Tip #004: Buying Glasses for Cosplay
Often times the character you’re portraying may wear glasses. The glasses are usually a specific design, and this design is rarely going to match a set of frames you already wear (if you wear glasses at all).
Personally, I don’t wear glasses, and popping the lens out of a pair of frames is usually pretty obvious. So here are some solutions for cheap (usually less than $16) costume-accurate glasses.
01. Ebay. The almighty realm of internet trade. Type in a search for “fake”, “non-prescription” or “clear lens” glasses. Add further specifiers as you go, like color or frame shape. You can often find glasses this way for under $10.
02. Claire’s. Yes, the mall-based mecca of overpriced teen and costume jewelry. Due to the recent popularity of the “Hipster” fashion, Claire’s stores currently carry a small variety of “vanity glasses” (clear lens) that may be worth a check.
Then, although more expensive, there are a trio websites I regularly check when on the hunt.
03. Goggles and Glasses. This is a great shop for cheap sunglasses in a wide variety of designs, as well as a variety of safety glasses in multiple colors for characters with those one-piece colorful tech visors, and actual goggles for you steampunkers and Digimon leaders. They have the best shipping notices I’ve ever had the entertainment to receive (I’ll post one later). They also carry a small number or fake glasses, try searching for “fake” and for “clear”. Their internal search engine is kind of horrible though, so do just browse the shop, try different keywords, and try the shop by color.
04. Zenni Optical. A bit more expensive than Ebay, but around the same (or less) price range as G&G if you shop carefully. They have the best search options I’ve found, and any frame you pick can be customized with clear, prescription, and even a limited variety of colored lenses. When searching, after filling out your options on the side-bar, make sure to sort by price, as there are a lot of similar-looking frames, and you’ll want the least expensive for a costume.
When buying at ZO, do NOT buy “just the frame” even though it is half the price. The glasses may come without clear/demo lenses, or more-often, the demo lenses will have the manufacturer’s logo printed on the glass. You don’t want that.
Instead, if you wish to order glasses with non-prescription lenses:
- Select “Single Vision” for the prescription type.
- Select any PD number that works for the frames selected. This has no effect on the visual quality of the lens, as no prescription will be entered, but a PD is needed to pass through the system. If you get an error stating the PD is too small or big, simply choose one that works.
- Select “1.57 Mid-Index Single Vision” for the lens, which has no extra charge.*Select any extra options desired such as tint (we recommend a value of 80% for sunglasses).
- Leave all the prescription information at “0” and click “add to cart”.
05. Dino-Direct. This is usually a last-ditch check for me as their offerings are pretty inconsistent and you must watch the photos like a hawk for those manufacturers logos on the clear lenses. Ultimately, they cost you around the same as buying from G&G or ZO, but it never hurts to shop around. Just be cautious about your clear lenses.