Wayfarers: Classic Americana

image-1Wayfarers are the sunglasses of Hollywood icons, beginning with Jack Nicholson in the 1960’s. The Jack of the 60’s was bold and fresh and revered by his generation as one cool guy.  But when we look back at him now, fifty years later, he still looks – dare I say – edgy?

Everybody, from celebrities to frat guys to maybe even your dad, has donned a pair of wayfarer sunglasses.  But unlike inspiration bracelets, wayfarers make an honest and appropriate statement on everybody. Wayfarers do not need to spell out an intangible statement.  Wayfarers are the statement.

Wayfarers are unintimidating.  They don’t say, I’m gonna kick your ass, like a leather jacket. Or more likely, depending on the jacket, I’m emulating a cliché!

No, the message that wayfarers convey is commanding and fun.  More like, I won’t tell you where I’m going. But trust me, you want to come.

How can the same style of sunglasses transform a half-naked show pony like Katy Perry into the girl next door while making us think twice about the otherwise ordinary guy in the cubicle to the left? Hmmmm…. I wonder what Todd Becker did last weekend…  How is possible that the same accessory that turns down the volume for one, turns it up for another?

The answer, you should know, has absolutely nothing to do with gender.

Wayfarers are no fly-by-night Gangnum style.  The design, which can be accredited to RayBan, first made its debut around the 1950’s and 1960’s, and now, according to sources, wayfarers could be the most in demand style of sunglasses to date.

Since its origination, wayfarers have made a statement in every decade except for the 1970’s.  The clean deliberate structure of the glasses could not possibly fit into a decade of garish fabrics and aggressively absurd silhouettes.  After all, the guy in the orange polyester bellbottoms completely missed the point.

Fast-forward to the 1980’s and we begin to see how wayfarers accessorize a decade of icons.  It’s what Ferris’ crew wore on his day off, and it’s what Tom Cruise wore while engaged in risky business.

Since then, wayfarers have been a ubiquitous part of Hollywood.  It’s an accessory that works like architecture.  It pulls the outrageous personality together, and accentuates the seemingly conservative.  There is only one other fashion entity that compares to the wayfarer, and that’s denim. No matter who you are – at any age – you can’t mess up with wayfarers.

Wayfarers are chic.  Wayfarers are classic.  Wayfarers are American.

© 2013, Anthony Masiello. All rights reserved.

One Response to Wayfarers: Classic Americana

  1. woody says:

    These sunglasses are great. I love ferris buellers day off. Woodn’t it be great if they made another.

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