13 best aviator sunglasses for men in 2021: Ray-Ban, Persol, Warby Parker and more
All the shades are pretty cool, but the best aviator sunglasses for men could be the absolute the coolest. Originally developed in the 1930s, aviators were designed to replace the bulky goggles worn by military pilots, who frequently misted up at high altitudes. They were made with a lightweight metal frame and a forehead bar that could easily fit under a helmet, teardrop-shaped lenses that covered the wearer’s entire field of vision, and green lenses to reduce eye strain from being overwhelmed. blue light and cut glare. Soon after, Bausch & Lomb introduced the style to the civilian market, dubbing it the Ray-Ban Aviator. Seems familiar?
From there, men’s aviator sunglasses exploded in popularity, worn by Mad Men in flannel suits in the ’60s, bell-bottom disco dancers in the’ 70s and just about anyone who has. look at Top Gun in the 80s. In 2021, superstars like Jay-Z, Timotheé Chalamet and all the cast of Fast Furious keep aviators in style, and you’re as likely to spot them on the catwalk of a Gucci show as you are on the streets of Manhattan. Their endless popularity comes down to their endless versatility: the teardrop shape allows them to fit virtually any face shape and pair perfectly with everything from evening shirts to fancy leather moccasins, in going through flared jeans and fluffy cardigans.
Whether you’re looking for club frames, hyper-luxurious hues, or a clean, classic piece, there is a pair of aviator sunglasses for men to suit you. Here are a dozen of the most stylish, top performing, and badass pairs of bakers to buy right now.
The Aviators OG
Ray-Ban almost invented aviator sunglasses almost a century ago, and the original design remains as beautiful and timeless as ever. They come in dozens of frame and lens combinations, including a plethora of gradient lenses, but this pair of gold frames and black lenses is our Commander-in-Chief’s favorite pairing. and Maverick of Top Gun. Whether you’re flying a jumbo jet or suffering from a hangover, these polarized aviator sunglasses will keep you airy.
The aviators who look good on everyone
These sunglasses literally have summer on the moon. American Optical sunglasses were worn by the entire Apollo 11 crew—and De Niro in Taxi driver, in case that is not enough. The original pilots are built to US military specifications, so you’ll lose them long before you break them. While standard aviators feature a triangular, teardrop-shaped lens, the AO version is a bit more square, making them ideal for a variety of face shapes.
The best affordable aviators
Looking like you have a pilot’s license doesn’t require a wad of cash. The Le Spec take is a great alternative to American Optical, featuring a lightweight metal frame and square lenses that look great on most faces. They might not come with anti-glare polarized lenses, but at less than half the price of the other options, you won’t miss them much.
Movie star aviators
Synonymous with Steve McQueen, the Persol 649 aviator sunglasses were designed more to ride in heart-wrenching sports cars than high-flying planes. With its iconic, dashing keyhole bridge and pointed arrow hinges, they’ll bring a serious old Hollywood touch to a casual golf jacket and jeans or a stylish turtleneck and dress pants.
The aviators of real pilots wear
When it comes to quality, you can’t beat Randolph Engineering, the Air Force’s official sunglasses supplier since 1982. Their signature model, which takes six weeks to build a single pair, is dubbed “The Tank “, thanks to its almost indestructible frames. They’re a bit more expensive than the other big names, especially for non-polarized lenses, but the quality and pedigree are well worth it.
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