make sure you follow us.

Pros: No stress try ons in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace.

Cons: Frames don't quite match up to the virtual try-on and some models are hefty.

Images: Sonia Zjawinski

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