What Are The Best Wayfarer Glasses To Buy Online & Will Wayfarer Frames Suit My Face Shape?

What Are The Best Wayfarer Glasses To Buy Online & Will Wayfarer Frames Suit My Face Shape? 2017-12-28T09:43:44+00:00

Wayfarer glasses are classic frames that were popularised during the 1950s and 1960s thanks to the advances in plastic. As worn by the Blues Brothers, Tom Cruise in Risky Business and countless celebrities, the Wayfarers are truly iconic frames.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that wayfarers are featured among our best recommended frames. Nevertheless, if you’re looking specifically for wayfarers and where to buy them, you’ve come to the right place.

We have tested over 20 frames from our top 5 retailers, which you can see in the link above. Each one was carefully chosen to suit various budgets and head sizes as well as stylistic choices.

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Discover Wayfarer Glasses With Bespoke Unit

Finding the right glasses for you can be very difficult and expensive. As wayfarer glasses are so popular, there are many varieties out there but they can vary greatly in quality and cost. Therefore, it can be a challenge to find a pair that you like and can afford.

Even if you’re only looking for a new pair of sunglasses rather than prescription glasses, you can still use this guide to find the right ones for you.

In the following guide you will be able to learn:

Before Reading

Before you continue exploring our guides on glasses frames, remember that we offer many resources to help you along the way.

For example, you can read our guide on how to choose glasses, which takes into account factors such as skin tone and contrast. We also put a lot of accent on face shapes so consider identifying your face shape for a better idea on what would suit you!

Furthermore, you can get to grips with lens types to know what may cater to your eyesight and needs.

Finally, don’t forget that we cover loads of different designs that you can view from the main frames page.

Row Of Three Glasses Separator
Versatile and exceedingly stylish. Wayfarers are the ultimate fashion statement as clear glasses or shades!
Wayfarer Glasses Frames Reviewed by Charles-Philippe Bowles on .
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

What Are The Best Wayfarer Glasses Frames?

Before we talk about wayfarers and their origins, let’s explore the best available to buy online. We’ve tried out all the best and most trusted retailers from which we have assembled our favourite pairs.

Furthermore, rest assured that we truly believe the glasses below are indeed the best as we’ve tried least 20 different pairs ourselves. We also provide helpful information on sizing, materials and style to help you make your decision.

Finally, we aim to respect every budget and always keep in mind a product’s value for money when reviewing.

Our current top 5 wayfarer glasses come from the following retailers:

  1. Glasses USA
  2. Coastal
  3. Warby Parker
  4. EyeBuy Direct
  5. Zenni Optical

If there’s a retailer you prefer, click on the link below and jump straight to it. Otherwise, scroll down to read them all!

1. Glasses USA Ray-Ban New Wayfarer 5184

  • glasses usa ray ban new wayfarer 5184Country Of Origin: USA
  • Brand: Ray-Ban
  • Material: Plastic
  • Measurements: 52-18-145
  • Frame Fit: Medium
  • Prescription Options: Single Vision, Bifocal & Progressive
  • Lenses Available: Clear, Sunglasses
  • Free Try At Home? No
  • Price: $178 [Buy Now]

It almost goes without saying that Ray Ban are the kings of the Wayfarer. After all, their model became so popular that the design was forever associated with them.

Whether Ray-Ban invented them or not, they have successfully kept with the times using a balance of innovation and keen business acumen. Even if the original design is forever a classic, Ray-Ban have dared to update it with a modern flair.

We were very excited to try this new design out and we weren’t disappointed. Still echoing the original style, the new model features a slimmer and sleeker design with a curved finish. If you’re looking for a modern take on a timeless style, you’ll love these.

The new wayfarers sit comfortably on the nose and along the temples thanks to the premium plastic material. The design in itself is an ideal choice for those with angular features as we’ll cover in the face shapes below.

Surprisingly, these aren’t any more expensive that the basic design. At only $178 on Glasses USA including single vision lenses, you can be fashionable without hurting your wallet.

2. Coastal Ray Ban RB5228 Wayfarer Glasses

  • coastal ray ban rb5228 wayfarer frame glassesCountry Of Origin: USA
  • Brand: Ray Ban
  • Material: Acetate
  • Measurements: 50-17-140
  • Frame Fit: Medium
  • Prescription Options: Single Vision, Bifocal & Progressive
  • Lenses Available: Clear & Sunglasses
  • Free Try At Home? No
  • Price: $180 [Buy Now]

What if we didn’t change the design but added just a subtle modern flair? These Ray-Ban wayfarers do just that by retaining the iconic look but instead adding refined detail behind the frame itself.

The white plastic with the red logo fresque is only present on the inside. However, it gives just enough burst of colour when seen by others from an angle. This subtle use of contrast is a refined statement and very funky indeed.

Nevertheless, if you still want to wear authentic wayfarers, these frames give you just that. We still have the distinctive retro studs as well as the famous embossed logo on the front of the temple.

