I need new glasses -- any suggestions for reasonably priced places in Paris --
As you probably know, the selection of frames is incredible in Paris. Reasonably priced? Not to my observation. Not even close. But, it sure is fun to look!
Also, if you wear progressive lenses, there are many different varieties/materials (and they're expensive), so you have to know what you're doing, and there's the language barrier if you're not fluent in French.
I have friends who've taken the splurge. If you have a current pair, some places will copy the prescription and do their best to supply the same/similar type of lenses. Problem is, when you need new lenses at home, many places won't accept the frames or they assess a huge extra charge.
I have a prescription that I am bringing -- but while I am not looking for bargains -- I was sort of hoping I might be able to get something for not a lot more than I would pay here for good frames and lenses.
No places where moderately hip Parisians get glasses? Surely they are not all rich.
Thousands of tourists get their glasses in Paris, generally from the big chains which have great customer service -- Grand Optical, Optique 2000, Alain Afflelou, Krys, Atol, etc. They all have megastores on the Champs Elysées for this reason, but you will also find them in every shopping district. They all have one hour service.
Grace, as the chief eyeglasses buyer for three people living in France...buy them in Nashville.
The time and hassle to get it done just isn't worth it...the optical shops in the US have it down to a science...and it's less money.
(and let's be realistic...they're probably the same frames with a different brand anyway)
The problem, too, is that opticians in France are not authorized to fill a prescription beyond their jurisdiction., though, typical of France, many will just ignore that. Or, they'll phone a friend who's authorzed to copy the prescription on your behalf. And, the law provides, so far as I last understood it, that they are obligated under laws to provide you with a pair if you present an unusable broken pair, as a medical necessity. (I'm no expert whatsoever, just what I've read heard over the years.)
A dozen or so of us met up in Paris one year and three ladies shopped the shops and returned with brand new "chic-chic" eyewear. One pair was just fine, one was "doable", the other did not result is good vision. When returned, she was told, the glasses/lenses were made to her specifications and it would be up to her to "adjust" to them, with the advice that it could take a few hours or a few months. Hmmm...
How satisfied with the results you'll be turns entirely on your specific prescription.
After returning home, the lady with the "fine" pair was thrilled, until her prescription changed and they refused to use her frames for her new prescription. "Doable" was told her lenses could be replaced with a considerably "refitting" charge for "foreign frames". The other, couldn't see and couldn't find anyone to replace the lenses in those frames.
my husband had glasses made in Rome some years ago -- great frames (not cheap but not crazy expensive) and they totally messed up the prescription when they made them -- and they remade them at no charge
I am reading here that if they mess them up, they don't admit that but stick you with them?
Maybe I'll stick with local
I have a friend who has bought several "frames" in Europe. She does NOT have the lens placed in them, just the frames.
She brings them back and has them "filled" here. Now, she (and I) have our eyeglasses done at our Eye Doctors office, not at Lenscrafters etc. and I know she discusses this with the woman there prior to going in case there are "things to consider". She does pay more for this, but if you have a good place that's willing to work with you it's doable. (IF your glasses place promises lens in one hour.. they probably won't be willing to do this from what I have heard!)
Resonably priced is NOT in this woman's langage. She's buying high end designer stuff in Paris. (Think retail Chanel suits for example) So I doubt she's getting these because they are a deal, but they are unique.
(I don't travel with her, I can't afford her "dives" :) )Edited: 04 May 2010, 21:42
Who ever refused to replace the lenses in "European" frames was a swindler. We've done this several times at places like Lenscrafters and never had an issue. Nor do we ever have problems with transporting our scripts from one country to the other.
I love JLB on the rue du Bac, but most of their frames are int'l brands, incredibly high-end, or both. They will soon be changing their stock and plan to carry the brand Beausoleil exclusively, selling the rest of the collection from their Bon Marche and Marais locations. There are two other interesting opticians on the rue du Bac, so it is worth a visit. For something local, Traction on the rue du Dragon is fun, somewhat affordable and made frames for Jackie-O that they've recently re-issued. Francois Pinton on boul Raspail is another local with great stock, but at higher prices. All of these addresses are within a short wallk from one another, making for a fun excursion, even if you never buy... Oh, and Alain Mikli is on rue des St Peres, in the same 'hood.Edited: 05 May 2010, 01:21
I used to buy eyeglass frames in Paris regularly throughout the 80s especially, back when I bought my first pair of Alain Miklis, as I wore Mikli pretty exclusively back then. Before then I bought eyeglass frames regularly in Copenhagen, back in the 70s, as the styles were mostly ahead of the American designed frames back then. However, I would bring the frames home and then use my insurance to have the lenses put in.
Now, I buy my frames right here at home. We've had some great frame stores in L.A. since the early 80s especially, but I used to alternate with buying frames both here and in Paris depending on what I was looking for.
Some of the hippest frames, in my opinion, are from SEE Eyewear , which has been here in L.A. for probably a decade. www.seeeyewear.com. Now, the company has grown and they have boutiques in more places around the U.S. If you go to their website and then scroll down and click on the little box next to, "See our lookbook", then there will be some of what they carry. Also read the section entitled, "The Premise". I noticed, from the location listing, that they have one in Nashville at Hillsboro Village.
I have several pairs from SEE eyeglasses. Last year I bought a hot pair of purple frames that people regularly stop me to comment on and ask where I bought them. My purple frames are stamped with, "Made in France" on the inside. And I only paid around $169.00 for them with the lenses included. I also bought two other pairs from them last year. I bought my first pair with them right when they opened years ago and they're still very much in style.
SEE has very good specials. I've gotten several pairs on special and the lenses have always been included. Sometimes I take in frames bought elsewhere and have them put in the lenses for $99. which is less than through my Opthalmologist. I bought a gorgeous pair of handmade sunglasses in Copenhagen last summer, but had SEE put in the lenses and they matched the color exactly to the two-toned color of the fake lenses that came with the sunglasses. They do really excellent work and in a very reasonable amount of time. Happy Travels!
It is so nice to look in the shop windows at the variety of frames, but it seems that I always end up looking at the pricey stores and haven't found one yet in my United States price range. Maybe someday I will find a place. I have a very narrow bridge and even have trouble buying something here at home, and I just wish I could find something different for once instead of the same ole stuff here at home.