Since a big popularity explosion in the 1970’s, aviator sunglasses became a symbol of masculine style and an iconic silhouette in the world of designer shades. If you’re asking yourself why they’re so popular, it’s because they’re truly a timeless shape, worn by J.F.K to Kanye West, Brad Pitt and James Bond.
Trends in sunglasses are always changing but some frames, like the aviator, never go out of style. This style will always make you keep coming back for more!
So in this guide, we’ll show you the hottest types of aviators designers prepared for the following year, from affordable options under $100 to luxury high-end ones. Get ready to upgrade your eyewear gear!
- What are aviator sunglasses?
- Types of Aviator frames
- Top 10 Most Popular Aviator Sunglasses Brands
- 1. Ray Ban Aviators
- 2. Tom Ford Aviators
- 3. Gucci Aviators
- 4. Michael Kors Aviators
- 5. Prada Aviators
- 6. Versace Aviators
- 7. Persol Aviators
- 8. Dolce and Gabbana Aviators
- The best face shapes for Dolce & Gabbana Aviators
- 9. Carrera Aviators
- 10. Police Aviators
What are aviator sunglasses?
First things first. How do you know you’re really buying aviators?
It’s easy: you can recognize the signature mark of Aviators sunglasses by their flat-top, or double bridge. And what makes aviator sunglasses really stand out is their teardrop shaped lenses.
The original aviator frame was designed and invented by Bausch & Lomb and you’ll now see it promoted from the Ray-Ban brand. Of course, many designer brands have since created their own interpretation of the classic aviator, so you know have a huge range to choose from!
Even though aviators are unisex (you can see Kim Kardashian sporting them all the time) these frames have a true masculine appeal about them. Men look really good whether they’re in uniform, a business suit or plain old jeans and T.
Types of Aviator frames
You should know there are mainly three types of aviators: Classic Teardrop, Navigator and Sporty — Art of Manliness discusses them in this guide. But designers created many creative variations based on these styles, added new elements and transformed the frame into something that can meet your style needs, from casual, luxury, business to sporty variations.
This is why here you’re going to find our what are the top 10 popular designer high-end brands who have released new interpretations of the timeless aviator silhouette.
And because we can’t say which aviator sunglasses are the best, we will help you choose the right frame on your own, and discover which one fits your face, budget and personal style!
Here are the best and hottest designer Aviators you should try in 2017!
Top 10 Most Popular Aviator Sunglasses Brands
Many designers have tried to transform the classic aviator silhouette and the results are impressive. The Aviators are versatile and the designer interpretations have made them accessible for almost every style.
You should get the aviator sunglasses that best fit your style and personality. Of course, without forgetting to check for fitting measurements!
1. Ray Ban Aviators
The Ray-Ban brand is synonymous with original aviator frames. With more than 70 years of tradition and culture, Ray-Ban is and will always be the father of Aviator sunglasses.
Even though improvements and new elements have been introduced to the classic model, the basis remains the same: tear shaped lenses, a sturdy metal frame, and the unmistakable Aviator shape.
Newer Aviator models have three types of lenses available: mirror, flash, and gradient.
Colors also play a major part in the evolution of the Ray Ban Aviator – from lens black aviators to red frame ones, the palette seems unlimited.
There are several types of Ray Ban aviators – depending on materials, lenses and overall design. The cost of a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses will take you from between $100 to $200.
Here are the top 3 Ray Ban aviator best selling models:
The Classic Aviator
Without a doubt, the most popular aviators of all time, Ray-Ban original aviator sunglasses are the simplest, most accessible option for sunglasses enthusiasts. They feature a simple, slim metal frame complete with the tear shaped lenses. You can customize the frame color and lenses and get your unique Aviator experience. Best worn with a spring/summer casual outfit.
They feature a gold metal frame their size is 55/14/135.
