From eye-protection for pilots who are flying at 30,000 feet to stylish sunglasses in fashion worn by movie stars and style icons. Aviator sunglasses are a modern accessory with a rich and interesting history.
More on aviator style sunglasses, the history and how they reached high fashion, read in the article below.
Introduction to aviator-style sunglasses
The aviator sunglasses have a very specific design. They’re most recognisable for a thin metal frame with the double-tiled and tear-shaped glass. That way they are hiding a large part of the face.
Aviator sunglasses are often seen on famous people who are trying to hide from paparazzi. For decades these sunglasses have been a durable accessory. Now even considered a classic. Interestingly enough, the origins of these sunglasses are found in the field of flying.
Sunglasses as a practical solution to the problem
The beginning of a story of aviator-style sunglasses actually began as a very practical solution to the problem. When pilots started flying at ever-increasing heights in the early 20th century, they had encountered some issues. Flying so high in the sky gave the pilots headaches and various health problems. They tried fixing this problem with thick fur-lined glasses, but they also weren’t a permanent solution. These glasses were so thick and hidden with fur, it would block the vision.
One American pilot, John McCready, saw his friend’s swollen and frozen eyes as he removed his foggy glasses for a second at 330,000 feet high. The sight absolutely shocked him. He since then was sure to make change. He knew when he’d became the new chief, his main job priority was to protect the pilots’ vision from the bright sun.
Aviator-style sunglasses were originally designed to be worn under the head gear. They have typical dark, sometimes reflecting lenses. As well as thin steel or titanium metal frames with double or triple bridges. The big lenses aren’t quite flat but slightly curved.
Their aim is to cover the entire field of vision of the human eye and to significantly reduce the amount of visible light transmitted and infrared radiation. It was also important to prevent UV radiation from entering the eye from any angle.
Quickly becoming famous both in the sky and on earth
Then there was a process of readjusting the design of the glasses. The result of the solution to the problem was a much lighter glass in green color. It helped to reduce dazzle and improve vision.
The creation of these glasses was followed by immediate success. Right after that the Aviator sunglasses were released to the public in the late 1930s. The brand Bausch & Lomb labelled them as “Ray-Ban” aviators. They were made for people to use them in their hobbies – fishing, hunting, flying etc. They were created with a number of new lenses and designs specifically designed for golf and fishing.
At the beginning of World War II, the use of aviator sunglasses in the military was widely demanded. Therefore modern variations of aviators were made.
When General Douglas MacArthur landed in the Philippines in 1944, he had aviator sunglasses on his nose. The moment had been captured by countless paparazzi. Now this is often viewed as the most important moment of the brand promotion.
Fom practical to stylish very quickly
After the war, aviator-style sunglasses slowly gained more popularity. That created the potential to become functional and at the same time stylish.
From time to time, these sunglasses were also seen on celebrities. Just picture this – the golden frames of Elvis Presley and David Bowie in Ray Bans with a cigarette hanging casually in his mouth. Paul and Linda McCartneys in matched pairs of sunglasses in a family portrait. Or even Freddie Mercury in a white vest and sunglasses that reflect the light of the huge stage. All of these were very memorable moments!
Aviator sunglasses: style or brand?
To be completely clear, aviators are a style of the sunglasses which can often get confused as a brand name. Many brands are making aviator style sunglasses, including the most known fashion brand Ray Ban.
Here are some aviator sunglasses in different price ranges for everyone to find something affordable.
Men sunglasses from the brand LUENX
These mens sunglasses are stylish and also protective with an affordable price of around 22 euros. They offer UV400 eye protection. Designed for driving & outdoor activities. Made from environmental and skin-friendly materials.
Womens sunglasses by the brand Polaroid
These sleek and cool aviator womens sunglasses are more pricey. They cost about 43 euros and are designed by the brand Polaroid. Blue colored version costs up to 60 euros. Polaroid is a well known brand that has offered not only stylish, but protective and high quality eyewear for almost 100 years now.
Classic aviator sunglasses by Ray Ban
The most famous brand of sunglasses is definitely Ray Ban known for the world’s most iconic eyewear brand and global leadership in its sector. These Ray Ban aviator sunglasses cost around 104 euros and are available in a variety of different colors and even designs.
Starting from protective gear high in the sky, aviators are still among the most popular sunglasses used around the world.
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