For over 80 years, Ray-Ban has been synonymous with stylish good looks and incomparable quality. Never before had one brand churned out iconic looks at such a rate, and with famous faces from JFK to George Clooney donning these legendary frames, the sunglasses have secured their place in sartorial history.
You’ll have heard the names. Aviators. Wayfarers. Clubmasters. Each style more striking than the last, these sunglasses are high on the list of our must-have accessories summer after summer. And now, you can buy them all from Tic Watches, Britain’s leading independent retailer for designer watch brands.
But which should you be buying? Below we outline the key styles below, and give you a framework to follow to your perfect frames…
Arguably not just the most iconic design of Ray-Bans, but the most striking and recognisable accessory in history, the Aviators were originally developed in 1936 by Bausch & Lomb for fighter pilots to protect their eyes whilst flying. More elegantly designed than goggles, the design went worldwide, and became an icon of the new military might and demeanour.
These are the shades for you if you mean business. No-nonsense thin frames and big lenses do the job, meaning these are amongst the most effective Ray-Bans. But if, at any time, you’re considering Aviators because you want to look cooler, or think that you’re already cool, put them down. Nothing’s less cool than a try-hard. Instead, perhaps try…
Wayfarers come a close second to Aviators in both the iconic and the cool stakes. A little more preppy than their military brothers, these frames were designed in 1952 by Raymond Stegeman after he was given a brief to ‘create a mid-century classic to rival Eames chairs and Cadillac tail fins’. It’s safe to say he succeeded.
By the 1980s, sales were hitting 1.5 million annually. And, after a brief lull over the course of the last two decades, they’re back with a vengeance. So, Wayfarers are the pair for you if you want a pair of hardy frames, dress in a vintage style and typically present yourself in a ‘masculine’ way.
Originally marketed as the Ray-Ban ‘Browline’, the company gave these 1960s icons a sexier name to boost sales. Whereas the clear glass variants have nerdier connotations than the sunglasses, all retro eyewear saw a resurgence ten years ago when Mad Men hit our screens. Clubmasters particularly saw an uptake, and today they sit proudly as one of Ray-Ban’s tentpoles.
Opt for this design if you’ve got the confidence to pull them off. You should steer clear if you have heavy eyebrows or a prominent brow, as these are qualities the design itself is trying to emulate.
The Aviators, Wayfarers and Clubmasters may be the three top-selling sunglasses – in that order – but they also have plenty more, lesser-known styles worth your attention. TIC Watches stock many of these, from the Erikas to the Justins, but the underdog most worthy of your attention is the Caravan frame.
Designed and launched in the 1950s, these are an even more no-nonsense version of the no-nonsense Aviators. With a squarer frame, these are the sunglasses for you if you have a rounder face, as the straighter lines will create less a look of roundness, and edge your face.
Visit ticwatches.co.uk to explore the range of Ray-Bans, and decide which pair is right for you…