The Best Aviator Frames
The best aviator frames? You’re talking about a classic design for both eyeglasses and sunglasses – also known as pilot style eyewear. In fact, this just might be the most widely known eyewear style in the world. For almost 100 years, these rugged frames have been a fan favorite in designer eyewear. Aviator sunglasses and eyeglasses were initially developed for American jet fighter pilots. But since then, these double-bridge frames with droplet lenses have made a steep ascent.
Today, almost all designer eyewear brands carry aviator styles, also known as ‘pilot glasses’. For this reason, here is a selection of the best Aviator Frames. Additionally, you can see them on your own face in our Virtual Try-On tool. Just in case you didn’t know, you can virtually try on every model on our FAVR platform.
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Aviator eyeglasses originated in the military
Here are the origins of the aviator and pilot style. The success story of aviator frames began in the 1930s. Back then, American company Bausch & Lomb created the first prototypes. The client commissioning the new style was the U.S. Army. The Army’s jet pilots needed eyewear with better optical protection. In terms of functionality, pilots requested protection from harsh sunlight and the intense blue sky. That’s because these were causing symptoms such as nausea and headaches.
Aviator glasses and sunglasses were for jet fighters
Aviator glasses soon became standard issue for jet fighters. After that, the masculine aviator sunglasses made their big break into the mainstream. In the 1980s, several Hollywood movies showcased the rugged life of jet fighter pilots. The most famous movie was ‘Top Gun’ with Tom Cruise starring as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell.
Why are aviator frames fashionable?
Consequently, aviators became cult classics and top sellers across the globe. But despite their fashion appeal, one of the strongest advantages of pilot glasses remains unchanged: Above all, they offer functionality due to their frame design. And because function and fashion often overlap, pilot glasses are perfectly trendy, whatever the season.
Aviator eyeglasses and sunglasses characteristics
Introduced in 1937, the original aviator frame was called ‘anti-glare’ eyewear. Back then, all models were equipped with green-tinted lenses. These lenses blocked a large part of visible light, but still offered enough contrast for pilots. For this reason, pilots were able to read the red-colored instruments in their cockpits. Even today, some aviator sunglasses pay tribute to the original by featuring green lenses.
Another typical feature of pilot-style frames is their teardrop-shaped lenses. This shape offered pilots sun protection from all angles. While the initial frame was crafted from plastic, the follow-up released soon afterwards already used a delicate metal frame. A metallic frame remains typical of aviator styles today. The resulting lightweight finish offers important functionality to wearers. And in order to protect against impact, most models feature the double bridge for extra robustness.
What are modern interpretations of the style?
The most striking design feature of the aviator frame is clearly the double bridge. In 2020, almost all name brand designers have incorporated aviators into their line-ups. Premium brands offer numerous different interpretations of the iconic eyewear style. These variations include variations in colors and materials. The classic shape has been updated with rounded and geometric forms. Meanwhile, some modern styles incorporate key features of aviators with characteristics from other frame styles. But whether it’s classics or bold new designs, aviators soar highest in the sunglasses segment. At the same time, a growing number of brands offer prescription aviator styles. But be careful: it takes a bold wearer to land this variation.
Who looks best in aviator frames?
It’s always hard to make generalizations. However, the iconic aviator frame is one of those universal styles that flatter faces in any shape and form. In other words, everybody should own at least one pair. We also believe in the old rule: eyewear looks best when it offers a bit of contrast to the wearer’s face. That’s why the rounded, teardrop shape of the classic aviator best matches angular faces. However, wearers with round faces can also find geometric interpretations of the pi lot frame. The only way to find out for sure? Trying them on! For instance, by using our Virtual Try-On tool. Here are some more tipps on how to pick the right aviator frame.
Here are top Aviator frames from FAVR!
Almost every premium brand carries several aviator styles. To clarify, the original is attributed to Ray-Ban, which was part of Bausch & Lomb. The original frame has inspired eyewear designers across the globe. That’s why we have created a selection of the Top Aviator Frames of the Year 2020. Have a look around and get inspired. Perhaps use our “Match my Style” feature to find your perfect pair. Similarly, use our Virtual Try-On to see if you’ve got the right stuff to rock aviators with confidence.
Our favorite aviator sunglasses models
This is a curated list of Aviator glasses that we love. All models are exclusively from top independent eyewear brands from different countries. And even though materials, design and technology are very different, they share one very big design feature: The Aviator Look!
Aviator model: MS 163 BRAIN DAMAGE (Miga Studio)
Not your average glasses – and the brand MIGA STUDIO EYEWEAR is not your average eyewear company either. As always with the Hong Kong-based brand, the inspirations are manifold, but the name is a nod to the well-known song by the band Pink Floyd. The frame is made in Italy and in Japan. Premium eyewear at ist best.
Aviator model: WL0019 (VAVA)
The classic aviator glasses but with a good dose of futurism. The model WL0019 of the Portuguese brand VAVA plays with the classic aviator design aesthetics and round lenses and a geometric double bridge are used. The frame is super lightweight and ultra-light aluminum makes sure of that. By the way, the sturdy hinge is also made of it, while the lenses by Barberini provide good vision with perfect UV protection. By the way, every pair of VAVA glasses is made of particularly lightweight, environmentally friendly and recyclable materials.
