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Aviator Sunglasses

Have you ever looked at celebrities rocking a pair of shades and asked yourself how they got to be so cool? What is the story behind high-end and cheap aviator sunglasses? How it is that we came to have men’s and women’s aviator sunglasses? If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, then you are in luck because this article will teach you about the trends and history of aviator sunglasses.

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Aviator Sunglasses


The History of Aviator Sunglasses

Women’s and men’s aviator sunglasses did not always have the aviator moniker. On the contrary, when the rich wore them to sports tournaments and fishing games after the First World War, they were just that – sunglasses. The sunglasses, with their large frames and dark or mirrored lenses, were not popular among the public by then. In fact, they did not become a hot public commodity until World War II came around.

In the First World War, leaders of the American Air Corps realized that their pilots were having adverse effects from having to fly so close to the sun. The glare would hurt their eyes and they ended up with headaches majority of the time. As a result, the military approached Bausch & Lomb –  the parent company to Ray Bans – to make sun-protective glasses for their pilots.

In 1936, the company rolled out the predecessor to today’s men’s and women’s aviator sunglasses. This model had the thin metallic frame and large teardrop-shaped lenses that characterized aviator sunglasses. At the time, the glasses were only available with green lenses. When polarized aviator sunglasses for men and women became a staple of the US Air Force, they earned their “aviator” moniker.

Even with the use of aviator sunglasses by the military, the sunglasses were not popular. Many people did not buy them despite them being available to the public from 1937. This fact changed when in 1942, US General Douglas MacArthur was photographed in the Philippines spotting a pair of aviator sunglasses, ornately decorated hat and a corn pipe. When his photograph hit the media, demand for polarized aviator sunglasses for women and men increased drastically.

Macarthur’s contribution to the popularization of the shades made him the first celebrity to ‘endorse’ aviator sunglasses – Bausch & Lomb dedicated an entire line to him as a result.

Who Wears Aviator Sunglasses?

From then on, celebrity endorsement dictated the future of aviator sunglasses. Thesunglasses did not become popular in the 1950s despite having square frames and pink lenses; people bought them after seeing Marlon Brandolooking like a rebel in them. Icons such as Paul McCartney made the shades a trendy commodity through the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Women’s and men’s aviator sunglasses were cemented in American pop culture when Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer wore them for the 1986 hit movie Top Gun. If you were cool, you wore aviators!

Polarized aviator sunglasses for men and women have evolved over the years. Today, depending on your personal preferences, you can get a wide variety of aviator sunglasses. They just differ in frame shape and lens color. Hello Shades has aviator sunglasses for a big fashion statement!

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