Like it or not, your glasses say as much about you as your car or your job or even any other accessory you might wear. They say whether you’re conventional or rebellious, minimalist or fashion-forward. So when we need new specs, we don't take the process lightly. And we always turn to Warby Parker, a 2011 Men’s Journal Gear of the Year recipient, and, in our eyes, one of the most innovative and trustworthy eyewear brands out there. The New York-based outfitter just released its fall 2012 collection, and our red ribbon seal of approval is focused squarely on the olivewood-colored Chandlers.
The Chandlers are statement specs. The man in these Woody Allen-esque frames would presume to have an innovative intellect, be a tortured artist, or (of course) a neurotic New Yorker. And he definitely has something smart to say. Or make. Or write.
"We named the Chandler after the writer Raymond Chandler, who pumped out noir novels that featured some of the greatest lines in fiction," says Warby Parker’s co-founder and co-CEO, Neil Blumenthal. "They’re for a man whose signature style is polished but effortless – someone whose time is more often spent with his nose in a book (or in a tumbler of Scotch) than out shopping."
During our test drive we found them to be sturdy and yet perfectly comfortable, two characteristics that are often at odds in our experience. Another reason we're so fond of Warby Parker is it's all about customer service. So, to help ease you through what is an impactful decision, the company will happily let you try before you buy – pick up to five different styles and it'll send them to your home for a five-day spin (we can think of so many other businesses that ought to consider such gracious service). The real icing on the glasses for us, though, is that every pair is a flat $95. Yes, $95, and that includes frames and anti-reflective prescription lenses. Were it not so scrupulously transparent and progressive — for every pair Warby Parker sells, it donates a second to someone in need – we'd assume this was some sort of bizzaro Ponzi scheme.
So, to sum up. Quality: High. Style Quotient: Colossal. No Brainer: Indeed. [$95; warbyparker.com]