Holy City Style

April 15, 2008

The re-emergence of the Wayfarer

Filed under: fashion — carolime @ 4:43 am
Tags: , , ,

Photo credit: Men’s Vogue

The Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses are slowly but surely re-emerging in the Charleston hipster scene. Though they may appear to be a new trend to the fashion-ignorant, the Wayfarers are nothing if not classic.

The Wayfarers debuted in 1952 and were steadily popular throughout the 50’s and 60’s, holding their ground through the transition from the teeny-bopper days to the beatnik era and on through the days in which LSD-consuming hippies were in the height of their free love antics. The ever classy Audrey Hepburn sported black Wayfarers in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in 1961. Sexpot Marilyn Monroe also sported the look.

Audrey Hepburn sporting the look in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

However, the sunglasses faded into obscurity in the 1970’s, only to briefly become popular again after being sported by the now-crazy Tom Cruise in 1983’s “Risky Business.”

Much to my delight, bohemian(ish) scensters such as Sienna Miller have re-popularized the Wayfarers. After Miller began sporting the look, others shortly followed, creating a ripple effect throughout the London and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, hipster scenes, progressing onward throughout the young Hollywood crew.

Actress Sienna Miller donned her red Wayfarers on several different occasions
Photo credit: PopCrunch

Mary-Kate Olsen in her Ray-Bans.
Photo credit: FashionFiles

Young Hollywood’s adoption of the style has catapulted the Wayfarers back onto the mainstream fashionista scene. Wayfarers are now a staple amongst the young and fashion forward.

However, the Wayfarers are not for those of us whose wallets have a tendency to run dry, running at a rate of $109.00 plus tax, sold in sunglass boutiques and department stores such as Macy’s.

Fear not, Holy City-ites. There are alternative ways to rock the Wayfarer look at a cheaper price. Take my way, for example. On a recent trip to Manhattan, I was able to buy a pair of what I refer to as “Fray Bans,” a five-dollar pair of Wayfarer replicas in red that I picked up from a sidewalk vendor in SoHo. Replicas are also available at King Street stores, such as Urban Outfitters, whose Wayfarer-inspired glasses run $14.00 a pop.



  1. Glad to see them back !

    Comment by David — April 15, 2008 @ 11:52 pm | Reply

  2. Yes oh man the best is that they make so many colors and patterns now .

    Comment by Susan — April 23, 2008 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  3. You can never go wrong with classic wayfarers!

    Comment by Mickey — June 23, 2008 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

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