While the online eyeglass "boom" took place around 2006-2008, Frames Direct was around selling name-brand stuff online for long before that. Want to guess when their website came along? Based on the birthdays of other established retailers I had guessed around 2001 give-or-take a year. I was wrong. 1996 is the answer. That means while many in the world were still using Windows 3.1 & 95, Frames Direct was busy getting themselves online. Crazy.
Their designer frame offerings include names such as Oakley, Ray-Ban, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Costa, Prada, D&G, Silhouette, Persol, Polo, Tom Ford, Kate Spade, John Lennon, Tag Heuer, Burberry, Versace:
...and about 150 name-brand frames in total.
Seriously if it's a name brand and it exists, they have it. They do not sell any no-name budget frames though; so if you are looking for that $20 backup pair of glasses don't look here. You probably won't find many frames that are a few seasons out of style either; so those who want to save a few bucks by getting something slightly-outdated-but-brand-name should probably look at alternatives. Their focus is on CURRENT NAME BRAND stuff.
If you are looking for the latest though: Frames Direct is the only place virtually guaranteed to have it. It'll be quite a bit more expensive than other online retailers; but that's the price you pay for "keeping up with the Joneses". At least you'll pay less by buying online than the Joneses did in a local store.Frames Direct website
Based in the UK, SelectSpecs is actually quite popular. Part of that is probably because they have something for everyone. People who want name-brands can find them at a good price; and people who just want cheap glasses can find those starting at $20.
RayBan, Oakley, Tom Ford, Prada, and BOSS are predominantly displayed, but they carry all the other popular name-brands too and the selection is solid.
A big plus if you are comparing them to FD is that while the frame prices are close (sometimes a little cheaper): you get standard lenses thrown in for free.
Whether you are in the UK or not (if you somehow don't end up spending enough for free international shipping then basic international shipping is only $10 so it's not an issue), they are certainly worth checking.SelectSpecs website
Coastal used to offer budget (no-name) frames and some out-of-current-style (and cheaper) name-brand frames. They have been moving towards the pricier name-brand stuff as time goes on.
Every so often you can find a Vogue or Guess frame on sale for under $50 and they are usually cheaper than FD. Prices top out at just under $200 for Jimmy Choo, D&G, and Marc Jacobs. The selection is small enough that it isn't even in the ballpark of what FD or SelectSpecs offers though; and whether the styles are current or not is something you will *need* to know yourself before you visit.
Coastal is a good place to check if you aren't looking for a very specific brand/frame and don't mind if the style isn't always the most current. You'll get name brands at a fairly low price and for many: that's good enough.Coastal website
GlassesUSA seems to be trying to get into name-brand designer stuff. They LIST a bunch of names like D&G, CK, Guess, Emporio Armani, etc., but they don't even CARRY a number of the brands they list. You will find a couple Nike, D&G, Converse, or Ray-Ban here or there but I don't think it really qualifies as a selection with only a few frames available. There are a number of what I call "no-name, name brand" frames available though.
The plus is that you can get free lenses (very very basic) with the frame. I wouldn't put them on my must-look list; but if you have the time you may as well check them out.GlassesUSA website
<< These aren't the glasses you're looking for *hand-wave* (take me back to the start!)
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