Waging the sunglasses war is the iconic Ray-Ban, a brand so steeped in history it’s hard to wonder who hasn’t donned a pair of their famous frames at least once in their lives. Yet despite a 79-year-long history, Ray-Ban is still the leading sunglasses brand of choice for the modern day gent.
Think about it, have you ever been envious of the effortless style captured by James Dean, or witnessed the macho Godfather himself, Al Pacino suited up in his tailored finery? If your answer is yes then chances are you’ve already been acquainted with the iconic Ray-Ban brand. No brooding Hollywood lead actor is seen without a pair. Ray-Ban encompasses tradition with modern day dressing, and it’s a brand that can elevate any casual outfit with the easiest of efforts.
How exactly do you achieve that dapper style then? Read our ultimate guide to Ray-Bans, acknowledging how to choose from the most popular shape, tint and frame, to learning how to seamlessly incorporate them into your wardrobe for years to come. A pair of good sunglasses are a staple piece for men’s summer fashion and in this guide we’ll go through your best options.
- 1 Top Rated Sunglasses
- 2 Ray-Ban Styles
- 3 Aviator
- 4 Wayfarer vs Aviator
- 5 Best Ray-Ban Aviators
- 6 Wayfarer
- 7 Clubmaster
- 8 Round
- 9 Justin
- 10 Erika
- 11 Most Popular Sunglasses
- 12 All Black Ray-Bans
- 13 Alternative Ray-Ban Frames
- 14 Polarised Sunglasses for Men
- 15 Everything You Need To Know About Ray-Bans
- 16 On That Note
Top Rated Sunglasses
What distinguishes Ray Ban from any other luxury sunglasses brand is their devotion to bespoke design and movement with technology. Ray-Ban’s best sunglasses incorporate either a polarised or photochromic lens. The former lens is ideal for people whose eyes are light sensitive, the latter is used for prescription wearers when going in and out of direct sunlight.
Ray-Ban boasts an impressive collection of eclectic and modern frame designs that they’ve managed to refine throughout the years. When investing in a new pair of sunglasses its worth trying before you buy. Not every style will suit your face shape, but the classics such as the Aviators and Wayfarers for men should compliment almost everyone.
The brand boasts six main male sunglasses designs. The Aviator, Wayfarer, Clubmaster, Round, Justin and Erika – with a recent addition, the Clubround being introduced to the main collection. Each design is fully customisable, from lens colour to frame design and a material of choice. For those brave street stylers out there why not opt for a denim fabric frame? It’s also worth considering the folding flash lens design for easy on-the-go use.
The Ray-Ban Aviator embodies everything you’re looking for in a design meant for high-flying across the continent. Specifically designed for U.S. Aviators in 1937, the Aviator is iconic as it is classic. For those willing to don a slightly more magnified sunglasses frame the Aviator is an ideal choice, regardless of whether you’re up in the skies or shielding your eyes from direct sunlight down on the ground. Like all of Ray-Ban’s mod cons, you can personalise your Aviators in a luxe leather finish.
Wayfarer vs Aviator
If you’re considering investing in a classic piece from Ray-Ban, and you’re leaning on the Aviator over the Wayfarer, the key difference would be the overall aesthetic of the frame. The Aviator design has a much slimmer and flexible frame that compliments the wider lens, whereas the focal point of the Wayfarer glasses design is the frame itself.
Best Ray-Ban Aviators
The classic Aviator shape might not be to everyone’s taste, but luckily Ray-Ban has designed two alternative Aviator frames. The Outdoorsman RB3030 features all the classic lines of the Aviator with an enhanced brow bar, crystal lens and cable temples for a more secure fit.
Additionally you can opt for the La Havana Aviator Shooters, crafted with additional aviation-inspired design lines such as the central bullet hole, and thin temples to enhance peripheral vision with a bigger crystal lens.
Referred by Ray-Ban as the ‘Legend’, this 1952 classic sunglasses shape first found its popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although that popularity soon declined it was thanks to Tom Cruise’s wearing of Wayfarers in the 1983 film Risky Business that ignited a huge cultural shift in the attitude towards the classic shape. There are many different styles of Ray Ban wayfarers so you are sure to find one a pair that suits you.
The Wayfarer has been a favourite styling prop in many a Hollywood blockbuster, from Miami Vice, Moonlighting to the cult classic The Breakfast Club. Because of its slightly dramatic cat-eye appearance many questioned whether the Ray-Ban Wayfarer was meant for guys. You only need to study the long list of famous gents, from Michael Jackson, rock star Bono of U2 and pianist Billy Joel to notice the impact the design had on men’s style over the past few decades. Wayfarer is the perfect style for smart-casual men, they go with pretty much any outfit.
