After graduating with honors from the chemical-engineering program at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Alette Howard Davis earned her optometry degree and became the on-staff eye doc at Insight Vision Center. Skilled in both pediatric and geriatric care, the doctor takes her patients’ whole-body health into account whether she’s addressing allergies, glaucoma, infections, writing a spectacles prescription, or offering post-op care for surgery patients. She also offers designer glasses and sunglasses, contact lenses, and lenses that can prevent the eye strain associated with using computers or watching the DVD player in the car next to yours.
Country-music greats Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney, Jo Dee Messina, Naomi Judd, and Julianne Hough share more in common than their musical abilities—they also boast clear vision courtesy of Dr. Ming Wang’s bladeless LASIK procedures. Nashville stars aside, Dr. Wang has corrected the vision of more than 55,000 patients with LASIK and laser cataract surgeries. This same path—with a rare combination of a PhD in laser physics and MD from Harvard and MIT—led him to perform the very first 3-D LASIK procedure, a highly precise treatment that's now a routine part of his ocular-enhancing repertoire, alongside implantable contact lenses, glaucoma treatment, and complete corneal transplants. All LASIK procedures at Wang Vision Institute are 100% bladeless.
Led by a licensed dispensing optician who ensures that specs ($145+) are appropriately fit to each client's face and each client's face double's face, the cornea connoisseurs at Visualeyes outfit peepers with stylish frames from designers such as Lafont, Fendi, and Tom Ford. Single-vision lenses ($90+) and progressive lenses ($150+) can be enhanced with an antireflective coating ($90) to ward off wasted minutes pondering the true meaning of The Real World, or endowed with a solid tint ($20) or polarized lenses ($80) to protect baby blues from the sun's harsh glare. About one week after picking out new frames and lenses, your nose will be united with its more adorned half.
Though SEE Eyewear’s specs are only found in their stores, their designs sprout from imaginations around the world. Winner of reader's choice awards in cities ranging from San Francisco to Nashville, SEE Eyewear stocks its frames directly from fashionable frame crafters and passes on the savings of doing business at the source to customers. The company calls on fashion designers from France, Italy, and other style-conscious countries to create one-of-a kind designs to be featured on store shelves and client faces. Before that happens, though, each potential frame goes through a rigorous design and review process to ensure its distinctiveness and quality before it can be added to the national eyewear shop’s exclusive coveted selection.
From cat-eye to horn-rimmed and perfectly round to wayfarer-inspired, the cost of each frame includes single-vision lenses, giving customers the simplicity of a flat price that doesn’t require customers to pay an extra prescription fee or mine their own bifocal quarry. SEE Eyewear also trains its staff members to be aesthetically savvy so they can find the perfect fashion-forward, vision-correcting specs for any face shape, mood, or fashion sense.
Specs Optical’s fashionable fleet of designer frames and sunglasses strive to bolster peeper prowess and ocular panache, earning the store top honors from Toast of Music City three years running. Gussy up passé nose bridges with sleek shades from such designers as Marc by Marc Jacobs, Juicy Couture, and Ray-Ban (approximately $150 each), or don a pair of chic frames from Betsey Johnson and Prada (approximately $200 each). Luxurious styles from Tory Burch (approximately $150) gracefully complement formal, casual, and Fonzie-like outfits, as do the store’s other selections, which range from $150 to $695 depending on style, designer, and grade of accompanying Groucho nose. Specs’ amicable ocular artistes don’t work on commission, allowing them to invest ample time and energy into each customer as they pin down the perfect pair of eye-rims.
Led by Dr. Lisa Davis—who earned her doctorate at the University of Birmingham School of Optometry—a team of opticians and friendly staffers help guests correct their vision while flaunting their unique personal style. The staff performs comprehensive eye exams to detect diseases, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts, as well as conditions that affect the cornea, retina, and peripheral components of the eye. After exams, staff members outfit guests with contacts or help them express themselves with Vera Wang and Ted Baker frames made with plastic, wire, or bits of their third-grade art homework. The office itself features a bit of aesthetic splendor, with arched doorways that hang over sleek hardwood floors, and a cobblestone reception desk that greets patients as they enter.