Aviator sunglasses continue to be one of the most popular and wearable sunglass designs on the market. This style of eyewear is characterized by their large, teardrop-shaped lenses. The most typical aviator features a classic thin metal frame and was originally developed by Bausch & Lomb, an American optics company in the 1930s and were used by military pilots. The design was specifically intended to provide maximum coverage and protection for pilots' eyes while flying at high altitudes.
The aviator sunglass has many key features. The lenses are typically large and slightly curved, providing a wide field of vision. This shape helps to shield the eyes from various angles. Aviator frames are traditionally made of lightweight metal, often stainless steel or a combination of metals, but today the shape can be adapted into almost any material. At Oliver Goldsmith we offer both metal, acetate or combination options. Aviator sunglasses typically have a double bridge, which is the part that connects the two lenses across the nose. This adds stability to the frame and gives it its iconic silhouette. The temples (or arms) of aviator sunglasses are typically thin and rest comfortably behind the ears and although your sunglasses can be fitted with any lens, traditionally aviator sunglasses feature green or mirrored sun lenses whilst more modern variations come in a wide range of colours and sizes.
Aviator sunglasses gained popularity beyond the military when they were featured in movies and worn by celebrities, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s. They have since become a timeless and iconic style of eyewear, suitable for both men and women.
Today, many brands produce their own versions of aviator sunglasses, offering various materials, lens technologies, and styles while still maintaining the basic design elements that make them instantly recognizable. They remain a popular choice for those seeking a blend of style, comfort, and eye protection.
In the world of eyewear, few styles are as iconic and enduring as aviator sunglasses. Their distinctive teardrop shape and metal frames have made them a symbol of both fashion and functionality. Let’s take a take a deeper dive into the history of aviator sunglasses and how they’ve come to be one of the most recognisable profiles on the planet.
Do pilots actually wear aviators?
The aviator sunglasses were born out of necessity in the 1930s. As previously mentioned, they were initially designed for pilots to protect their eyes from the harsh glare and UV rays at high altitudes, these sunglasses quickly found their way into popular culture. The original design featured large, slightly convex lenses made of tempered glass and a thin metal frame. Over the years, the design evolved to include different materials, lens tints, and sizes, catering to a broader audience. And yes, some pilots still wear aviators today!
Which celebrities wear aviator sunglasses?
Aviator sunglasses have graced the faces of numerous celebrities over the decades. Hollywood icons like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean all adopted this timeless style. In more recent times, modern-day stars like Brad Pitt, Rihanna, and Jennifer Aniston have been spotted donning aviators, demonstrating their enduring appeal across generations and genres.
Aviator sunglasses have made memorable appearances in several iconic films. Perhaps one of the most iconic moments in cinema history was when Tom Cruise donned aviator sunglasses in "Top Gun." The film not only propelled Cruise to superstardom but also solidified aviator sunglasses as a symbol of coolness and adventure. Additionally, movies like "The Terminator" and "Blues Brothers" prominently featured characters sporting aviators, further embedding them in popular culture.
What face shape do aviators look best on?
One of the remarkable aspects of aviator sunglasses is their versatility. The teardrop shape and classic design complement a wide range of face shapes. Oval faces are particularly well-suited to aviators, as the balanced proportions enhance their natural symmetry. Additionally, square faces benefit from the soft curves of aviator frames, while heart-shaped faces find a harmonious contrast with the distinctive shape. Aviator sunglasses have evolved far beyond their original design. Today, you can find a plethora of options to suit various tastes and needs. The original design with metal frames and teardrop-shaped lenses remains the classic. They exude timeless elegance and are available in various lens tints.
Polarized lenses reduce glare from reflective surfaces like water or roads and are an excellent choice for outdoor activities and driving. Mirrored lenses are coated with a
reflective coating, this style of lens adds a modern, edgy twist to the classic style and can be purchased in a wide array of colours, allowing for personal expression.
If you live an active style, why not consider a sport enhanced aviator? Designed for active lifestyles, these aviators often have rubberized frames for extra grip, interchangeable lenses for different lighting conditions, and enhanced durability. Many luxury fashion brands, including Oliver Goldsmith, offer their own take on aviator sunglasses. These often feature premium materials, unique designs, and high-quality craftsmanship. Check out classics such as the 1940’s and Colt Zero to frames with a some 1970’s flair like the Spillane or Gopas or a ultra-modern aviator like the Kendal. The 1970’s saw a new generation of eyewear emerge for men.
Celebrities, musicians and fashion pioneers defined the sunglass as a style necessity and these geometric gems are the perfect example of all things good in 70’s design. The linear top line of the Kendal is off set by the abstract angles of the frame, yet it retains a certain subtlety. It’s a mighty good-looking pair of frames and perfect for the modern man.
Are aviator sunglasses outdated?
No, aviator sunglasses have stood the test of time, transcending their humble beginnings as pilot gear to become a global fashion phenomenon. With their enduring appeal, they continue to be a staple accessory for individuals of all ages and styles. Whether you're aiming for a classic, retro look or a contemporary, sporty vibe, aviator sunglasses offer a wide range of options to suit your preferences.
So next time you slip on a pair of aviators, remember that you're not just putting on sunglasses; you're donning a piece of history and a symbol of enduring style. Embrace the timeless elegance of aviator sunglasses and let them take you on your own adventure in fashion and functionality.