Style Unfolded: My foldable Ray-Ban Clubmaster

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.

Ray-Ban Clubmaster
My new Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunglasses

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.

Ray-Ban Clubmaster
Folded into a neat package.
Ray-Ban Clubmaster
Good things come in small packages
Ray-Ban Clubmaster
Folded in my palm for some perspective on size.
Ray-Ban Clubmaster
The tiny little box containing my Clubmasters

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

Ray-Ban Clubmaster
Half unfolded
Ray-Ban Clubmaster
Ethnic-chic is what I was aiming for here. Pairing a Fabindia bundi jacket with a classic Gap tee-shirt and my Clubmasters.
1. Iconic Hotel (I've been telling you about this hotel for ages now): The George V in Paris. It is supposed to be one of the most iconic hotels in the world and among the top 5 hotels in the world. Built in the grandeur of the 1920s Edwardian style, on Avenue George V which, along with Avenue Montaigne is the haute couture avenue of Paris. Today the hotel welcomes celebrities, models and international diplomats. A customised Hermès Rolls Royce, an underground Swiss spa, a private cellar (considered to be one of the best in the world) under the streets of Paris, Bulgari bath products, a GRAND traditional French restaurant with 2 Michelin stars and a Penthouse Suite that costs Rs 18 lacs a night. 2. Mandarin Oriental Paris: (Angle for review: Best location in Paris/best small sized luxury hotel in Paris) We had covered this hotel in the new launch and Chloe boutique in the launchpad section. VERY NICE hotel. This hotel is relatively new on the Paris hotel front. Very very contemporary decor, Man Ray artwork all over the hotel, a private courtyard, an Oriental-inspired spa, a specific pillow menu, bath and body products by Diptyque, 3. Luxury Destination: Geneva. Most Indians travelling to Switzerland go to the Alps and Zurich. Very few have explored Geneva as a luxury destination. This comfortably small city is a veritable luxury haven. Situated on the banks of Lake Geneva, with the iconic fountain, guests can stay at one of the many legendary hotels along the waterfront. Shopping on Rue du Rhone for brands like Breguet, Vacheron, Omega, Rolex. Looking at the very first place where Davidoff cigars came from, the house, a private cruise on the lake between French and Swiss waters, and a trip to the Mont Blanc is a short drive away. Most importantly, Geneva is home to one of the best Indian restaurants in the world, Rasoi by Vineet Bhatia, Michelin 2 star chef is a modern Indian fine dining restaurant which has now become a MUST DO on the culinary trail of the city. Geneva is a serious luxury destination which has been relatively unexplored. 4. Chamonix, France (pronounced Chamonee :D) This STUNNING little town is Europe's most unexplored and undiscovered luxury destination for foreign travellers. Nestled in the Chamonix valley at the foot of the majestic Mont Blanc, the highest point in Europe, Chamonix has always been known as a ski resort. But now, it has become a serious luxury destination with a host of Michelin star restaurants, old Swiss chalet style hotels (Grand Hotel des Alpes), Albert 1st Hotel and, of course, the brand new Hotel du Mont Blanc (started by the son and daughter in law of the luxury champagne house Taittinger Champagne). Travellers to Chamonix can access the different peaks of the Alps through cable cars that are situated at different points in the town. For Indians: Chamonix is an ideal ski destination for Indians as there are shops that hire out all the equipment, right down to the snow shoes and pants. Most international ski resorts require you to own all the equipment, which deters most Indian luxury travellers.
It doesn’t get any more retro than this! The red printed shirt, mildly inspired by the ’60s casual style, with the quaff in my hair made for the perfect look.
Ray-Ban Clubmaster
Taking a mandatory selfie in a business casual ensemble (Neon shirt by Odel, Jacket by Zara) at the inaugural event of Emirates’ A380 in Hyderabad.
Ray-Ban Clubmaster
For me, nothing beats the style of a denim shirt. Here, I wore a Uniqlo denim shirt, a casual style statement highlighted by my Clubmasters


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