The Best Aviator Sunglasses for Men 2020

Aviator sunglasses, when properly worn, evoke a single idea: cool!

There’s something about men wearing these sunglasses that brings back both old-fashioned masculine style and modern tastes.

In a way, they are a timeless fashion statement that men have used and will continue to whenever they want to show up in style.

They’re great as basic shades, too, offering exceptional sun protection and great visibility when you drive or fly.

In short, they are well worth their reputation, so any man who wants a complete wardrobe will likely own a pair or two.

But even though aviator sunglasses are known as an optical archetype, there are actually too many to choose from in today’s busy market.

Finding the right pair, short of stopping into a physical store and letting an employee convince you to buy something expensive, can be tricky.

Fortunately, we’ve already found the best aviator sunglasses and have brought them to you.

Check out our guide below, and you’re sure to find a pair of shades that suit both your personality and needs.

Let’s get started.

Use the table of contents below to jump to the sections most important to you.

Table of Contents

Things to Consider When Buying Aviator Sunglasses
Best Aviator Sunglasses for Men of 2020
Frequently Asked Questions About Sunglasses, Aviator or Otherwise
Best Aviator Sunglasses for Men

Things to Consider When Buying Aviator Sunglasses

Before you head down to check out the top aviator sunglasses for men, let’s go over the main things you should keep in mind as you browse.

1. Frame Thickness


Frame Thickness

One of the first aspects that will determine whether you’ll enjoy your pair of sunglasses is the thickness of the frames.

Few manufacturers will come out and tell you a precise measurement of their frame thickness, so we’ll describe them as thin, moderate, or thick.

What’s the difference?

Thin frames are ones you can easily spin between your fingers, and they don’t provide as much structural support for the lenses or the sunglasses’ structure as a whole.

But they can definitely look really stylish and make the aviators look even cooler than they already do.

These types of frames are also less likely to clash with any part of your wardrobe, as they don’t typically have striking colors or shine that much.

Moderately sized frames are a little thicker and provide better structural support but are also much more noticeable in relation to the entire piece.

Finally, thick frames are much more durable, but we usually have a more striking color, which may or may not clash with your chosen aesthetic or clothes.

Most aviators tend to have relatively thin frames to direct the eye to their iconic lenses, but not all.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to the ideal frame thickness; it’s all up to you.

2. Lens Color


Lens Color

The most important part of a pair of sunglasses is their lenses, and these can come in all kinds of colors.

The most traditional lens colors are black or brown, but you can find aviators in just about any color you can imagine.

Other popular hues include gray or grayish-blue, while some aviators have a greenish tint.

You can also find lenses that have a rosier or reddish color, which might go excellently with some frames that have a golden tint to their material.

Silver lenses are a prevalent color, too.

There are also different lens “types” that don’t necessarily have a specific color, but which provide distinct advantages.

Mirrored lenses are a great example.

These lens types absorb and reflect the glare from surrounding light, which not only gives you a super cool aesthetic but also protects you from sun glare outdoors.

However, mirrored lenses can be a little too intense for some folks – there’s a reason they’re associated with military guys or prison guards!

Graduated lenses are another popular choice.

These usually have a brown or dark gray color, but their primary aspect lies in their darker coloring at the top.

This darker shading of the top half of the lens provides better sun protection while you’re driving without totally blocking out your vision and preventing you from seeing any details.

This will likely be a favorite if you plan to wear your sunglasses while driving primarily.

Again, there’s no right or wrong answer here, aside from personal preference.

So, we’d advise you to take your own favorite lens colors into account before you start to browse.

This way, you can focus on the aviator sunglasses that fulfill your needs right off the bat rather than having to sift through ones you won’t like automatically.

3. Material


Material

The next most crucial part is determining the material used to construct their frames or lenses.

Metal is the most common material by far – you can find the vast majority of aviators made with some kind of metal, whether it’s steel or cheaper tin.

Metal is so attached to the aviator brand that it’s hard to separate the two.

But you can also find cheaper ones made with plastic frames; these offer arguably better flexibility than their metal counterparts, though usually at the cost of less durability.

Metal frames are generally a little sturdier than frames made with PVC or plastic.

Then there are aviator sunglasses that use both metal and plastic together.

These offer a good mix of flexibility and durability without costing too much, either.

