Hey everyone, this is GQ Recommends.
And today we are going to talk about sunglasses.
So today, we’re going to break down in detail
four essential categories of sunglasses
that you should be familiar with.
Not only this season, but every season going forward.
The All-Time Classics.
These are the sunglasses that just work.
You think about the Wayfarer
the Clubmaster, pair of Persols.
A lot of these sunglasses have been around for a long time.
They look good and they have a lot of history to them.
These are the sunglasses that you can grab
and always feel comforted in that you’re going to look cool.
They’re tried and true classics for a reason.
[Avidan] And in particular, the one we’re looking at here
are the Ray-Ban Clubmaster
which is perhaps the most legendary of them all
for good reason.
They’re a super legendary shape
that really took off in the 50’s and 60’s
as regular eyeglasses.
They kind of have this IV league look to them
which is super cool without being overly Point Dexter.
Towards the latter half of that decade
they also became popular sunglasses.
Guys like Malcolm X very famously wore them
and they’ve kind of stood the test of time
because they are an almost
universally flattering silhouette.
No matter which way or style skews
they come in a bunch of different colors,
they’re fairly reasonably priced
for the quality you’re getting,
and they’re stamped with the Ray-Ban sign of quality
which is pretty hard to beat.
On the other end of the spectrum,
you have a brand like Persol.
In some ways, Ray-ban’s Italian counterpart.
You want us…
Walk us through the most legendary silhouette
from Persol’s deep repertoire.
Yeah, for sure.
Persol is another really iconic brand.
You might have seen this on guys like Steve McQueen.
This is sort of an aviator style,
which comes in a lot of different materials
and slightly different shapes,
but this style was really born for military pilots.
To really cover more of the face and block out more sun.
A lot of race car drivers actually thought
this silhouette really worked well driving their fast cars.
Do I look fast?
[Avidan] You look super fast, man.
I drive a Ford Focus.
What can you tell us about this last pair?
Well, I’m glad you asked Gerald
because these are one of my personal favorites.
This is a Wayfarer style pair of sunglasses
from the French eyewear experts at Jacques Marie Mage.
They’re handmade in Japan,
out of some of the finest quality materials on the planet.
You know that they’re going to last you for years
provided you can keep your hands on them
and won’t lose them in the back of a taxi.
There are some sunglasses that are made
from straight up just plastic
like the same kind you would get
from a water bottle or something.
These are not that.
They feel weighty, they feel dense.
They don’t feel brittle like they’re just gonna snap on you.
But then, you know, you get into sunglasses
that are like wire frame sunglasses
that are really thin and lightweight.
That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s of poor quality,
but get a pair of sunglasses and it feels pretty weighty
that’s probably not a bad sign.
But along with the higher quality materials,
you also get a lot of details that you probably won’t see
on cheaper alternatives.
So there’s this nice gold trim here.
The color in particular is also like this rich shade
of almost mocha brown.
That’s hard to come by in this particular tint.
The Technicolor Tints.
The all time classics are always a safe bet.
We really like those silhouettes,
but if you’re looking for sunglasses
with a little bit more personality,
you could also play around with
not only shape, size, and silhouette, but color.
They’re not for the faint of heart,
but if you can get past the bright colors,
they’re actually pretty easy to pull off.
This first pair is from a brand called Sun Buddies.
Pretty affordable and like the quality
is really great for the price too.
Not so crazy as far as the silhouette goes,
but what does stand out is this,
I don’t know kind of like magenta-ish color.
They look great. Thanks.
This color is not something you usually see every day.
It’s not the usual tortoise shell.
It’s not boring gray.
It ups the ante considerably.
[Gerald] Yeah, for sure.
[Avidan] These are the blue Issimo sunglasses
from Retrosuperfuture, which is a really cool brand
that we like a lot,
that also makes fairly affordable sunglasses.
They’ve got a sleek outline.
They’re kind of squared off at the top
and a little bit rounded at the bottom.
They work well on most face shapes.
