Magnificent Bastard

Friday, July 19, 2024


Ask the MB: Vuarnet Sunglasses

Ask the MB: Vuarnet Sunglasses

Q: What do you think about Vuarnet sunglasses? Back in the day I skied with a pair of 002 Cateyes and no helmet. I've noticed they're on the scene again, but the rest of the Vuarnet collection is kicking off a Thermonuclear Toolbag Oakley vibe. Think pairing a tortoise shell Vuarnet 02 with Alps and Meters Alpine Winter Trousers and Anorak. Do you sanction the re-released 02?

A: Sure, we sanction the re-released 02 — it's a legendary frame — but why bother when you can get the original!

These genuine vintage frames satisfy the MB principle of archaism, and will also save you 110 bucks. You'll need it if you decide to get into that Alps and Meters gear.

Thanks a lot for the tip on A&M, BTW. While the anorak ($695) is not up our alley for skiing — a hood/helmet combo has never worked for us — those alpine winter trousers ($725) look fantastic. Wool-blend herringbone with leather leg paneling are a great way to stand apart from the nylon and polyester-clad hoi polloi.

EARLIER: Get Dressed: Killing Bumps in Steamboat Springs

Ask the MB: Approved Bags for Bicycling

Pendleton/Opening Ceremony backpack via Opening Ceremony, $82.00
Pendleton/Opening Ceremony backpack via Opening Ceremony. $82.00.
Q: Hello MB, love your website.

Topic: MB approved bags for bicycling. According to my girlfriend all backpacks are nerdy though they are ok for actual backpacking. So I'm looking for a magnificent, somewhat practical and non-bikecourierlooking bike bag... Any tips?

Greetings from snow buried Estonia,

Siim Teller

A: Hello Siim,

While many cyclists prefer to let their bikes carry the load, we have no problem throwing on a backpack when doing our part to save the environment from one more godawful Prius. We also favor a traditional backpack design over a messenger bag. Minimalism has its place, but not when our latissimus dorsi is involved, and two straps are better than one.

That said, the most comfortable backpacks tend to involve a little too much cordura and Oakleyesque styling for our liking -- we prefer the more archaic approach of this Pendleton/Opening Ceremony bag, which, while lacking the padding of some more contemporary designs, completely alleviates the psychological pain that comes with knowing you have chosen to sacrifice style for comfort. No one will ever accuse you of that while wearing this.

In the event that you are looking for a one-strap solution, we recommend the Minnehaha Canvas Shoulder Bag. Made of natural materials, designed by people who ride bikes in the snow; we think it will look great in Estonia.

Ask the MB: Wimbledon Toolbaggery

Ask the MB: Wimbledon Toolbaggery
Q: No question, I just want to nominate Janko Tipsarevic for a Toolbag award. How one can manage to pollute tennis whites is beyond me, but this guy figured out how by adding the perfect toolbag sunglasses. I'm guessing they're Oakleys, but if not, they may as well be.
--Jackie Treehorn

A: It is indeed difficult to turn the Wimbledon Whites into toolbag, though Rafa Nadal did it last year in the finals. Even the typically MB Roger Federer raised several of our eyebrows with his warmup vest in this year's first round. In between sets, does he moonlight as a waiter? We'll take a round of gin and tonics. Hendrick's.

Anyhow, like Nadal, Janko just has TB in him. Look at him at the French, with tank top and matching blades (bottom). And that tattoo, which we're pretty sure says "No fat chicks!" in kanji. Wimbledon's rules can only tamp the TB down. The good news: he's out after the 2nd round.

Ask the MB: Couple of Questions About Sunglasses

Cary Grant in <em>North by Northwest</em>, 1959
Cary Grant in North by Northwest, 1959
Q: I have recently decided to do a full overhaul of my old and worn-out wardrobe and go all-out to become a certified MB (I have already started by purchasing a J.Fold V12 black/brown wallet). The journey is long, but with your help I think it's possible. Today my I find myself torn over sunglasses, and I have a few questions for you.

The first question is on lens color. Back in 2001 or so I had a pair of Oakley with a reflective, metallic-blue lens coating. Looking back on it, I wonder if (brand aside) they were a rather toolbaggy thing to buy (my only excuse being that I was 16 at the time). Although I am not considering going that path again, I wonder -- is it ever acceptable for an MB to wear any color other than black/tan lenses or do the other colors (ie. red, blue, green) not conform to the principle of understatement?

