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The Aviator sunglass style gets its name from those who they were originally designed for – military pilots, or “aviators”. These lightweight, reliable wire-frames with large lenses were specifically designed to keep as much sunlight out of pilots eyes as possible while flying. As a result, they are the perfect option for those wishing to have a functional accessory that truly protects the eyes.
Hollywood movies like Top Gun and Cobra popularized the style in the 1980s, which quickly caught on. The combination of thin metal frames with large, usually dark-colored lenses, created this iconic look. Add the characteristic reflective mirror to the front of the lens, and they are hard to miss.
The style has remained popular as fashionable sunglasses moved to styles with larger frames and lenses in the late 1990s. When they were first released by Ray Ban, the lenses appeared abnormally large compared to the common styles of the time. Modern, shifting trends have made Aviator sunglasses the design that was before its time, adding a retro flavor to the large lens trend.
The storied history of aviators and their rise in fashion circles has made them accessible for all wearers. While some people find certain sunglass styles difficult to pull off, anyone can wear a pair of aviator sunglasses. They fit any face and convey the same bold, yet playful feel. Try a pair on. You won’t be disappointed.