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In our all consuming quest to keep you looking looking your nattiest, it’s high time we address your face. Or at least the glasses sitting on it. With the help of our good friends Jordan and Erik from Silver Lining Opticians–our vote for the best specs shop in all the land–we’re going to bring you the vintage shades you should be wearing, one category at a time. And if something catches your eye, just shoot us an email and we’ll point you in the right direction.

One of the secrets of vintage gear is nailing down a specific place and time. In the case of the plastic aviator, it’s the late seventies, when muscle cars, eight tracks and unreconstructed rock could all still pass as unironic. And, now that it’s being sported by celebs from Kanye to Tom Ford, the plastic aviator is enjoying a much deserved revival. Ranging from high-tech to faux-cheap, we’ve put together a list that can see you through beach weekends, skiing, and your usual daytime adventures. And, of course, they all look good with a mustache.

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Paola Belle 6548:
*Time:* Late 70s
*Secret Weapons:* Marbled acetate, a less rounded teardrop shape, smells of rich mahogany
*Inspiration:* Justin Theroux visiting Milan

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Ellesse Basic:
*Time:* Early 1980s
*Secret Weapons:* Shatterproof lenses, rubber bridge, rubber temple tips, performance-enhancing powder blue
*Inspiration:* Harvard/Yale Squash Division I Finals

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Serengeti Drivers:
*Time:* Mid 80’s
*Secret Weapons:* Dark plum frame, Corning glass, lens that react to changing light (but not market conditions)
*Inspiration:* Think Distinguished Gentleman or Gordon Gecko in a Maserati

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Cebe Sport:
*Time:* Late 1960s
*Secret Weapons:* Mirrored lenses, patriotic red-white-and-blue layers
*Inspiration:* Jean Claude Killy in Gstaad

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Carrera 5544:

*Time:* Mid 1980s
*Secret Weapons:* Leather side shields and elastic headband for all your alpine protection
*Inspiration:* Wil.I.Am, Kanye, and a bag full of vintage soul records

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Persol 58256:

*Time:* Timeless
*Secret Weapons:* One of the best made sunglasses of all time.
*Inspiration:* Connery as Bond laying low in Monaco—from speed boat to black tie with ease…

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom