Buying Glasses Online with London Retro and Glasses Direct

Posted in Fashion, Writing.

I’ve written about my love of high street opticians before – I’ve always gone to a ‘proper’ shop to get my glasses as there’s something about buying them online that terrifies me. What if the frames make me look like Deirdre Barlow circa 1989? What if they get my prescription wrong? Or more likely, what if I get my prescription wrong?

When London Retro contacted me to see if I’d like a pair of their frames, sold exclusively online, I hesitated. Deirdre Barlow flashed before my eyes. But one look at their classic designs and I was sold. London Retro frames are sold through Glasses Direct so I decided to do a bit of research. After discovering I could order up to four pairs of glasses for a home trial (where plain lens frames are sent for you to try over seven days) I made my choices and waited for them to arrive. A day later, a pink box popped through my letter box, jauntily asking the question ‘could these be your new glasses?’. Let’s see, shall we?

‘Soho’ in tortoiseshell, London Retro at Glasses Direct


The Soho frames are quite similar to the ones I wear at the moment – square with thick rims, but with a slimmer arm so they’re not too heavy on my face. I went for the tortoiseshell shade as an alternative to my current black frames.

‘Shoreditch’ in light brown, London Retro at Glasses Direct


Described as ‘wayfarer style’, the Shoreditch frames are 60s inspired, oversized and bold. I love the soft light brown colour, but think these are just too wide for my narrow face.

‘Queens’ in tortoiseshell, London Retro at Glasses Direct


Queens are a cats eye shape frame with vintage style diamante detailing on the wings. Again in tortoiseshell, they’re much smaller and more delicate than my other two choices. These would be great for formal events and nights out.

Being able to try the frames on while posing in front of Photobooth was brilliant – I really struggle to see how plain lens frames look as I’m so ridiculously short sighted, and have never felt comfortable using the machines in shops to take a picture. From the comfort of my sofa I could primp and preen, trying them with a bold red lip and a variety of facial expressions (most far too embarrassing/hideous for the blog).

I think the Shoreditch frames can be discounted as they’re just too big for my face, but I’m really struggling to choose between Soho and Queens. A little help, please? Let me know which you prefer in the comments below. When I’ve chosen my frame I send the home trial box back using the free return label inside, and can order straightaway. I’ll be writing another post about the ordering process and delivery so keep an eye out for that to get a full (and honest) review of the experience.

PS – I’m wearing a Topshop denim shirt, Topshop ring and Topshop lipstick in ‘Rio Rio’. Whole lotta Topshop.

Full disclosure – I was given a gift card to purchase a pair of London Retro frames but was not expected to write about them, nor was I paid to write this post.



I really love the Queens glasses, they are super pretty and as you said the other choice are similar to the glasses you already have might make a nice change 🙂

Catey Cate

My old flat mate used to rave about how good glasses direct were!

I am as torn as you, I really like the first ones but if you already have a similar pair maybe go for something totally different? I just bought some cat eye reading glasses from Ebay. They make me feel like an agony aunt, in a totally good way 🙂 xx


Love love love these! I neeed some new glasses badly (as in, I don’t even know where my old ones are), bookmarking for future sensible purchase!

Miss Raj

As you say the soho ones are pretty similar to the ones you wear now… wouldn’t it be nice to go for the queens; like you say, something great for a formal event. They’re stylish wothout being in your face – very sophisticated xx


I love these. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 11 – and it’s nice that we now have a wide range of styles. I do still love my clear plastic pair that I got free! They’re super hideous and look really funny but they’re my favourite to wear! x


I love both Soho and Queens so I´d say go for the pair that you need more at the moment. I mean…if you have casual glasses, go for Queens, if you´ve got a pair of formal ones and are after more casual ones, go for Soho 🙂 Alternatively, if you don´t really have any preference, get Queens (they´re absolutely gorgeous on you!) x

E is for Eleanor

Soho Soho Soho! Then we can be glasses twins! I love my pair so so much and they look awesome on you too.

Also, I’m pretty sur it’s buy one get one free, so get the Queens too! x

ella belle

ah i can see how you are having problems picking between them! i like the queens the best – they look great on you and not many people could pull them off xx


I like the detailing on the Queens glasses, but I think the Soho glasses suit you better 🙂 They’re both lovely though!
The idea of purchasing glasses online is not one I’ve thought of before, I’d be too worried about getting my prescription wrong! xx
Sirens and Bells


I’m digging Queen on you! I too have recently become converted to London Retro, but I’ve a slightly larger than normal face, so for me Shoreditch are going to be perfect…


My vote is for Soho. I do really like the shape of the Queens pair on you but the diamante detail is just a bit too much for my personal taste. If they did them minus the glitz then I’d say defo get them.

Peacock's Hat

I always wonder about buying frames online because I desperately want a pair of cat eye glasses but they are so hard to find on the high street- but like you, was worried about the trying on aspect! The 4 pair option though sounds great! I wish the Queens ones didn’t have diamante on else I would order them like a flash. I’d say go for the Queens one since they are different to your current ones even though I really love the Sohos on you. I’d also really love to be able to carry off that kind of thick 60s frame, but unfortunately my small face and chubby cheeks cannot pull them off.


I really like the ‘Queens’ pair Jen. The diamante detailing is unusual and the shape is really different to your usual style. However if you feel Soho are more your comfort zone maybe they would be the more suitable/safe option.
I really struggle with choosing glasses that suit my face, I’ve recently got contacts and they’ve made a hell of a lot of difference to my life, but I do hope one day I feel brave enough to wear glasses again xxx


The Soho pair look amazing on you. I’m on the hunt for a new pair of glasses, so will definitely have to look into London Retro.


Thanks for this – my OH has just ordered 4 pairs from the website after I’d read your post!

We’ve been hunting around for ages and short of going to all the independent opticians in town we couldn’t find anything locally. So, hopefully he’ll get something now. 🙂

The soho glasses look awesome on you – but you suit both pairs.


My vote is for the Shoreditch style, as there is a bit too much sparkle on the Queens (for my taste). I’m on love with my Fitzrovias from London Retro, although they will insist on sliding off my nose when I look down!


My magpie ways have taken over and I’ll have to say the Queens, the sparkles are tempting me! Both pairs are lovely though and really suit you! 🙂 x


I love the Soho ones the most but if they’re quite similar to a pair you’ve got already it might be better to go for Queens. I’ve got magpie tendencies though so anything with a bit of sparkle is always a winner!!


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