Elegant Brow Bar Aviators
A popular variation comes in the form of a thick brow bar that adds a rugged but elegant touch to the Aviator look. The acetate brow bar in tortoise shell is designed to keep any sweat and dust away from your vision. You might be tempted to call these the coolest aviator sunglasses out there.
This masculine gold metal frame accentuates your forehead so it’s best to wear it if you cut your hair short. Their size (62/14/140) fits a bigger head.
The Sporty Aviators
The modern Ray Ban Aviators have replaced the metal frame in favor of the composite/acetate one.
With a thicker frame and a slicker look, you’ll get your hands on a model that is the next step in the evolution of aviators. A bit more playful than the classic, the hard frames speak more of vacation than serious business.
Even though the frame is thicker than the metal one, the high-quality materials make it as light and comfortable. This modern Aviator touch is best suited for a relaxed environment.
Best Face Shapes for Ray Ban Aviators
Before you make any rash decision, make sure that the Aviators are a good fit for your face shape. There’s nothing that will ruin your summer more than a pair of sunglasses that don’t sit well on your face.
As a general rule, you should pick your aviator shape to contrast your face shape. This is why the rounded teardrop shape works for heart and square shaped faces.
Your face is heart shaped if have wide temples and a narrow chin. Aviators with no straight lines fit beautifully on these features.
A square face has the same length and width across it, a strong jawline, and a broad forehead. Teardrop lenses from the aviators will help round out the face sharpness and it will offer a nice aesthetic touch.
Do aviator sunglasses suit round face?
Classic teardrop aviator sunglasses will rarely fit round faces. If you have a round face, the best choice of aviators is the Navigators, which is a pair that adds angles to your features and makes your face looks longer.
What is the smallest Ray Ban Aviator size?
You should always match the frame size to your face measurements. Here is a guide on how to measure your face.
This is the smallest pair of Ray Ban aviators are designed for you, if you have a smaller and narrower face. It’s basically the classic aviator in an S size.
How celebrities wear Ray-Ban Aviators
You probably guessed it: Tom Cruise rocks aviators since Top Gun and became an icon of the style. He makes a great appearance in this gold frame with blue lenses!
2. Tom Ford Aviators
Eyewear enthusiasts can rejoice. The number two alternative on the best Aviator sunglasses list is none other than Tom Ford. The designer is known for breaking the rules of classic eyewear and with the Aviator style, he won’t let you down.
Tom Ford’s Aviator interpretations are a lot more fashion-oriented than the Ray Ban counterpart.
The frames take various shapes and sizes carving out their own specific place in men’s aviator styles.
Here are the top 3 best Tom Ford aviators:
Classic Teardrop Aviators: The Marko
The Marko is a down to earth remake of the classic Aviator shape.
It’s constructed from a metal frame, just a size thicker than the Ray Bans. The shape is also a similar characteristic but the lenses are narrower. Lenses can be custom made depending on what you like as colors.
Gradient lenses aviators are the most fashionable choice while the polarized or mirrored lenses will be of tremendous help to your eyes.
As for finding the perfect fit for your face, The Marko is bound by the same rules as the classic Ray Ban. Heart and square shaped faces are ideal for this model!
Oversized Acetate Aviators
Tom Ford Oversized Aviators is a stylish reinterpretation of the sporty Ray-Ban Aviators. The interpretation is, destined towards the more fashion oriented. The frame presents an outside metal skeleton that contours the lenses and the front part of the frame.
Made from a mix of metal and acetate, the frame draws attention with its unconventional design and delicate touches. The brow line is straight, compatible with a wide and large forehead. The shape of the tear drop lens is underlined by the metal touches on the front side.
The Navigator is an oversized frame, distinctively trying to be a different type of aviator sunglasses. While you won’t be wearing the standard model, they are a great way to stand out of the crowd. The green sunglasses lens is a classic option that never goes out of style.
Tom Ford aviators have always been fashion oriented, and the Navigators make no exception.
