Different Ray Ban Wayfarer Styles – The Wayfarer is arguably the most popular style of sunglasses sold worldwide today. Favorite frames of JFK, Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol, they cross professional, style and cultural lines with ease to remain one of the most attractive and versatile sunglasses shapes. In this article, we’ll talk about the history of Wayfarer style, Ray-Ban and other brands, how to wear them, what to buy, and how to spot fake Wayfarers.
Interestingly, the word “traveler” used to mean someone who walks, but now you probably only know them as the best-selling style of sunglasses in the world. Amazingly, just a few decades ago they were almost discontinued due to declining sales. Originally created by Bausch & Lomb’s Ray-Ban brand in 1956, designer Raymond Stegeman invented them as a way to break away from the traditional metal frames found at the time.
Different Ray Ban Wayfarer Styles
In their patent document, you can see that the original pair looks different in what most people think of as the Wayfarer shape. The unique trapezoidal shape is more like a cat’s eye frame than the square shape of modern pedestrians. At the time, it was considered a very masculine look and fit perfectly with Bob Dylan’s counterculture aesthetic.
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In keeping with the mid-century modern movement, they were quite popular at first and seemed to gain traction in the 1950s and 1960s. They were quickly adopted by other style icons of the time, further increasing its popularity At the same time, the shape of the frame continued to change and different manufacturers took over the style.
However, by the 1970s, pedestrians were fading fast and sales were dropping so much that Ray-Ban was ready to stop production. Sometime over the next 10 years, the Wayfarers quietly began to flourish. Then in 1981, the movie The Blues Brothers came out and featured an ensemble cast who prominently wore Ray-Ban Wayfarers throughout the movie. Sales increased and Ray-Ban sold 18,000 pairs by the end of the year. Although the Blues Brothers are synonymous with the Wayfarers, it’s interesting that the two main characters never wore the exact same pair. Dan Akroyd’s Elwood wore a slightly square cat-eye frame more reminiscent of the original patent, while John Belushi as Jake wore the slanted, rounded Wayfarers that are still sold.
Realizing the relevance of product placement, the company invested $50,000 in featuring the Wayfarer in Hollywood films and major television shows. In just half a decade, sunglasses have featured prominently in over 60 images. In 1983, the year another iconic Wayfarer movie came out, Risky Business, Ray-Ban sold 300,000 pairs. Three years after that, it reached 1.8 million.
At the time, Wayfarers featured something called pantoscopic tilt. The original Wayfarer has a fairly steep forward angle and on some faces it can look too extreme and cause the sun to enter the glasses from above on some face shapes and diameters.
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Unfortunately, at the dawn of the 90s, the Wayfarer began to decline in popularity again. The idea of plastic sunglasses was reinvented by brands like Oakley, which introduced wraparound sunglasses marketed to athletes and those who want to be like them. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb decided to sell and was bought by the Italian group Luxottica for $640 million. In 2001, they completed a fairly major redesign of the Wayfarer, making them injection molded plastic instead of the previous acetate. A smaller frame size is not as angular, so consumers can wear it on their heads when they don’t need sun protection. Also, most Wayfarer options on the market today are quadd off from the original shape, with a slight cat’s eye shape (see the Blues Brothers frames for this shape). Since then, sales have continued to increase and Ray-Ban has chosen to redesign the model and introduce new versions over the years. Today, it is the most popular style of sunglasses on the market, not only sold by Ray-Ban, but imitated by almost every sunglass manufacturer in the world. Today, you can find Wayfarer style sunglasses for a few dollars, up to thousands of dollars.
Pedestrians work on most face shapes, but not all. Usually, it’s not really about the shape, but the color and size of the sunglasses as opposed to the skin color and head size. In terms of face shape, they work especially well on oblong, oval and round face shapes. For more information on how to choose the best sunglasses for your face shape and skin tone, click here.
Travelers in traditional black plastic can often look like a more casual style of sunglass. However, this is not always true, because a pair of surround frames is definitely more indifferent. Here are some tips on how to wear Wayfarer sunglasses:
Just because one pair of Wayfarers fits you, doesn’t mean another pair won’t. You can certainly buy them online, and you’ll probably get a better deal, but you’ll need to make the arrangements yourself or go to a local optician and pay for them. Of course, if they’re bad, you can just return them.
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Because styles vary quite a bit, lens size, placement and even frame thickness can have a big impact on how you look. Also, due to the bolder frame, some colors may not look as good on you as others. Here are some tips for getting the best Wayfarer sunglasses:
This is the modern classic, and we say that because, unlike the pre-1990s, they are made of injection molded plastic and not acetate. You won’t find original Wayfarers new or in stores unless you buy from a vintage store. They feature original slanted frames that tilt away from the face for a look worthy of the Blues Brothers.
This is the latest style to come out. This new style minimizes frame tilt. It’s a more contemporary look that offers a lighter frame and is more comfortable for people who like the front too much. Although it has an eye diameter of 55 which seems larger than the cumbersome 54 of the original, it is actually a smaller and less annoying fit. If you’re looking for a smaller version of the Wayfarer, this is the one for you.
Made in Chicago, this contemporary company is making waves in the U.S. for its unique American-made designs. Named after Wolcott Avenue in Chicago, this smaller Wayfarer style is made from acetate rather than injection-molded plastic and uses Zeiss lenses that offer clarity worthy of the price. You can find Wolcott acetate sunglasses at your local optician.
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Tom Ford’s interpretation of the classic Wayfarer is a sleek black frame with gold accents and an advanced shape. These scream dresses are designer, so if you’re looking for a pair that really stands out, this might be the pair for you.
If shelling out hundreds of dollars for a pair of sunglasses isn’t something you can justify, here’s a very reasonably priced pair of more casual bamboo sunglasses that perfect for a day at the beach.
The popularity of this frame over the past 6 decades makes it one of the easiest pairs of vintage sunglasses to find. Flea markets, Etsy, eBay, and vintage stores may be places where you can find a pair of Wayfarers. For those who like slanted frames or the quality of Bausch & Lomb lenses or acetate frames, vintage is a great way to get a true pair of Wayfarers. Look for a small “BL” engraved on the lens to mark a Bausch & Lomb lens. On eBay, vintage frames in good condition can often fetch $500 or more, but it’s worth it to find a frame so durable and flattering that you can wear it on and off for decades.
Ray-Ban Wayfarers are one of the most fake sunglasses. So how do you protect yourself from buying a fake?
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The best way to identify fakes is to look at the details and hinges. The easiest way to avoid fakes is to buy from authorized dealers who offer returns, but you will also pay the highest price.
Pedestrians are sunglasses that almost everyone seems to be wearing. Instead of going over the top and using flashy colors, consider a more subtle approach to adding sprezzatura to your outfit by avoiding standard black and trying unique shades that are glamorous and not how important Do you wear this style? Which brand do you prefer? Sure, you know the Wayfarer, but can you name all 400 Ray-Ban styles? If not, here’s a Ray-Ban guide.
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