My Ray-Ban review: New Wayfarers vs. Original Wayfarers

For a long time, I had been buying imitation Ray-Ban sunglasses from Target. But this year, I decided to bite the bullet and buy the real thing. However, I couldn’t make up my mind about one thing: should I get the Original Wayfarer or the New Wayfarer.

While I was reviewing the Ray-Ban website, I asked a few friends what they preferred. My friend Russ swore the New Wayfarers were the way to go, my friend Katie said she liked how big the lenses were on the Original Wayfarer. Their differing opinions didn’t help.

So I ended up buying both kinds (Go big or go home, right?); the Original Wayfarers in a dark tortoise shell and the New Wayfarers in black.

Top: Original Ray-Ban Wayfarer in tortoise, Bottom: New Ray-Ban Wayfarer in black

While I am not regretting this decision at all, I definitely noticed there are a few key differences that I should point out in the event that someone else out there is looking into buying some Ray-Bans.

The Original Wayfarer

I was the most nervous about how these would look on me. Not only are the lenses fairly large (especially for a woman) the frames tilt towards your face. Since I have “fuller” cheeks that often means that when I smile, the sunglasses don’t sit properly on my face. However, it’s not enough where I look strange: it’s a slightly weird feeling when the bridge isn’t even touching your face. I’m also curious to see how different these would look if they weren’t a “standard” sunglass color. Unfortunately, my finances limit me from having first-hand knowledge on that point.

See the slant here? If you have chubby cheeks (or if you smile a lot) be aware that they may not rest on your nose regularly.

Look at these stunning glasses.

The New Wayfarer

The New Wayfarer is perfect for people who don’t like the larger lenses. Personally, I love the larger lenses because I feel like they cover my face better, and there is no way that the sun is sneaking past those babies. Initially, it took me awhile to get used to having smaller lenses on my sunglasses, but these look great.┬áThe lenses are the same width as the Originals but they are significantly shorter (providing great cheek clearance when I smile). But when I bought these, I was really looking to having the “Ray-Ban” look to my sunglasses, and these don’t quite look like their Original comrades. So if you’re going for the traditional Ray-Ban look, you might want to count these out.

These glasses are perfect for those with petite faces or if you like the slimmer lenses.

Note that there’s no slant to worry about on this pair.

Ray-Bans in General

At first I was worried about the price tag since it seemed really steep to pay around $100 for sunglasses. Once I put them on, I realized that they were worth it. The plastic that they’re made out of is really durable and heavy – but the weight is still not too much that it feels overwhelming. The joints that hold the frames together are also put together really well. No need for that eyeglass kit to tighten the screws every time you feel them coming loose, like you do on your $5 pair. And the best feature; the warranty. If your Ray-Bans break or if something falls off, you merely send them in to Ray-Ban and they will fix it – for free – as long as you have your original purchase receipt.

Use these cases whenever possible to keep your shades in mint condition.


So what are my final thoughts about these two types of Ray-Bans?

  • If you want to make a statement, opt for the Originals.
  • If your face is smaller or if you have smaller features, get the New glasses.
  • To make sure you’re comfortable, try on both types of glasses at your local sunglass shop.
  • Know that these are an investment – and they’re worth the hefty price tag.
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60 thoughts on “My Ray-Ban review: New Wayfarers vs. Original Wayfarers

  1. Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for something to help me decide on whether to get the New Ray Bans or the Originals and this has helped so much!

    Perfect review and I appreciate the pictures!

    Thanks again,

  2. I do have one quick question.. I’m looking to buy the new wayfarers but I’m not sure if there is a big sizing difference between the 52 and 55 mm and I was wondering and what size did you buy for the original and new ones?

    • I have the 52mm frames. The primary difference is the width of the lens; the 55mm on me looked slightly over-sized – like they were too wide for my face. The standard, from what I understand, is the 52mm for women, 55mm for men. I hope this helps!


  3. Hey there! Thanks a lot for this article!
    I find it hard to decide whether to get the originals or the “new” ones, too and now I definitely tend more towards the originals (though I really smile a lot ;)).
    What size did you take?

    • Since I wrote this blog, I definitely use the New Wayfarers more often than the Originals. However, if you like the look of the Originals but smile a lot (like me), I would recommend the RB4105 (aka the Folding Wayfarers) as they don’t have the prominent slant on them but maintain the similar lens look of the Original. You can find them here.