Yet if you want to stick to something even more conventional but still turn heads, these wayfarers are available in dark Havana tortoiseshell too.

You can buy these particular wayfarer frames on Coastal for only $180.

3. Warby Parker “Winston” Wayfarer Glasses

  • warby parker winston wayfarer glassesCountry Of Origin: USA
  • Brand: Warby Parker
  • Material: Cellulose Acetate
  • Measurements: 50-19-140
  • Frame Fit: Medium
  • Prescription Options: Single Vision & Progressive
  • Lenses Available: Clear / Light-Responsive
  • Free Try At Home? No
  • Price: $145 [Buy Now]

Technically, Warby Parker don’t really dabble in traditional wayfarers. In fact, most of their frames are conventionally square by design.

However, we wanted to include the Winston on this list as they are the closest thing to a wayfarer offered by Warby Parker. After all, we’re big fans of the style and quality offered by Warby Parky and they’re featured at number 1 on our top online glasses retailers.

Made from hand-polished cellulose acetate, the Winston frames are fixed with Akulon-coated screws for durability. Functionality aside, we adored the Basso construction, which features a double-layered acetate for a semi-transparent effect.

If you’re looking for something inspired by the wayfarer but with a little bit more refinement and panache, we highly recommend the Winston. Available for only $145 on Warby Parker, they’re also much cheaper than genuine Ray-Ban frames too.

4. EyeBuyDirect Blizzard Navy Blue Wayfarer Glasses

  • eyebuydirect blizzard wayfarer glassesCountry Of Origin: USA
  • Brand: EyeBuyDirect
  • Material: Acetate
  • Measurements: 48-21-140 / 49-22-140
  • Frame Fit: Small / Medium
  • Prescription Options: Single Vision, Bifocal & Progressive
  • Lenses Available: Clear
  • Free Try At Home? No
  • Price: $27 [Buy Now]

We’re very fond of EyeBuy Direct’s take on the classic wayfarer. With slightly thinner frames and offered in black, raspberry or tortoiseshell, they’re a touch more understated than those offered by Ray-Ban.

However, they’re also available in navy blue, which we preferred and decided to test for ourselves. We particularly liked these as the blue isn’t too much of a jump from the more conventional black yet adds a subtle splash of colour.

Aside from the lack of a Ray-Ban logo, it’s hard to tell them apart from the real thing unless they’re side by side. The bulging nose bridge and silver studs are all present. The largest difference is in the temple arms, which are straight hair rather than thick with a curve near the tips.

Otherwise, these are very comfortable to wear and make for a fantastic economically-friendly alternative for those looking for wayfarers on a budget. In fact, they’re available for only $27 on EyeBuy Direct, which is fantastic value for money!

5. Zenni Optical Wayfarer Glasses

  • zenni optical wayfarer glassesCountry Of Origin: USA
  • Brand: Zenni
  • Material: Plastic
  • Measurements: 51-21-150
  • Frame Fit: Large
  • Prescription Options: Single Vision, Bifocal & Progressive
  • Lenses Available: Clear & Sunglasses
  • Free Try At Home? No
  • Price: $15.95 [Buy Now]

If you’re really strapped for cash but want stylish wayfarer glasses, Zenni Optical is the place to go. In fact, we struggled to pick one out that we preferred because there’s just so much to choose from!

However, we decided to go for these funky wayfarer frames that really stand out from the other options. Sure, it’s obvious that they’re not Ray Bans but aside from using the classic design, they’re not trying to be.

If you like adding a touch of colour, these are a great choice. Overall, they’re black plastic but there’s a splash of red on the temples and the tips. Nevertheless, they’re not over the top so you can still enjoy the laid-back style of wayfarer glasses.

At only $15.95 including single vision lenses on Zenni, these look and feel great for the price. It’s really hard to knock them for the value they bring!

What Are Wayfarer Glasses?

ray ban wayfarer John F KennedyOriginally invented by Bausch & Lomb in 1952, the wayfarer was a line of Ray-Ban glasses that were designed to rival Eames chairs and Cadillac tail-fins. The idea was to take advantage of the new advances in plastic moulding and make a change from metal frames.

Although it’s hard to tell today, the original patent had a slight horn-rimmed finish, which made it undoubtedly retro and oozing with 1950s panache. However, they ended up relaxing this style for a more masculine trapezoidal shape with hefty temple arms.

Wayfarers were enormously popular throughout the ’50s and ’60s. However, sales declined throughout the following decade. Despite an appearance in the Blues Brothers, they barely rose and the model was nearly discontinued.

However, Ray-Ban held strong and signed a major product placement deal with Hollywood. During the 1980s, wayfarers appeared in at least 60 movies and TV shows annually. Nevertheless, the gambit paid off and sales boomed to over 1.5 million pairs a year.

It’s not surprising that Ray-Ban’s wayfarers are associated with celebrities and the fashion soon transplanted into music.

However, the style fell out of fashion once again. By the late nineties, the Luxottica Group bought the brand before the style became popular again in the mid 2000s.

