70’s & 80’s Aviator Original Style

Tom C Black AviatorsCraig B Black Aviators 70's StyleOrignial Style E Presely AviatorsAviator Prescription Eyeglasses
The slight subtle differences in Aviator frames.

So yeah, basically, though we all might think that RayBan was the originator of aviator glasses; they actually were developed by Baucsh& Lomb in the 1930’s. They were one of the first glasses made with either reflective lenses or as polarized sunglasses for pilots to use as protection from light and reflection while flying. Therefore the name aviators.

General Douglas MacArthur with signature Aviator glasses
One of the most well-known historical figures to wear them as his signature style was Douglas Macarthur (General)


As airplanes started flying higher and exposing the pilots to all types of weather dangers, pilots had to wear goggles (lined with protective fur) to protect their eyes from the elements. But these goggles were not dark enough nor did they help when the weather created fog situations which made it hard to see at all. In fact, there is a story that one of the pilots worked with Bausch and Lomb to create the exact design. The shape and the light frame along with the polarization or the mirror coating became a standard for pilots; As well as within the public for fisherman to golfers and other outdoors sports. “The model’s signature feature was its so-called ‘cigarette-holder’ middle circle, designed to free the hands of the shooter.”

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During the 1940’s they were worn by the likes of General Macarthur and most in the military. Ray Ban started to refine the styling and create offshoots to enhance their marketing as sunglasses started to become a statement of fashion instead of just for safety.

One of the most well-known historical figures to wear them as his signature style was Douglas Macarthur (General)

The 70’s built on this trend of style versus function. Celebrities were seen all over town sporting aviators.

Peter Fonda in 70's Wearing Aviator Sunglasses
Peter Fonda in 70’s

Travis in ‘Taxi’ continued the trend of wearing polarized sunglasses for style as well as function with his gold aviators.  Similar pop culture visibility helped to continue to propel the momentum of increased popularity of these glasses. Soon quite a few several “design houses” took this as a generic style and added their flare to it.

Rober Di Nero with his signature "taxi driver glasses"
“Taxi driver glasses” Robert Di Niro

There was Michael Jackson’s appearance during the Grammy’s where he received 8 (wow, the most ever in one night) awards. Up to this point, aviators were largely seen on

 michael jackson 1984 grammys glasses

men but soon that too will change.

As the 80’s rolled in a version for the ladies was created, with rhinestones and in “feminine” colors! And female celebrities were seen wearing the cool glasses!

Soon the frames where to be seen on the runways, with bling, and in interesting versions.

Today this iconic frame continues to be reinvented by design houses. Are you looking to setup up your style or wanting to relive you younger years?

Either way, you can add your faviourite style of aviators to your eyeglasses arsenal.

Clear as prescription eyelgasses or fashion glasses….or tinted in fun whimsical colors…maybe you like them mirror or polarized so that you can keep your cool!

Anyway is the right way today!









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