Christine Lee

UX Designer

27

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clubmasters

I was never a cool kid. I always cared about how I looked, but it was never a cool look. Some time in college the pieces started to fall together. I “found my look,” so to speak. American Apparel and skinny jeans were in full swing, and I embraced the nu-80’s look with a passion that betrayed my 90’s kid upbringing (I had vehemently rejected the skinny jean silhouette as “disproportionate” just a couple years back, nowhere near as balanced as a solid flare). Somewhere down the line, I also discovered the ridiculous magic of sunglasses.

Sunglasses are a special type of sorcery. Perhaps it’s hardwired into our lizard brains to register eye-shielding as mysterious and enigmatic, but get the right-shaped pair on and it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, you’re going to look like one badass motherfucker.

Especially if you’re wearing Ray-Ban clubmasters. No, this isn’t an advertisement, I swear. But nothing screams “I’m hungover from the best night you’ll never have, I look amazing, and I don’t give a fuck” like a pair of clubmasters. Which is why I keep a pair in my bag. It’s much easier than attempting to pull together a cohesive outfit.

I remember the first time the clubmasters really drew me in. It may even have been the first time I ever saw them. It was a spread in NYLON magazine, and Kristen Stewart was facing the setting sun wearing primary red clubmasters and looking fresh to death. This was probably a bit before the height of Twilight mania, and definitely before she fell out of favor for adulterous goings-on, and all I could think about was how I was in love. Not really with her, nor the glasses, but the aura. It was magnetic. And I’ve yearned to emanate that kind of attitude ever since. It hasn’t worked that well, but a girl can dream.

The cyclical nature of fashion has been well-documented, and browline glasses like the clubmasters followed the ups and downs obediently. They were first invented in the 1940s and gained popularity in the 1950s and 60s, where they eventually fell out of favor with the rise of hippie culture. They were deemed conformist. But in another 20 years, like clockwork, they regained popularity as sunglasses as a backlash against disco. Like many fashion comebacks, resurgence, with a twist. And now they’re back again, a hipster accessory, and once again charged with accusations of conformity. It’s funny how things work out.

I’m okay with being deemed a conformist with these shades. There’s so many people in the world, some of us are bound to look a little similar, and that’s okay. Sometimes being a little different is all I can muster. All I know is that, when the sun is shining and I’m trying to act like some cool kid who doesn’t have a care in the world, I’ve got a little something in my backpack that might do the trick.

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