Modern Wayfarer: an Oversized Take on Vintage Style

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Vintage fashions are resurgent in many of today’s trends, offering an endless array of new takes on classic looks for all sorts of attire--sunglasses included. Amongst these, the oversized Wayfarer merges today’s oversizing phenomenon with the iconic Ray-Ban style to make a bold statement in eyewear, with a highly practical benefit of more UV protection. Here’s a quick review of the history of the classic look, and how make its modernized version work for you...

The Wayfarer’s debut

This iconic style was first introduced in the early 1950s by Raymond Stegeman, designing for Ray-Ban. It actually went through a brief infancy as an understated cat-eye before maturing into its signature trapezoidal geometry. Shortly after its debut, the trend was spotted everywhere, making appearances on A-listers and counterculture celebrities, alike--including James Dean, Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan.

The Wayfarer enjoyed quite a lengthy initial reign in popularity (especially by today’s rapidly-evolving fashion climate) until finally taking a backseat to other trends in the 70’s. However, it wasn’t long before 1980’s Hollywood productions “Risky Business” and “The Blues Brothers” helped catapult the style to the forefront of the fashion world once again, and they’ve been going strong ever since, in both the classic silhouette and its new generations.

Take the eye size a few sizes up…

There’s an easy numbers approach to oversizing the Wayfarer, for both men’s and women’s fashions. Simply search on the inside earpiece or bridge of the frames for the eye size--a number between 42 and 60 that corresponds to the length (in millimeters) along the top edge of the lens frame, from bridge to temple. The closer to 60, the more “oversized” a look you’ll achieve.

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