Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Sunglasses to don despite summer’s end

Rarely do I wear them inside (if I did, it would be on stage tearing it up to “Don’t Stop Believin’”), but in most other cases my black Ray-Ban Wayfarers are shielding my eyes from the sun. Get at me glare! I must confess though, these wonders of optical engineering are not exclusively mine and for good reason.

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Wayfarers look fantastic on basically all faces. In fact, a still of John F. Kennedy reclining as he exhales a plume of presidential smoke in classy black Wayfarers sits on my wall now. While it may be true that few have been able to recreate the JFK legacy, these shades will add a sartorial dash of classic cool to any outfit. Our “hipster” youth rocks them with skinny jeans and a slouchy v-neck, a look that says “I couldn’t care less.” Throw on a black suit and white shirt, but no sunglasses and you are just a man. If you slide the Wayfarers on, you can be potentially grouped with men like Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in the league of alien destroyers, as seen in the “Men in Black” trilogy.

If Wayfarers don’t seem appealing, Ray-Ban makes two other timeless frames. First is the Clubmaster, made famous by legends like Malcom X in the 1960s and worn by Denzel Washington in the film “Remember the Titans.” It has a plastic frame from the earpieces to the brow line, and a metal frame for every other component.

Secondly, and more popular of a choice than Clubmasters, Ray-Ban Aviators can be a fashionable way to block the sun. They were first invented in the late 1930s as “pilot’s glasses,” and according to, Aviators were first made famous by General Douglas MacArthur, a renowned U.S. pilot during World War II. Aviators were later worn by legends like Steve McQueen in the 1970s and Brad Pitt today.

The reason that these sunglasses are all so versatile, frame faces expertly and look good on almost all is because they are timeless. They are a throwback to the 1950s, but a staple nonetheless. Wayfarers used revolutionary plastic molding techniques to progress away from thin metal frames that dominated years past.  This allowed for a frame with such a clean design and line, that it somehow works as both feminine and masculine. Revolutionary techniques in plastic molding rarely lead to such creations of glory. These sunglasses are history you can sport on your face at all times.

Even though Wayfarers are such style essentials, they also have a purpose, beyond being effortlessly cool: they protect your eyes from damaging sun rays.

There are few pieces cooler than the Ray-Ban Wayfarer, so I suggest you get your hands on a pair immediately. It’s time to put away our summer frames and take out a pair that works for all seasons. The Wayfarer does just that, and it has since its birthdate in 1956.

Ryan Ford can be reached at [email protected].

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