In essence a part of the Aviator trend, Navigator sunglasses are a bolder and larger version. While still preserving some critical features, The Navigator is a bit more squared off aviator, edgier and rougher.
The frame keeps its metal features, thin and simple, in contrast with the large lenses. The bold character of these frames is underlined by the slim metal brow bar which complements the square form.
The Navigators work their magic best if you have a round or an oblong/oval shaped face. Oval and round faces have few angles, so this is why they can wear larger, more rectangular frames.
How are celebrities wearing Tom Ford aviators?
The Marko is a favorite of actor Daniel Craig.
Known for his exceptional fashion sense, Craig wears them casually with a polo shirt and blouse. Tom Ford aviators for James Bond seems a good choice, doesn’t it?
3. Gucci Aviators
You probably know Gucci as a high-end brand, famous for its elegance and quality.
Their specs are a great choice if you want to go with a more luxury oriented pair of frames. Because they are known for the high-quality standard of their products, you will never have to worry about keeping your eyes safe and your nose comfortable.
Gucci aviators are an elegant and discreet interpretation of the classic model. They keep the basis of the aviators while adding the personal Gucci touch, and the lenses are mostly gradient or transparent.
With almost 100 years of fashion history, the brand has transformed luxury in timeless excellence.
Here are the top favorite Gucci Aviator designs for this season:
Gucci Brow Bar Aviators
Gucci’s personal interpretation of the brow line aviators is superb and deserves to be 1st spot on the list.
With a gold thin frame inspired from the Ray Ban model, that you’ll barely feel on your face, this model is completed by the heavy, bold brow line.
Gucci Composite Aviators
The composite version of the Gucci Aviators is an artistic interpretation of the mix between metal and acetate. The Gucci Composite Aviators preserve the original silhouette and the tear-shaped gradient lens.
The attention to detail is one of Gucci’s trademarks. The arms are thin and beautifully sculpted in acetate and seem to hang on to the lens with just a delicate mechanism. The front of the frame is made from metal and presents a straight brow line complete with a simple nosehole. Overall, the frame is as elegant and delicate as a piece of art.
Gucci Oversized Aviators
The oversized Gucci Aviators makes a big statement when you take them out for a spin. Brown sunglasses are the way to go if you’re looking to step away from typical choices.
They might keep the classic aviator silhouette, but there’s nothing classic about them. The Gucci fresh aviator look is perfect for 2017.
Made entirely out of acetate plastic, the oversized Aviator frame can be characterized by boldness. The black front contrasts beautifully with the white sculpted arms. The teardrop shape lenses complete the look in transparent blue.
The best face shapes for Gucci Oversized Aviators
You should avoid oversized frames if you have a small, narrow face.
It’s best if you wear them on a square and heart face, the same as any other aviators. Style them any way you feel that day, because that’s what they are all about – your comfort!
How are celebrities wearing Gucci aviators?
4. Michael Kors Aviators
Michael Kors aviators seem best fit for the jet setters who live their glamorous life around the world. The designer’s eyewear styles combine luxurious materials with fashion forward elements. Witness innovation at it’s finest.
The designer’s eyewear styles combine luxurious materials with fashion forward elements. Witness innovation at it’s finest.
Here are Michale Kors’ best-selling aviator models:
Brow Line MK Aviators
Michael Kors aviators keep it simple and straight to the point. This revamps of the classic silhouette includes metal frames, acetate browline, and teardrop shaped gradient lenses. A small circle on the frame’s arms engraved with the designer’s initials provides a touch of personality to the frame.
All Acetate Aviators
Michael Kors All Acetate Aviators inspire the manliness and freedom of true pilots. The thick frame is made from high-quality acetate, a symbol of endurance and resistance. These frames don’t break easily and will serve your eyes for a long time.
By opting for all acetate frames you make a powerful fashion statement. Wear them in black or tortoise shell and pair them with your power suit.