These might be a great pick if you want the classic aviator feel that metal frames can usually provide but don’t want to pay out of pocket for more expensive sunglasses that use only metal.

4. Durability


Durability

Of course, we recommend that you go for aviators with at least some durability if you plan to use them as your primary shades.

Durable sunglasses are essential because we tend to take these tools everywhere, tossing them into glove compartments, throwing them in bags, or tossing them on kitchen counters.

These will last much longer and may even be worth their higher asking price in the long run, as you’ll have to replace them less frequently.

On the flip side, thin and cheap aviator sunglasses will usually break very easily.

Even worse, they usually have lenses that scratch at the slightest exposure to heavy dust.

This essentially ruins them right off the bat, and their frames are more likely to snap if you accidentally put some weight on them or they hit a tabletop the wrong way.

Ultimately, striking a balance between budget and durability will likely be the way to go for most men.

Consider how tough you want your sunglasses to be before you make a final choice.

5. Are They Polarized?


Are They Polarized?

Polarized sunglasses are popular for some, though they usually drive the asking price of any pair of optics up significantly.

Still, they can be quite valuable because of the way they reduce sun glare and improve your vision or safety when you’re looking toward any bright light source.

Think about the last time you saw the snow.

Chances are that if you spent too much time looking out at the snow on a sunny day, your eyes started to feel fatigued.

That’s because our eyes aren’t meant to be exposed to particularly bright light for very long.

This same effect can happen when you try to drive without any kind of sunglasses, and it’s dangerous because you won’t be able to see as much detail behind the wheel.

Polarized sunglasses feature special lenses that have a chemical coating over their material.

This allows them to more effectively filter bright sunlight without ruining detail or preventing you from seeing into the distance.

The polarizing chemical basically acts as a mesh net, crisscrossing over the lenses and blocking some rays of light while letting others through without trouble.

It results in a net reduction in harmful or blinding sun rays, allowing you to see more clearly and often in greater color.

Polarized lenses can make you a safer driver, can let you spend more time outside in bright sunlight, and can result in less overall eye fatigue at the end of the day.

As a result, many sportsmen, such as fishermen, really dig polarized lenses.

In that example, such lenses let them fish for longer by preserving their eye strength.

Naturally, there are plenty of aviator sunglasses on the market that feature this.

They’re not a necessity but are definitely something to consider if you want the best of the best in a pair of shades.

6. Accessories


Accessories

Finally, consider the accessories that come with any set of aviator sunglasses.

Many of the top sunglass purchases will come with cleaning cloths or a case, both of which help you keep the sunglasses clean or can help you store them safely.

They can add significant value for money and help you pick between two pairs of aviator sunglasses if you aren’t sure which you want to settle on.


Best Aviator Sunglasses for Men of 2020 Reviewed

1. LUENX Aviator Sunglasses for Men

The Best Aviator Sunglasses for Men 2020 1

These polarized aviator sunglasses feature the iconic aviator style with polarized lenses and decent durability and flexibility.

Specs

Frame Thickness: Thin
Lens Color: Black
Material: Metal
Durability: Moderate
Polarized: Yes
Accessories: Case

Who Is It Best For?

These aviator sunglasses are a great pick for men who want the iconic style but don’t want to break the bank.

Key Features

They’re a great example of the general sunglasses type while still having some newer innovations to draw you in.

Their polarized lenses do a great job of filtering out excessive sunlight and keeping things visible even if you’re headed in the same direction as the sun for hours on end.

They feature a classic aviator-style aesthetic that can evoke a mysterious or subdued style.

They also feature classic thin frames that are made from metal and which are surprisingly durable given how narrow they are at their most delicate points.

The glasses also feature skin-friendly nose pads that are made with environmentally friendly materials; these will keep your nose comfortable even if you wear the glasses for long periods.

The elastic and metal arms are antiallergy tested, so even those with more sensitive skin or who have nickel allergies shouldn’t have any issues with these glasses.

An antioxidant plating frame bolsters this security even further.

The glasses come with an additional carrying case with a zipper, so you already have almost everything you need to care for your aviator sunglasses in the future adequately.

What’s more, is the 30-day moneyback guarantee that comes with the purchase.

Since these are already purchasable for a very affordable asking price, we think this is a great deal if you want some classic and stylish shades without breaking the bank.

