After moving to Australia, one of the first things I noticed was how insanely bright it is here. The sun is incredibly strong, even in winter, meaning hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses are a must, year-round. As someone who wears glasses for distance and driving, this means prescription sunglasses are also a must, especially after buying a convertible last year. (Second-hand of course, the life of a blogger is not *that* lucrative).
In Australia, eye exams are covered by Medicare, but the actual cost of glasses and lenses can be expensive. (In my experience, upwards of $200, just for a simple frame and prescription.) That’s what I was pretty excited to come across Optically.com.au, an online retailer for prescription glasses and sunglasses. They offer speedy service, a huge range of quality products, and prices much lower than you would pay in store.
When Optically offered me the chance to try their product, I was pretty excited, because I (a) I thought they were an awesome company to share with readers and (b) I happened to be in the market for new sunglasses. Once you obtain a copy of your prescription from an optometrist (in most cases, valid for two years), you can order glasses online. Prescription glasses start from $19, and sunglasses from $39, meaning this is an easy way to save a lot of money on sunnies and glasses. I wasn’t aware that I could even order prescription sunglasses online in Australia, so this is great company to check out.
Select your frames
You can browse their site to select your frame, with a massive selection, including designer glasses. Each frame also lists the dimensions and size. This is helpful for me as I think I have a smaller face, and sometimes glasses tend to slip off when I look down. To avoid this problem, I measured an existing pair of glasses as a comparison, which worked well. The list price includes the prescription (although multi and bi-focals are a bit more), and this makes it really simple to know what your costs will be in advance.
They also have a virtual ‘try on’, where you can upload a picture of yourself, to get an idea how the glasses will look on you. The free ‘try at home’ option is also good, in which you can select frames to be sent out to you for trying on, before committing to one. I’m pretty indecisive, so after debating pretty much every pair, I finally made up my mind and placed my order.
The online ordering process is straightforward. Do make sure you have your prescription handy though, so you can enter it in when ordering. They also have an unconditional return program. This makes it easy to exchange or return, if the frames aren’t quite right.
I was a bit worried about committing to a pair without seeing them in person. However, once they arrived, I opened the package immediately, and was really pleased when the results. They fit perfectly, are comfortable to wear, and are of high quality. Glad to say I am completely happy with the product. I may order an additional pair as a back-up, and have been recommending the company to friends. They are perfect for driving with the top down on sunny days. Since they are so affordable, I don’t worry as much about scratching or breaking them, like I usually do with designer brands.
If you’re an expat or traveller heading to Australia, definitely obtain a copy of your prescription before arriving. Or, if you’re already in Australia and eligible for Medicare, it’s worth keeping a copy of your prescription handy. That way, it’ll be super easy to order a spare or replacement pair online, in case something breaks or gets lost, and at a much lower cost than you’d get elsewhere.
If anyone has any questions about how it all works, please let me know and I’ll be glad to help. Otherwise, my sunglasses and I will be cruising down to the beach.
The Accidental Australian received a complimentary product from Optically, but all opinions and reviews are our own.