Elevate your style this season with a pair of aviator sunglasses. Made cool by Mav and Goose in Top Gun 30 years ago, the shades actually have a history that precedes the famous volleyball scene, and a future as your go-to summer accessory. For everything you ever wanted to know about the aviator and more, Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby.
Were aviators around pre-Top Gun?
Aviator sunglasses have a long and storied history. Designed for airplane pilots during the 1920s, they became standard issue shades for the military during World War II. By the 1970s, pop culture embraced the frames, thanks to stars like Elvis rocking the aviator look.
What makes sunglasses “aviators”?
Aviator sunglasses traditionally feature large teardrop shaped lenses, framed by thin metal, with a double bridge, and earpieces that hook securely behind the ears. The original aviators were designed to cover the entire eye, keeping out as much light as possible. Today’s aviators take liberties on the original design with variations on materials, lens size, lens tint, color and shape.
Are aviators suited to a certain face shape?
While the original large aviators can overtake a smaller visage, designers have cashed in on the popularity of the look withsunglasses that fit a wider variety of face sizes and shapes. Most women are able to find an aviator that suits their look by trying out different styles of the iconic sunglasses. Many aviators come in sizes, usually measured in millimeters across the widest part of the lens. The iconic look is slightly oversized, providing maximum eye coverage.
Is this look just for irony and costume parties?
No way! Aviators may have reentered the market as an ironic accessory, or part of a Top Gun Halloween costume, but they’ve since made their way into the mainstream. True sunglass enthusiasts have at least one pair in their quiver. The classic aviator look is polished and sophisticated, and also incredibly versatile—wear them with everything from a bikini to a ball gown.
What to look for in an aviator:
There are so many options when it comes to aviator sunglasses. There’s always the original aviator, with its clean, simple lines and muted colors, like silver and gold, which is a good place to start for the aviator novice. But, also consider lenses that are colored, mirrored or polarized, as well as variations on shape and frame material.