September To-Do: Get Your Peepers Checked

Courtesy Warby Parker

If you’re like us, even if you’re not personally returning to school, the season’s pervasive back-to-reality vibes provide inspiration to tackle items on that pesky to-do list. For example? Finally getting an eye exam, after longer than we’d care to admit… In this age of perpetual screen-time, this seems an especially important check-up to prioritize. (Here are some tips to keep in mind.)

For this piece, we visited the Bellevue Square location of Warby Parker, since an in-store exam is possible there — and at their Alderwood outpost, too. They also have shops in University Village and Capitol Hill.

We immediately felt uplifted upon walking into the sleek Bellevue space, where local artist — and previous Bellevue resident — Nate Williams has jazzed up the store with bright, original work that sets a friendly tone from the get-go. While the experience could have been daunting after so many years of eye health negligence, each staff member was incredibly warm and helpful in walking through the straightforward process.

Courtesy Warby Parker

The eye exam took place in an office tucked away in the back of the store, where images were taken of my eyes and I completed a series of vision tests through sleek, modern technology (a far cry from the wall chart exams of yesteryear). During my appointment, the glasses prescription (thankfully a mild one, to be worn only in certain scenarios) was entered into the online system, so that the order could be placed immediately afterward. I then spent a good half-hour wandering the store’s enticing shelves lined with a vast variety of eyeglasses categorized by shape, with options like “staff favorites” and “new releases” catching my eye, too.

The reasonably-priced glasses start at $95 with prescription lenses; customers can also add blue-light-filtering, anti-fatigue or progressive lenses to any pair. Those wanting to shop from home can take an online quiz, then selecting favorite styles to be shipped to your home (for free!) to try out for five days.

Courtesy Warby Parker

Warby Parker also sells a huge selection of sunglasses, in styles from traditional to funky. Their sunglasses (also starting at $95, with free shipping and free returns) come equipped with scratch-resistant lenses that block 100% of UV rays. Prescription lenses — in the color of your choosing — can be added to any pair.

So now I wait for the delivery of my new specs, which the kind manager told me should arrive in five to seven days. At that point, I’ll head back into a Warby Parker store to get the glasses properly fitted to my face, and to make sure the selected style is the one I care to rock this fall.

Courtesy Warby Parker

The best news? For every pair purchased, a pair of glasses gets distributed to someone in need. The tally so far: 10 million pairs and counting.