See the collective opinion of hundreds of Amazon reviews here.

Pros

Affordable
Lightweight but durable
Suitable for men with nickel allergies
Good moneyback guarantee
Comes with a durable case

Cons

Arms can permanently bend if not careful

2. J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses

J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses

These military-style aviators indeed evoke an old-fashioned aesthetic and are among the toughest you can find.

Specs

Frame Thickness: Moderate
Lens Color: Black
Material: Metal
Durability: High
Polarized: Yes
Accessories: None

Who Is It Best For?

These are an excellent choice for guys who want aviators but are concerned about their sunglasses’ longevity.

Key Features

These are a pair of durable aviator sunglasses, featuring a high-quality metallic alloy frame that provides extra strength while still being lightweight overall.

It also features spring-loaded hinged legs; in other words, opening them up feels snappy, as does closing them.

They also have adjustable silicone nose pads to let you wear the shades for long periods without getting uncomfortable.

The lenses feature a classic aviator design and are both polarized and provide excellent UV protection.

In fact, they can block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation, making them among the most protective sunglasses for your eyes in the entire market.

We think this marks these glasses as a great choice if you are primarily interested in protecting your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun – think spending all day fishing or in the snow, for instance.

The lenses are tough and scratch resistant in addition to those benefits, as well as providing excellent optical clarity.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that our testers found these aviators to be among the best when it comes to overall lens quality.

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Their polarization effects were also quite lovely.

While they don’t come with any accessories, these glasses do come with a 30-day moneyback guarantee and a one-year warranty on the frames and lenses.

There’s tremendous value for money here, and these are an excellent choice for guys who want durable shades without a super thick frame.

See the collective opinion of hundreds of Amazon reviews here.

Pros

Very durable
Lenses provide excellent quality of vision
Protect your eyes from UV radiation
Nose pads are comfortable
Good warranty

Cons

No case or cleaning supplies

3. Feirdio Polarized Aviator Sunglasses for Men

The Best Aviator Sunglasses for Men 2020 2

These polarized aviator sunglasses come with everything you need to take care of them for the foreseeable future.

Specs

Frame Thickness: Thin
Lens Color: Black
Material: Metal
Durability: High
Polarized: Yes
Accessories: Case, bag, cloth

Who Is It Best For?

These are an excellent choice for men that are dedicated to using a single set of aviators for years.

Key Features

These aviators come with wide lenses and a host of accessories to make its already affordable asking price all the more valuable.

You not only get a pair of top shades when you purchase this set, but also a durable rectangular carrying case, a smaller and softer carrying bag, and a microfiber cloth that’s perfect for cleaning the lenses of regular dirt and debris.

These aviator sunglasses feature polarized lenses that can do just as good of a job of protecting your eyes from UV radiation as our last choice, filtering out the majority of UVA and UVB rays.

The lenses are scratch-resistant and provide excellent optical clarity.

The frame is also made from a durable but lightweight metallic alloy, with spring-loaded legs and adjustable silicon nose pads.

The ends of the frames have a stylistic change from the main legs, which helps to distinguish these aviators from others on the market and adds a little extra class to the glasses as a whole.

These nose pads are even more comfortable than our last choice, and our testers found that the metallic plating for these glasses featured an antioxidant treatment.

These will be an even better choice for men who have sensitive skin or a nickel allergy.

Like many of the top aviator sunglasses, these also feature a 30-day moneyback guarantee, plus 24-hour customer service after the sale.

See the collective opinion of hundreds of Amazon reviews here.

Pros

Very stylish aesthetic
Several accessories
Comfortable to wear
Protects the eyes well

Cons

The coating wears off over time

4. SOJOS Classic Aviator Polarized Sunglasses

SOJOS Classic Aviator Polarized Sunglasses

These are a classic set of aviator sunglasses, featuring polarizing coatings, several excellent accessories, and flashy mirrored lenses.

Specs

Frame Thickness: Thin
Lens Color: Silver/Mirrored
Material: Metal
Durability: Low
Polarized: Yes
Accessories: Bag, cloth, box

Who Is It Best For?

These are an excellent choice for guys who appreciate the mirrored aesthetic.

Key Features

These thin aviator sunglasses featured silver and mirrored lenses, which are an aesthetic choice that many men will appreciate compared to regular ones.

