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Ray-Ban Redux: Reworking the Wayfarer

Matte black Ray-Ban Wayfarers
Photo by John Lockett

by John Lockett

If you want to make a statement on a sunny day, nothing beats the timeless Wayfarer. Ray-Ban introduced this alternative to metal frame sunglasses in the early 1950s, and they have only occasionally waned in popularity. Despite briefly falling out of vogue in the 70s and 90s, these thick-rimmed glasses managed to define era after era since its inception.

Such mainstream style raises the question: Are Wayfarers overdone? Trite? Unoriginal? In some ways, yes. Hoards of poor replicas and knockoffs have cheapened the look, not to mention the bad rap Wayfarers have received at the hands of hipsters and fratty folk alike.

While Wayfarers are timeless, they have a tendency to get stale. I hate to say it, but there’s nothing more tired than glossy Black wayfarers, whether they’re the real deal or ripoffs from Chinatown.  Ridiculous colors like turquoise and hot pink aren’t helping either.

But there is hope.Black, blue and green wayfarers

Ray-Ban recently released a new, slightly slimmer Wayfarer aptly called the “New Wayfarer.” It gets better. You can get rubber crystal versions of the New Wayfarer in black, blue and green. They’re essentially matte finished frames in muted colors. The difference may be subtle, but the results are astounding.

In my opinion, the main objective of personal style is to stand out while feeling confident at the same time.  These Ray-Bans do just that. Not to mention they fit perfectly, snug around the ears and light on the nose. (Note: My head/face is average size. I think.)  The price is even better, only $120.

Matte black Wayfarers can be hard to come by. I made three trips to Sunglass Hut with no luck. The salesman said they typically only have one in stock, and it flies off the shelf. So they finally shipped me a pair, which only took a day before these spectacular shades made it onto my face. I haven’t taken them off since.

Not of fan of the matte colors? Go with tortoise shell. There’s nothing classier.

Wayfarer front view
Photo by John Lockett

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