Fulfilling every teenager’s fantasy of skipping school on a bright sunny day, Ferris Bueller’s Day off is the epitome of childhood escapism.
If you were lucky enough to grow up through the ‘80s, this comedy classic is likely mantled amongst your VHS shrine of light hearted Hollywood hits.
Packed full of hilarious sibling rivalry, ridiculous pranks, teenage romance and pre-internet nostalgia, the 90-minute blockbuster is a rose-tinted reminder of youthful rebellion.
And for you, the eyewear enthusiast, who could forget the spectacular sunglasses wardrobe? Worn by Ferris himself, his girlfriend Sloane, best friend Cameron and sister Jeanie, there’s a host of sunglasses we’ll gladly explore in this tribute blog post.
Let’s dive in.
What sunglasses does Ferris Bueller wear?
Acted by Matthew Broderick, Ferris Bueller wears Ray-Ban RB3016 Clubmaster sunglasses in the 1986 comedy romance ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’ The original sunglasses had a nickel silver chassis featuring black acetate brow rims and temples (arms). The lenses were a neutral grey colour, shielding his eyes from the sun and supplementing Bueller’s mischievous character.
Depending on your style, there are various versions of the Ray-Ban Clubmaster which have different colours of acetate and metal wire rim. From black, mock tortoise or red Havana with numerous lens tint colours.
In a creative ploy to get his girlfriend Sloane the day off school, Ferris pretends to be her uncle. In the scene above, he's dressed in a beige trench coat, bowler hat and Clubmaster sunglasses to disguise himself from the Shermer High Schools' Dean; Edward Rooney | Image source: Pinterest
As part of his disguide, Ferris wears the Ray-Ban RB3016 Clubmaster sunglasses frame whilst collecting his girlfriend Sloane from Shermer High School | Image source: Pinterest
The story of the Clubmaster
Long before Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, these stylish combination sunglasses were originally known as ‘browline’ sunglasses. Combining a metal wire frame with chunky acetate brow-caps, they were first designed and made by American optical brand Ronsir in 1947.
In a pioneering move, the original browlines had interchangeable components which allowed wearers to customise their glasses with different sizes of nose bridges and lens rims. This versatility, mixed with excellent styling, rocketed sales of Ronsir’s browline frames during the ‘50s and ‘60s to become a defining mid-century optical style for both men and women.
With such success, it wasn’t long before competing optical brands began making their own iterations of browline glasses. In the mid ‘80s, parent company of Ray-Ban (Bausch & Lomb) launched the Clubmaster, mimicking the stylish metal rims and acetate brow-details that had become so incredibly popular.
It was during the ‘80s that Ray-Ban arguably captivated the mainstream optical market with their hero Wayfarer, Aviator and Clubmaster designs. Thanks to strategic product placements in popular films such as Risky Business, The Blues Brothers and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, their popular range of sunglasses surged.
Jeanie Bueller’s sunglasses
Frustrated by her brother’s ploy to skip school, Jeanie Bueller is seen wearing these wire rimmed sunglasses with metal side shields in her car. The exact frame model is unknown, but this style of frame is often known as glacier sunglasses, or steam punk shades.
As you can see, sunglasses with side shields are a very distinctive style. They feature closely fitting guards around each eye socket. Like goggles, these shields are designed to block light from above and from the sides of the sunglasses which otherwise puts strain on your eyes over long durations of exposure. Although Jeanie is commuting to high school in her 1985 Pontiac Fiero SE, these sure make some stylish sunglasses.
Although we couldn’t find the exact sunglasses she wore in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, we’ve tracked down some similar glacier style shades for you to check out.
What sunglasses did Sloane Peterson wear?
Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara) wears sunglasses very similar to the black edition Ray-Ban RB2140 Wayfarers. These sunglasses were incredibly popular during the ‘80s thanks to their dark lenses and flattering frame shape.
Despite their close resemblance, the sunglasses worn by Sloane in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off weren’t made by Ray-Ban and were not the Wayfarer model. During the Chicago taxi scene, you can see the endpieces of her sunglasses are rounded off which differ from the Wayfarer’s original design.
Ray-Ban first released the Original Wayfarer Classic in 1952 which has since become one of the most popular and imitated sunglasses styles of all time. Worn by Hollywood celebrities such as James Dean (Rebel without a cause), Tom Cruise (Risky Business), Don Johnson (Miami Vice) and Audrey Hepburn (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) these thick rimmed acetate frames are still one of Ray-Ban’s most successful sunglasses models.
If you’re looking to replicate Sloane Peterson;s sunglasses style, there are numerous versions of the Original Wayfarer Classic which come in varying acetate and lens tint colours in both regular and Asian fit.
Cameron Frye sunglasses
Acted by Alan Ruck, character Cameron Frye plays the role of best friend to Ferris and Sloane in the movie. He’s first seen wearing a pair of round black sunglasses sitting in the back of his dad’s stolen Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder as the troublesome trio drive away from school into downtown Chicago.
Circular sunglasses like these are incredibly timeless and suit those with long, narrow face shapes. Cameron wears these round shades to perfection, setting himself aside from the edgier looking, square sunglasses worn by Sloane and Ferris. A subtle wardrobe detail that differentiates his nervous hypochondriac character.
Round sunglasses like these were very popular during the ‘50s and ‘60s and have a classic retro appeal. If you’re looking to replicate Cameron’s sunglasses style, we’ve found a few similar styles for you to check out.
Edward Rooney’s sunglasses
Last but not least, we simple couldn’t leave-out Edward Rooney’s iconic flip up sunglasses in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In true ‘80s fashion, he wears a pair of Spec 1000 by Foster Grant which feature flip up sun lenses. In the video above, he’s seen on his quest to finally thwart Ferris’ school truancy, prowling the streets of Chicago.
These vintage sunglasses are no longer in production, however there are numerous flip up sun lens attachments available online. They simply attach to your existing spectacles frame which converts them to a retro set of flip up sunglasses. See the example below.
Not many people are aware that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was also a book published in 1986; the same year the hit movie came out. Fittingly, one of the quotes mentions that "Everybody needs a day off - whether you’re 55 or 5."
Next time you’re scraping the bottom of the Netflix menu, stuck for something to watch, why not grab yourself a glass bottle of Coke and settle down to this ‘80s classic? Besides being light hearted and genuinely entertaining, it’s a real nostalgia trip you’ll surely enjoy.
Here’s to “the most iconic slacker of all time.”Hopefully you found this article helpful. Please check out our other eyewear icons. Thanks for stopping by.