Monday, 1 June 2015
SUN GLASSES FOR MEN
It's happening. You can feel it on the back of your neck: summer is most definitely on its way. As the days become longer and you feel yourself squinting then scrabbling desperately for the visor above your head while driving, it's time to start thinking about what sort of sunglasses you're going to rock come spring time.
It might be a little early to start thinking about being totally "beach ready" - although if summer bodies are made in winter why not begin building your holiday wardrobe now too? - but choosing the right pair of shades is as significant a style marker for a man as picking the perfect pair of swimming shorts. Here GQ helps you separate the style flotsam from the jetsam, the eyesores from the head-turners. Look sharp, stay focused and feel summer 2015's imminent upbeatism with one of these pairs of stylish sunglasses.
Just be careful not to mess up your carefully coiffed summer hair...
Collaborations don't come more stylish than this paring between Stockhol-based scent-master Byredo and high-end American eyewear brand Oliver Peoples. These shades are available in blue, black and sand acetate and each fitted with co-ordinating photochromatic lenses inspired by the colours of Los Angeles. While the shades are strong on their own, each also has a custom scent with a co-ordinating coloured bottle to match. The line is exclusive to Selfridges and available only in limited numbers, so get yourself down there ASAP.
If you're the kind of man who can't make up his mind about frame colour, these are the shades for you. Available in two throwback shapes - both square and round, so every face is covered - these lightweight metal frames are made so you can snap different coloured plastic front pieces on and off whenever. Your inital model comes with one alternate style, but a whole drawerful of various colours and patterns are available to buy as needed.
The benefits of buying polarized lenses are plenty: glare-free vision, more natural colours, reduced eye fatigue and 100 per cent UV protection. However, often this kind of increased protection comes at a cost. Not at Polaroid, whose latest Rainbow Collection line of shades give you these advantage at a very resonable price - and in some distinctly eye-catching, summer-friendly frame colours.
Sometimes style is about sweating the small stuff, and these retro inspired Armani shades - with elegant tapered temples and rhomboidal silver rivets - combine a vintage look together with superbly crafted contemporary tech. The very definition of a cool classic.
Once the reserve of oily teddy boys or overly enthusiastic mods, the D-frame shape is making a comeback. Here Gucci combines a black acetate upper while the rest of the frame is made from a slim gold-tone metal. Grey tinted lenses allow for a slightly lighter look.
Ever imagined what the late, great writer Hunter S Thomas might wear had he ever been invited to host the Academy Awards? Or what to sport in Cannes film festival come mid May and the parties run from dusk until dawn? Not for retiring wallflowers, these sunglasses are made in Italy from brown tortoiseshell acetate with rounded D-frames and include cyan-tinted mirrored Zeiss sports lenses. Do not go gentle into that good night…
The brand for surfers (who don't necessarily surf) always manages to combine superb quality with an exceptional, unique aesthetic. These Mitsu sunglasses, handmade in Japan, feature a somewhat rounded frame that comes in amber, black, fog or, our pick, tortoiseshell.
There isn't much that can be said about this stone cold classic pair of shades (introduced in 1952) that a picture of Tom Cruise from Risky Business - or any other actor or rock n' roll star at any other point in history - can't say. Everyone who is anyone has at some point used Wayfarers and benefitted from their indescribably cool heritage. Join them.
As brands go this long established London team is to shades what Ferrari is to car manufacturing. There is simply no label more researched, more tasteful and more refined - always effervescing a feeling that comes as close to bespoke as anything off the peg can. Chose these and you'll single yourself out as a man with impeccable taste.
Some of the best style swag comes out when two brands combine to create one all conquering product. This new collaboration sees the charm of French label APC combine with Retrosuperfuture to make sunnies that are handmade in Italy with photochromatic polarised Zeiss lenses for, "improved vision and colour perception." They also look killer.
Other than on the beach, it's while driving that sunglasses really come into their own. Although with the weather as variable as it is over here, sometimes one pair of shades doesn't quite cut it. Moscot has come up with the Drive Package, a set of three clip-on sunglass lenses that will serve you come sun or Tupperwear skies: a sliver clip with Vermillion lenses for overcast conditions, a yellow clip with G-15 lenses for sunny weather, and a black clip with high contrast.
If, like us, you're endlessly sitting on/dropping/losing your favouite pair of shades, then these Berts are the frames for you. A classic square shape that holds firm - even if you don't - and a red tip on one arm providing an essential identifier whilst lost on a summer timetable overloaded with beer, lighters, phones, keys, and other after work drinking accouterments.
For anyone (like us) who admired Michael Caine's specs in The Ipcress File, these heavy-framed Sixties-inapired shades are the perfect throw-back piece. Being Prada, of course, they manage to keep cool and contemporary, rather than anything too retro.
If you don't remember Steve McQueen wearing his favourite pair of Persol shades (model 714) in the original (and best) The Thomas Crown Affair, then don't fret. All you need to know is this: no-one has looked cooler in sunglasses since. Except maybe Steve McQueen in Bullitt.
Don't wear these on a date. In fact, don't wear these anywhere other than while running. In a thick forest. Alone. But with lenses engineered to reduce 99 per cent of glare, you'll leave the other Lycra dads in the dust...
The problem with traditionally more masculine shades are the heavy, thick frames - the sort of look that mobster style film producers used to sport round some ingénue's pool in Bel Air during the mid Ninties. These Saint Laurent SL57 frames are Italian crafted, a touch more refined and certainly more slender.
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