And like we were saying before,
they’ve got this mid-offs energy,
that’s really hot right now.
I could easily see Bieber wearing these.
I like it because it is a little bit curved at the bottom
which I think softens the angularity of the frames.
But yes, this smaller frame with the very flat top
is something we’re seeing a lot of lately.
I personally love another brand called Akila.
These are some of my own sunglasses.
This brand makes a lot of different frames,
really fashion forward.
They also do have some classics, of course,
as any good sunglass brand should.
Most of their sunglasses are around 120 bucks,
really good quality,
and you can find a bunch of them in, you know,
the full spectrum, lens tints and frame colors.
These look sick with your current outfit.
Yeah, I guess I didn’t really plan that out actually.
Well, what would you normally wear these with?
I would generally keep everything else pretty chill.
That being said,
you liked how this looks matching my shirt.
You can do that too.
Well, I think it’s because the elements of your outfit
are already pretty paired down.
Like it’s essentially just a white tee
and like neutral colored cargos,
but the flannel and sunglasses level it up.
These are sick.
Thanks. So if you think this category is a little too wild
just stop the video now, exit, find something else
’cause we’re gonna get even crazier in just a second.
The Total Swerves.
These are the wild style sunglasses,
they’ve been around in one form or another for decades.
You can see them on people like Brad Pitt, Pharrell.
They pack a lot of style per square inch
into a very small silhouette. And that’s kind of cool.
There’s not really a category for this on,
you know whatever retail site you’re looking at.
So these are just wild sunglasses.
It’s not a specific shape.
It’s not a specific color or brand or whatever.
If your styles tends to skew more paired down
and you don’t really like to go big with the rest
of your outfit, this is a perfect way to flex your taste
and show up everyone else wherever you happen to be.
This first pair is from a brand called Brain Dead
which all around makes really dope stuff.
This hits on a lot of different points.
The lenses are super reflective
and like crazy, almost mirror-like.
The frames are like this slime green
sort of take on turtle shell.
That bit of hardware on the lenses is super cool.
I think actually…
I think Kim Kardashian wore a pair of these.
This style’s called the mutant, which I mean
if there’s any way to really swerve in this category
it’s with something like this.
[Avidan] It’s a deceptively approachable frame.
Mostly because the silhouette itself is
pretty universally flattering.
So if you can look past or in fact embrace
everything else going on,
it’s going to look good on your face.
You wanna tell us about this next pair?
[Avidan] So, these are actually from Cutler and Gross
which I think you and I both really like.
It’s one of the premier names in higher end sunglasses.
They don’t come cheap.
They’re almost 500 bucks, but again,
they come with a pedigree that is
pretty hard to beat in the sunglasses space.
They’re super high quality.
They feel really hefty in your hand, but not so hefty
that they’ll weigh down your face when you’re wearing them.
What I really dig about these is that
they are heavily doused with like retro,
peak seventies energy.
So you see a lot of guys wearing these on the red carpet.
People like Anderson Paak and Bruno Mars.
I feel like these types of sunglasses
are the sort of shades you want to throw on
when you’re going to like a destination wedding
with a pretty lax dress code.
Where you have free reign to
add a little personality to your fit.
I don’t know if I would wear them
to a more conventional black tie wedding or a funeral.
Yeah, probably not. I wouldn’t do that either.
I don’t think stunting on the bereaved
is necessarily in good taste.
[laughs] Stunting on the bereaved.
Take it away my man.
From a Japanese brand called Matsuda
known for really intricate sunglasses.
They’re not all necessarily as wild as this
but I mean straight from the jump, geez.
These are based off of vintage, welding sunglasses.
All metal. It’s like very steam punk.
I actually have another pair of Matsudas
that are not at all like this.
They have a really wide range of styles and silhouettes.
[Avidan] If the pair that you like flies
against the conventional wisdom,
whatever the keyboard warriors
are telling you looks best on your face shape.
So be it, you should commit wholeheartedly
and whatever makes you feel the most confident
is the pair you should rock with.
