For many, the term "aviator glasses" immediately conjures up images of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in the classic 80’s movie Top Gun with their super cool aviator style sunglasses. For others these aviator frames mean large metal frames with an extra bar over the nose bridge favored by more senior gents - very far removed from the glamours "fly boy" image! So what exactly are aviator glasses and sunglasses and where did they come from?
Well the history, as far as we have been able to research it does have it's origins in aviation history as the name suggests. Way back in the late 1930’s, eyewear company Ray-Ban developed a style of sunglasses that they coined aviator sunglasses, or “aviators” for short. The aviator style sunglasses were characterized by thin, lightweight wire frames, and large tinted or mirrored lenses which were proportioned roughly three times larger than the typical man’s eye socket size. Another common feature of aviator glasses and sunglasses is angled, slightly convex lenses designed to provide the maximum coverage of the eye area. We believe that the original aviator sunglasses designs were designed to mimic the style and glamour of the early flying goggles that Ray-Ban marketed to the United Sates Army and Navy and pioneering early aviators.
As you can see from our own aviator glasses and sunglasses collection here online, the terms aviator is applied to quite a wide variety of glasses and sunglasses styles these days, but for me personally aviators eyewear or "aviators" will always be those cool sunglasses Tom cruise wore in Top Gun.