The mirrored lenses lend an air of mystique and suave attitude to any wardrobe.

Also, they are among the most polarized lenses we found in our search for the best aviator sunglasses.

These block 100% of harmful UVA and UVB rays, making them an exceptional choice if your primary concern is in protecting your eyes from damage.

These feature a fragile frame made of metal.

While it is relatively durable, there’s no doubt that it’s definitely one of the less sturdy pairs on our list just due to how thin the frame is.

Still, the lenses themselves have been treated to protect them against scratch damage.

The mirrored coating wears off over time, but so long as you don’t scrub the glasses with a corrosive soap, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

Speaking of cleaning, this purchase comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth, box, and a soft carrying bag, so you have everything you need to take care of the glasses right off the bat.

Because of their size and wiry frame, we think that these glasses will mostly appeal to men with a particular aesthetic or stylistic theme.

They do a great job as regular aviators, too, though guys who want them primarily for outdoor adventures will probably want something a little more durable.

Even if they aren’t the most robust glasses out there, these shades are backed by a 30-day moneyback guarantee and a lifetime warranty.

If you do run into trouble, contact the manufacturer, and you might be able to get the glasses replaced or fixed at no extra cost.

See the collective opinion of hundreds of Amazon reviews here.

Pros

Has mirror coating
Durable lenses
Comes with good accessories
Good warranties
Protects eyes well

Cons

The frame is very durable
The coating can wear off

5. Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator Classic Sunglasses

Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator Classic Sunglasses

These traditional Ray-Ban aviators are a great example of why the sunglasses have remained popular for so long.

Specs

Frame Thickness: Thin
Lens Color: Green
Material: Metal
Durability: Moderate
Polarized: No
Accessories: Case and cloth

Who Is It Best For?

For men who want to stick to what is already proven to work, you can’t go wrong with a pair of classic Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses like these.

Key Features

These aviator sunglasses are a variant of the iconic Ray-Ban brand.

They feature greenish lenses, though there are multiple colors and sizes you can choose from of this exact same model, only altering their color or fitting.

They have fragile frames, both around the lenses and reaching toward your ears, which minimizes the frame’s impact on your aesthetic and drives the eye of an observer to the lenses themselves.

The lenses are phenomenal and provide fantastic visual clarity and 100% UV protection despite not being polarized.

Although these don’t feature the additional protective benefits of polarized lenses have, they’re still a great choice if you want to guard against general sun damage to your eyes on regular days.

The silicone nose pads are exceptionally comfortable and make wearing these shades for hours on end a delightful and pleasant experience.

There’s also no denying that these are some of the most classic in aesthetically pleasing aviator glasses on the market.

There’s a reason Ray-Ban is well-known for these types of sunglasses.

Even though they feature an extremely thin frame, our testers found them to be decently durable, and they come with a case and a cleaning cloth so you can maintain them for optimal performance right away.

See the collective opinion of hundreds of Amazon reviews here.

Pros

Very good visual style
Excellent optical clarity
Does an excellent job of protecting the eyes
Lots of sizes and colors available
Comes with stuff to protect the glasses
Comfortable nose pads

Cons

Pricy
Not polarized

6. SOJOS Square Polarized Sunglasses for Men

SOJOS Square Polarized Sunglasses for Men

These are a rare set of square aviator sunglasses that feature excellent lenses in unique colors and several useful accessories.

Specs

Frame Thickness: Moderate
Lens Color: Blue
Material: Plastic/Metal
Durability: Moderate
Polarized: Yes
Accessories: Box, Pouch, cloth

Who Is It Best For?

These are a good choice for guys who appreciate the general aviator lens shape but want something with sharper angles to accentuate their own facial structures.

Key Features

These are one of the few sets of square aviator glasses you’ll be able to find that are worth your time and money.

They feature a retro vintage style that combines the classic aviator lens shape to form a set of shades that are recognizable and even slightly unique.

These classes are made with a durable plastic and metal frame that drives the asking price down from promotes excellent sturdiness and flexibility at the same time.

They aren’t quite as durable as full metal frames made to withstand significant wear and tear, but they’re a lot more durable than cheaper thin frames.

The frame features reinforced hinges that will improve the life span of the glasses even as you open and close them uncountable times over the years.

The lenses are also durable and feature a scratch-resistant coating, plus a polarizing coating.

