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How to Wear Aviator Sunglasses

How to Wear Aviator Sunglasses
Now that the summer sun is finally shining, why not style up your look with a pair of aviator sunglasses? Flip through this handy guide before you find your frames, and pair those classic shades with the perfect outfit combination. After all they are some of the best sunglasses for men on the market! Read more Men’s Style Guide features and check out our store.shopthelook Aviators have remained a highly popular brand since their invention in the 1930s. A cool classic, they add a masculine touch to your look. However, this fashion staple is versatile enough to accompany all kinds of outfit combinations. As they’re a good all-rounder, aviator sunglasses will work well with smart or casual outfits. Before you head over to the sunglasses rack though, take some time to consider the best aviators for men. You’ll need to choose wisely as there are loads of styles, and colours available.
man in leather jacket and aviator sunglasses street style
A man wears aviator sunglasses with a leash jacket and roll neck jumper

What Does Aviator Mean?

The name “Aviator” is perhaps as well known (and instantly iconic) as the style itself, and hints at  wartime origins. Bausch and Lomb invented these particular sunglasses in 1932. Aviators were also called “pilot glasses”, and were primarily designed for pilots to wear to keep the sun from their eyes while flying. These sunglasses were an improvement over the traditional wraparound goggles with thinner frames; they were lighter to wear for extended periods of time, but also more elegantly designed. The thin metal frame design was patented as “Ray-Ban Aviators” and the name stuck.

Aviator Sunglasses

Although initially only a military item of clothing, aviators became entrenched in popular culture after American General Douglas MacArthur was photographed wearing these sunglasses during World War Two. He became so associated with the glasses that Bausch and Lomb dedicated a line to MacArthur in the late 1980’s. Like lots of military inspired clothing from the post-war era, big and small Aviators quickly became part of mainstream fashion. They consisted of dark, often reflective lenses, which provided wide cover for the eyes to prevent light coming in from any angle. Aviators gradually blended into civilian fashion and by the 1970’s, Aviator sunglasses had captured the attention of the masses. Elvis Presley famously wore Aviators, rimmed with gold and a selection of pink and red lenses. Dipping in popularity during the 1980s, they were saved from the scrapheap by Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun”.
Tom Cruise aviator sunglasses
Tom Cruise wearing Aviator sunglasses

How to Wear Aviators?

To make sure you get mileage out of your pair of Aviators, invest in a high-quality brand. The price might be a little higher, but it’ll ensure that they last a long time, and don’t get bent out of shape when you inevitably sit on them on the train.

Aviator Lens Colour

Aviators come in loads of different tinted lenses, so it’s important to study the merits of each colour to suit your character and outfit, but don’t forget they must still be practical. It’s good to remember that how the lens is tinted will change the way you see the world.

Black Aviator Sunglasses

Black is the most common shade, and it’s good for general purpose sunglasses. It reduces light and glare to keep you from squinting and also has the bonus effect of helping you perceive all colours correctly.  While this is always handy on those sunny summer afternoons, remember that dark lenses provide the darkest tint with the largest visible light reduction.
Adam Gallagher wearing aviator sunglasses
Adam Gallagher wearing aviator sunglasses
shopthelook Black is also one of those colours that suit a wide variety of outfits. Try pairing them with a classic combination of a plain white t-shirt and dark jeans for some easy style points. Black lenses also look good with an ultra-smart business suit, and will add to a whole new edge to your professional (and super serious) outfit.

Blue Aviator Sunglasses

If you want to try something a little different, how about heading for some cool blue lenses? Blue aviators (or any colour in actual fact) will set you apart from the crowd, and will compliment a more casual outfit well. Perhaps try pairing them with bright coloured contrasting clothes. But remember, a clean white shirt and jeans will go with your blue Aviators to create a slick, crisp, casual look. Perhaps you’re spending your sunny day at the office? If so, inject some style into your work wear by selecting a pair of blue aviators to go with your smart suit. Light or dark blue suits work well with blue lenses. They’ll also go nicely alongside a grey suit to create a bit of contrast. As well as being very stylish, a blue tinted lens will help reduce glare and make the contours of objects more defined, making them a perfect colour to wear when driving.
Adam Ghallagher wearing blue aviator sunglasses
Adam Gallagher wears a white shirt and navy suit with a pair of tinted aviator sunglasses.