      • I’ll definitely take a look at that model, thanks for your advice.
        It’s probably best to just go try on every single model available at my local sunglass store ;) (I also like the Jackie Ohh II and III, so that will probably take some time… ;))

      • Thank you for suggesting the Folding Wayfarers! I was going to purchase the New Wayfarers (which I also love) but the Folding Wayfarers fit better (it’s like the arms are a bit shorter so they don’t slide around as much). After much consideration I purchased them in polarized tortoiseshell, and am strongly considering purchasing the polarized black ones as well!

  4. Hey, really useful review thanks!
    Can I ask what size of originals you went for when you wear a pair of 52mm new ones?
    I have a pair of new wayfarers at 55mm (medium) which are a bit big so I would go 52mm (small) if I was buying again. I still want a pair of originals though and have no idea how this relates to the original sizing! Does small in both models fit the same head size despite the difference in mm measurement (I know the mm relates to the lens size).
    Thanks, Tam

    • Tam, I have the 52mm frames and they’re perfect for me. My Originals are 50mm; which are considered a medium. For originals, they only have the 50mm and 54mm size – and they generally recommend the 54mm only if you have very large features. In terms of fitting the same head size, my New ones fit my head better than the Originals – primarily because the frame rim on the New Wayfarers is slimmer than that of the Originals. Hope this helps!

    • Thanks for the extra link Sherry! after reading both of these reviews I’m ordering a pair on Amazon right now. Going to be the nicest ($$) pair I’ve ever owned for sure.

    • These two blogs sold me on the glasses! Got them off amazon and love them! The Thrash Review one was great points swell so I’m glad I read them both.

      Thanks Shannon!

  5. Well I bought the New Wayfarer in Tortoise Polarized. And your article is making me get “buyers remorse”, even though the originals felt awkward on my face ….

    I have to get over it, because the sunglasses I have bought are freaking sweet. But the word “original” is enticing.

    • I have to admit, since I wrote this post, I use my New Wayfarers more often than my Originals – mainly because they fit better and don’t have that annoying slant.

      I hope you really enjoy them!


      • Ya they are great shades, but “original” is just so dang enticing, I might just opt in and get a pair of them in black anyways, for a “Reservoir Dogs” style when I am in suits.

  6. I’ve worn Wayfarers for years but changed to the new style this time around. The big difference is the hinge. The new Wayfarers last much longer than the originals.

  7. Pingback: My Ray-Ban review: New Wayfarers vs. Original Wayfarers UPDATE « Laughing is Loving

  8. Thank you very much from Mexico; with your comments I’ve already decide for the originals: I was having a lot of doubts ’cause I want them for Tx, not just as sunglasses!!
    Than you once again !!

  9. i feel so torn and would love your advice if you have the time. i recently bought the RB 2140 model (50 mm). i’m pretty sure they’re the original wayfarers. I love the way they look, but the problem is that they’re too big on my face. And i’d be okay with that except if I look down, they start to slip. And i think 50 mm is the smallest size, right? I went to the store and tried on RB 2132 in 52mm. They fit my face better, but they’re so small! i really like the bigger size better, but…
    Do you have any advice for me??

    • As far as I know, the 50mm is the smallest size for the Originals. Since the fit on the 2132 is smaller, the largest lens size they come with is a 52mm (I believe). It’s unfortunate that although the fit is better on the New Wayfarers, they don’t have the “pop” that the iconic RB2140s have. What might work is getting folding Ray Bans (RB4105). They have the same size as the Original Wayfarers, they don’t slide off your face, and they don’t have the slant either. I’ve tried those out and really liked them. They’re also not as heavy as the 2140s, which makes them not slide around as much.

      I hope this helps!


  10. Thanx for d review ..
    After reading d review, I decided to go for original.Is it suite good for men??And I am looking for fully black one..which colors are available in market??

  11. i really appreaciate this post, very helpful, but was wondering if you have any pictures wearing them both? i just want to see how they look on cause i just wanted to see if you could notice the slant when wearing them

    • I think these are only available in the 52mm size, but check and see if the 54 is in stock as that size might be more to your liking. I would always recommend trying these on in stores and ask the person behind the counter to provide various lens sizes to see what you like. You never really know until you try them on.