These are great lenses for both improving your optical clarity and for protecting your eyes, as they filter out 100% of harmful UVA and UVB radiation.

They’re even really good at reflecting glare, so these are a solid choice for driving as well.

These shades come with a microfiber cleaning cloth, a pouch, and a box.

It can also be easily gift packaged, so these might be the right choice if you want to gift some cool aviator sunglasses to a loved one.

The biggest downside we noticed was the lack of comfortable nose pads.

They weren’t exactly uncomfortable, but they were unusually soft and would probably become slightly annoying if you wore these classes for many hours on end.

See the collective opinion of hundreds of Amazon reviews here.

Pros

Decently durable and flexible
Good lens color options
Great sun protection
Excellent asking price
Good accessories

Cons

Nose pads aren’t the best

7. Ray-Ban Outdoorsman 3030 Aviator Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Outdoorsman 3030 Aviator Sunglasses

This is another pair of iconic Ray-Ban sunglasses with a neat twist on the outer frames to add some additional security each time you wear them.

Specs

Frame Thickness: Thin
Lens Color: Green
Material: Metal
Durability: Moderate
Polarized: No
Accessories: Box and cloth

Who Is It Best For?

These are the perfect sunglasses for men who can’t seem to keep them on their faces.

Key Features

Ray-Ban returns again with these outdoorsman aviator glasses.

They feature a unique frame with a wire wrap ear shape.

In other words, the ends wrap around your ear to add additional security and to make fitting them onto your face a little easier.

This will also be helpful if you ever nudge forward, as the sunglasses are not likely to fall from your face thanks to the hooked design.

These glasses feature some of the best lenses on the market, filtering out 100% of UVA, UVB, and UBC radiation at the same time.

While they aren’t strictly polarizing, they still do a phenomenal job of protecting your eyes from harmful sun rays and preventing eye fatigue from taking over.

The metal frame is very thin, as is traditional with many Ray-Ban shades, but it is pretty durable as far as metal frames go.

You also get the expected cleaning cloth and case with this purchase for added protection and maintenance abilities.

The nose pads are decently comfortable, though a little thin; watch for these to wear down over time if you plan to use these as your primary sunglasses.

See the collective opinion of hundreds of Amazon reviews here.

Pros

Excellent sun ray protection
The wire wrap design provides extra security
Color contrast is improved
The metal frame is decently durable

Cons

Nose pads are little thin
Pricy

8. MERRY’S Men’s Polarized Driving Sunglasses

MERRY’S Men’s Polarized Driving Sunglasses

These polarized aviators come with some of the best lenses on the market and feature enhanced sun ray protection to ensure that your eyes don’t get tired while you are behind the wheel.

Specs

Frame Thickness: Thick
Lens Color: Black
Material: Metal/Plastic
Durability: High
Polarized: Yes
Accessories: Case, cloth, pouch

Who Is It Best For?

These are the definitive choice if you want stylish aviator sunglasses that can serve you just as well in terms of style as they can as driving glasses.

Key Features

These aviator sunglasses are specifically designed to be used for driving scenarios and as a durable set of shades that will stand the test of time.

To that end, they feature a mixed plastic and metal frame that is among the most durable we found in our search for the best.

This frame allows for decent flexibility but can withstand significant wear and tear before the hinges start to wear down.

The lenses are also durable with an anti-scratch coating and a polarizing coating that can help improve the color contrast of your environment and eliminate reflected light.

They protect your eyes from the majority of the sun’s harmful radiation, though they are a slightly smaller size on average than several other pairs we’ve looked at so far.

This may or may not work for your personal aesthetic, but there’s no doubt that these will do a great job of keeping your eyes safely on the road as you drive no matter the environmental conditions or ambient brightness.

These glasses also feature a set of comfortable nose pads, as well as a 30-day moneyback guarantee.

A cleaning cloth, pouch, and box complete the kit; for one affordable price, you can get everything you need to both to look stylish and drive safely.

See the collective opinion of hundreds of Amazon reviews here.

Pros

Very durable build
Good eye protection
Great accessories
Nose pads are comfortable

Cons

Lens sizes are little small for some

Frequently Asked Questions About Sunglasses, Aviator or Otherwise

Frequently Asked Questions About Sunglasses

Now you see a selection of the best aviator sunglasses you can find online.