Gold Aviator Sunglasses

If you fancy going all the way, how about pushing the boat out with a pair of gold or yellow tinted Aviators? Although it may seem a little “out there”, if paired with the right outfit, they’ll look great. As well as looking cool, these colours also have a more practical side. Yellow is an extremely useful tint especially as it increases visibility on an overcast day. If you spend your time glued to your phone, a yellow tint will help filter out the blue light and could prevent you from suffering from eye strain. Gold lenses are quite eye-catching, therefore, pair them with a simple outfit and avoid lots of patterns or prints. If you’re wearing other accessories, such as a watch, be sure to pick gold rather than silver to tie in with the rest of your outfit. If lenses like that just don’t gel with your personal style, how about trying an ordinary black tinted pair with gold frames and arms.
adam gallagher leather jacket mens street style
Adam Gallagher wearing gold aviators and leather jacket

Mirrored sunglasses

To add an edge of mystique to your summer outfit, try wearing a pair of mirrored aviators. The fully reflective silver lenses will keep all the errant sun out of your eyes, providing full protection from the light. Mirrored lenses are also a very classic accessory, often sported by old movie stars like Robert Redford, so try pairing them with striking and timeless clothes, like a black leather jacket and jeans. They are also smart and classy, and would be a great accompaniment to a dark grey suit, especially if you’re heading for a high-powered business meeting. 

man in mirrored aviator sunglasses
A man wears a pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses

Aviator Frames

Gold Frame Aviator Sunglasses

A gold frame will add a touch of movie star swagger to an otherwise ordinary outfit, and their subtlety will make sure that you don’t come across as too over the top. As the frames and arms of Aviators are very thin, the gold will only take up a small amount, and so don’t worry, they won’t look too flashy. Gold frames will add an element of polish to otherwise black lens aviators and can be worn with a variety of outfits. Gold frame aviators work with a relaxed look such as a blazer and black skinny jeans. They’ll work wonders with an ordinary suit, elevating it above simple work wear, and making you look both sophisticated and confident. After all, who doesn’t love a man in a pair of shining sunglasses?
Adam Gallagher in a green jumper and aviator sunglasses
Adam Gallagher spotted in New York with a pair of gold-rimmed aviator sunglasses

Plastic Frame Aviator Sunglasses

If you want to add a twist to the classic aviator sunglasses, then why not try a plastic frame. Aviator sunglasses usually have a thin metal frame, but, a plastic frame may add greater durability. What’s more, they are a great way of combining the aviator and wayfarer styles. Plastic frame aviator sunglasses would look great with skinny jeans and a statement t-shirt or a plain shirt.
man wearing Gucci plastic aviator sunglasses
A model wears Gucci plastic-framed aviator sunglasses
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Your Guide to High-End Sunglasses, from Fendi to Gucci

We’ve got the skinny on all the latest high-end sunglasses right here. From Fendi to Gucci, here are your top luxury brands on the market today!


Fendi has always been known for their creativity, with their FF label often associated with bold, vibrant and futuristic designs. Fendi is one of the few brands that has figured out how to perfectly blend sophistication and out-there designs that really captivate and draw attention for the right reasons. These unique looks are for the daring and fashion-forward consumer who loves geometric shapes, brazen colours, thick frames, and daring patterns. 


One of the most renown sunglass brands on the market is Gucci. In fact, Gucci is a master of luxury. Made of the best, high-quality materials with an array of unique designs, it’s still one of the most elegant, fashion-forward and expensive brands out there. If you’re looking for a statement piece that screams high-end, look no further than the Gucci line.


