Aviator sunglasses are one of the most iconic and recognizable types of eyewear in the world. With their teardrop-shaped lenses and thin metal frames, aviators have been a symbol of coolness and style since they were first introduced in the 1930s. Originally designed for pilots to protect their eyes from the bright sun and high altitude, aviators have since become a popular fashion accessory for both men and women.
In this article, we'll delve deeper into the history of aviator sunglasses, explore their design and features, and discuss their popularity and enduring appeal.
History of Aviator Sunglasses
Aviator sunglasses were first designed in the 1930s by Bausch & Lomb, an American company that specialized in optics and eyewear. The US Army Air Corps commissioned Bausch & Lomb to create a pair of sunglasses that would protect pilots' eyes from the bright sun and high altitude, while still providing clear vision.
The resulting design featured large, teardrop-shaped lenses that provided ample coverage and protection, as well as thin metal frames and arms that were lightweight and comfortable to wear. The lenses were made from green tinted mineral glass, which provided excellent contrast and reduced glare.
The original aviator sunglasses were called the "Anti-Glare" and were quickly adopted by the US military as standard issue for pilots. However, it wasn't long before their popularity spread beyond the military and into the civilian world.
In the 1950s and 1960s, aviator sunglasses became a popular fashion accessory among celebrities and trendsetters. Iconic figures such as James Dean, Elvis Presley, and Steve McQueen were often seen sporting aviators, helping to cement their place in popular culture.
Design and Features of Aviator Sunglasses
Aviator sunglasses are characterized by their distinctive teardrop-shaped lenses and thin metal frames and arms. The lenses are typically made from glass or polycarbonate and are available in a variety of colors, from classic green to brown, blue, and even mirrored finishes.
The frames and arms of aviator sunglasses are usually made from metal, such as stainless steel or titanium. The thin, lightweight design helps to make them comfortable to wear for extended periods, while the double bridge across the nose provides added stability and durability.
One of the key features of aviator sunglasses is the shape of the lenses. The teardrop shape provides ample coverage and protection for the eyes, while also allowing for a wide field of vision. This makes aviators a great choice for activities such as driving or flying, where clear vision is essential.
Another feature of aviator sunglasses is the option for polarized lenses. Polarized lenses contain a special filter that reduces glare and improves visibility in bright sunlight. This can be especially useful for activities such as fishing or boating, where glare can make it difficult to see.
Popularity and Enduring Appeal of Aviator Sunglasses
Despite being over 80 years old, aviator sunglasses remain a popular and timeless style of eyewear. They have been worn by countless celebrities and style icons over the years, and continue to be a favorite among fashion-conscious individuals around the world.
One reason for their enduring appeal is their versatility. Aviator sunglasses can be dressed up or down, making them a great choice for a variety of occasions. They are equally at home with a casual outfit as they are with a formal suit or dress.