Even if the name “aviator sunglasses” doesn’t immediately ring a bell, we guarantee you’d know them on sight. You may have missed them in the 1960s when they were a hit with the most stylish kids, but it’s a rare person indeed who wouldn’t recognize a photo of a young Tom Cruise in his Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses from the 1986 movie Top Gun.
Also known as “pilot shades,” Ray-Ban’s aviators feature one of the most recognizable – and most copied – frame styles out there. Developed by Bausch & Lomb (who later founded Ray-Ban) in 1936, the original aviators had oblique teardrop frames made of gold-plated metal with green lenses made of mineral glass to filter out infrared and ultraviolet rays.
The unique teardrop shape that have made aviator sunglasses an enduring classic is more than just a concession to style – the frames and slightly convex lenses work together to cover close to the wearer’s full range of vision while also preventing as much light as possible from hitting the eye. The end result is a slick pair of sunglasses that cancel glare without sacrificing visibility.
Is it any wonder that Ray-Ban aviators became an almost immediate favorite of the military, and subsequently civilians and law enforcement officers? America’s love affair with aviator sunglasses began early on when photographers captured General Douglas MacArthur sporting a pair when he landed at Red Beach in Palo, Leyte in the Philippines during World War II.
But as much as Ray-Ban’s iconic shades have always been associated with man’s men generals and Air Force hot shots, most people love aviators because they’re still the epitome of cool. Just ask Hollywood! This is one pair of sunglasses that goes with anything – they look just as great paired with an elegant suit as they do when worn with jeans and a faded t-shirt.
Need more proof that aviator sunglasses never stopped being hot? Ray-Ban recently celebrated the birth of the brand and their most famous frames with a re-launch of their signature styles and live shows in New York and London, which featured punk-rock legends Iggy and the Stooges and the New York Dolls.
Explore our selection of Ray Ban Aviators, or call us at 866-411-9428 to learn more about choosing a color and size.