If Gucci screams luxury, Prada screams class. The Prada brand is not only a leading name in designer eyewear, but it’s also a trendsetter. They’ve helped transform the eyeglass industry over the years and have taken high-end to an entirely new level. This fashion powerhouse specializes in luxury goods and designer eyewear for the high-fashion circle. But you can also find ready to wear sunglasses like their classic butterfly style. If you’re looking for high quality and sophistication, Prada delivers. 

Dolce and Gabbana

This luxury fashion brand that took the Milan runways by storm soon expanded into eyewear in the 1990s. In just a short period of time, their bold sunglass styles were being worn by high-profile celebrities and soon became the forever favourite among models and actors alike. Offering many designer styles for both men and women, D&G is best known for its edgy yet elegant styles and durable materials. 


There are few people in this world who haven’t worn an original Ray-Ban design or a knock-off. The brand has been around since the 1930s and made popular by the Aviator style that was specially designed for pilots. Even before Tom Cruise sported a pair in Top Gun, these glasses were making waves in nearly every generation before. And today, the Aviator is still one of the most widely worn functional-styles in the world. Made of thin metal and large polarized or photochromic lenses that provide ultimate protection from the sun, these glasses can be found in many different colours and tints. But the Aviator isn’t the only popular design by the Ray-Ban brand. The Wayfarer and Clubmaster have also stood the test of time and are still considered among the most trendy today.

Maui Jim

If you love vibrant colours, Maui Jim is one of the most popular choices on the market. They offer stunning mirror coatings that provide impressive colour enhancement and optics nearly as clear as glass. Originating in Hawaii, Maui Jim glasses are truly made for the sunshine, combining fashion with superior protection for your eyes. They’ve also just released their PolarizedPlus 2 technology that eliminates 99% of glare and offers the richest colours, highest available light reduction capabilities and sharpest contrast. 


One of the most popular high-end brands in the world is Chanel. Always luxurious, never boring, Chanel is the definition of femininity, elegance, and sophistication. Easily distinguishable by their CC logo, these sunglasses are the perfect choice when you’re looking to make a statement. Best of all, new sunglasses are released each season that perfectly complement the latest Chanel wardrobe. However, the signature oversized rectangle-shape pair that Chanel is well known for will never go out of style. 
Looking for the latest in high-end fashion? Visit us at Laurier Optical. We stock the widest and newest selection of luxury sunglasses and eyewear at unbeatable prices.


Find the perfect sunglasses size for your face with our easy-to-use sunglasses sizing guide. Looking in a mirror, hold a ruler horizontally across your face. Measure in inches the distance between your left and right temples.


Then use the chart below to convert your measurement to a frame size that may suit your face.

AlsoCheck out:

Suggested Frame SizeFace Size (temple to temple)
49mm115mm or 4.5”
52mm127mm or 5”
54mm130mm or 5.125
55mm135mm or 5.25”
57mm140mm or 5.5”
58mm146mm or 5.75”
61mm152mm or 6”
59mm(Raptor only)140mm or 5.5”

(Please note: Wrap-style frames fit more snugly.)

Find your current frame size

You may also use a pair of sunglasses you currently own to determine your best size. Frame sizing is typically noted on the inside of either temple (see illustration below). The eye/lens size is usually first, then the bridge size, then temple size. Use the eye/lens size to determine the best frame size.

The eye size is typically going to be the most important size for identifying how a pair of sunglasses will look. The eye size number measures the width of the lens, measured from the bridge, in millimeters. The bridge width is the distance between the lenses in millimeters. And the third number is the length of the temple in millimeters.


Note: If the eye size is not indicated on the temple, look under the bridge.


Optical Sizing Info

Looking to add a prescription lens to one of our frames? The attached downloadable documents contain useful information for ensuring a perfect fit. To download the documents, please click on the icons below.

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