Comparatively each design has its own individual quirks. Consider the Original Wayfarer if you want to invest in some Ray Ban men’s glasses that will last a lifetime, never go out of fashion, and can be worn at practically any age. The New Wayfarer boasts a smaller and less angular frame than the original, and comes in a lighter acetate material for ease of wear. Ray-Ban makes the original and the best wayfarer sunglasses, other brands don’t come close.
The Clubmaster may not be everyone’s first choice when you pit it against the classic heavyweights, but its popularity is slowly gaining momentum. What makes the Clubmaster unique is its retro 50s design that has fallen in favour with guys trying to achieve that vintage aesthetic.
The Clubmaster is often chosen as a prescription frame for those wearers who need glasses as its well-proportioned dimensions suit almost any face shape.
Another decade play from Ray-Ban is introduced with the design of their Round frames that harks back to the sunglasses worn by legendary musicians in the 1960s. Think John Lennon when considering the Ray-Ban Rounds. Their thin frame dimensions make room for a larger oval lens shape that can be worn by both men and women. Choose this style in a lightweight acetate finish, or a metal frame with dark gradient lenses.
For the rock n’ roll sunglasses wearer the Ray-Ban Justin provides just enough bad boy edge. Designed with a bold and semi transparent frame, the Justin design comes in an unusual rubberised finish that is unlike any other material from the Ray-Ban collection.
Inspired by the iconic Wayfarer design the Justin Classic comes in seven colourways, ranging from classic black, tortoiseshell, brown and grey. The Ray-Ban Justin frames can also be customised in a fresh fade colourway in brighter shades of cobalt blue and red.
The Ray-Ban Erika RB4171 sunglasses balance on the periphery between modern and retro. Featuring a lightweight, thin design, the Erika arrives in both classic and bright rubber fronts complete with metal temples and tone-on-tone temple tips. One defining quality of the Ray-Ban Erika is the oversized round sunglasses shape that provide extra sun coverage and 100% UV protection. These are perfect for the summer and can be paired with shorts and a T-shirt, you can even personalise the Ray-Ban Erika with a variety of frame colours and lens treatments including green, grey and brown gradients to match your outfit.
Most Popular Sunglasses
Despite other sunglasses brands trying to emulate the iconic Wayfarer shape, the classic 1952 Ray-Ban design has yet to meet its match. Similarly the Aviators, which were originally designed with green and grey lenses in the 1950s, have been adapted for modern day wear with bespoke leather finishes and a trendy double bridge silhouette that references classic 70s fashion. Note that the Aviators collection is by far the most popular sunglasses design on the market.
Speaking of the 1970s, the slightly squarer looking Ray-Ban Caravans frame was popularised by none other than Robert de Niro in the film Taxi Driver. The design has been coming back in fashion this season with gents straying away from lighter frames and opting for more robust, durable designs to transition for winter dressing.
All Black Ray-Bans
As we transition into autumn, look to the classic Ray-Ban Wayfarer shape in all black to keep your outfits looking sharp and clean. A black frame and lens will work with everything in your wardrobe. All black sunglasses are ideal light deflectors, and can be styled for indoor use (if you’re brave enough that is).
Alternative Ray-Ban Frames
If you’re feeling truly experimental with your sunglasses then opt for a frame colour outside of the traditional black, grey or tortoiseshell. Ray-Ban’s latest innovations in design mean you can pick up a frame crafted from leather, denim and gradient plastic so as to inject a little personality into your look. However if the thought of donning a pair of standout frames on your face is too much to handle then why not look to the tortoiseshell design. It’s classic yet modern in a cool and neutral colourway flecked with warmer tones. Tortoiseshell looks particularly great with guys who have fairer skin.
Polarised Sunglasses for Men
Polarised lenses block glare and reflection. Ray-Ban’s patented polarised treatment, result in the wearer experiencing a significant reduction in brightness when light reflects from shiny surfaces. You can recognise them by the ‘P’ sticker located on the lens. Another benefit of the glass or polycarbonate mix is its scratch resistant surface and high rigidity resulting in exceptional ease of wear.
Everything You Need To Know About Ray-Bans
- Ray-Ban was founded by American company Bausch & Lomb in 1853.
- Ray-Ban offers two main lens treatments. A polarised lens is ideal for wearers whose eyes are extremely sensitive to light. Meanwhile a photochromic lens is for prescription wearers for an easy light to dark transition between sunlight exposure.
- There are six main Ray-Ban designs: The Aviator, Wayfarer, Clubmaster, Round, Justin and Erika – with a recent addition, the Clubround being introduced to the main collection.
- Consider which Ray-Ban shape works best for your face. The Pilot teardrop shape is ideal for smaller faces, meanwhile the Square or Rectangle lens suits wider face proportions.
On That Note
Choosing to purchase a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses is definitely an investment piece. It’s something that will elevate your outfits all-year round. Consider the classic Wayfarer or Aviator shape to kickstart your collection. Then experiment with different frame finishes to wear on different occasions. Above all choose a style that suits your face shape and you’ll be the best dressed gent around.