The second question is hopefully simple. I know you have already quite reluctantly defined a few lightweight sunglasses (i.e. Serengeti Vedi, Rudy Project Murphy, Maui Jim Kailua and, yes, even Oakley Nanowires) as acceptable for use while performing activities such as jogging. Is it acceptable to don those types of eyewear for everyday use or are they strictly application specific like most activewear? With my facial structure I find "fashion" sunglasses tend to look odd and I would rather continue without than pay for prescription sunglasses just so I can look like a TB whenever the sun is shining.

A: First of all, we'll cut you a little slack for the metallic-blue reflector Oakleys. You were only 16, preoccupied with acne, masturbation, and trying to find a prom date. Sunglass lens color was not a top priority at the time.

You've sort of answered Part I: The classic sunglass lens colors -- grey (some people call this black), brown, bottle green and grey/green (aka G15) -- are a good way to go for everyday use. They're cosmetically acceptable and functionally have endured the test of time. Here's an excerpt from on the various functions of lens colors:
Gray sunglass lenses reduce light intensity without altering the color of objects. Thus, they provide the most natural color vision. Gray is the most popular sunglass lens color in the United States.

Brown lenses enhance contrast by blocking a larger percentage of blue light than gray lenses do. Brown lenses provide a warmer appearance to colors and make greens more vibrant.

Green sunglass lenses provide a cool, soothing tone to colors. Though not as popular as gray or brown lenses, green lenses are often used to create the classic look of aviator-style sunglasses (Ed. note: "Green" today is actually grey/green or G15. You may want to consider bottle green popular during the 1950s/60s).

Amber sunglass lenses block all or nearly all blue light for superior contrast. Amber-colored lenses are frequently referred to as "blue blocker" lenses or "shooter's sunglasses." (Amber-colored lenses are popular among hunters because they provide enhanced contrast when looking at birds and clay targets against the sky.) Though these lenses enhance contrast, they also distort colors and may not be suitable for driving and other activities that require accurate color recognition.

Pink, Orange, Rose and Blue
These and other vibrant colors are available for fashion sunglasses. These lens colors can cause severe color distortion and are unsuitable for driving and other tasks when color recognition is important.
Now for Part II: Don't you usually change out of your New Balance running shoes before going to dinner? There are better understated sunglass choices for everyday use than sport shades. If TTH (Trying Too Hard) fashion sunglasses make you feel self-conscious (and hopefully they do), try classic, ophthalmic styles from mid-20th Century (see our sunglasses channel for examples). Too often, guys today, even well-dressed guys, have only one pair of sunglasses or several pairs of sports sunglasses. Ironically, when men get dressed, they make sure their outfit works together and is appropriate for whatever function they're attending. Then they put on our only pair of sunglasses and get into the only car they own (or lease) -- the two weak links in how most men are showing up.

Contact the MB: Oakley

Contact the MB: Oakley
Even the architecture of Oakley corporate HQ says toolbag. At least they're consistent:

A: It doesn't just say it, it screams it. This looks like something out of a dystopian future world as portrayed in Idiocracy. Unfortunately this is real.

The Oakley Touch

IPHONE CASE V.2 via, $30.00
IPHONE CASE V.2 via $30.00.
Sure, the iPhone is fine for urban applications. But what if you want to take your tweeting off-road? Then, you need something a little more rugged, like Oakley's new Hummerized iPhone case. We suspect it gets terrible gas mileage. We suspect Arnold Schwarzenegger already owns seven of them. Naturally, this seals it for us. Oakley is the King Midas of contemporary design. Anything it touches instantly turns toolbaggy. Don't believe us?

Total Toolbag Preview

Toolbag? Or douchebag? Definitely a 'bag' species of some kind.
Toolbag? Or douchebag? Definitely a 'bag' species of some kind.
Stay tuned to a new feature coming to Top 10 Ways to Look Like a Total Toolbag. High on the list: Oakley blades.




  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz Lillet Blonde (Blanc)

Lightly shake, or aggressively stir, ingredients with ice, pour into chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist or a blonde.


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