Wayfarer Sunglasses

"Stay Cool with a Pair of Wayfarers"


Since the 1950's the Wayfarer sunglasses have been immortalized by the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Madonna. It went out of fashion during the 1970s of hippie 'n disco era of cat eye, round and square shades. But it was the 1983 movie Risky Business with Tom Cruise that revived this sunglass style - and cool and edgy style gained a stronger influence on young fashionistas lives.

Sunglasses gold Chloe
Courtesy of Ralph Lauren/Zappos

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Similar to Cat Eye Sunglasses, Wayfarers have a horizontally long brow frame - which is a fresh air among the endless sea of squares and round frames. However, what really sets Wayfarer sunglasses apart from the bunch is the very distinctive trapezoidal frame, giving a sturdy and masculine look. Now I know that's a bit off from Classy fashion - but they can perk up your look, creating a chic juxtaposition with Classic and Romantic clothing styles. Think Wayfarer sunnies with a girly floral dress and timeless blazer. Yup, that unexpected twist is chic style at its best!

We can all thank Ray-Ban (and of course, American optical designer Raymond Stegeman) for designing the Wayfarer sunglasses - giving us fashionistas a reason to "edgify" our look and add casual-cool to our ensembles. And although Wayfarers have been through a couple of slumpy times during the past 60 years, outcompeted by other frame shapes - rest assured, in this new fashion era of self-expression and individuality - these bad babies are here to stay!

Will it Suit My Face Shape?

Like cat eyes, Wayfarers look best with bottom-heavy face shapes (or a face with a wide jawline) such as Triangular, Round and Square. So keep in mind that if you have a wide forehead (a Heart or Inverted Triangle face like Scarlett Johansson) the trapezoidal frame will emphasize your face shape.

However there are several ways to make it work for you regardless of the shape of your face. Look for other details that will help flatter your face shape. For example, the size and style of the brow bar, rim and nose bridge. Click here to learn more about styling your face shape

What frame shape to choose?

The classic shape of the Wayfarer is trapezoidal and narrow. But Ray-Ban has done a number of redesigns, creating several Wayfarer frame shapes - so that almost anyone can wear the shades.

Here's a quick round-up on what look looks best for each face shape:

  • Inverted Triangle and Heart - Classic Wayfarer with a skinny rim and nose bridge. Translucent frames are good too.
  • Chic fashion self expression



  • Square - Slight curved frames
  • Round - Straight and angular, square Wayfarers, preferably wide to make the widest point (cheekbones) look slimmer. Accented top brow rim to raise the length of your face shape.
  • Oblong - Wayfarer frames that cover the center of the face to shorten the length of the face shape, also rounded frames
  • Triangular - Detailed top brow rim to draw attention from jawline, and also frames that are clear on the bottom frame
  • Diamond - Classic Wayfarer but with curved frames
  • Oval - can pull off plenty of Wayfarer shapes and styles, just make sure to get the scale right

Get the right scale for your face shape

My advice to you when it comes to selecting a pair of flattering Wayfarer sunglasses is to select the right frame scale for your face size. Most Wayfarers are narrow which look best on smaller faces, but you can also find them in bigger, larger sizes that are best suited for wider facial bone structure.

The chic fashionista Anna Villaruel says Wearing oversized sunglasses or any large-scaled accessory is in my opinion (and this is a general statement) more of a chic fashion statement - more so than wearing something that's too small. I would compare this fashion blunder to wearing a small bra with your boobs spilling out; a too-small jacket where it looks like it's about to burst open; or a too small skirt that makes your love handles appear like stuffed sausages.

So to give you an example of how funny small sunglasses look on a wide face shape, here's Beyonce:

Beyonce wearing small Wayfarer sunglasses
Courtesy of Celebutopia

Now compare that to this picture where she got the scaling right:

Beyonce wearing bigger Wayfarer sunglasses
Courtesy of Celebutopia

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Neutral or Colored/Printed?

You can find Wayfarer sunglasses in a variety of colors and prints. Black and brown seem to be the norm – and they're super versatile and look good with all color outfit combinations!

Classic, timeless, verstaile Wayfarer sunglasses that go with anything

If you prefer a neutral color that goes with the rest of your wardrobe I suggest black, browns and dark blues. You can also find the updated version of the classic Wayfarer with gold or silver hardware which can help define a Classic clothing personality.

Fun, trendy Wayfarer sunglasses that can be worn as fashion statement

If you want to turn up the trend-factor, try timeless bold colors such as red or white. And in these days you can find Wayfarers with cool prints such as tribal, floral and houndstooth. How about experimenting with print mixing?

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How do I style my outfit with Wayfarer Sunglasses?

I'm definitely all for juxtaposing the shades with a clothing style opposite from its edgy and cool look. For example a floral dress, shift dress combined a blazer or a polkadot blouse with jeans.

Look at how Rachel Bilson does classy-chic with a pair of black Wayfarer sunglasses:

Rachel Bilson looks chic with Wayfarer sunglasses
Courtesy of wireimage


Wayfarers can also look super-stylish with a simple, sporty-preppy outfit. But I would personally amp up the style on the shades to give an interesting oomph to the outfit. Check out how Taylor Swift does it:

Taylor Swift looking preppy-chic with Wayfarer sunglasses
Via Style Bistro




More fashion advice on Sunglasses:

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Shop Wayfarer Sunglasses Online

There's just something about wearing a pair of original Wayfarers designed by the creators Ray-ban that makes owning a pair extra special. They're affordable (between $100-300 each depending on the style) and you'll sport a pair with history. But if it's still way off your budget and you just want to enjoy in purchasing several pairs without splurging then I suggest going for replicas.

If you want something more affordable then you should check out the newest additions at online sunglass stores such as Sunglass warehouse or OC Shades.

Check out the latest cool wayfarer shade styles:

Mini globe Shopping tip for international readers: Expensive worldwide shipping? US store doesn't ship to your country? Save up to 50% off retail price in your home country and gain access to the goodies. Try a mail forwarding service!



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More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
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