As someone who's been a four eyes for most of my life, I'm constantly spending money on glasses that'll (hopefully) make me look cool. Most recently, I discovered David Kind glasses, a fairly new specs site founded by Dave Barton. Barton used to be an executive at Oliver People's, so he has a fair amount of experience in making the once-nerdy accessory feel really hip. The site was pitched to me as an "upgraded Warby Parker," which made feel personally insulted because I shop for frames at Warby almost exclusively. Still, I was eager to give it a try — even if it was just to prove them wrong.
Before I walk you through the entire process of what it's like to buy a pair of David Kind glasses, I must warn you that it's extensive. Extensive in the best way possible. Most importantly, it doesn't require you to interact with any other humans (besides via e-mail) while you're picking out your next pair! You can only buy David Kind glasses on their website, which means you get to do the ridiculously convenient at-home try-on thing that's becoming so popular. Unlike a lot of other similar systems, however, you still get to work with a stylist to help you pick the perfect pair for your face. Here's how the whole thing goes.
When you register for the site, you'll have to answer a bunch of questions about the types of frames you're usually into and your prescription. There's also a place to leave a note about the style of glasses you're looking for. Mine said something along the lines of "Massive and nerdy. I have a big face, so I need big frames."
2. Picking Your Try-On Frames
Just like other at-home try ons, you scroll through a bunch of styles and pick your three faves. The selection at David Kind is just big enough to have solid options, but not so massive that it's impossible to pick just three.
Based on your responses to the registration survey as well as the frames you pick, you'll get a personal stylist assigned to you. He or she picks out three additional frames for you to try on at home, so you'll get six in all.
The home try on is free, though you do have to enter your credit card info before you get the frames. If you decide you don't like any of the glasses, however, you can send them all back with no charge.
3. Getting Your Try-On Frames
Obviously, this is the fun part. Your six frames get shipped in a fancy little cork box, along with a note from your personal stylist and detailed instructions on how to pick the frames you want. You get to hold on for all of these for six days, so you have plenty of time to go back and forth on which ones are actually your faves.
Each frame comes with a card for you to indicate if you'd like to buy them or not, plus any minor adjustments that might need to be made to make them fit. I'm incredibly lazy and only filled the card out for the pair I ended up with, but you can do them all if it'll help you make your final decision.
4. Shipping Them Back
Your box-o-samples comes with a pre-paid shipping label, so you can stick everything back in the cardboard box it came in and just pop it in a mailbox. You do, however, have to e-mail your stylist a selfie of yourself in the frames (hence the simply stunning headshot above) as well as a photo or scan of your prescription.
5. Getting Your New Glasses!!!!
OK, OK, I lied. Step 5 is more exciting than step 6. All of David Kind's glasses are $295, which is right around what you'd pay to get them at the eye doctor. I usually have to get my frames adjusted when I buy, but these ones (Richmond in Midnight, if you were curious) magically fit me perfectly right away.
Though the price for David Kind's glasses are slightly higher than what I usually spend, the at-home try on experience was really fantastic. I'm a sucker for pretty packaging, and the cork box was basically the height of luxury compared to some of the similar services I've tried. Though I ended up going with the a pair I chose in the first place (hey, I have 15 years of glasses shopping under my belt), I loved having someone else pick extra options for me. Since the try on is free, I highly recommend giving it a shot.
Images: Kara McGrath