Composite Fusion Aviators
The fusion between acetate and metal gives you the aviators from Michael Kors. Everything about this frame is intriguing – the mirror lenses signed Michael Kors, the fusion between materials, the slim, yet noticeable brow line.
If you’re wondering how to wear this type of aviators we only have one suggestion for you. Make sure they are in the same tone with your outfit — this way you won’t go unnoticed. These frames will make you stand out from the crowd like no others so make sure you make a full impression.
5. Prada Aviators
Prada frames are eccentric, bold and sophisticated. They are known for often anticipating future design trends and setting the bar high for the fashion world. The revolutionary Prada design has naturally been translated into the aviator models and the results are wonderful.
Here are Prada’s best selling aviators:
Thick Browline Aviators
These Prada sunglasses frames infuse their own personal touch to the timeless Aviator silhouette by attaching a thick plastic browline to the metal frame sunglasses. This detail is meant to give the model an unique character that guarantees you will be noticed.
Prada aviators lenses can be a gradient, reflective or polarized, depending on your own preference. The classic shape of the lens and regular size of the frame means that standard rules for face shape apply.
The Prada Navigators are smart, elegant and manly -, especially in all black. The oversized frame is intentionally trying to distance itself from the classic silhouette and bring you something new and unexpected.
The bold shape has thick arms that guarantee stability and comfort. The rough, square like edges and metal parts of the Prada Navigators underline the masculine character. A perfect fit for the elegant business man.
Oversized Black Composite Aviators
Oversized Prada Aviator shades painted in beautiful black are bound to be a head turner this year. The lenses are a bit bigger, tear drop to oval shaped in gradient black lenses. The end of the arms is pierced for an eyewear chain if you are the type of person to indulge in it.
The all black silhouette encompasses the essence of aviator sunglasses for men. These frames can go with casual outfits as well as designer suits.
6. Versace Aviators
Versace is one of the most daring luxury fashion brands out there so it’s only natural that their eyewear is scandalous. The bold colors, eye catching patterns, and innovative style are guarantees that your look will not go unnoticed.
Here are top x aviator models that took the fashion world by surprise:
Medusa Black Aviators
A bit more fashion oriented, the Versace Medusa Aviators are a luxurious alternative to a classic style. These shades do not shy away from the spotlight and will bring a twist to your summer outfits.
The Medusa Aviators fit a fashion enthusiast who is not afraid to break the rules – because this model certainly does. The most interesting part is the leather pack brow-line, complete with Versace’s Medusa symbol.
The arms are made from thick plastic and golden side decorations. The tear-shaped lenses can be custom made into the gradient, matte or polarized.
Versace Oversized Modern Aviators
In true Versace style, the modern oversized aviators are bold and unapologetically fashionable. Removing the concept of frame, Versace has created a pair of Aviators that break every rule. The modern oversized aviators resemble the shield frame but preserve the silhouette of the tear-lens. The metal is only used to support the lenses, which are basically the whole frame. The unusual form draws attention and expresses your daring personality.
The arms are doubled and brought together by the powerful Versace logo. The Renaissance detailing, a trademark of Versace can also be seen on the arms.
Versace Square Aviators
Like the Navigators, Versace’s square sunglasses are essential to any best aviators guide. This bold pair of shades is a great fit for a business oriented man, the entrepreneur or lawyer type.
The luxury of the Versace brand is observable in the delicate gold touches between the arms and the frame. The square lenses give it a masculine touch that is inaccessible in other aviator models.
The metal and plastic fusion guarantees that the frame is lighter and thus more comfortable.
The best face shapes for Versace Square Aviators
The square, long frame suits men with a long face, and oval features. An oblong or heart-shaped face will be nicely complemented by the edges and angles of this frame.
This style is business oriented so we would recommend that you dress smart before stepping into the sun with these shades.
7. Persol Aviators
Persol Aviators have always been considered an accessory of the gentleman. Steve McQueen styled them like nobody else, and today they remain the eyewear of choice for James Bond.
