Hello everyone! In this listicle, I’ll be covering 5 Singaporean spectacles shops whereby you can score affordable, trendy glasses. The eyewear industry in Singapore has changed a lot throughout the years, with people gradually turning away from mom-and-pop heartland stores to retail “fast fashion” chains such as Owndays, Zoff and Lenskart.
Today, spectacles are viewed more as a fashion accessory, no longer simply a functional item. Plenty of homegrown brands have also entered the fray, seeking to offer trendier, more affordable alternatives to the mass market brands. If you’re looking for stylish spectacles that won’t break the bank, do check out the options below!
For those looking for transparent, affordable pricing and professional service, then I highly suggest checking out Otago Optical.
Who they are: “We are on a mission to deliver the latest fashion that fits you, with the quality that you deserve, at fair and honest prices. No pushy personnel upselling pricey products, complicated coupon codes, or messy memberships. Just a transparent, trustworthy optical business giving you the best value in spectacles.”
My opinion: I had a great experience at Otago Optical. I had a blast picking a new pair of spectacles, and found the transparent pricing refreshing for the infamously opaque optical industry (puns intended). Despite being part of the premium range, the Omata that I got (with lenses and eye test) only costs $120, making it eminently affordable for a titanium frame. However, what I appreciated most was the education that Tim imparted. I left feeling educated about all things eyewear, which is something I can’t say about other eyewear stores I’ve been in. I sense the genuine passion Tim possesses for optometry, as well as his authenticity – he has pride in his work, and it shows. For those interested, I did a full review of Otago Optical here.
In fact, I was so impressed with Otago Optical that I collaborated with them to launch a pair of collab frames.
Price: Frame + lenses start at $60. Those interested in purchasing eyewear from Otago Optical can quote SHIOK10 or shout “WAHSOSHIOK” in-store to enjoy $10 off glasses packages (frame+lenses). Promotion is valid until the end of 2022.
Where to buy: 264 South Bridge Road, #03-01, Singapore 058813 (look for Kele’s golden pineapple as a landmark).
The most affordable option on this list, Foptics is an option for those on a budget.
Who they are: “The optical industry has been stagnant for decades, and no retailer has been able to tap on new marketing and sales channels to offer inexpensive and stylish glasses. With us, you can ensure that you will not burn a hole in your pocket when you drop or sit on your pair by accident. We have made it possible to own multiple pairs of glasses fit with different types of lenses to suit your styling and daily needs.”
My opinion: The price point of Foptics is undeniable. Starting at $36.90 for frames + lenses, it’s quite possibly the cheapest eyewear deal you can find in Singapore. At that bargain bin price, one would expect the spectacles to be terrible, but they are actually passable, and backed by a 3 months warranty. Foptics’ showroom is pretty nice as well, and all customers even get a free eye test. For those interested, I did a detailed review of Foptics here.
Price: Frame + lenses start at $36.90.
Where to buy: 58B Pagoda Street, 03-01, Singapore 059217, (Chinatown Exit A, 2 stores after Guardian)
For those who love the Korean style, Oblique Eyewear offers a wide variety of trendy frames at affordable prices.
Who they are: “Due to the high cost of prescriptive eyewear, people tend to be more conservative in frame selections. In Oblique, we want to abolish this tradition and you can rest assured to find low-cost prescriptive eyewear to suit your different needs. There is no need to compromise on your style because of prices!”
My opinion: Gone are the days where wearing spectacles is seen as “geeky”. With the latest in fashion trends, especially from Korea/Japan, spectacles are now increasingly seen as a fashion accessory, rather than a practical tool. In fact, Brandon (of Oblique Eyewear) shared with me that he has been seeing an uptick in youths – with perfect eyesight – getting frames simply for aesthetic purposes! Personally, I think it’s important to find a pair of spectacles that makes your face pop, and if you happen to be a youth, or even simply young at heart, I think Oblique Eyewear offer a wide range of trendy and stylish frames at affordable prices. For those interested, I did an in-depth review of Oblique Eyewear here.
Price: Frame + lenses start at $110.
Where to buy: The Cathay Level 1 #01-07, 2 Handy Rd, Singapore 229233
Known for their “Asian fit” frames, Visual Mass offers spectacles that are designed for Asians, by Asians.
Who they are: “At Visual Mass, we strive never to overcomplicate things. A pair of well-designed prescription glasses are yours to keep from SGD$95. At these affordable prices, weʼd even like to propose to you to get more than one – eyewear is a versatile accessory that can easily update and change your look, so why not give yourself options? Go on, browse away.”
My opinion: Like the abovementioned brands, Visual Mass was born out of frustration. Co-founders Eddie and Jerial Tan were fed up with the inflated price points of traditional retail outlets, and thus created Visual Mass to offer innovative, stylish spectacles at affordable price points. Their USP (unique selling point) is probably their Asian Fit – all Visual Mass spectacles are customised to best fit all Asian facial features, allowing for not only a stylish fit but also a comfortable one.For those interested, I did a detailed review of Visual Mass here.
Price: Frame + lenses start at $85.
Where to buy: #B2-30 Orchard Gateway, 277 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858
While homegrown online eyewear stores are plentiful – the abovementioned brands are prominent examples – four eyes has a unique “Try-at-home” system that allows customers to try on frames of their choice from the comfort of their homes.
Who they are: While ostensibly a young brand set up in 2020, four eyes taps into decades of optometry history. The brand is actually the online brainchild of a traditional, brick-and-motor store in the Lavender area. When the store was forced to close during Circuit Breaker last year, the owners – with help from their internet-savvy children and government grants – decide to pivot their business model online so as to offer customers a “try-at-home” way to experience their products. And thus, four eyes was born.
My opinion: I’m impressed by the provenance of the brand – it was essentially started out of necessity, an innovative attempt by a traditional, brick-and-mortar store to pivot online during the Circuit Breaker last year. The online “try-at-home” model is intriguing too, and I found the entire process to be seamless and convenient. The frame and lenses are also of above-average quality – I would say a step up from other brands that I’ve tried at the ~S$100 price point. For those interested, I did a detailed review of Four Eyes here.
Price: Frames (with prescription lenses) from four eyes start at $99.
Where to buy: 465 Crawford Lane #01-32, Singapore 190465
There has been a boom in spectacles shops in the past decade – there’s likely to be 4-5 in one shopping mall alone! While it is a saturated market, I’m personally heartened that there are several local eyewear brands doing their best to disrupt and innovate in a traditionally stagnant industry. Instead of going with a mass market option, why not support a local brand instead, and save some money in the meantime?
P.S: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.
P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.