Although they are still the epitome of street style, Wayfarer sunglasses were first designed many decades ago in 1952 by founding partners, Bausch & Lomb before being bought over by Italian brand Luxottica in 1999. They still remain the timelessly American summer look and have been hailed by stylist Stephen Bailey as ¨ a mid-century classic to rival Eames chairs and Cadillac tail fins.¨
From a brand of sunglasses to an attitude of life, Wayfarer sunglasses led where the other brands only followed and even 50 years on iconic images of these shades have been spotted on everyone from Leonardo Di Caprio to President Obama as evidence that their design compliments every face shape for a look that’s part business, part luxury and all style.
The ways of the Wayfarer have not always been easy ones. In the 1960s a decline in the sales of the model gave way to the newfound popularity of their rival aviators before they saw their style popularity ignite once again in the 1980´s thanks to programmes such as Miami Vice and The Breakfast Club – giving them serious longevity and street creed (despite the brief 90´s trend for wrap around glasses…)
In the first part, we noticed that the manufacturers reworked their classic silhouettes smoothing their way for a softer and easier to wear Wayfarer experience. And yet, still, Ray Ban may be the antithesis of anti-glare – but if you are looking to achieve the look with a degree of variation, then our second offering of these other designer models won’t see you go wrong over the warmer months.
Spitfire Square Sunglasses
Even when Ray-Ban re-designed its Wayfarer, other brands such as these kept things more angular. These shades are harder to wear, particularly for chiselled face shapes, but if you’ve got curvature then Spitfire’s semi-transparent frames with their brown lenses and more angular design are the simplest way to achieving the 1970´s style.
Available from ASOS at £25.
Topman Black Rubber Preppy Sunglasses
As experience tells us, Italian acetate is a tough customer which makes an ideal partner for the design of sunglasses. Although they may survive a drop from your pocket, anything more kamikaze could see them snap unforgivingly. Topman has the answer to this with their rubber frames which give extra hardiness for more extreme everyday situations. Even in the event they do fail, at a price like this you can afford to stock up.
Available from Topman at £11.
Oliver Peoples L.A Coen Square Frame Acetates
The unique selling point of the Oliver People’s L.A Coen sunglasses is that they are unique. Each pair comes with a tortoiseshell pattern which sets the look and the price tag that you will achieve on another level. Their champagne tinted lenses sit within a comfortable design which flatter most face shapes effortlessly.
Available from Mr Porter at £225.
River Island Blue-Faded Retro Sunglasses
There is no dispute that black Wayfarers are a design classic, but as they only come in black, they can be a rather mundane look if worn often. Options such as River Islands blue faded models offer some light relief in the style stakes. Fitted with contrasting tinted lenses which offer full UV protection, these retro models present frames with a blue underlining and black graduation detailing on the arms to keep you standing out for all the right reasons.
Available from River Island at £12.
Jeepers Peepers Square Sunglasses
Jeepers Peepers have upped the style game by adding a decorative layer of gold-tone wiring to their classic Wayfarer. With UV protection and a price-friendly tag, these sexy squares will protect your eyes as well as your pockets.
Available from ASOS at £19.