Given how practical they are, it’s strange we don’t see much of their use. The eyewear retainer seems to be employed mainly by mountain climbers who need to secure their shades close to their body or women of a certain age who need glasses on them when they have to read.
Perhaps that will all change, given eyewear’s prominence in fashion today. It’s quite right to say Gucci got it all started by making geeky eyewear the look to go for, never mind if you risk appearing like a bespectacled Carrie White en route to the prom that won’t be receiving her with open arms. After viewing the streams of the autumn/winter 2016 season, one thing that struck us is the conspicuous appearance of the eyewear retainer at Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga, those that were hung in front from the ear like a hip-hop artiste’s gold chain.
In fact, it is rather hard to find a retainer that isn’t a chain. For functional and forward-looking pieces, we had to look at an outdoor goods supplier. And there it was: the perfect pair from retainer and lanyard maker Croakies. What caught our attention were the Terra System braided cord (in fact, a skinny climbing rope) attached to rubber ends and L-shaped brackets that easily allows the length of the retainer to be adjusted. At its shortest, it hugs the rear of your head comfortably, doing away with a dangling cord that may irritate the neck. Croakies categorised these as ‘Sports’ rather than ‘Fashion’ retainers, but we’re certain they’ll go with any stylish eyewear, Gucci’s included.
Croakies Terra System eyewear retainer, SGD14.90, is available at Outdoor Life, Wheelock Place. Photo: Jim Sim