How to Buy Affordable Designer Eyeglass Frames

Designer glasses for a cheap girl- it’s an art. Paying for glasses is expensive even with insurance. People pay way too much for plastic and screws, but I have a few money-saving secrets to fit your eyes and wallet. I’m really just here to upset the eyeglass monopoly.


Kate Spade Jonnie frame, ordered for 40% off from, lenses filled at EYEQuity.

Not only have I been accustomed to a lifetime of glasses wearing, but I worked at Warby Parker styling people in prescription frames. What is great about WP is that they can make a standard pair of glasses (with the RX lenses!!) for $95. That is a steal. Most people pay more at their doctor’s office for frames with insurance than it would cost them to go to WP without their insurance. While WP is hands down, the most affordable and easy way to purchase RX glasses, my only issue is that they don’t have many fun, unique options. I want spunk in my frames. Which usually comes with a steep price tag.

So, I had to figure out how to get Kate Spade and Prada frames on the low-low. While designer frames will still be a considerable purchase, I have found ways to get them with the prescription for less than half the cost of walking in to a Lenscrafters. Here is what you need to do.

  1. Stop buying from your eye doctor. When I sold glasses, people often told me they felt obligated to purchase from their doctor. Why? You already pay them for their services. Also, your eye office is legally required to give you your prescription. You have no obligation to purchase from them. So, take it with you and don’t lose it. Even better, take a photo of it on your phone to save an electronic copy, too. You’ll need it.
  2. But still shop at their office. Trying frames on in-person is valuable to help you figure out what frames look good on you. Most people cannot look at a frame online and know for a fact it will look good on them. By trying them on in-store and knowing how frames should fit, you will figure out your style. Write down the brand and model number from the inside of the arm to remember exactly which frames you liked.
  3. Then shop somewhere else. Your eye doctor office might be boring. Different stores have different things and you will find that there are many types of optical stores. Even places like Neiman Marcus carry designer frames. You don’t need your RX to purchase frames, only to fill the lens prescription, so you can buy the frame from anywhere.
  4. Search your chosen frame online. My favorite site to use is, but there are other sites with similar deals that may have slightly different inventory.
  5. Order WITHOUT the RX lenses. This is important for two reasons. One, if the frame isn’t what you were expecting, it’s much easier to return or exchange without the prescription lenses. Secondly, I do believe it is important for someone to fit your RX with your eyes in the frame in person.
  6. Get the RX filled at a specialty location. My favorite place to get my lenses done is literally a kiosk in a shady mall. EYEQuity has done three of my frames and they all have been absolutely perfect. They are able to take ANY frame and precision laser cut it to fit your RX lenses. Single vision lenses are just $89.


    EYEQuity at Castleton Mall in Indiana. Single Vision Anti-Reflection Lenses: $89.00
    HD Progressive Bifocal Anti-Reflection Lenses $179.00

In a nutshell, this is how well this worked for me. I fell in love with a pair of Prada frames at a Lenscrafters. The frames alone were $340.

I found the same pair online– while it was still available at Lenscrafters– for $170. That was 50% off, more than what my optical insurance would cover if I purchased at my eye doctor.

As soon as I got them in the mail, I took them to EYEQuity and had the lenses done for $89. My total cost was around $275, including taxes. I now have gorgeous designer frames with prescription lenses for $65 less than the full price of just purchasing the frame without lenses. Comment on this post or dm me on Instagram @_madmay to share your great deals!


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