So Gerald, the Matsuda pair
that you were just talking about.
I think these are like 1500 bucks, right?
Which is an objectively absurd amount
of money to spend on sunglasses.
I don’t think either you or I would
fork over that money so easily without a second thought.
What’s great about this category is that it ranges so wide
and you can find plenty of sunglasses that are really cool
and really swervy at lower price points.
We really like a brand called Crap Eyewear.
As funny as the name is,
they make some really cool sunglasses
you know, just around a hundred bucks or even less.
[Avidan] The Sporting Life.
[Gerald] These sunglasses come from
a place of pure function.
A lot of them are built for the
specific type of activity you’ll be wearing them in.
Shagging fly balls, running into the end zone…
Or just running into your homies
on the way to pick up some breakfast sandwiches.
Bang, soundbite free.
I mean, these days we’re seeing a lot of these sunglasses
not on any type of sports field whatsoever.
[Avidan] They’ve evolved from
beyond their purely performance roots.
Or have been forcibly yanked.
Yeah, let’s say that.
Athletic brands, Nike, Adidas, Oakley
are some of the most popular names
but there are plenty of fashion brands
that are getting into these types of sunglasses.
I’ve yet to see a team sponsored by
like a high fashion house, but that would be pretty cool.
Like Balenciaga X MLB.
Or Prada and the NBA.
That would be sick.
[Gerald] That would be really sick.
[Gerald] I would love to see that. Yeah.
To your point, Gerald, there’s also like a ton
of non-athletes who swear by these styles
like Justin Bieber has been wearing the Balenciaga version
of this type of sunglass, pretty religiously on tour
and Bad Bunny routinely sports them on the red carpets.
But I think it’s that element of
sport influence design that makes them really cool
and kind of adds a little bit of edge
or like an unexpected flavor.
So the first pair that I’m looking at here are from Nike.
These are a pretty classic example of the silhouette.
Cantilevered shape, super glossy finish,
definitely a polarized lens, and a hint of neon
on either side of the temple there.
So the second pair we’re gonna take a look at
are from Westward Leaning. How do they make you feel?
They look pretty sick.
I feel pretty sick.
If you’re say like running at night
they’ve got the yellow tint
and it actually brightens things up.
So depending on the color of the lenses, they’ll give you
you know, better acuity in some areas and not others.
So it really depends on the activity.
[Avidan] So do you think these types of sunglasses
have to be worn with running gear
or gear that’s specifically made for athletic performance?
I don’t think you have to.
I’ve seen plenty of people look really cool
in a sort of like Y2K kind of vibe.
I think you would probably agree Gerald
that no discussion of sportier shades
would be complete without mention of Oakley,
which is sort of the OG when it comes to the genre.
They’ve been making styles that like we said,
evolved from their athletic pedigree
to be a staple on the street as well.
The classic silhouette is the Radar EV Path,
which is a little over 240 bucks.
Sounds like a lot, but you get a ton of functionality
and performance with one pair of shades.
If you don’t want to buy them new,
I scooped this pair second hand,
basic silhouette hasn’t changed much over the years
but they make me feel like a multimillion dollar athlete
every time I wear them.
And I don’t even have an endorsement deal.
Not yet at least.
[Gerald] There’s no denying how functional these are.
And if there’s anything that we’ve learned
from a lot of wardrobe classics
that we continue to wear today
that’s kind of where icons come from is functionality.
So I wouldn’t be surprised if
these are still here decades from now.
So Gerald you’re saying
that I could probably pull off a pair of these.
You? Yeah, sure. Yeah.
Okay, so if I can pull them off,
you can definitely pull them off.
So which one of these guys was your favorite?
It’s probably these guys right here.
I think they’re the most fun
but maybe not one I’d wear every day. What was yours?
[Avidan] Honestly, I feel like my taste
is a little more conventional.
I dug these a lot and I feel like
I would get a lot of wear out of them.
Thanks so much for watching.
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