Did you know that Aviator sunglasses were originally designed for pilots? They were developed by Bausch & Lomb which was later branded as Ray-Ban. In 1936, Ray-Ban developed these shades for American pilots to protect their eyes in-flight. In fact, the shape itself is reminiscent of the lenses that are found in some of the pilots’ helmets.
Ray-Ban made the shades available to the public a year later. It became very popular after Gen. Douglas McArthur, the Pacific War hero was photographed a number of times wearing these babies.
Of course, after the war, it became one of the most recognizable images. It has been so popular since the hippie movement of the 1960’s that it even went on to dominate pop culture in the 80’s,90’s, up until now. In fact, it’s been a favorite of artists, athletes, and celebrities that it has influenced generations of followers from all aspects of society.
If there’s one pair of sunglasses that every person must own, it’s a pair of aviators. It’s versatile enough to be worn by both men and women, and it never fails to give off that “devil may care/I’m a bad-ass/I’m the boss” touch to every ensemble. Especially for women, this staple gives off a very masculine tone. Despite the extra testosterone this pair adds to your look, it’s always a great idea to have them around.
Here are some suggestions I have for you when wearing them.
Pair it with something rugged or masculine. Ripped denims, windbreakers, leather jackets, and boots- these would go well with aviators. Casual is key, and dainty isn’t something you’re going for with this pair.
Pick one that suits your face. Aviators might be the sunglasses of choice for many, but there are different kinds that suit different face types. Larger and wider faces need bigger lenses while smaller faces need smaller frames. Keep in mind, though, that the classic Aviator shades have a very light steel frame, either in gold or silver. The lenses should not be curved either so that when you turn on your side, there is a straight, thin line.
The simpler the better. Aviators are very minimalist in design. The classic aviator, with mirrored lenses and a thin, metal frame, has been copied by so many designers. There have been ones whose lenses gradually darken or lighten from top to bottom. There are also some whose frames are made of plastic. There are others in shades of pink, orange, and whatever hue the designer fancies. The simpler the aviators you have, the longer it will transcend through fads and time.
So keep these things in mind when you’re on the hunt for your perfect aviator sunglass. When in doubt, always go for this classic piece.