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The Best Aviator Sunglasses for Men
There is no doubt about it: aviator sunglasses are an absolute classic. Popular with everyone from navy pilots to Hollywood stars since they were first produced a little over 80 years ago, these iconic shades can and should be a part of any man’s sunglasses collection.
Not only do they look great, but a good pair of polarized aviator sunglasses can also protect your eyes and help you see better in glaring sunlight. Better still, while these gorgeous sunnies have never really been considered out of style, aviators are due for a comeback in 2021 according to the fashion crowd.
If you don’t already have a pair (or if you feel like this is the year for an upgrade), then read on for our list of the best aviator sunglasses for men in 2021.
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First developed for the U.S. Army by Bausch and Lomb in the 1930s, the original aviator prototypes had plastic frames and green lenses, designed to give American pilots an edge in the air by replacing their outmoded flight goggles.
Redesigned in 1939 with metal frames and patented by Bausch & Lomb as the “Ray-Ban Aviator,” they were popularized early on by General Douglass MacArthur, also famous for his (much less fashionable) corn cob pipe. Ray-Ban Aviators eventually made their way from military gear to commercial product, and haven’t looked back since.
Today they are less associated with General MacArthur and perhaps more with the current president. Known in some circles as “Joe Biden sunglasses,” the Ray-Bans Aviator comes in a variety of colors and sizes, so you’ll be sure to find the right fit for your face, whether you’re the President of the United States or just a regular, everyday quintessential man. With exceptional performance, quality and comfort, Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses for men are always a fantastic, classic choice.
J + S Classic Aviators
If you enjoy the classic look of aviators but don’t love the price tag attached to some of the more high-end brands, then you can’t go wrong with the J + S Classic Aviator Sunglasses.
Priced at under $20, these aviator glasses are polarized, offer 100% UV protection, and are also tough, lightweight and scratch-resistant. If you’re like us and constantly either lose or destroy your glasses, these might be your best option, giving you great bang-for-your-buck.
Ray-Bans Folding Aviators
Speaking of destroying your glasses, there is almost nothing worse than buying a perfect pair of elegant new sunglasses, enjoying them for a few days … and then crushing them by sitting on them in the car, or by storing them improperly in your bag.
It happens to everyone – but it doesn’t have to be that way! Keep your style game on point while avoiding crushing or breaking your glasses with a pair of Ray-Ban Folding Aviators.
Not only will they last longer, but they look great too. Just make sure to grab yourself a carrying case just in case, no matter what the cost is. You’ll thank us later.
Moscot Shtarker Aviators
We can’t get enough of these handcrafted Moscot Shtarker beauties. Featuring a comfortable double-bar nose bridge and silicone nose pads for extra comfort, Moscot has taken the familiar aviator shape and put their own spin on it.
Created by Doctor of Optometry Harvey Moscot, a man that represents the fifth (yes, fifth!) generation of his family to sell eyeglasses, these shades are some of the best aviators for men, and stylish to boot. While a little on the pricey side, the quality and style of these glasses is unmistakable. Often sold out, if you see a pair available for sale, jump on it!
Tom Ford Huck
Tom Ford is a fashion design icon, so when he sells a pair of aviator-esque sunglasses for men, they automatically go on our list.
Thanks in part to his previous experience at Gucci, YSL and Marc Jacobs, Ford is no slouch when it comes to elegance and high fashion. With a stylish double-bridge and Ford’s “T” logo on the temples, Tom Ford Huck sunglasses are made in Italy and would be an excellent addition to any man’s collection.
Gucci Web Aviators
The Gucci Web Aviator are, like most things Gucci, a thing of beauty. One of the world’s leading luxury lifestyle brands, it’s not surprising to see that Gucci brings the same level of creativity, craftsmanship and innovation to their glasses as they do their other apparel and accessories.
With golden frames, green shaded lenses, a double brow bar, silicone nose pieces and tortoiseshell-capped earpieces, an added bonus of buying these men’s aviator sunglasses is that they come in a velvet hard case (available in 6 colors), a matching satin lining as well as a matching satin flannel pouch and ivory microfiber cloth to make sure you keep these babies nice and clean.
Malcolm No Middle 07
We’ll admit that when we first came across the Malcolm No Middle 07 glasses, the first thing we thought of was Frankie Muniz, the star of Fox’s Malcolm in the Middle. But that was the past, and these glasses represent the future.
The navy gradient-tinted lenses, polished rose gold frame and matte black acetate temples create a luxurious look, but at a lower price point than some of the other glasses in this list. The sleek and squared-off interpretation of the classic aviator look does a lot to bring the classic look into the 21st century, and has the added benefit of being more accessible to more face shapes.
Featuring 100% UV protection, these aviator sunglasses for men are super durable, lightweight, and yet remain flexible enough to withstand a little punishment. The lenses are also shatterproof, although we don’t recommend you try to test it out. Treat them nicely!
Carerra’s aviators have a distinct frame shape, and a bold, retro style that evokes the spirit of the 1970s and 80s. These lightweight aviators for men look and feel great, and we can just imagine popping them on after a long day of golf with the boys, or a hard fought battle with the Cali cartel.
Something we like the most about these Carrera aviator sunglasses are the acetate frames, which make them a little bit more durable than metal ones, less vulnerable to twisting and snapping. However, with a lens width of 62mm, these glasses are a little on the large side, and their slightly oversized silhouette might not work as well with certain face shapes. Be sure to try these on for fit before adding them to your collection.
Jacques Marie Mage Peyote Gold
We may have saved the best for last with Jacques Marie Mage’s jaw-dropping Peyote Gold sunglasses. They are part of a limited production batch of only 500, and part of their charm relates to the fact that they were inspired by Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
Handcrafted in Japan, we love the vintage green lenses, complimented nicely with the 100% Beta titanium gold frame and the unmistakably cool polished Havana tortoise acetate top bar. These iconic glasses may help you get in touch with your inner party animal, but keep you safe with standard UV protections and anti-reflective treatments.
As Hunter once famously said: “A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” So don’t let fate choose for you – pick up a pair of these today, you won’t regret it.
Especially useful in bright sunlight, glasses with polarized lenses are treated with a special chemical that filters incoming light so that wearers can see more clearly. Polarized lenses will make images appear slightly darker overall, but greatly reduce both glare and eye strain, making it easier to see details that would otherwise be washed out in the sun.
As it is with most fashion choices, “looking good” is a subjective measure. That said, aviators have been a stylish choice of sunglasses for almost a century for a good reason: they look good on most people! To find out if aviators look good on you, try to choose a pair that are proportionate to your face, fit you well, and balance your features. Aviators are wide at the top and taper towards the bottom, so they often work well with faces that are heart-shaped, oval or square.
With strong, durable frames and made of the highest quality materials, Ray-Bans are some of the most popular and iconic designer sunglasses on the market today. Currently owned by Italian eyewear conglomerate Luxottica Group, they also have a rich history, adorning the faces of the biggest entertainers and celebrities since they were first created by Bausch & Lomb in 1936.