All of the Lights

I learned many style lessons in the Yucatan last week that can be primarily summed up like so: cotton, khaki and seersucker + badass weekender bag. Tropical vacation? You got this.

 

Waiting for our flight back home to SF, I wandered the Cancun airport. The chode-to-non-chode ratio was pretty spectacular, though I did see one man with the most awesome iPad case I’d ever seen. It was bamboo! I don’t even have iPads or know how much I agree with them but I was really into this guy’s whole look.

 

Anyway, to escape the Jimmy Buffet bar atmosphere, I spent a lot of time in sunglass shops (there are several of them in the Cancun airport) and realized that I am officially a Ray Ban fanboy. I’ll say it: with the exception of vintage eyewear, there’s nothing else out there that I’ll buy. (And I am aware that part of Ray Ban’s success has to do with product placement deals they made in the early 80’s but I’ll say this: they’ve transcended groupthink consumerism and endured as iconic in large part because they just look so good. Besides James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Dylan, et. al. were fans way before Risky Business).

 

So, because today is sunny in the Bay and because spring is here and because I want you to virtual vacation with me and because sunglasses are one of life’s great gifts I present:

Page McBee’s Ode to Ray Bans

 

Currently I own a pair of Wayfarers. Though one could argue that these glasses have peaked (again) in the last few years, one could also argue that they’re bona-fide rock star classic. Classic is bulletproof.

 

Bob Dylan in Wayfarers

 

What’s rad about Ray Bans is that they come in several sizes which means that if you’re pointy like me (or Bob) you’re still good to go. I have never seen someone look shitty in Wayfarers (though I have seen people not ballsy enough to wear them well but that’s a different beast entirely).

 

JFK Fucking Sailing in Ray Bans

 

Since JFK is basically the opposite of Dylan but a rock star in his own right, take a look at his presidential Ray Ban style. What a bad ass!

 

Ye & Amber in LA

 

Kanye West is a genius.  I love when he looks like he’s wearing a costume. Motorcycle gang? Totally. Also I love when people can pull off sunglasses at night.

 

Francesco Bianconi, Italian Rockstar

 

I don’t even really know who this dude is but his style is amazing. Ray Bans + tie + peacoat = fanfuckingtastic.

 

Gaspard Ulliel, French Actor

 

This is my favorite GQ cover of all time. I also don’t know who Gaspard Ulliel is but cursory research shows he never looks half as awesome as he does here. I believe these are Ray Bans with clear lenses. So rad!

 

Tyler Doran

 

My pal Tyler Doran (who I recently profiled here on IBC) is the owner of Heir Antiques and is the most handsome man that I know in real life. He is wearing Clubmasters which are on my to-buy list for the summer.

 

Clubmaster TortArista G-15 XLT

 

They’re a classed-up version of the down-and-dirty Wayfarers. My plan is to alternate depending on how rebellious/elegant my mood/outfit. Both pairs look fantastic with just a pair of swim trunks and mad tattoos.

 

Tim Roth in Clubmasters

 

Tim Roth will destroy you gracefully.

 

Audrey Hepburn in Ray Bans

 

Supposedly, Ms. Hepburn kicked off the Ray Ban craze when she wore them in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Can she do no wrong?

 

Malcolm X, a Ray Ban inspiration

 

As far as anyone knows, Malcolm X didn’t actually wear Ray Bans but his signature frames looked a lot like Clubmasters. His sharp, tailored look was greatly flattered by his awesome glasses.

 

Debbie Harry looking super hot in Wayfarers

 

Speaking of super hot in Wayfarers:

 

Marilyn Monroe in Wayfarers with Arthur Miller

 

Summa-summa-summatime!

So I leave you with this, the ultimate tribute to Ray Bans and one of the best summer songs of all time. Drink a G&T, find a swimming pool and/or a convertible and relax, man! To dog days!

About Thomas Page McBee

Gentleman first, always. James Dean is my patron saint, poet is my gender. More about me here: www.thomaspagemcbee.com

4 comments

  1. I love that picture of Kennedy. Classic

  2. chrispy

    How did you manage to do this story without Roy Orbison?

    • Page McBee

      Hmm…Orbison definitely wore some awesome glasses but I’m generally not a fan of his style. I guess that’s how I managed to overlook him. To each his own, of course.

  3. Pingback: My Future’s So Bright « Ironing Board Collective

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