Will Wayfarer Glasses Work For Me?

Although vintage wayfarers were known to be quite large, newer models since Luxottica’s takeover are known to be smaller. This was part of the drive to make them more wearable during the early 2000s.

Therefore, Ray-Ban models today should be easier to wear for most head sizes. However, other brands vary in size so be sure to take note of that.

Traditionally, wayfarers come in black, which can contrast with cold complexions and complement warm ones. However, there are many colours to choose from if you look around. If you’re unsure what you would prefer, refer to our guide to choosing glasses to see which would suit you best.

Furthermore, take note of your own style or persona. Would the wayfarers suit the person you are or wish to project? Again, if you’re uncertain, head to the link above.

On a final note, a person’s face shape plays a huge role in what suits them or not. We cater to this in great detail and you can simply head below to read more on the subject.

Will Wayfarer Glasses Suit My Face Shape?

If you’re wondering whether wayfarer glasses will suit your own face shape, refer to the guide below. Here, you will learn whether these particular frames will suit your own morphology or whether there are any caveats.

If you already know your face shape, just click yours below and jump straight to it:

Furthermore, we suggest that you refer to our full face shape guide in order to identify it if you don’t know it yet.

Ideal Matches

If yours is one of the following face shapes, you can likely wear wayfarers without any issues. Nevertheless, check out what we say about your particular face shape in case we have any advice.


Graphic of a man's diamond face shapeDiamond Face Shape

The angular features of a diamond face shape can be used in several ways when opting for wayfarers. Firstly, decide whether you’re looking to emphasis your features or smooth them out.

If you’re aiming for the former, classic wayfarers will accent your cheekbones whilst broadening your forehead. However, if you want to render your face more oval, the curved form of the new wayfarers will harmonize your chiseled features for a smoother finish.

If you’re still unsure what you’d like to go for, head to the diamond face shape guide and learn more tips for styling.

Graphic of a man's heart face shapeHeart Face Shape

Usually, we’d discourage trapezoid-shaped glasses for heart face shapes. However, wayfarers are something of an exception to the rule.

If properly fitted, they won’t be too wide against the forehead. A relatively narrow fit will even reduce this width whilst complementing the jawline’s natural slope.

Therefore, we’d recommend classic wayfarers over any new style and they could really make this look work well.

If this is your face shape, head to our detailed heart face shape guide to learn more.


What is a man's oval face shape?Oval Face Shape

As the ideal face shape, either classic or updated wayfarers would look great on you. However, if you want to bring out your features for a more angular and edgy appearance, you can choose the trapezoid shape of classic wayfarers.

Nevertheless, you have the luxury to choose between either style without it throwing your proportions out of balance.

Discover your characteristics and our styling advice on the dedicated oval face shape page.

graphic of a man's round face shapeRound Face Shape

As long as the wayfarers are appropriately fitted, wayfarer frames should work wonders on round face shapes.

Even the newer models aren’t too curved or over-emphasize any roundness and classic models should help in creating angularity while simultaneously elongating your face.

However, we stress that they should be a good fit. If they’re too wide, you may result in getting the opposite effect.

If you’re unconvinced, head to the round face shape guide for styling tips.

Bespoke Unit's graphic of a man's triangle face shapeTriangle Face Shape

Thanks to their broad structure and slightly trapezoid shape, wayfarers are an excellent choice for men with triangular face shapes.

This is because the wayfarers inverted triangle shape will counter your own face shape and bring harmony by offsetting all your features.

As you will see in the triangle face shape guide, we usually propose rounder glasses. However, wayfarers are just the right shape to make this work very well.

Acceptable Matches

If your face shape falls under this category, you could probably still wear wayfarer glasses. However, be sure to check out our advice and see whether that would suit you. If not, follow the link below to the face shape’s guide and see what else it recommends.

Bespoke Unit's graphic of a man's oblong face shapeOblong Face Shape

There are two ways of looking how wayfarers could help or hinder an oblong face shape.

First, wayfarers tend to be quite tall and the new models are narrow. If this is what you’re thinking about, you may risk elongating your face shape even more.

However, the more conventional models tend to be quite wide. This would undoubtedly help your morphology by providing a touch of width to your overall face shape.

If you’re not sure, head to our detailed oblong face shape page and learn more about what you can do.

Bespoke Unit's graphic of a man's square face shapeSquare Face Shape

If you’re really keen on wayfarers and have a square face shape, you can probably still wear these frames without many issues.

However, bear in mind that you likely have already chiseled features and a strong forehead. Wayfarers will probably emphasize this so you want want to look for something with a more curved finish.

We would recommend aviator frames instead. That said, you’ll probably do fine with new wayfarers rather than the classic style.

Head to our full guide for square shape faces if you want to look at all the frames we recommend!

What Next?

Think you’ve found the perfect glasses? If so, head to our main glasses page to learn more about fitting, lenses and colours so you can purchase with confidence. You can also check out all the other frames that we feature if you’re still looking for the right glasses that suit you!

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