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How I Buy Glasses Online: and Bonlook

September 18, 2015 2 Comments

how to buy glasses online cover

I had perfect vision my whole life…my wonderful optometrist has been taking care of my entire family for many years, and he always said I had the best vision! I considered myself lucky, but secretly harboured a teeny bit of jealousy for all the girls who got to wear super stylish frames.

That changed a few years later, when a routine visit revealed that I am slightly nearsighted. Wahoo! Being told “you need glasses” was basically like being told “you need an entirely new array of accessories for your face.” YES!

But when it came time to pay for glasses at my optometrist’s office I balked. They were SO expensive. Like so expensive that I could have bought a pair of designer shoes for the total amount. And if you know me well, you know I’d rather spend my $$$ on shoes than almost anything.

That’s when I discovered online shopping for glasses! With my method, I’ve found that I have saved a fortune compared to my friends and family who buy their glasses straight from their optometrist. I’ve racked up 8 pairs of glasses. 8! And since I’ve been asked so many times to share my tips and tricks, I thought I’d compile them into a blog post 🙂

Where do you buy your glasses from?

Clearly is awesome! This website has a variety of low to high end brands, and carries contact lenses as well as prescription glasses and sunglasses. I really like that they carry brand names I know such as Ray-Ban, Persol, Valentino, Armani and more. And I love that I’ve discovered new, and very reasonably priced brands, such as Derek Cardigan and Kam Dhillon. I’ve purchased glasses from both of these brands, and get complimented on them even more than my designer frames.

Clearly has a great shipping and returns policy, which makes shopping with them that much simpler. All their glasses come with a cute little plastic travel pouch which includes a mini bottle of cleaning solution, a wipe, and mini screw driver to adjust your glasses.

I suggest signing up for their newsletter to take advantage of their promotions. This is how I save so much money! Well, perhaps not in the long run…since I buy so many…

Major benefit: Clearly actually has several brick-and-mortar stores across Canada, so if you’re still skeptical about buying online, you can always do it the old-fashioned way 🙂

My Ray-Bans from Clearly
My Ray-Bans from Clearly
My Kam Dhillons from Clearly
My Kam Dhillons from Clearly


I love Bonlook. They differ from Clearly in that they only carry their own design of prescription glasses and sunglasses, and they don’t carry contact lenses. Their mission is: “to become the ultimate fashion destination for your eyewear wardrobe, offering fashionable, covetable, beautifully made frames and accessories” – uhm, yes. Mission ACCOMPLISHED! I adore Bonlook’s designs, and the sweet names they have for each set of frames. I personally own “The Honeybadger” and “The Bombshell”. They’re also very reasonably priced! In fact, they make it part of their overall philosophy: by cutting out the middleman and distribution costs, they can design and deliver straight to your door at unparalleled value.

Major Benefit: Bonlook has unbelievable customer service. I emailed with a slight concern I had about a promotion, and had a response back within an hour. Also, the individual helping me had a little avatar with their photo, which made it a more personal experience. In fact, all the customer service reps have these pictures beside their names, so you really feel like you’re interacting with a real and friendly person! Bonlook currently has only two showrooms in Quebec, but their customer service is so good, I don’t feel like I’d actually need to visit a shop! Bonlook also has promotions, such as bundling two pairs together for under $200, or taking $20 off a certain style. I encourage you to sign up for their e-newsletter too!

“The Honeybadger” by Bonlook
“The Bombshell” by Bonlook


Ok, so this is my own hybrid method of online-optometrist glasses purchasing. This method will only save you money if you have a fairly low and uncomplicated prescription like mine. If you wear coke-bottle lenses, or have major problems like an astigmatism, this might not work out to be more cost effective.

Basically, I buy my frames from eBay for an extremely reasonable price, and then I take them to an optometrist OR a lens-fitting wholesaler to get the lenses put in. This cuts down the cost of expensive frames dramatically. I also don’t use this method for buying designer frames, I actually use it to buy funky frames! It’s hard to find really unique and bizarre frames in shops these days. Take a look at my super cat eye, crystal studded pair below 😉 They were $50 on eBay, and actually came with plastic lenses which I just punched out to replace with prescription ones!

My funky frames from eBay
My funky frames from eBay

How do you know they’ll look good on you?

Ok, this is the question I get asked the MOST. I’ve narrowed it down to a science!

  • Go try some glasses on in store, and note down which ones you think flatter you the most. Ask the sales associate for the measurements of the width of the entire frames along the top, the width of the bridge of the nose, the width of one side of the glasses, and the height of the glasses. The height of the glasses is actually the most important, because that is what determines if the glasses will look too big or too small for your face. See example of measurements below:
image of Honeybadger frames from Bonlook
image of Honeybadger frames from Bonlook
  • Try on a bunch, and get the measurements for all the flattering ones. You should notice a pattern. For example, I noticed that the most flattering glasses for me were all around 135mm for entire length across, and 39mm for height of the frames. I also noticed that rectangular-square shapes and cat-eye shapes suited me most. Anything too round was out of the question, and those skinny secretary style frames look horrendous on me!
My first pair! I based my measurements off these originally.
My first pair! I based my measurements off these originally.
  • Use the “virtual try on” that Clearly and Bonlook provide. No, I don’t believe they’re 100% accurate, but they definitely provide you with an idea of what the frames will look like on your face. Maybe you think teal coloured glasses are for you, but they actually don’t suit your skin tone. Maybe you’ve been wearing square frames your whole life, but cat-eyes will really go with your haircut 🙂
  • Combine the tips above to choose a pair. First, shop by the style you noticed flattered you most. If that happened to be square frames and cat-eye frames, then drill down that way. Next, check the measurements on the frames. Do they fall in line with the measurements you took in store? And finally, use the virtual try-on to get a better idea of how they’ll suit you. Remember, it’s not 100% accurate, and I often find the frames look way better on once I receive them, than they did in the little photo!

I hope this post helped you! Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve ever bought glasses online, or if you think you might try it!



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  • Kara February 26, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    I’m new to glasses and I find I don’t like any of the styles at my optometrist! I found a few a styles on Bonlook that I love but I’m wondering how you can order them with your personal prescription? Or do you just order the single frame and then take those in to your optometrist to get the right lenses put in? Might be a silly question but I have no idea how it works!

    • jocelyncaithness February 26, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      Hi Kara! Thanks for reading 🙂 not a silly question at all – Bonlook is a super user-friendly experience: you can input your prescription once you’ve decided on a pair and have checked out online. Alternatively, if you don’t know your prescription, Bonlook will actually call your optometrist on your behalf (if you provide them with contact information). They have great customer service and always respond within a day (sometimes faster!). Your glasses are shipped to you and ready to wear.

      I’m not sure if you’re from Toronto, but they just opened a location in the Eaton Centre! You can actually go in and try on frames if you’re nervous about buying online 🙂 Hope that helps!

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    About Me

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    I'm Jocelyn: a daydreamer and fashion lover disguised as a finance professional. My head may be in the clouds, but my stilettos are firmly planted on the ground ;)

    Jocelyn Caithness

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