Wayfarers are the new aviators. There I said it. The new standard. The blue dress shirt of men’s shades. The summer sunglasses every guy should have.
Don’t get me wrong, the aviator had a great run for a long time, once ousting the Wayfarer as the standard-bearer during the beginning of their revival in the 80’s. I’m still a big fan of the square-framed aviator. But I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I’d rather look like Tom Cruise from Risky Business than Tom Cruise from Top Gun.
The style is more sleek and refined — offering a better pairing with both a suit or with shorts and boat shoes — than the military inspired aviator.
Ray-Ban first introduced the Wayfarer design back in 1952 and the style was hugely popular in the 50s and 60s. Part of their appeal back then was the departure from metal frames, and it’s part of their appeal to me now. Unfortunately much of the plastic frame market is flooded with wrap around frames emerging from middle school’s past.
Since their initial release, there have been countless frames inspired by the original. Check out our pick: The Kennedy by Anon Optics. Unless you think you can pull off the Blues Brothers look with the black frames, go with the classic tortoise shell colors offered by the Havana scheme.
The Kennedy, so named because of the president’s iconic style which includes the Wayfarer, is half Grilamid TR90 plastic and half MONEL metal. The half and half offers a unique classic style, separating these high quality sunglasses from your run of the mill, $12 gas station counterparts.
I have yet to see a face or head shape that the style doesn’t look great on. This summer, give ‘em a try. You won’t be disappointed.
The Anon Kennedy in Havana. $135
It looks like Anon has discontinued the Kennedy along with their shift back to their core business of snowboarding optics. No fear, we’ve listed some great alternatives below.