      • Thank you so much. I really appreciate your help.
        And indeed, my face was somewhat small for the Original RB2140 glasses, so I opted for the RayBan RB2132 and they seem to be exactly what I’ve been looking for.

        Already bought the pair on 25th Feb. :)

  12. Thanks a lot! Your review is vividly written and it was very helpful. I recently purchased two of the new wayfarers and i was beginning to second guess my decision, they haven’t been delivered as yet and i was nervous about receiving them, but after reading your review and looking at the pictures you attached i know that I’ve made the right choice. I cant wait for my package to arrive! Thanks again!

  13. thanks so much for this review! i have the same exact problem figuring out which would look better. Your review definitely helped me decide what sort of look i am going for! Thanks!!

  14. In which way do you see this as an investment?
    An investment is a long- or shortterm period of time In which you purchase a product and plan on later, to make a profit of.

    Is The Wayfarer known to raise it’s value over time?

  15. Well written entry! I own a pair of Ray-Ban aviators, but I’m considering Ray-Ban wayfarers in the near future. I could never figure out what the differences were prior to reading this. You perfectly answered my question! The original is the way to go for me… too bad the originals cost more than the new version. Oh well! Worth the investment :)

  16. Hi Tel Aviv, Israel here. I have the new wayfarers 52mm in matt black for sunglasses, the matt look is so cool over the standard gloss. For my eye glasses, have just treated myself to the brown tortoise shell new wayfarers 50mm, they are damn smart. So my tip for Ray Ban lovers, go for the matt look when it comes for shades.

  17. I had a pair of the originals 15 years ago and the slant dug into my upper cheekbones. They seemed uncomfortable and a bit smaller but I had no idea what I was buying them. Recently I just got a pair of the RB 2132’s with Tortoise shell frames with the 55mm lenses. I had a friend evaluate them. They are on the cusp of being too small but they are far more comfortable than the originals with the slant. Maybe if the bridge were a bit wider or if they made 57mm lenses but as far as I can tell, they don’t. Do you have any suggestions?

    • If you don’t like the RB 2132’s, maybe look into the folding Wayfarers (RB4105). They don’t have the slant like the Originals, they’re lighter weight and they have the same frame/lens size as Originals. And they’re around the same price point, so it wouldn’t be a huge expense beyond what you’d already be willing to pay.


    • Good deal indeed… I spent $180 on a pair of New WF Turtoise, Polarized. If I may ask – where did you get that deal :) My has Green-Blue Gradient lenses – yours too?

  18. I have literally I dropped my ray bans over 100 times; still no break. Only thing that happened was scratched lenses (irreplaceable) because they were hanging out of my pocket when my ex gf tackled me and pushed me up against a wall (playfully). I got the new ray bans. They go with anything. I LOVE my ray bans

  19. Great article. There are a lot of people out there wondering about the differences in these sunglasses, especially that whole slanting thing.

  20. FYI: Original, 1950s-80s- era Wayfarers have two stock numbers — 5022 and 5024. It is stamped on the inside of the frame. The difference is 2mm wider in the nose bridge on the ’24. Lenses are identical — 50mm. Thus, 50-22 and 50-24. Later models had the 2000 series.

    • I can’t remember off-hand, but there’s a decent selection of Ray-Bans (currently on sale) at Nordstrom – which offers free shipping as well as in-store shopping.

  21. I’m in the midst of this same debate (one of life’s toughest decisions, huh?) So when I googled new vs. original I was glad your post came up. The conclusion? I’m headed to the sunglasses store to try on both styles. Then I may order them online.

  22. Thank you very much for this! I recently lost my pair of New Wayfarers, and was wondering if I should just get the same ones (which I loved, btw) or go for the Originals. After reading this, Originals it is! Thanks again!

  23. I ordered the camo green rubber new wayfarers after trying them on in the store. After try them out i discovered that the light brown gradient lenses hardly block out any sunlight, if any at all. I love the look, but they only seem to be for looks and not for function. Just wanted to put that out there.

  24. I got a surprise perscription pair of wayferers for my birthday. Totally awsome. My kids all want them. I’ve heen told they fit my personality ane my face like a glove. Thankyou.

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