Aviator model: Original Pilot (AMERICAN OPTICAL)
A decisive characteristic of an original is that you can’t improve it. Of course, this also applies to the pilot glasses from AMERICAN OPTICAL, which are known worldwide as one of the classic AVIATORS. At the time, the unisex glasses were the first sunglasses on the moon. And if that’s not American enough for you, let me tell you that the glasses are still made in the USA to this day. The Aviator is offered in three sizes, with polarized or non-polarized lenses in mineral glass or nylon. AMERICAN OPTICAL is considered a true original among eyewear brands – and has been since 1833.
Price: 199€ – 289€
Aviator model: M3081.SG (MATSUDA)
This Aviator from MATSUDA is almost a definition of luxury eyewear. The Japanese brand guarantees a stylish appearance with the titanium glasses with fine color contrasts made of acetate. The frame is very resistant and its concise bridge finds its shapely counterpart in the curved nose bridge. The filigree engravings are typical for the premium label MATSUDA and provide a noble finish. By the way, each pair of MATSUDA glasses is individually handmade in the in-house manufactory in Sabae, Japan, in up to 250 work steps.
Aviator model: The Observer 1 (MAYBACH EYEWEAR)
The Observer is a luxury pilot glasses with super noble details. The traditional brand MAYBACH creates with it a real eye-catcher. The extravagant sunglasses convince with incorporated rims in two shades and filigree decorations that pick up classic patterns from the design of limousines. Each pair of glasses is produced by hand in Germany using a mixture of traditional and modern manufacturing methods and comes with high-quality lenses from Zeiss.
Aviator model: SHADES OF CHICAGO 02:11:10 (CST) (NIRVAN JAVAN)
Chicago is known for many things – for instance its steel skyscrapers. This is why the collection from luxury brand NIRVAN JAVAN revolves around contemporary frames made from quality stainless steel. This model is a cool and elegantly shaped aviator eyewear design. The generously sized lenses rest comfortably on the face thanks to anatomical nose pads. Did you know that the models in the NIRVAN JAVAN collection are named after time zones? Find out more about the brand in our brand profiles.
Aviator model: ZABRISKIE (BLACKFIN)
The Zabriskie sunglasses model represents the state of the art in the BLACKFIN Razor collection. The cool sunnies with a bold double bridge embodies all the mechanical features of a BLACKFIN frame, but even thinner, even lighter. Boasting a front produced from a single piece of ultra-flexible beta titanium, the sunglasses rest on beta titanium temples featuring swordfish temple tips for a secure fit. 100% biocompatible, hypoallergenic and nickel-free. Based in the Dolomite mountains, BLACKFIN specializes in high-end titanium eyewear with expertise reaching back to the early 1990s, manifested in lightweight and stylish designs under the motto ‘neomadeinitaly’.Price: 359€
Aviator model: AMG 01 (IC! BERLIN)
This is the AMG 01 Lamelle, a square-shaped frame from the Mercedes Benz capsule. It’s also part of the Creations Collection, which showcases the brand’s next-generation design explorations. The frame is a rubber hybrid and 100% designed and manufactured in Berlin.
Price: 449€ – 549€
Aviator model: Feuerbach (KLENZE & BAUM)
The VOYOU collection from KLENZE & BAUM is progressive, as you would expect from the Munich-based brand. This includes the patented screwless hinge, which comes with a full five-year warranty. No wonder, because in the worst case the temples of these Aviator glasses loosen under pressure – and can be quickly mounted again with a small hand movement. Like all VOYOU models, these aviator glasses can be customized. All size parameters are freely selectable, as well as the frame and hinge colors and the sunglass lenses.
Price: 395€ – 435€
Aviator model: LAX Los Angeles (ROLF SPECTACLES)
The selection of form-fitting Aviators in the Independent Eyewear range is enormous. And the LAX Los Angeles model is another eye-catcher. With it, the Tyrolean eyewear manufacturer ROLF SPECTACLES guarantees a strikingly masculine appearance. But the style of the pilot glasses is not the only remarkable thing: the technical construction of the frame is also worth mentioning. Because the lightweight glasses skillfully combine high-quality titanium with 3D-printed components.
Aviator model: MARQUEE (BARTON PERREIRA)
The special aspect about the independent eyewear cosmos is the enormous range of different brands from all over the world. And to keep aviator glasses diverse, BARTON PERREIRA delivers a Californian example. The Marquee is a reinterpretation of the classic Aviator glasses and sets beautiful accents in the process: The curved curves and high-quality materials lend an aura of luxury to this eye-catching design. As oversized as they are feminine, these sunglasses are handmade in Japan.
Aviator model: Accent Shades (8730) (SILHOUETTE)
The Accent Shades collection of the premium label SILHOUETTE contains many design highlights. And among the different shapes, an eye-catching Aviator model must not be missing, of course. The 8730 model is a delicate update of the classic aviator glasses. It is enhanced by functional as well as fashionable SPX+ rings on the lens. The lenses with Silhouette Light Management Technology enable 100% UV protection, high glare protection and enhanced color brilliance.
Are you looking for a quick summary of trending aviator sunglasses by premium brands on FAVR? Then follow this link. And if you’re looking for RX aviator styles, you’ll find them right here.
Other popular eyewear styles
Of course, the FAVR platform features more than just aviator frames. That’s because there’s a wealth of trending and classic eyewear styles in the eyewear universe. In conclusion, here are some articles covering these styles:
Photography, header photo:
photography FRANCESCA MANCA DI VILLA HERMOSA
hair & make-up VERONICA CONTU
styling NARÈNTE & ANNALISA M. LILLIU
model NICCOLÒ SPINAS
with the support of SARDEGNA FILM COMMISSION