But if you still have any remaining questions about sunglasses or aviators specifically, let’s handle those now.

1. Where Did Aviators Come From?

Aviators are one of the most iconic and popular sunglass brands ever to be made.

But where did they come from, and what contributed to their meteoric rise?

As you might have guessed from the name, they were first developed as replacements for the goggles that fighter pilots wore in the 1930s.

Back then, you had to have huge goggles to fly in a plane at all, lest you run the risk of crashing your expensive airplane because of sun glare!

The trademark wide lenses, which cover up the entirety of the eye and provide an excellent field of view and excellent sun protection, were explicitly created to emulate the benefits offered by fighter pilot goggles.

At the same time, aviators were also designed to be comfortable, as pilots had to be expected to wear them for long hours overflights or combat missions.

But while aviators got their start before World War II, they quickly boomed in popularity after the war was over.

The entire economy was improving in the United States, so it’s perhaps no surprise that aviators were just one of the thousands of products that benefited from the post-war plenty.

Ray-Ban, though not the original creators of the aviator sunglasses, was the company that acquired their design and began pushing them through several successful marketing campaigns in the following decades.

It was through Ray-Ban’s efforts that they became gradually more well-known and popular with time.

Even with this effort, aviators didn’t truly achieve their iconic status until they began a career as a film actor staple.

Performers like Marlon Brando and Tom Cruise, separated by 30 years, wore these famous shades and brought their cool aesthetic to millions.

In fact, Tom Cruise, playing a fighter pilot in the 80s movie “Top Gun,” brought aviators back to their roots by wearing them in-character while still providing exposure through millions via the silver screen.

2. What Facial Structures Look Good with Aviators?

Though they’re definitely some of the coolest sunglasses around, aviators are really only exceptional when paired with specific facial structures.

Their teardrop or wide shapes make them perfect complements for men and women that have oval, square, or diamond face shapes.

Primarily, if your facial bone structure already has lots of angles or is defined by a strong jaw and wide cheekbones, then aviators will complement what’s already there and are likely to look excellent when you slide them over your eyes.

Unfortunately, men and women with rounder faces, or even if they have exceptionally round noses and mouths, might have less luck when they try on a pair of aviators.

The natural shape of the lenses might blend in too much facial structure of those face types.

3. How to Tell If Aviators Fit?

Aviators are large sunglasses, no doubt about it.

But there’s still a “correct size” to them.

When wearing aviators, you’ll know that things are right if your eyelashes don’t touch the lenses and that the bridge doesn’t feel too snug on your nose.

You want to make sure that the glasses rest comfortably on your nose without being too tight because otherwise, you’ll end up with odd indentations on the skin of your nose if you wear the aviators for long periods.

You’ll also want to make sure that the lenses at least partially cover your eyebrows.

They are designed to cover up the entirety of your eye socket, including your eyebrows.

While you don’t have to make sure that the lenses fully cover your brows, you do want at least part of this effect in place whenever you wear a pair.

If they don’t cover your eyebrows, those lenses are too small, and you should try to go up a size.

4. What Styles Look Good with Aviators?

The good news for men is that aviators look excellent with many of the staple masculine aesthetics that are popular in the modern era.

But there’s also plenty of variety you can choose from to still make them work for you.

One thing to keep in mind is that they are naturally sturdy in terms of aesthetic or style power.

That is to say, aviators are not meant to blend in with the rest of your wardrobe; they are intended to draw attention to their lenses and your face.

Keep this in mind when selecting the clothes you want to style them with.

Go for something exciting but not too “flashy,” as this can make your entire outfit look busy or like you’re craving attention.

Dark lenses usually add a little bit of mystery or anonymity to your face and can pair well with other dark clothes.

Colored lenses are naturally a little more flashy and attention-seeking, but they can go really well with other summer-style wear like Hawaiian shirts or shorts.

These kinds of aviator sunglasses can not only look stylish and masculine but fun and a little ironically cheerful.

However, you probably don’t want to lean too hard into a military aesthetic unless you are actually an active service member or a veteran.

Even then, you run the risk of looking a little too copycat-ish, notably since Tom Cruise popularized that look in his flick mentioned above.

As an example, don’t try to wear aviators with a flight bomber jacket, as everyone will know what you are trying to emulate, and virtually no one will be impressed.

