Aviator sunglasses first created in 1936. They were first developed as a more stylish alternative to flying goggles for military pilots. They offered strong eye and decent sun protection, marrying both fashion and function.
Throughout the 1930s, these traditional darker lens version of the glasses became an American status symbol, and, as with many classic-vintage trends, celebrity culture popularized aviators. However, these sunglasses’ claim to fame took place in a much more serious context than the average star sighting.
Later, the sunglass style found its way into popular and more traditional celebrity culture with figures such as Marlon Brando and Paul McCartney wearing the accessory to channel rebellious and pop-rock, hippie aesthetics, respectively, throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1980s, aviators rose to the height of their fame. Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer wearing these shades in the film, Top Gun solidified the sunglass style as an American classic.
Today, the aviator sunglasses are a staple accessory in every man’s closet. For 2019, this “trend” is still going strong, both on the runways and at the most fashion-forward retailers. Read on to discover some of the stylish shades every man will want to wear this season.