Ray-Ban Aviator, Clubmaster and Wayfarer sunglasses
Thinking about buying a pair of Ray-Bans? If so, you’ll be in good company: The brand’s iconic sunglasses have been spotted on countless actors, rock stars and even U.S. presidents over the years.
Ray-Ban got its start making eyewear for pilots in the 1930s before eventually marketing these now recognizable sunglasses to the general public.
Ray-Ban Aviators — as well as their other popular designs, like the Wayfarer and Clubmaster styles — blend form with function, which has led to their enduring reputation and universal appeal.
The history of Ray-Ban
Ray-Ban first designed a line of what are now called “aviators” for pilots in the U.S. Army in the 1930s to shield their eyes from glare and prevent altitude sickness and headaches. The color, size and standard teardrop shape of the lenses served a practical purpose for flyers.
In 1937, Ray-Ban started selling their Aviator sunglasses to the public. They caught on quickly, and the brand became known for this classic design.
The core values of Ray-Ban are:
Freedom of expression
The Ray-Ban brand has become synonymous with effortless, laid-back style. Customers include everyone from celebrities to politicians to your neighbor down the street: anyone who values tradition, innovation and self-expression.
Ray-Ban joined eyewear company Luxottica in 1999 as a generations-long leader in sun and prescription eyewear.
In 2016, Ray-Ban was named Brand of the Year by the Accessories Council, a non-profit group of brands, designers, retailers, publications and others in the accessories industry.
After more than 80 years in business, Ray-Ban continues to introduce new styles but stays rooted in tradition with three established eyewear styles: the Ray-Ban Aviator, Ray-Ban Clubmaster and Ray-Ban Wayfarer. All three styles are as popular today as they were when they were first introduced, decades ago.
Ray-Ban’s most iconic sunglasses
Sunglasses should protect your eyes from UV rays, and they can also make a style statement. Ray-Ban makes men’s and women’s sunglasses and polarized sunglasses in a variety of shapes, styles, frame materials and lens options, from myriad color choices to polarized and mirrored lens coatings.
Ray-Ban sunglasses shapes include: pilot, rectangle, round, square, oval and geometrical. Frame materials include acetate, carbon fiber, nylon, plastic, propionate, titanium and even wood.
Ray-Ban lens options include classic, gradient and mirrored. Another lens option, Ray-Ban Evolve Lenses, adapt to different amounts of light.
Some of the most popular styles of Ray-Ban sunglasses include:
Ray-Ban Aviator Gradient – The standard Ray-Ban Aviator style with gradient lenses in 15 color choices, including green, light blue, pink/brown and brown.
Ray-Ban Clubmaster Flash Lenses – The retro Ray-Ban Clubmaster style with mirrored flash lenses in two color choices: blue and silver.
Ray-Ban Erika Color Mix – Round unisex sunglasses that come in 15 lens–frame color combinations.
Ray-Ban New Wayfarer Classic – An updated version of the Wayfarer Classic, with a slightly smaller frame and softer shape.
Hear “Ray-Ban” and it’s likely your mind goes straight to the Ray-Ban Aviator. Many in the public eye, including U.S. President Joe Biden, have been seen, filmed and photographed sporting this timeless design.
Traditional aviators have black or metallic frames with black, brown, gray or green lenses. But if you want to buy Ray-Ban Aviators today, you’ll have more than 30 styles with countless lens–frame color combinations from which to choose.
Current styles of Ray-Ban Aviators include:
Aviator Ambermatic – A limited-edition Ray-Ban Aviator with amber lenses, gold frames and a distinctly 70’s vibe.
Aviator Classic – The classic Ray-Ban Aviator with 12 lens–frame color choices, including black with green lenses, gold with brown lenses and silver with gray mirrored lenses.
Aviator Washed Evolve – This colorful Ray-Ban Aviator has Evolve Lenses, which adapt to different kinds of lighting. Color choices include black frames with purple photochromic lenses, silver frames with pink photochromic lenses and black frames with yellow photochromic lenses.
You may be wondering, “can I pull off aviators?” And the truth is, aviator sunglasses work for most face shapes and come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors.
SEE RELATED: How should your aviator sunglasses fit?
Like the Ray-Ban Aviator, the Ray-Ban Clubmaster also has a long history.
The Ray-Ban Clubmaster is a retro style “inspired by 1960s counterculture.” The browline style Clubmaster features rounded, square or rectangular frames and comes in a variety of lens–frame color choices.
Popular Ray-Ban Clubmaster styles include:
Clubmaster Classic – The original Ray-Ban Clubmaster boasts five color choices, including black with brown lenses and tortoise with green lenses.
Clubmaster Fleck – A fun twist on the Ray-Ban Clubmaster, with multicolor spotted frames and gradient lenses in six color combinations.
Clubmaster Square – The Ray-Ban Clubmaster style with square lenses and two basic color choices.
If you’re drawn to the “intellectual cool” Clubmaster look, you’re sure to find a color, size and shape to suit your face and style preference.
The Wayfarer rounds out the trio of signature Ray-Ban sunglasses styles.
The Ray-Ban Wayfarer quickly gained a “cult following” when it slid onto the scene in 1952. James Dean first drew attention to the style in the 1955 movie Rebel Without a Cause.
And Wayfarers have since been seen on a host of famous faces, from Marilyn Monroe to JFK to Bob Dylan to Tom Cruise, most popularly in Risky Business.
The Wayfarer is available in an array of styles and color combinations all inspired by the classic shape of the original design.
Favorite Ray-Ban Wayfarer styles include:
Original Wayfarer Classic – This is the Ray-Ban Wayfarer for you if you’re in love with the original style worn by James Dean. The Classic is available in five colors, including black with black lenses and tortoise with brown lenses.
Wayfarer Ease – The original Wayfarer style, redesigned for increased comfort and a subtle style twist with gradient lens options. You can choose from nine color combinations, including black frames with blue gradient flash lenses and gray striped frames with standard gray lenses.
Wayfarer II Washed Evolve – This style is a modernized take on the original Wayfarer, with a sleek frame, a rounded shape and Evolve Lenses. Color options include: gray striped frames with light blue photochromic lenses and tortoise frames with red photochromic lenses.
SEE RELATED: Wayfarer sunglasses history
Ask your eye doctor about sunglasses
You can buy Ray-Ban sunglasses online at Ray-Ban.com, as well as from optical shops, department stores and other online and storefront retailers. In fact, your eye doctor may carry Ray-Ban sunglasses, and most styles should be compatible with most prescription lenses.
It’s important to keep up with regular eye exams and to wear sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection to help keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear. The right sunglasses can help you make a style statement, as many Ray-Ban-wearing celebrities have proven over the years.
Page published in August 2021
Page updated in January 2022