Persol sunglasses are timeless, they will always be a great choice for an elegant man. The high quality of the frames, paired with an amazing design makes this eyewear brand essential to our top aviator sunglasses list.
Slim Tortoise Shell Aviators
Persol Aviators are the designer sunglasses sported by Hollywood stars and cinema icons such as James Bond. The slim tortoise shell Aviators remain faithful the original design while introducing the brand’s personal features such as the keyhole frame.
The slim frame of the Aviator makes it look a delicate but the high-quality plastic guarantees long term use. The materials used make it a light frame and the keyhole makes wearing them comfortable.
Thick Tortoise Shell Aviators
Similar the slim model, these Persol Aviators a bolder and more masculine. The temple metal key that attaches the arms to the frame is the mark of Persol sunglasses – a statement of quality and status.
The thicker frame is heavier but also bolder. Decorated with the timeless tortoise pattern, they give the impression of vintage Persol aviators. This simple look emphasizes the power of the Aviator trend.
The lenses are gradient, going from brown to transparent, in tone with the tortoise pallette. A reminiscence of vintage Persol sunglasses, the model that has been worn by the first James Bond.
Bright Tortoise Shell Aviators
A bit of brightness in your life is sometimes more than welcome. Try on the Persol Aviator silhouette – with bright nuances, this amber sunglasses frame says that you don’t take yourself too seriously and that you are always opened to fun and adventure.
The thick acetate arms and small metal details make this frame moderately heavy. The classic Persol keyhole provides extra comfort while wearing them. Be different, be happy.
The best face shapes for Persol Tortoise Shell Aviators
The slim tortoiseshell aviators are best suited for small and narrow faces. Due to the prominent keyhole, the frame fits a wider forehead.
The thicker version is bigger and manlier, ideal for large, square shaped faces. The beautiful, round lines of the Persol aviators will come in contrast with the edges of the face.
The keyhole bridge fit on the nose is the best way to tell if your sunglasses are a perfect fit on your face or if they are forced in.
The bridge is the distance between the sunglasses lenses and your nose. Even a single millimeter can make a big difference so choose carefully.
How do celebrities wear them?
8. Dolce and Gabbana Aviators
Italian luxury brand Dolce & Gabanna has made a habit out of revolutionizing the world of fashion. Their innovative designs and high-end garments are constantly worn by A-listers on the Red Carpet.
Dolce & Gabanna is a statement brand. Wear D&G frames like a superstar and pair them with and equally fashionable outfit and you will create a lasting impression.
D&G Classic Aviators
The Dolce and Gabanna classic Aviators are a reinterpretation of the Ray-Ban frame, completed with the D&G signature touches. The all metal frame shape has a straight browline and beautifully sculpted lenses. The straight edges of the lens makes this frame seem asymmetrical. Asymmetry is one of Dolce’s distinctive trademarks.
The thin, metal arms are engraved with the brand’s name on the side. Wear them in all black gradient lenses for an impressive look.
Straight Line Aviators
Dolce and Gabbana’s Aviators are a must have for celebrities such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Kanye West. They inspire luxury, elegance, and manliness through a simple yet attractive design.
The straight line brow is a signature design feature of D&G aviators, popular amongst men’s eyewear. The model takes its inspiration from Ray Ban’s classic composite Aviators but completes it with defined lines and big size.
D&G eyewear possesses a trait that celebrities place in high regard. Bigger than the usual sunglasses, Dolce’s sunglasses will cover much of the face, offering complete discretion. Go with an all matte rubber black for complete discretion
Football players know their designer sunglasses so it’s no surprise that this pair is Cristiano Ronaldo’s choice when he goes out.
The sporty aviators are ideal if you have an active lifestyle and you spend a lot of time outdoor. The Dolce and Gabbana black aviator lenses are squared at the bottom and wider at the top. This design feature will help wrap them around your face and protect your eyes from the sun.
