Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! On this “shiok” Sunday, I’m chronicling my experience at local eyewear label Oblique Eyewear, as well as reviewing the pair of glasses that I got from them!
Moving forward, Wah so Shiok will expand to more areas of menswear, including eyewear! Eyewear has been an area where I have been considering branching into for quite some time now – the tailors I visit always stress the importance of the right eyewear in one’s look. To understand how spectacles can impact your look – as well as the importance of finding the right style and fit for you – do watch this Youtube video by GQ here. Expect to see more coverage of local eyewear brands – such as Oblique Eyewear – on this website!
Without further ado, let’s see how it’s like to get a pair of glasses from Oblique Eyewear!
Oblique Eyewear – the Experience
Founded in 2013 as an online web-shop by the brothers Brandon and Edwin Choo, Oblique Eyewear offers “low-cost prescriptive eyewear to suit your different needs”, and aims to offer affordable glasses without compromising on style.
Currently, Oblique Eyewear has a brick and mortar store located in the Cathay. It’s in between Matchaya and KOOKS Creamery. If you’re lost, just look out for the two figurines at the front – you can’t miss it!
Oblique Eyewear’s neon accented store has a streetwear vibe to it – it feels more like a sneaker shop than an eyewear shop. The sign is in neon pink, there’s a Monster cooler in the corner, BAPE figurines on the shelves, and hip-hop music playing on the speaker.
At Oblique Eyewear, the frames are displayed in a rather intriguing manner – on grilles! I personally think this is quite an ingenious way to display the frames, as it saves space that would otherwise be taken up by bulky shelves, and also reinforces the edgy, streetwear vibe of the store. Frames at Oblique Eyewear are relatively affordable, ranging from $70 to $160 – definitely wallet-friendly for students and young adults!
Brandon shares with me that this is intentional. “We wanted our store to have a young, youthful vibe,” he said. He shares that most of the mainstream spectacles stores that are prevalent in heartland malls doesn’t really have their own individual style. In contrast, Oblique Eyewear is meant to be trendy, edgy, with frames and a boutique that is perfect for the ‘gram.
I must say, I really had a blast trying out the frames at Oblique Eyewear. There were literally hundred of options hanging on the walls (or grilles), and all of them looked rather trendy, though with a distinct Korean oppa styling to them. I had a lot of fun trying frames of differing colours and shapes on, and looking at the various mirrors in the shop to see if they fit me.
Seeing that I was a little overwhelmed with the sheer amount of frame options in the shop, Brandon came over to render me some stylistic assistance. Noting that I was into formalwear, Brandon suggested a couple of frames that looked a tad smarter and formal, but still age appropriate.
I have to say, I really liked a couple of frames that Brandon recommended. There were about 3-4 frames of similar shape that I really liked, and I really had a hard time choosing between them. Brandon advised me to take a seat and take a look at myself with the various frames on in the mirror, and he gave me his own advice regarding each frame. It was also here that I realised the effect a pair of spectacles can have on your entire look – it really makes a difference.
After struggling for a long time between two pairs of black frames (the one pictured above, and the one pictured in the prior photo) I decided to go with the above pair of glasses. I really liked the black/gold colourway of both frames, but – after gathering advice from Brandon and friends – felt that the above frame with its half gold rims makes me look a tad younger, and has a more youthful vibe. I thought it was quite versatile as well – perfect with more formal attire, but equally at ease with a T-shirt and shorts.
With the frame chosen, it was time to get my degree checked! Like most (though not all) eyewear stores, eyesight testing is free. We started with an eyesight test with the machine – for those who have gotten spectacles before, this should be familiar to you!
Next, Brandon conducted a more specific eyesight test on me, whereby he gradually increased (and thereafter decreased) the degree and astigmatism. I was then asked if I could read the alphabets on the screen, with the degree tweaked until I could read the alphabets at a certain font size. Again, if you have gotten a pair of spectacles before, such a procedure should be common.
Lastly, Brandon whipped out a ruler (of some sorts) and used it to measure the distance between my eyes. According to him, this is to ensure that the pupils of my eyes align with the center of the lenses.
It’s worth noting that the staff at Oblique Eyewear are all qualified to conduct the eyesight tests – their certifications are all framed on the wall! As such, despite the relatively young age of the staff at Oblique Eyewear, you can be sure that they know what they are doing.
That being said, you can skip the hassle if you simply wish to stick to the same degree as the lenses on your old spectacles – Oblique Eyewear has a machine (pictured above) that allows them to determine the degree on your old pair of glasses. I personally wouldn’t recommend it, as your eyesight may have changed significantly since the time you got your previous spectacles made. For example, I discovered – to quite some shock – that my degree has dropped by almost 100 in both eyes!
