Learn more about Aviators, the best style to protect your eyes from UV rays:
Aviator sunglasses were developed by Bausch and Laumb in 1936 and were originally meant for pilots. Pilots had complained about the sunlight at high altitudes and so Bausch and Lomb wanted something that covered the eyes completely so pilots could focus on what's going on without being blinded by the sudden burst of sunlight.
To achieve this effect, they had the hallmark teardrop shape which allowed the sunglasses to sit very close to the face without any gaps and keep the eyes covered at all times. During the war, many servicemen wore them and even Gen. McArthur became well-known and eventually, Hollywood picked up on it and it became much more popular.
Also, when soldiers came back from the war and they wore them, they had a certain military cache which helped to engrain them as a desirable sunglass in the general population.
If there's one movie that's associated with Aviators, it's most likely top gun. Lead actors Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer wore them in various situations and it became an iconic style that everybody wanted to have at the time.
What makes aviators, aviators? Technically, it's the size. You want an area out of your lenses that's about three times as large as your eyeballs. The second hallmark is the thin metal frames with a triple bridge or a double bridge. You want either a cable or bayonette ear piece and you want adjustable nose pads. Of course, you want a tear drop shape to cover the eye and you want a convex lens.
So who can wear aviators? Ideally, people with oval, square and heart-shaped faces look really good with them. At least, that's true for traditional sunglasses.
In general, aviators work really well with all kinds of casual outfits and are definitely a statement piece. Classic finishes include gold, chrome, or gunmetal. Apart from that, you can also find them in plastic, acetate, or horn, but the most traditional way is a metal frame in gold, brown, or green lenses.
What aviators should you buy? Basically, the vintage Bausch and Lomb are the most original versions you can find but you have to go to eBay, vintage stores, or flea markets to find the real deal.
Of course, sometimes the lenses will be scratched but if you go to the optician, they can exchange them. Another options would be Ray-Bans, which I'm wearing here, right now. This is a more modern shape with less of a tear drop, you can also find the original shape from them. They're usually quite pricey so people sometimes want to go with different brands.
Personally, my favorite aviators are from Randolph Engineering, they're American-made, rather heavy and solid. The Ray-Bans have lasted for way over five years and they're still going strong. With polarized lenses, they're just very functional and they look stylish.
In case you're intimidated by aviators, bear in mind, there are lots of different styles and materials and I truly believe that there is a pair of aviators for every taste, no matter if you like it bold or more subtle.
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