All you guys who have been tripping on vintage and retro styles in the past few seasons (thanks to the Mad Men and Gatsby fan club), let me tell you that this trend goes well beyond pocket squares, hats and brogues. There’s another accessory from that era, which I have grown to love. Have you ever heard of browline glasses? As the name suggests, browline glasses are reading spectacles with a thick upper frame, almost like an eyebrow. This style was popular in the ‘50s and 60s. Inspired by this, when the Ray-Ban Clubmaster (with sunglass lenses) was released in the ‘80s, it had already attained cult status. Today, the Ray-Ban Clubmaster is iconic in its own right. And I managed to get my hands on its latest avatar: the foldable version of the Ray-Ban Clubmaster. Read on to find out more on my latest acquisition.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a strong passion for sunglasses. I am constantly sporting them during the day, wherever I go (please note that the GroomingGuru disapproves of wearing your sunnies indoors as it is unsightly and a strict NO NO). Rather than experimenting with shapes and styles, I tend to opt for the classics. As a boy, I jumped on the Aviator wave of the ‘80s (trying to keep up with Tom Cruise’s Aviator-sporting fighter pilot image from Top Gun) and, of course, own innumerable Wayfarers. This time, fast forwarding to the year 2014, I am all about town flashing my latest craze, the Ray-Ban Folding Clubmaster.
What I love most about these chic sunnies is that it comes in a tiny little box, half the size of your regular spectacle cases. So much better than those bulky full sized sunglass cases that are so cumbersome.
The pair I own has a sleek black frame, with its signature bold ‘eyebrow’, juxtaposed with gold elements, making for a perfect contrast. The grey gradient frame is perfect to keep away those harmful rays of the sun.
Then there’s the whole vintage feel to it. I’ve always been fascinated by those old fashioned monocles (the one-eyed spectacles). But those have become obsolete in modern times. In my mind, I see the folded Ray-Ban Clubmaster as a modern interpretation of the monocle. There is a geeky appeal to the sunglasses as well. Perhaps because, the browlines from the ‘50s have come to symbolise some sort of counter-culture accessory.
Whatever it is, the folding version of the Ray-Ban Clubmaster is my summer accessory pick not only for its retro appeal and also because once you’re done wearing it, all you need to do is fold it up and slip it into your pocket. It doesn’t get any more chic than this!
The GroomingGuru’s View: When it comes to accessories, most men will agree with me when I say that sunglasses are indeed a man’s best friend. And while some pedantic style gurus might sing praises of the importance of polished shoes and Swiss watches (which I am not denying), I continue to uphold by Aviators, Wayfarers and, more recently, the Ray-Ban Clubmaster. I am of the opinion that a pair of swanky sunglasses always makes a smashing style statement. Haven’t we all, at some point in time, marvelled at and complimented those dapper dudes at the derby, on a yacht, on the golf course or at a weekend poolside brunch for their cool shades? Your sunnies not only protect your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun but also add confidence and glamour to your look, almost instantly.
Look below to see how I have been accessorising my recent looks with my Clubmasters