Started in 1961 by Dr. Stanley Pearle, the nationally recognized and trusted franchise now operates in nearly 800 company and franchise locations nationwide. The master visionaries at Pearle are well trained in assisting all bespectacled beings, from casual librarians to picky, temperamental Cyclopes. Equip a corrective pair of Essentials frames starting at $99.95, or slip on a pair of designer eye enhancers, such as those by Anne Klein and DKNY ($149.95+) or Versace ($205+). Single-vision lenses adjust a singular field of vision ($120 for plastic scratch-resistant), while specialty PearleTHIN complete lenses ($215) are lightweight heavyweights.
Clearvue Vision's seasoned staff, which boasts a pair of Best Physician finalists in 2011's Best of Kent awards, examines eyes and amiably assists customers amid a spacious office populated by fashionable eyewear. During your personalized fitting, a friendly optician escorts you through the practice's selection of chic frames ($99+). Ornament your visage with spectacles from Coach (about $225), Oakley (about $170), or Gucci (about $289), affixed with scratch resistant, glare-free lenses ($100+), which, because of their lack of glare and inability to verbalize umbrage, are non-confrontational.
With more than 386 locations dotting North America, JCPenney Optical's ubiquity is matched only by its extensive selection of contact lenses and designer frames that includes brands such as Armani Exchange, Liz Claiborne, and Nicole Miller. Despite this wide reach, all lenses are cut at the same optical laboratory, ensuring a consistency of quality and a pretty good idea of where to look if your glasses run away from home. Each location has an independent state-licensed doctor of optometry, who can perform vision exams and help clients determine which type of vision correction will work best.
Dr. Michael Steiner, MD, is an ophthalmologist and oculoplastic surgeon who's been treating Seattle–area peepers for more than two decades. In addition to performing reconstructive and plastic surgery with a keen eye for aesthetics, Dr. Steiner addresses glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic issues. During all surgeries, Dr. Steiner uses local sedation, a safer alternative to general anesthesia.
Optometrist James McCrum enjoys his job so much he lives at the office. Literally. As documented in a 2005 feature in Pacific Northwest Magazine, Dr. McCrum and his wife, Paula Whelan, converted the bare walls of what used to be a commercial building into a modern, urban-chic home office where they can live upstairs and work downstairs. The daunting project took a year and a half—about three times as long as they had originally planned. Whelan called upon her instincts as an artist to help design the 1,700-square-foot space. She used artwork made from swimming fins and roller skates and installed stair treads that are actually the repurposed rafters from the former building. Vibrant, playful pieces from Whelan's above-garage art studio spill over into the Eyeballs office, where lime-green chairs and bold, red mirrors complement her innovatively painted lampshades and eyewear-inspired artwork. Adding to the fun atmosphere, the reception desk boasts a blackboard where patients can doodle anything they want or copy poems discovered within the eye chart.
And the decor isn't the only aspect of the shop with a decidedly vivacious vibe. The lighthearted, friendly staff aims to make shopping for glasses fun and encourages leisurely browsing of boutique frames neatly arranged in drawers and open wall displays. Together with fellow optometrist Dr. Chris Hettinger, Dr. McCrum does his part to make each guest's visit a pleasant one by using a state-of-the-art retinal camera to check for issues such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.