The recognizable wayfarer-style glasses frame shape is trapezoidal with thicker plastic rims. Wayfarer frames became popular in the 1950s for the sense of rebelliousness and independence they represented. While Ray-Ban’s Original Wayfarer is the most famous, other designers have put their own spin on this classic style. Versatile wayfarer-style sunglasses and eyeglasses frames work well for the wearer with a round, oval, oblong, or diamond-shaped face.
Eyeglasses in the wayfarer shape are classics through and through, at once sophisticated and exciting. Explore prescription-ready and conventional wayfarer-style sunglasses and eyeglasses in our collection. Find a style that recalls the original—or choose a modern, updated version. Browse our collection of wayfarer sunglasses and eyeglasses to find pared-down frames, big, bold styles, fresh contemporary versions, and frames that merely hint at the throwback favorite.
The original Wayfarer was designed by Bausch and Lomb, Ray-Ban’s parent company at the time, in 1953. The trapezoidal shape of the rims mimicked the angular style of what is now considered mid-century modern design and architecture. Over time, the classic Ray-Ban Wayfarer has waxed and waned in general popularity, but the silhouette has remained a mainstay of style renegades and fashion mavens.
The recognizable trapezoidal rim shape is generally what classifies a pair of frames as wayfarer-style sunglasses or eyeglasses. The classic Ray-Ban Wayfarer also features a curved browline and shark fin temples crafted in acetate or performance plastic. However, modern updates on the style offer browlines ranging from flat to arching, and come in titanium, monel, and other materials.
Yes. The same wayfarer-style eyewear can often be found as both sunglasses and eyeglasses. As you browse our collection of wayfarers, you will notice that many top brands will offer the same pair of frames with the only difference being the lenses.
The New Wayfarer boasts a larger profile, better protection from the sun’s rays, and a softer, less angular design than its classic counterpart. Released in 2001, the new style maintains the classic rim shape of the original Wayfarer, but boasts slightly larger proportions and softer edges. In the original Wayfarer design, you may have noticed that the rims lean forward ever-so-slightly in what is called pantoscopic tilt. On certain face shapes, this tilt can allow light in from above. The New Wayfarer has done away with that tilt in order to allow more protection from the sun’s UV rays.