this thing's incredible

With This Retro Eyeglass Chain, I Keep My Mask Within Reach at All Times

Photo: Courtesy of the author

Wearing a face mask to cover your nose and mouth whenever you can’t properly social-distance from others isn’t something that’s going to go away anytime soon. In my Los Angeles neighborhood, I can walk for pretty long distances without encountering another person, so I tend to only pull my mask on when someone approaches. But trying to have it at the ready whenever you’re out of your house can lead to lots of fumbling (and unwanted contamination from constantly putting it in your pocket or purse).

When I came across an Instagram post from jewelry brand Éliou reimagining their old-school, grandma-chic, gold-chain, clip-on eyeglass leash to keep a face mask handy, I ordered one for myself. It’s turned out to be the single best purchase I’ve made in months.

Not only does it nostalgically remind me of the beaded eyeglass chain my grandmother used to wear, having my mask hanging neatly around my neck, ready to pull up and on at a moment’s notice, has made being out in the world a lot less stressful — and it’s made me a more diligent citizen, too.

I keep my mask chain around my neck all day long, even when I’m just at home. It’s saved me on more than one occasion when a delivery person rang the doorbell, needing a signature for a package — and it’s an elegant-looking accessory to add to your current stack of layered necklaces. It also makes putting a mask on easy; all you have to do is grab the ear loops and pull it on, which means you never handle the part that touches your face. (Still, I always try to sanitize my hands before touching my mask, and I clean my masks regularly.) It’s a nice alternative to storing your mask under your chin, which many people seem to be doing; I can’t say for sure that wearing it on a chain keeps it cleaner, but it does keep the elastic from getting stretched out.

Éliou (which also makes the very timely “Wash Your Hands” necklace I wear daily) sells an equally gorgeous, less expensive millefiori version of their leash, but I’ve found lots of cheap and cheerful options to keep your mask at the ready whenever you’re giving yourself a break from wearing it. And when all of this is over — someday — you can use your eyeglass chain for its intended purpose.

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With My Retro Eyeglass Chain, My Mask Is Always Within Reach