Best Designer Sunglasses 2014
Copping a cheap pair of frames from your local Lenscrafters might seem like the most economical plan when it comes to shopping for a new pair. But in a city this stylish and ever-moving, you're better off finding a shop with well-crafted spectacles that won't crack after fifteen minutes at Baby's All Right. Here are some of our favorite eyeglass shops in the city; as always, leave yours in the comments.
FABULOUS FANNY'S: This East Village boutique has been hawking stellar vintage frames and sunglasses for some time now, and it's still the best place in the city to score some one-of-a-kind old school eyewear. Helpful staff ill assist you in sorting through their massive frame collection, where you'll find everything from poodle-skirt wingtips to Victorian era spectacles, with most frames running under $150. Note that Fanny's doesn't have an optometrist on-site, though they do partner with one in Chinatown—if you have a prescription on-hand they can make your lenses for you there, or they'll perform an eye exam for a small fee.
: Once the true mark of a nearsighted hipster, it seems like everyone and their mother and their erstwhile mayor's been donning Warby Parker these days. Stylish frames here run only $95 (high-index lenses cost about $30 more), and you can spend as much time perusing their showrooms as you wish, using fancy measuring devices and in-store Instagram photobooths to find your most flattering pair. They've got in-store optometrists and they'll take prescriptions that are under a year old. And as a bonus, for every pair of eyeglasses a customer purchases, the company will donate to someone in need.
Warby Parker has four locations in Manhattan: 161 Avenue of the Americans, 2nd Floor, between Spring and Vandam Streets in SoHo (646-517-5223, warbyparker.com); 121 Greene Street between Prince and Houston Streets in SoHo (646-568-3720, warbyparker.com); 1209 Lexington Avenue at East 82nd Street on the Upper East Side (646-757-2290, warbyparker.com); and at 819 Washington Street at Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District (646-517-5227, warbyparker.com).
: It was a sad day when Sol Moscot's iconic eyes were forced to relocate from their Orchard Street home a few years back. Thankfully, the century-old business—which got its start as an eyeglass pushcart back in the early 1900s—simply shifted down the block, and continues to sell its classic, high-end label on the Lower East Side, with outposts in Cobble Hill and in Greenwich Village. Glasses here can climb into the $200s (or higher, if you're looking for special additions), though they do take some vision insurance, which is a bonus. They've also got in-store optometrists that'll nail down your prescription, and friendly staff will help you find the coolest frames to fit your face.
Moscot has three locations in NYC: 108 Orchard Street at Delancey Street on the Lower East Side (212-477-3796, moscot.com); 69 West 14th Street at 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village (212-647-1550, moscot.com); and at 159 Court Street between Dean and Pacific Streets in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-551-0591, moscot.com).
: For more fancy frames, Selima Optique's SoHo shop's got a solid selection of high-end, stylish frames. Hip designers, luxury brands, and owner Selima Salaun's own lines can be found here, with frames running from about $200 to $400, depending on the brand. Employees here are endlessly helpful, and they'll fix your glasses if you happen to, say, leave them by your bed and step on them in the morning. The shop will occasionally host sample sales fraught with discounted frames, and you can book an appointment with optometrist if you don't already have a prescription.
: For schmancy spectacles, this high-end brand boasts brick-and-mortar locations in SoHo and on the Upper East Side, where you can peruse gorgeous $300 frames and dream of a day in which you can't trade in a month's worth of groceries for eyeglasses. If you can shell out for these bad boys, though, you are lucky indeed. The frames here are cool as hell, and though the staff can be a bit snooty, they'll certainly help you find the finest, most fashionable pair. And you get what you pay for here—the glasses may be pricey, but they're impeccably crafted, and will last you for years and years.