In 1937, the eye wear company Ray-Ban developed a style of sunglasses known as aviator sunglasses, or “aviators” for short.
They are characterized by their thin wire frames, often black or gold in color, and large dark lenses that are approximately three times larger than the average human eye socket. Some versions actually have reflective lenses instead of simply having dark lenses.
Of course we have to wear sunglasses to protect our eyes from the sun’s dangerous UV rays, but at the same time, who can claim that sunglasses aren’t flattering? Whatever your facial features, whatever your style, there is a pair of sunglasses out there for you.
Another traditional feature of aviator sunglasses is their bulging lenses. While traditional glasses and sunglasses are fitted with flat lenses, aviators have lenses that bulge outward slightly. This design allows for maximum coverage of the eye area.
The original aviators were designed to mimic the flying goggles that Ray-Ban sold to the Navy and the Army. Although the goggles were effective, serving the purpose of blocking pilots’ eyes from glare and harsh sunlight, they left an undesirable tan on their faces.
Their faces would become tanned in the sun as they flew, but the large area around their eyes which were protected by the goggles remained fairer than the rest of their skin.
The aviator sunglasses were developed to allow in some sunshine, thus allowing the skin around the eyes to darken so as to match the rest of the face, but to conceal the silly-looking tan in the meantime.
No need to be a fighter pilot to wear aviator shades, the style that Ray-Ban popularized. Aviator sunglasses were extremely popular in the ’80s, as well as last season. A more classic style, they look great with just about anything you wear, and are sure to last a few seasons to come.
Aviator sunglasses usually have larger rectangular frames that round out at the bottom, and have metal rims. Rest assured you’ll see plenty of them in the movie Pearl Harbor, as Ray-Ban is one of its sponsors. Aviator designer sunglasses look great with everything from jeans and a T-shirt, to a suit.
After becoming popular within the Army and Navy, aviator sunglasses became very popular within the civilian community. In fact, they are still worn to affect modern fashion statements. Since their development, they have been worn by many celebrities and notables.
Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, Freddy Mercury, Axl Rose, Kanye West, and Jim Morrison are examples of popular musicians who have been spotted wearing this style of sunglasses, or who have even included them in part of their standard wardrobe.