Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! On this shiok Sunday, I’m reviewing a pair of spectacles from local online eyewear label four eyes.
While homegrown online eyewear stores are plentiful – I’ve reviewed a couple previously – 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. “You can test, share, and pick your favourite looks together with your family and friends, while being free from time pressure, pushy salesmen and crowded malls,” states the four Eyes’ website.
The youthful-looking brand also has an interesting brand story, making four eyes an intriguing feature. Let’s take a look!
four eyes – the Brand
While ostensibly a young brand set up in 2020, four eyes actually 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.
I find it admirable that a traditional, brick-and-mortar eyewear store has managed to innovatively pivot its business model by creating a separate brand. This also means that the brand is handled by people who have spent their entire lives in the eyewear business. Whilst most “new” retailers only have opticians on staff, four eyes has optometrists, with the difference being that optometrists are certified to provide eyecare advice and tests, as compared to merely “checking” a customer’s degree. I should also highlight that a portion of sales goes into charitable purposes, namely to funding sight-restoration surgeries in underdeveloped countries – the details are be read here.
Alright without further ado, let’s see how the four eyes experience is like!
four eyes – the Experience
First, customers go online to pick four different frames that they wish to try (therefore the name). There will be a temporary hold of $200 placed on your card, but no charges will be incurred unless you don’t return the trial frames. Once you mail back the trial frames (more on that later), four eyes will cancel the temporary charge.
After a few days, the frames arrive in a sustainable cardboard box.
In case you’re wondering how to return the frames, four eyes includes a prepaid Singpost smartpac so you can return the box conveniently.
I was impressed by the way the frames were packaged – they look like a box of cookies, for some reason. I like the teal and pink colours too, which accentuates the youthful feel of the four eyes brand.
The first frame that I chose was from the Hallyu collection, which features more trendy, Korean-ish designs. I wanted to see if a younger aesthetic fits me, but unfortunately I don’t have an oppa face.
The next frame I picked was from the Double Power, which has a more retro-looking vibe. When I first saw the design, I was immediately reminded of Tony Stark from the Avengers as it looks like something a millionaire or a star would wear. However, I just felt that I couldn’t pull off the design – I’m not a rock star or a successful entrepreneur (yet). The frame was wearing me, not the other way around.
Up next is the Executive collection. I initially thought it was the collection for me (I’m always in suits after all) but again it didn’t appeal to me. I felt the form was too rectangular, and that it made me look a tad too nerdy, for a lack of a better word. If you want to look like a silicon valley engineer though, these would fit the bill nicely.
The goldilocks of the quartet was from the Brow collection. It fits my face perfectly and is the perfect blend between the slender, rectangular Executive and the bolder-looking Double Power. It’s still formal enough for smart attire, but casual as well to pair with a polo tee and shorts. Stylistically its clubmaster design is versatile, and a good blend of modern and retro.
Once you indicate your preferred frame, you can either upload your own prescription (if you have one) or drop by four eyes’ physical outlet to get a prescription. I highly suggest dropping by the physical store, where you can get your eye checked by trained optometrists that have been in the business for over three decades. I’ve had numerous eyewear tests to date, and I have to say that this was the most comprehensive eyewear test I’ve experienced.
Once the prescription is submitted, four eyes will send over the frame within a few days, delivered to your doorstep.
four eyes – Hosta Review
After a few days, I received the Hosta in silver, fitted with the appropriate lenses.
The Hosta is four eyes’ classic clubmaster model. It comes in two colour variants, namely gold and silver. I decided upon the silver colourway as it looks more understated than its gold counterpart, and would likely pair well with the majority of my wardrobe.
The Hosta is crafted from acetate and metal, and feels sturdy to the touch. Certain other affordable eyewear labels sell frames made of TR-90 plastic, which don’t tend to last very long as the materials used are inherently flimsy.
Like their frames, four eyes’ lenses are a cut above comparatively priced alternatives. They are sourced and edged in Singapore, and undergo quality checks from four eyes’ trained optometrists. They are lightweight, dust-free, impact- and scratch-resistant, non-reflective and UV coated. The brand also offers blue light filtering lenses, which I opted for. As someone that stares at a computer screen everyday, having blue light filtering lenses is paramount to protect my eyes. It’s a S$30 add-on, but in my opinion it’s well worth-it.
All in all, I definitely like the Hosta from four eyes. For one, the spectacles are well-built – I would say that they are considerably better than others that I’ve tried previously at the same price point. I also really like the clubmaster aesthetic of the Hosta. It’s a style that came from the 50s, and had a recent resurgence in popularity along with everything else retro. It possesses a nice vintage charm, yet remains contemporary at the same time. In the silver colourway, I think it complements my face well, and I’ve found it versatile enough to work with both casual clothing and formal. Lastly, the frame and lenses are covered by a 1-year warranty, which is significantly longer than the 3-months warranty offered by other brands.
Conclusion – so four eyes “shiok” or not?
Most definitely. 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.
Frames (with prescription lenses) from four eyes start at $99. For those interested in purchasing, the brand has kindly provided my readers with a discount code – simply use the code “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 5% off all purchases from four eyes! After the discount, the Hosta (with blue light filtering prescription lenses) would cost just $134, which I think is a great price especially considering that delivery (first for the “try-at-home” box, then the eventual frame) is free.
Ultimately, four eyes is a great blend of youthful innovation – most of their frames are trendy and fashionable – as well as tradition and experience. Instead of going to mainstream eyewear labels such as Owndays/Lenskart, why not support local instead?
View the four eyes website here.
FOUR EYES RETAIL OUTLET
465 Crawford Lane #01-32
Opening Hours: Daily 11am – 6pm.
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
In operation since Singapore’s independence in 1965 🇸🇬
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.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.