I was contacted by the lovely people behind Polette a few months ago to see if I would be interested in doing a review of their services. Polette is a new player on the market, bringing trendy prescriptive and non-prescriptive glasses at a very affordable price point. All of their frames are also customizable into sunglasses. Recently, they've launched their Dutch webshop, and starting today (1st-10th of february) they offer 50% off on the entire collection when you use the code "HalloNL" during checkout when ordering on the Dutch website. Yeay!
Since I don't wear glasses myself, I enlisted the help of my boyfriend, who is a seasoned glasses-wearer. He basically can't see proverbial shit without glasses, so he's definitely the right person for the job.
We made an appointment with an optician for a new prescription, and spent some time checking out the wide array of options Polette has to offer. In the end, we ordered the Hortensia which seems to have sold out since, but the Gentleman's Luxia Black is very similar. The ordering process is very straightforward if you have a prescription, but be sure to have your optician measure your interpupillary distance because our optician did not, and we had to do it ourselves. You have no idea how much work and technical info goes into making glasses that work perfectly for your eyes until you actually need glasses (or go through the process with someone who does). After choosing all the most expensive options, including the thinnest anti scratch, anti reflective lenses (almost everything is customizable), the glasses cost 124.99$ or 110€, which I'm told is very affordable for a pair of glasses.
The glasses took a while to arrive, about three weeks, which is longer than they'd stated on the website (8 working days + 2 days to create the glasses). I think they look super hot on my boyfriend, he still has to get used to the change (and he was very uncomfortable posing for these pictures :-D). Judge for yourself!
There are some downsides, though. Most importantly: when you buy your glasses at a real store, you have an actual storefront for alterations or complaints. Glasses you wear all day should fit you perfectly, around the ears and nose especially. You can adjust a lot at home (check out tips on adjusting your glasses at home), especially with metal frames, but if you buy something that is quite expensive and very important, you want it to be just right. Messing about by bending the frame is risky, and my boyfriend definitely prefers leaving those things to professionals. And you are bound to need at least some minor alterations to have your glasses fit your face perfectly, because every face is unique.
However, if there is a problem with your prescription (if the glasses were not made correctly), Polette guarantees a replacement free of charge.
Secondly, while the email gave me the impression that the glasses were being made in Switzerland (because they were shipped via Swisspost), tracking information made it clear that the package actually came from China. Now, I have enough experience with shopping at Asian webshops to know that that doesn't mean you're getting low quality (at all), but I find it shady to not be completely honest about things like that. I can't find information on the website about where the glasses are made, so I would advise Polette to just be open about it!
Additionally, tracking info was not available beyond the package leaving the point of origin because the info was not entered correctly by handlers. According to the brand representatives, this happens from time to time, which is kind of frustrating when you have to wait three weeks for your package to arrive because you have no way of knowing how long it will take to reach you. I did get an answer straight away when I sent an email asking how long it would take for the package to reach me, so their service is really quite good.
Summing up, positives and negatives:
- very affordable
- lots of different options
- ultra customizable
- great quality (light, wellmade)
- very well designed website with clear pictures
- virtual try-on option
- user-friendly ordering interface
- takes long to arrive
- a bit shady with regards to where the glasses come from
- tracking difficulties
- you're on your own when it comes to adjusting the frames to fit your face
Generally quite positive. The drastically lower prices are a great selling point, and if you are very anxious about adjusting the fit of the glasses yourself, you could always take your pair over to a glasses store and pay them to adjust the glasses for you. The total price should still be lower than buying glasses in a regular store.
This was definitely a learning experience to me, and I have so much sympathy for all of you who wear glasses on a daily basis! If you have any questions, ask away. And don't forget to use the discount code (HalloNL, only valid if you order through the Dutch website) if you decide to order a pair of glasses for yourself! The code will be valid during the first ten days of february.
PS: my boyfriend looks hot in the glasses, doesn't he??
PPS: I obviously tried on the glasses as well.
My head is way too tiny for most glasses :/
EDIT: I've since had contact with the brand representatives, and they told me they have no intention of being secretive about where the glasses are made, and some of their glasses actually come with a "made in Shanghai" message. Additionally, they will be placing a guide online shortly, with tips on how to adjust the fit of your glasses at home, and when to take them to an optician for further help. Finally, about the shipping info, they are still looking for a better logistics partner to ensure faster shipping and more reliable tracking information. Good news all around, in other words, and it really reflects well on the company that they are so open to receiving criticism and working towards improvement! This is definitely a company I feel comfortable recommending.