Not sure if you should wear that Tommy Bahama shirt out tonight? The magnificent bastard is here to help. Go ahead. Ask away.
Q: MB: Based on your recommendation, I have been wearing the Persol PO0714 sunglasses. For all their moving parts, they have held up well. However, the silver hinges where the temples fold in half has become tarnished. I have asked an authorized dealer and looked on their website without any luck. Do you have any recommendations?
A: Don't do anything rash — that bug's a feature! Tarnish is just nature's way of achieving artful dishevelement. While we don't necessarily welcome it on our soup spoons, we think a little looks great on a pair of Persols.
Now, if your silver hinges have turned black or are crusting up, that's another story. In that case, our glasses expert tells us that jeweler's rouge, applied via a cotton buffing wheel (which itself is attached to a grinding wheel), should do the trick. A good optician should offer this service.
Earlier: Tip the MB: Cary Grant Sunglasses
Oakley blades are #2 on the original Top 10 Ways to Look Like a Total Toolbag list, but henceforth there's a tiny bit of slack MB will yield on this sartorial rule: they're OK if you're a Chilean miner who just spent 69 days underground. (But we'd much perfered seeing them emerge in Persol 0009s.)
Q: Long time reader. How do you like the glasses Tom Cruise is sporting in his latest flick?
A: Tom Cruise is oh-for-three at the Oscars, but your question got us thinking. If the Academy ever gives an award for Lifetime Achievement: Eyewear, he'll be a strong contender. It doesn't matter if he's playing a boyishly charismatic high school pimp with a dynamite smile, or a boyishly charismatic Nazi with a dynamite smile, he always demonstrates a fearless, daring, almost reckless willingness to commit to whatever eyewear the role requires.
Those Persol 2931's Cruise is wearing in Knight and Day that you're asking about are definitely a high mark -- we are certified fans of this approach to sunglasses -- but for us he reached his zenith with the eyepatch he sported in Valkyrie. An eyepatch is a gimmick, sure, but as everyone from Sammy Davis Jr. to Snake Plissken to David Ogilvy can attest, it's a remarkably effective way to inject your persona with a sense of mystery, gravitas, and sex appeal. Especially if you only have one good eye.
In your recent post "Cool Sunglasses for Summer 2010", I believe the Cary Grant sunglasses from North by Northwest are Persol P0714's. Just thought you and your readers would want to know in case people wanted to get a pair for themselves!
A: Alex, you're getting your classic movie sunglasses mixed up. Steve McQueen wore Persol 714's in The Thomas Crown Affair (bottom). While Persol 714's are folding sunglasses, Grant's sunglasses broke in half while he was being stowed away by (the ridiculously sexy) Eva Marie Saint. And that's not the only reason we're virtually certain Grant's aren't Persols:
* They're lacking the trademark silver arrow
* The first known big-screen sighting of Persol was on Marcello Mastroianni in Divorce Italian Style (1961)
* Persol was first introduced to the U.S. in 1962
* North by Northwest was made in 1959
A definitive ID of Grant's sunglasses definitely requires more research, and we've got some of vintage eyewear's best minds working on it, but we suspect they're what we originally thought: horn-rimmed eyeglasses fitted with tinted lenses.