Style Snapshot: Aviator Glasses

Style Snapshot: Aviator Glasses

Glasses have never just been about practicality. At GUNNAR, of course, we focus a lot on the functional use of our products. The fact remains, no one buys glasses without giving at least some thought to how they will look wearing them on a daily basis. Looking good matters, and we get that. That's why we have such a wide variety of classic and contemporary frames available. Today we're gonna take a closer look at just one classic frame shape: The Aviator Glasses.

The Style

woman wearing aviator sunglasses


To start, let's make a quick description of Aviators. Typically aviators were wire or other fairly thin metal frames. On top, the frames were straight all the way across. An extra bar connects the lenses to make this straight line appearance. A small gap between that extra bar and frame connected to the nose pads is a distinctive aspect of their design. The lenses are oversized, oval, with flat tops to match the frame. The most famous aviators you see are mirrored. You can't tell what the aviator is looking at or read his face. All you see when you look into his eyes is yourself looking back. Of course, aviator frames are also available in prescription or reading glasses. The iconic look, however, is no-nonsense, mirrored Aviator sunglasses.

Aviators Through the Ages

Aviator glasses have a storied history. Below we run over a couple of essential moments in the development of their reputation and popularity.

World War II

aviator glasses history


Although Aviators have been around since 1936, they never really hit their stride until World War II. During that time famous military men such as General MacArthur popularized the style as tough, hard-nosed, and cool. From then you would be hard-pressed to find a highway patrolman not wearing aviators. It became a symbol of power and confidence, due in no small part to those manly generals who first brought the look to prominence.

Top Gun

aviator sunglasses in top gun movie worn by tom cruise


In the 1980's Tom Cruise brought aviator glasses to the mainstream. Everyone either wanted to be him, or wanted to date him. So a huge spike in popularity for Aviators followed. Aviators still sit comfortably as an extremely popular style, thanks in large part to Top Gun. Also inspired by the movie, real aviators on the job started wearing Aviators too.


blue light aviator glasses from gunnar

As noted throughout this post, Aviators still hold their title as one of the most popular styles today. Celebrities like Brad Pitt wear them, as do other less famous, more relatable folks. In recent years Aviators have stopped being an accessory of only manly men and have crossed gender lines. You'll find men or women, old or young wearing them. Still a reliable fashion, anyone looking to up their game should not discount the Aviator. Aviator prescription glasses give you a cool look that works. Aviator sunglasses give you the classic look you're looking for. You can't really go wrong with something so stylish and timeless.

Whether you want sunglasses, blue light glasses, prescription glasses, or some combination, GUNNAR's Aviator shape glasses, the Maverick, has the look for you. Pick up your pair today.


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