You can, with practice, emulate a 1950’s look if you pair them with a set of simple jeans and a white T-shirt, but still… exercise caution.

5. How To Take Care Of Aviator Sunglasses

This question is particularly apt if you’ve just spent a significant amount of money on a top-tier pair and don’t want that cash to go to waste.

There are lots of ways to take care of your new shades, so let’s go through them one by one.

Pick Up A Retainer Cord

This doesn’t look cool, but it’s a surefire way to prevent you from accidentally dropping your sunglasses while keeping them secure around your neck.

Retainer cords are a great tool if you plan to use the sunglasses primarily as a driving assistant.

You can wear the aviators with the retainer cord in place on either end of the frame, then simply let them fall to your chest when you need to take them off.

Retainer cords come in lots of different styles or lengths, but the details are purely up to personal preference.

We wouldn’t recommend wearing shades with retainer cords at a party, of course.

Washing

Obviously, you have to wash your aviator sunglasses frequently, even if you take care not to get them excessively dirty.

But simply rinsing your sunglasses in the sink or, going too far in the other direction, scrubbing them with soap and water will either result in not enough cleaning or accidental damage.

Proper cleaning procedures involve cleaning the lenses without rubbing off any coatings that might be on their surfaces, as well as preventing scratches from forming on the glass material itself.

We’d recommend using warm water for your sunglass washing.

You can use very mild dish soap if absolutely necessary, though in most cases your sunglasses won’t be dirty enough to necessitate the use of any kind of soap.

Instead, take a soft and absorbent cloth and gently rub the lenses of your sunglasses with warm water; this should dissolve any dirt or smears and leave the glass looking brand-new.

Don’t use any paper products to clean the lenses, as the paper can break up and cause damage to the lenses over time.

You absolutely want to stay away from more abrasive soaps or detergents since these can not only scratch the lenses that can also leave deposits behind.

Finally, don’t use any lotion-like cleaners or silicone cleaners.

These tend to leave a slimy or watery film behind on sunglass lenses, which is both distracting and annoying.

Avoid Heat

Even if you have some of the most durable aviator sunglasses on the market, you should take care not to leave them in very hot environments like a glove compartment of a car in the sun.

Metal frames are the type least susceptible to heat damage, but even they can still work if exposed to too much heat over time.

Instead, store them in a protective case in a cool and dry environment.

What About Polarized Lenses?

Polarized lenses are exceptional, featuring an additional coating that filters out more light to provide better sun glare protection and higher color contrast.

They should always be washed after leaving a saltwater environment.

Even if the glasses themselves don’t make contact with salt water, chances are a few stray droplets made their way onto the lenses anyway.

You should always rinse these with warm water thoroughly, then follow the above cleaning procedure to make sure that no salt crystals remain on the glass.

While you can use regular cloth, we would recommend using a microfiber cloth for polarized lenses.

Microfiber cloths usually come as accessories with many top-tier aviator sunglasses, and they’re well-known for their gentleness and cleaning quality.

The key here is to avoid using a cloth with any rough surface to keep the polarized coating on for as long as possible.

If your sunglasses do come up with a smudge or smear that you can’t quickly get rid of at any point, purchase a speciality sunglass cleaner with a pH balance that is between six and eight.

This will ensure that the cleaning chemical won’t damage the polarizing coating or the lenses themselves.

Keep Them in A Case

Finally, we’d always recommend storing your sunglasses, particularly expensive or valuable ones, in a designated case or pouch.

This not only makes it easier for you to find them (since they’ll always be in the same case, presumably), but it also protects them from the general dust accumulation or from being knocked onto the floor.

6. What Distinguishes Aviators from Other Sunglass Types?

Aviators are distinguished from their iconic lens shape and their usually thin frames, even though you can find ones with thicker frames.

Wayfarers, another Ray-Ban brand, are also very common and popular among men.

Unlike aviators, wayfarer sunglasses are much thicker and tend to have a rectangular or square shape that emphasizes the sharp lines of the male physique and face.

Round sunglasses (there are too many brands to call them a single type) are a final alternative.

They’re experiencing something of a renaissance after being initially championed by rock stars like John Lennon.

These have, ironically, a much more dramatic shape than either aviators or wayfarers, so it’s more difficult to pull these off and look your best.

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