I would also recommend opting for the Blushield lenses, instead of the usual clear multi coated lenses. Although it’s a $30 top-up, I think it’s more than worth it. For those who are unaware, Blueshield lenses block out blue light, which helps reduce digital eye strain. Our modern day digital devices – phone, laptop, tablet, computer, etc – emit blue light, which can negatively impact our health and eyesight, especially at night. Given that I, like most millennials, spend most of my time on the phone and in front of a computer monitor, Blushield lenses are a must for me. In addition, Oblique Eyewear also carries “branded” lenses from Crizal and Kodak, though that would be at a higher price point.
After choosing your frame, lenses, and getting your eyesight tested, all that’s left to do is to fill up a short customer form. It’s simply for Oblique Eyewear’s data purposes, so that they would have a record of what you purchased previously as well as your eyesight degree the next time you come back. If you need to bring your pair of glasses back for a quick fix, but lost the receipt, fret not as your purchase and your particulars would have been stored in their system. Most importantly for you guys, the form also includes a referral section, where you can input how you came to know Oblique Eyewear.
With the form filled, Brandon informed me that I was in luck – they happened to have the Blushield lenses in my degree in stock, and that my new spectacles would be ready in just 10-15 minutes. That’s definitely the fastest turnaround I’ve ever experienced! However, Brandon did share that this might not always be the case, and that if they do not have the lenses in the customer’s degree in stock, they may have to return in 1-2 days.
I returned after 15 minutes to find my spectacles ready for collection. As you can probably tell from the picture above, I’m definitely a happy customer!
I was very pleased with the accessories that Oblique Eyewear provided as well. I honestly wasn’t expecting much given the affordable price point of the brand, but I was pleasantly surprised by the freebies. There’s a real nice wooden spectacles case, a spectacles cloth, and also a bottle of lens cleaner! An awesome gesture.
Oblique Eyewear – Review
I’ve been wearing my pair of spectacles from Oblique Eyewear for almost a month now – here’s my take on them!
The Hendi (the name of this model) feels sturdily built. According to the brand, the frame is fashioned out of handmade acetate, as well as stainless steel. I love the black/gold colour combination, as well as the contrast between the matte black acetate, and the polished gold stainless steel.
According to the brand, the Hendi is their interpretation of the popular Clubmaster style. For the uninitiated, Clubmasters are defined by angular wayfarer-like styling on the upper rim of a sunglasses frame tapering down to a rimless (or thin metal rim) portion on the bottom half of the frame. It’s a style that has been made famous by Ray-Ban and their sunglasses. For those who are interested, the Gentleman Gazette did a great article on Clubmasters here.
I really like the Clubmaster styling of the Hendi. It’s a style that came from the 50s, and had a recent resurgence in popularity along with everything else retro. I like the classic, timeless nature of the design. It possesses a nice vintage charm, yet remains contemporary at the same time.
The USP (unique selling point) of Oblique Eyewear is undoubtedly the trendy styles of their glasses, and I think on that front the brand definitely delivers. Now, my pair of Hendi Clubmasters are not exactly the “hippest” design in Oblique Eyewear’s catalogue, but it definitely holds it own with its design. Many tailors have told me to change my pair of spectacles for quite some time now, and now that I have taken the leap of faith I totally agree with their advice – it really makes a world of difference. Even when you’re wearing a pink suit, people are still going to look at your face first, and a nice pair of glasses plays a big role in forming that first impression.
Comparison: Oblique Eyewear vs Owndays
Owndays is probably the most popular eyewear brand locally at the moment, and I personally have also been getting my previous spectacles from Owndays. As such, I’m going to compare my experience with Oblique Eyewear with my past experience at Owndays.
Firstly, the experience and vibe of both brands differ significantly. As aforementioned, Owndays is designed to be mass-market. There are a variety of frame collections at their branches, targeting everyone from kids to young adults, busy professionals to aunties. In contrast, Oblique Eyewear knows their niche – fashion forward, trendy frames targeted at youths. If you’re a teenager or a young adult, and want a pair of spectacles with more style, Oblique Eyewear definitely has the better offerings.
To illustrate the difference (in terms of style) between the two brands, I’ve included a photo of me wearing my previous spectacles from Owndays, also with a suit. It’s obvious which pair of spectacles “pops” more on the face. There’s nothing much wrong with my old Owndays spectacles, but it sort of blends in with my face and overall just makes for a dull look – some might even say nerdy look – above the shoulders. In terms of style, Oblique Eyewear certainly triumphs over Owndays for me!
Conclusion – so Oblique Eyewear “shiok” or not?
Definitely. For those looking for a pair of trendy glasses, do check out Oblique Eyewear! 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 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.
Get a pair of wallet-friendly, fashion-forward spectacles and support a local business at the same time – what’s not to like?
View Oblique Eyewear’s website here.
Oblique Eyewear’s Location:
The Cathay Level 1 #01-07
2 Handy Rd, Former Cathay Building, Singapore 229233
Operating hour 12.30-9pm daily
Eyecheck services / contact lenses available in store
(tel)+65 9118-24 33 ( Whatsapp / SMS )+65 63692066
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!