The best aviator sunglasses you can buy in 2021
Arguably the most masculine style of sunglasses, the “aviator” is synonymous with the birth of the modern air force. Developed in the 1930s, aviator sunglasses or “pilot’s glasses” have become a trend-proof addition to men’s accessories thanks to their association with the great military and advanced men. “As in men’s fashion, the origin of the aviator comes, unsurprisingly, from the air force,” explains Simon Spiteri, buyer at M. Porter. “In 1929, a US Army general challenged optical company Bausch & Lomb (then owners of Ray-Ban) to create a pair of sunglasses that would protect test pilots from glare. causing headaches at altitude; thus were born the iconic teardrop-shaped lenses. The first pair of aviators arrived in 1937 with green lenses and was marketed as “Ray Ban” and promised “true scientific glare protection”. The name “aviator” was not coined until World War II and became a well-known style of sunglasses when General Douglas MacArthur landed on a beach in the Philippines and photos of him wearing them. in the newspapers became a lasting image of the war. The aviator was quickly worn by sportsmen and fishermen, and quickly became a fashion accessory thanks to Elvis Presley. Since then, they have never gone out of style. Michael Jackson showed up at the 1984 Grammys in a pair of Ray-Ban aviators. The colored glasses of Johnny Depp in the years 1998 Fear and loathing in Las Vegas gave them more of a counter-culture vibe. And in between, they’ve been confirmed as the ultimate one-man winger accessory. “Their mainstream popularity is the result of Top Gun, says Spiteri. “Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer cemented their popularity and have since been an accessory every man should have in his or her possession.”
How to wear aviators
If you’re wondering if aviators are right for you, let’s paraphrase that same movie: don’t let your sunglasses write checks the rest of your look can’t cash. In other words, if you wear aviators, they should match your style and personality. “At the end of the day, the challenge is that one has to be effortlessly cool to wear aviators, as opposed to wearing aviators to try and look effortlessly cool,” says David M Watts, editor. of Wattsquoi magazine. If you look like an extra Dunkirk then everything will be fine. Other than that, the teardrop shape works on diamond, heart, oval, and square face shapes. If you have a strong jaw, wide cheekbones, or generally angular features, you are allowed to fly. If your face is narrow or your features rounder, sorry, you are devastated. Aviators vary in size, so it’s important to have the right proportion of frames for your face and also the right fit. The deck should sit comfortably. If it is too short, the bridge will be too high on the face; if it is too wide, it will fall to the bottom of your nose. Your eyelashes shouldn’t be able to touch the lenses, and they shouldn’t be too tight on your nose, or you’ll get those annoying indentations. Aviators typically cover the eyebrows as they were designed to cover the entire eye socket. If yours don’t at least partially cover your eyebrows, they’re probably too small.
How to style aviators
The current trend for larger sunglasses is suitable for the aviator style while remaining masculine. The good thing about aviators is that you can choose the style that suits you: there are many finishes and materials, from metal frames to plastic frames, and from reflective lenses to colored lenses. Aviators can look pretty strong, so you can either keep everything else simple or have fun with it. Minimize military credentials, especially if you go for reflective lenses, as that can seem a bit difficult. Don’t associate them with an air bomber, but take one thing Top Gun: the white t-shirt. Add jeans or chinos and you’ve got a timeless 50’s look. Dark lenses and / or frames are more subtle and go well with almost anything casual. The wide frames add an air of anonymity, especially with black lenses, and exude a masculine confidence. Colored glasses have become popular in recent times and add an eccentric element. They can go well with Hawaiian shirts or football tops, especially on vacation. These are more fashionable styles and can come in blue, yellow, orange and red lenses and show off your personality and confidence while adding a retro and vintage touch. “Their versatility ensures they look great whether worn around town, by the pool or at the beach. You can’t beat a classic pair of Ray-Ban aviators, but my particular favorites this season are one or the other.
The best brands of aviator sunglasses
The flyboys’ original choice, Ray-Ban, has grown into a mega optical brand with billions in sales. While arguably best known for its Wayfarer style, the Aviator is where it all began. They offer a personalization service where you can choose multiple options including frame color, details and lenses, even prescription, and add engraving to personalize. Ray-Ban Gold Tone Aviators, available from Mr Porter, priced at £ 120.
Not for wallflowers, although they have more conservative styles,
Be bold or come home to anything from Cazal. This 80s German eyewear brand, created by Austrian designer Cari Zalloni, is tall, brash and sought after. Chunky frames with large, oversized geometric shapes make a memorable style statement. Think of Robert De Niro in Casino. Cazal Vintage 163, available at Cazal, priced at 345 Euros.
The king of refined cool is a man who loves sunglasses. Tom Ford knows exactly how to update something classic to make it relevant and contemporary. Look for its water buffalo horn frames with rose gold hardware if your pockets are deep enough. Tom Ford Terry sunglasses, available from Mr Porter, priced at £ 175.
Ted Baker offers two contrasting options with their aviator styles. You can find all-metal versions with tortoiseshell temples, but we’re drawn to the more contemporary Nover style, which comes in navy blue or steel black with the iconic horizontal bar and matching colored tips. Ted Baker Nover sunglasses, available from Ted Baker, priced at £ 75.
Affordable sunglasses allow you to play around with styles you wouldn’t necessarily invest in. ASOS sunglasses are ideal for festivals or parties or when you don’t want to worry too much about your glasses. Opt for gold frames and faded lenses and all for under £ 15. ASOS Aviator Sunglasses in Matte Gold, available from Asos, priced at £ 14.
Derived from the Italian expression “per il sole”, translated as “for the sun”, Persol was founded in 1917 in Turin. Producing eyewear for military pilots and racing drivers, they are known for their keyhole bridge, tortoiseshell finishes and iconic accessories. This is The good life, Italian Riviera glasses. Persol PO 9649S 9649, available on Amazon, priced at £ 91.10.
Cutler & Brut
For over 40 years, Mr. Graham Cutler and Mr. Tony Gross have produced logo-less sunglasses, letting bold designs and quality speak for themselves. Look for the brand’s “Precious Metals” line. Handcrafted in Italy from palladium-plated metal, their aviator style is fitted with blue lenses which, despite their light color, provide full protection against harmful UV rays. Cutler & Gross 1266 Palladium, available from Cutler & Gross, priced at £ 405.
The growing representation of the Scandi brand for affordable essentials extends to its eyewear. Its aviator styles lean towards the 70s with thicker frames and dark tinted lenses. Perfect for anyone who refuses to stop wearing black, even in the height of summer. Selected men’s aviator sunglasses, available from Asos, priced at £ 18.
Inspired and designed in London, Hook LDN is a new British eyewear brand specializing in creating high quality designs, inspired by music and fashion. Hook LDN features ‘smart’ construction and refined aesthetics for around £ 100. Hook LDN Juke sunglasses, available from Hook LDN, priced at £ 95.
Inspired by America, especially New York, this Italian brand is reminiscent of the reflective lenses of the motorcycle policeman. Hence the name, Police. Created in 1983, their current styles follow the fashion of flat glasses: modernizing the aviator for a fresh and futuristic look. Police Rival 2, available from Police.
The man at the top
Topman’s low prices and trend-driven approach make them a great choice for a seasonal backup pair of sunglasses that you won’t necessarily keep forever. This gives you room to experiment, so try the Cali-inspired pink hue on these mirrored shades. Topman Silver Mirrored Aviators, available from Topman, priced at £ 12.
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