The Difference between the Ray-Ban Wayfarer and New Wayfarer

Ray-Ban. Arguably the the biggest eyewear brand in the world. They provide some of the newest and coolest looks. All while providing classics, such as the Aviator, the Clubmaster and of course the Wayfarer. But when it comes to buying a pair of Wayfarers, should you get the classics or the New Wayfarer? And what is the difference between the Ray-Ban Wayfarer and New Wayfarer? We look at them both in a little more detail.

(Read Time – Approx 4 min 42 sec)

Ray-Ban Wayfarer vs New Wayfarer


Since many can remember, the Wayfarer has been in our lives. Be that a Ray-Ban or a similar shape from another brand. Yet when looking at Ray-Ban sunglases, you have the choice between the Ray-Ban Wayfarer and New Wayfarer. Not to mention the Ease and Justin, but we will get to that a little later. These two retro style sunglasses share the same principles. They’re versatile, simple and striking. The go to style for film characters, celebs and us average Joe’s alike. So without further ado, lets look at the difference between the Ray-Ban Wayfarer and New Wayfarer.

The Difference in Short

The biggest difference is the lens tilt. On the Original Wayfarer the lenses tilt slightly. However this is less on the New Wayfarer. Furthermore, the temples on the New Wayfarer are also more rounded.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer

Let’s go back to the 1950’s. 1952 to be exact. Queen Elizabeth II becomes the Queen of England, Singin’ In The Rain premiers in New York and the Wayfarer is born. The original design boasting a more Cat-Eye style. Think Bob Dylan’s Wayfarers.  A lot different to the square shape we are accustom to.

It doesn’t take long for the Wayfarer to gain a fan base. The rebellious concept for the the design captured hearts. Featuring a unique lens tilt. One that defines the Wayfarer. One that many find hard to style out and wear on the tops of their head. But after some time, Wayfarers fell out of favour. So much so, it took Ray-Ban paying for the sunglasses to be worn in films to rebuild the demand. And, thanks to the Blues Brothers movie, the Wayfarer’s popularity is reborn. Throughout its life, the Wayfarer has taken many forms. Be that colors and patterns or even material. There are even, Wayfarers boasting a denim or leather exterior.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer vs New Wayfarer

The New Wayfarer

Fast forward 49 years to 2001. The birth of the New Wayfarer. During the 90’s a need for a redesign was evident. Now we have the ever popular Wayfarers and New Wayfarer flying off of shelves and websites alike. Just like the Wayfarer, the New Wayfarer provides a wide range of colour options. However, these are more limited, and have less wacky material choices. This doesn’t limit the styles and looks too much. The New Wayfarer still has a wide range of styles that allow you to show your style and personality easily.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer vs New Wayfarer

The Difference

The biggest difference between the Ray-Ban Wayfarer and New Wayfarer is their lenses. The lens takes a slightly different shape. This is due to the reduced lens tilt. Many find it hard to wear the tilted lens of the Wayfarer. It sometimes doesn’t compliment the face well. The shallow angled shape isn’t favored by many. So the New Wayfarer reduces this tilt. Keeping it slightly, but cutting a squarer shape. This is softened by a less chunky rim and a wider lens. Therefore increasing the size of the lens, a more complimentary shape for a wider audience is present. While the New Wayfarer stays true to its roots, they are slightly less chunky in all compared to the Wayfarer.  Finally, the material used is different. The Original Wayfarer boasts an acetate frame, where as the New Wayfarer is injected. Only a subtle difference, which doesn’t bare anything drastically contrasting when worn or looked at.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer vs New Wayfarer

Which is the best?

Well, like most sunglasses, the best is which you prefer the most. Both the styles sing off the same hymn sheet, just with a slight change here and there. If you can pull off the tilt of the Wayfarer, then fully embrace that. If you like a slightly larger lens, then go for the New Wayfarer. Or, if both tilt too much, there are alternatives. The new Wayfarer Ease totally eliminated the tilt while remaining completely true to the Wayfarer design. Alternatively, you could choose the Ray-Ban Justin. It is a newer, younger, more youthful take on the Wayfarer style which is adored by many.

All in all, which ever style you end with, you can be proud in your decision. Satisfied in the knowledge you own a pair of quality sunglasses that really are versatile. We say it a lot at EyeWearThese, that sunglasses can be worn in many situations, however, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer and New Wayfarer are the epitome of that. Celebs and famous figures are oftentimes snapped wearing a Wayfarer of some description at weddings, work, on a beach. Quite literally, anywhere.