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.
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).
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!
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.
I don’t even really know who this dude is but his style is amazing. Ray Bans + tie + peacoat = fanfuckingtastic.
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!
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.
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 will destroy you gracefully.
Supposedly, Ms. Hepburn kicked off the Ray Ban craze when she wore them in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Can she do no wrong?
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.
Speaking of super hot in Wayfarers:
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!