Fashion

Fashionable Four-Eyes: Warby Parker vs Rivet & Sway

If you wear glasses, you’ve probably heard of Warby Parker, a company that lets you try on their glasses from the comfort of your own home. It’s a great idea, and if you’re in the market for some new ‘specs it’s helpful to not feel rushed in a retail environment and be able to ask your peers for advice. Since they’ve launched, a few other glasses makers have cropped up with the same concept.

Since I’m way overdue for a new pair of glasses—my current pair is over 4 years old, gasp!—I decided to order an at-home try-on kit from Warby Parker and also one from a competitor called Rivet & Sway that specializes in women’s-only designs. Each try-on kit includes five glasses of your choice from their range, which on both sites is pretty broad. I picked a bunch of different styles but stayed with frames that don’t have those annoying nose pieces that I usually find uncomfortable.

One downside to choosing frames for a try-on kit is that some are unavailable. I found this to be more of a problem with Warby Parker’s site, as all their frames that were part of a special designer collection were not only completely unavailable to try on at home, but also unavailable for virtual try-on! I didn’t have any issues with Rivet & Sway’s selection being out of or unavailable for trying on at home, even with their brand new collection that was just released.

I ordered the kits on the same day and they both arrived on the same day, in a timely manner. Some glasses were obviously too big for my face, which I expected since I have a petite frame (there’s a reason this blog has “little” in the title!) and being tiny definitely extends to the width of my face.

Below are photos of me wearing all the frames:

Warby Parker

1. Sims in Burgundy Fade • 2. Nedwin in Revolver Black Crystal • 3. Reece in Midnight Blue • 4. Linwood in Revolver Black • 5. Langston in Revolver Black Crystal

Rivet & Sway

1. Faster Pussycat in Jet Black • 2. High Five in Pink Bow Tie • 3. Spitfire in Black Crystal • 4. Ruby Red in Jet Black • 5. All Who Wander in Black Crystal

I only liked one pair of frames from Warby Parker, which was the Reece in Midnight Blue, but I did not love them. I was also kind of disappointed with their color selection, which was very neutral in most of their frames. I was looking to purchase a few different pairs of glasses so that I could accessorize to match my outfits or makeup or just my mood on different days, so I wanted some more variety!

I also only liked one pair of frames from the Rivet & Sway kit, but I did really like them! That pair was the Faster Pussycat frame in Jet Black. And since Rivet & Sway has incentive pricing for buying multiple frames—each frame after the first is nearly 50% off—and I was looking to buy a few different pairs anyway, I ended up ordering 2 more at-home try-on kits from them filled with glasses in the “Narrow” and “Petite” size category so that they would be more likely to fit my smaller face width. I forgot to take photos of those frames, but I did end up loving 3 more pairs of glasses and a pair of sunglasses, too!

In terms of customer service, I tweeted at both companies and Rivet & Sway not only had a much faster response time than Warby Parker but they actually called me to answer my questions! This was really surprising to me and I have to say it definitely skewed me to their favor on top of, you know, liking their frame designs a lot more. I’ve also communicated with them via email and they’ve been just as responsive. It’s nice to see a company engaging their customers so quickly. How well this can scale as they become more popular, who knows. I hope they can keep it up!

In the end I ordered 4 pairs of glasses and 1 pair of sunglasses from Rivet & Sway, and 1 pair of sunglasses from Warby Parker. (The sunglasses from Warby Parker were not available for an at-home try-on kit but I loved them on the site so much that I just bit the bullet and bought them.) My sunglasses from WP have arrived already and I will say that I love them, they are the cat-eye shaped Wednesday sunglasses. My Rivet & Sway frames have not arrived yet because I only just ordered them last Saturday, but I’m really excited to get them! I can post photos of all the new frames I ordered when they arrive.

It is worth noting that both companies have pretty generous return policies, which is why I wasn’t too afraid of ordering the sunglasses from WP without trying them on. Warby Parker has a 30-day return policy and Rivet & Sway actually has a 60-day policy! Both are no-questions-asked. Both also accept FSAs!

If you’re due for some new glasses, I can safely recommend both services. However, I think they cater to a slightly different demographic. If you’re female and are looking for more stylish, fun frames I definitely would lean towards Rivet & Sway, especially considering their customer service. They also offer style advice, if you send photos of yourself wearing glasses to them! They can recommend frames for you to add to your at-home try-on kit or help you select a pair once you’ve received a kit.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Carolynne February 15, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Wow, this is absolutely amazing. I cannot believe there are websites like this! I think it is a fabulous idea!! I seriously wonder if they send to Canada or if Canada has a service like this. I love the idea. I like the ones from R&S better but they are all very nice. I am glad that you are satisfied with your purchases. I’m going to look into this next time I buy new glasses 🙂

    • Reply Erica February 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      You’ll have to let me know if there are similar services available in Canada!

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