Men’s sunglasses provide a great way to improve your style, and with so many options to choose from these days, it can be tough trying to pick out the best ones that suit your face. But one style of sunnies that look flattering on anyone, and we do mean anyone, is the ever-faithful aviator. Aviator sunglasses are an American classic that have been around for decades, and they show no sign of going out of style.
What Are Aviator Sunglasses?
In the 1930s, Bausch & Lomb, an eye health company based in Canada, invented aviator sunglasses to replace traditional goggles worn by military pilots. At the time, pilots were experiencing visibility issues with their goggles which would fog up after reaching high altitudes. To combat this problem, aviator sunglasses were designed with plastic frames, teardrop-shaped lenses, and a brow bar that would fit comfortably over pilots’ eyes underneath their helmets. The glasses had green lenses to cut through the glare of light, improving sight conditions.
After being received well by the military, Bausch & Lomb decided to take their newly designed sunglasses to mainstream production. Of course, the sunnies took on a complete redesign by swapping out their plastic frame for a lightweight metal and then officially became known as “Ray Bans” in 1939 (hence the name Ray-Ban for everyone’s go-to glasses brand).
The Aviator Trend
Since their birth, aviator sunglasses for men have remained an integral part of American fashion, surviving countless decades as a go-to accessory. And unlike trends that come and go, the military-inspired shades have yet to be deemed uncool, mostly because the eyewear looks good on anyone regardless of gender, age, face shape and even personal style.
If you still won’t take our word on how good aviator sunglasses can look on any guy, take a look at a couple of these well-known guys rocking the shades and look damn good doing so.
From A-list celebrities to your parents, everyone has owned at least one pair of aviator sunglasses to keep the bright sun out of their eyes. So if you’re looking to add a new pair of shades to your collection, here are the best aviator sunglasses for men to shop right now.
1. Ray-Ban Aviator Classic Sunglasses
Without Ray-Ban, there would be no aviator sunglasses for men, so it’s only right if the iconic brand tops the list of our roundup. This timeless model of shades looks dapper on any guy, young or old. They come in a variety of frame and lens combinations, so you can have more than one pair of them in your collection. The sunglasses come polarized to reduce glares from bright lights and provide 100% UV protection. You can pick up a pair of the babies in one of three sizes, including small, standard, and large. These are the perfect sunglasses for any occasion and will always garner you some head turns when wearing them.
2. Randolph Aviator – Military Sunglasses
If you’re looking for an authentic aviator experience, then go with this option from Randolph. U.S. military pilots have relied on the Randolph aviator for over 40 years. This specific style of sunglasses is a limited edition design and comes with a military-issued case, a custom Randolph dog tag keychain, a military-inspired cleaning cloth and a historical informational insert. You’re able to get the shades in one of two color combinations: gold and matte chrome. You can also get your lenses polarized.
3. Oakley Contrail Sunglasses
You can never go wrong with a pair of classic shades, but these modern sunnies from Oakley are making us reevaluate that thought. The Contrail features Oakley’s sporty aesthetics while keeping the aviator’s classic silhouette. They have a thin frame made of C-5 alloy that is lightweight and durable. You’ll find the shades to fit quite comfortably on your face thanks to its adjustable nose pads and molded earsocks at the temple. The glasses come in eight colored frame-and-lens combinations of your liking and are available with Prizm lens technology to enhance details typically not seen by the naked eye.
4. LUENX Aviator Sunglasses
Despite the price tag attached to these cheap sunglasses, they’re quite durable with their metal frame construction and shatterproof lens. The aviator sunglasses for men feature a polarized lens with a UV protective coating. Plus, they come in over 18 different colorways with the option of having mirrored and non-mirrored lenses. These sunglasses seem to be a fan favorite as they racked over thousands of positive reviews.
5. Tom Ford 60mm Aviator Sunglasses
When it comes to designer eyewear, no one does it quite like Tom Ford. These specs are crafted in Italy with a slim gold frame and smoky gradient lenses. They have a classic but luxurious style, making them the perfect aviator sunglasses for any fashion lover. So if you don’t mind dishing out some big bucks, you’ll find these shades to your liking.
6. Warby Parker Hatcher Sunglasses
BEST FOR PRESCRIPTIONS
It’s always fun to wear sunglasses unless you aren’t blessed with 20/20 vision and need to wear prescription glasses. Luckily, Warby Parker allows you to create a pair of prescribed aviators sunglasses for men right from your home. Starting at $95, you have complete control over the design process of these sunnies. You’ll get to choose the color of your acetate frame design (jet black or oak barrel), the width of the frame, prescription type and lens material.
7. Banana Republic Polarized Metal Aviator Sunglasses
Like we said before, aviator sunglasses look flattering on anyone regardless of your face shape. And even if you still aren’t sure of how you’ll look with this style of shades, this option from Banana Republic is the perfect pair to test out. They’re currently on sale for half off their retail price, making them quite the steal. The sunglasses have a brass frame with blue polarized lenses that provide 100% UVA and UVB protection.
8. Fossil Kirtley Navigator Sunglasses
Fossil may be known for its stylish watches, but the company knows a thing or two about fashionable eyewear, too. The gold frame of these aviator sunglasses for men exudes class. Unfortunately, their brown lenses aren’t polarized, meaning you might find yourself dealing with annoying glares from certain surfaces. If you can get past that setback, these aviators are a great buy for someone looking to build up their sunglasses collection.
9. Quay Australia High Key Sunglasses
With festival season upon us, it’s an absolute must to have a rotation of chic sunglasses on hand, and what better pair to feature in your lineup than Quay’s High Key aviators? They have the traditional silhouette of the classic aviator sunglasses for men but with a modernized twist thanks to the ombre-colored lenses. You have the option to get these sunglasses with non-prescribed, prescribed or blue light lenses. These shades come in three sizes: oversized, medium and mini, so you’ll be able to find the perfect pair no matter your face shape or size.
10. Persol Po0649 Aviator Sunglasses
If you aren’t a fan of the metal frame that most aviator sunglasses have, you can’t go wrong with acetate frames. One pro about an acetate frame is they’re typically stronger than metal, coming in handy for anyone who finds themselves damaging their eyewear. Unlike the rest of the sunglasses on the list, Persol’s shades have an open bridge adding to their overall appeal. These sunnies make the perfect everyday eyewear, and the pair will pair with any outfit, day or night.
11. Shady Rays Infrared Stealth Polarized Sunglasses
Looking for a pair of sunglasses with a luxury feel without the expensive price tag? Well, look no further than Shady Rays’ aviator. They come with a matte black frame with flex-fit arms to rest comfortably on your face. The sunglasses feature polarized lenses to enhance your visual experience in areas of bright light with your choice of choosing a black or infrared colored lens. Each pair offers 100% UV protection.
12. UO Aiden Rimless Aviator Sunglasses
Not a fan of rounded sunglasses? You’ll love this slightly square-lens option from Urban Outfitters. These fun and trendy aviator sunglasses for men come in three tinted lens colors, including black, blue and purple. They also feature a padded nose bridge and rubber tips at the end of the glasses for a more comfortable fit. Now, the specs are only $20, so don’t expect too much out of them, but they will make you look good.