Sporty Aviators are going to feel more comfortable on your face due to their square bottom which balances the weight. This means more stability, low risk of losing them if you are running and a better fit on the face.
The best face shapes for Dolce & Gabbana Aviators
Oblong face shapes and bigger foreheads work especially well with oversized aviators that have a straight line brow.
How celebrities wear them?
9. Carrera Aviators
Carrera is a reference name in the world of designer eyewear. Known for their beautiful and reliable frames never ceses to amaze with its inovative new creations or revamps of classic styles. Carrera Aviators are one of the brands best-known models and are often worn by celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Usher or Justin Timberlake.
Champion Oversized Aviators
The Carrera aviators design is almost as iconic as their Ray-Ban counterparts. Sported by many celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Richard Branson, and Justin Timberlake, the Carrera eclectic design is a combination of various other influences paired with original features.
The Champion is a masterful oversized frame. It preserves the tear shape lens while adding a completely different body. Carrera changes the dynamic of the aviator game with their unorthodox lens segmentation. The lenses are not united with the signature Carrera bridge.
The roundness of the frames is even more accentuated by the lack of spaces and deviations. It is a whole frame, no brow bars to unite the left and right lens, just a single, continuous piece that forms the body.
Carrera Panamerika Oversized Aviators
The Carrera Panamerika are sporty and playful, ideal for your summer holidays. Constructed entirely from metal, these aviator frames are a testimony to Carrera’s quality. They strongly resemble the Ray-Ban’s Sporty Aviators but are a little big bigger. The frame and arms are thin and the lenses very big.
Don’t be afraid to show off your rebellious young side with these babies. Made for the hot summer mornings, these frames will be the perfect beach companion.
Carrera Vintage Tortoise Shell Aviators
The Vintage Aviators are one of Carrera’s most prolific models of sunglasses. The fusion between plastic frames and metal arms makes this model an unique choice for any stylish person.
The tortoise shell paint is the mark of the vintage eyewear, a classy touch to a classic frame. The tear shaped Carrera lenses in gradient leave no room for interpretation on where you are heading – Hollywood, baby.
The thin metal arms form a beautiful contrast with the big frame – we’re so tired of seeing all metal everywhere. The Carrera sunglasses signature bridge is the mark of a famous designer. You are wearing the best in Aviator fashion.
How celebrities wear them?
10. Police Aviators
The Police brand is synonymous with the urban and manly style. Rocked by icons such as Bruce Willis, Antonio Banderas and George Clooney, the brand has made a name for itself through watches, jewelry and eyewear.
Police frames are a symbol of a masculine personality. When wearing Police you make a statement about your lifestyle and fashion choices.
Thin Metal Aviators
Thin metal Aviators are those thin frame sunglasses that only a designer brand like Police could put out. They a great choice for extra comfort, the frame is so light you will forget that you are wearing it. They do resemble the original Aviators, but much lighter.
The arms are so thin you might think they are in danger of breaking or bending. There’s no need to worry, the high-quality metal of Police sunglasses guarantees a long term use. Overall, this is a great substitute to the original Aviator frames.
Thick Metal Aviators
The thick metal Police Aviators are similar to the skinny frame but with more metal on the arms. The classic aviator silhouette persists yet everything else is changed. The brow-bar is slim but straight. The gunmetal color of the frames emphasizes an aggressive look.
More formal in its nature, the thick metal Police Aviators is suited for the days when you mean business. Dare to become the tough guy.
We’re calling this aviator model “Waves” because of its wavy browline. Can you see it? It’s not something common in designer aviator sunglasses and that’s why we love them.
Another incredible detail is the striped bridge that forms the nose trapezium. Police frames always bring something new to the table, that’s one of the many reasons they hit our Aviator guide. The model has full metal frame and arms complete with gradient blue lenses.
So there you have it:The hottest designer aviator sunglasses for men you can choose this season!
Which designer is your favorite? Try it now from Eyewear Connection’s curated Aviators sunglasss collection for men!