Ray Ban Aviator sunglasses have become a slightly more bohemian classic than the Ray Ban Wayfarer, which is a little ironic since Wayfarers were made popular by Hollywood and Aviators were made popular by military pilots and Gen. Douglas McArthur. But fashion always makes its own rules.
Aviators have dark lenses - sometimes mirrored - that cover two to three times the area of the eye, and metal ear pieces, frames, and nose bridge. Many of the newer versions have polarized lenses, which are actually not favored by military aviators due to characteristics of polarized light. A combat pilot wearing polarized shades could risk missing the glare coming off an oncoming aircraft, and could have trouble reading the information on the cockpit displays. But for people who like boating or fishing, polarized lenses are great for blocking glare off the water and the headaches that can result from several hours of looking at it.
The Ray Ban Aviator received its name due to the shape of the lens, an oblique inverted teardrop, which was the same shape as the lenses in the flying goggles that Ray Ban made for the Navy and the Army. They became a favorite of celebrities and remain a popular choice among the famous today, having first been made popular in the 1960s. The style received an enormous boost in popularity in the mid-1980s when they were worn by Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in the hit movie Top Gun.
Though the Ray Ban Aviator has been used alongside the name Hunter S. Thompson for decades, Thompson, the gonzo journalist to be portrayed by Johnny Depp in a movie this year, actually wore a similar style, the 3138 Shooter. Other celebrities who looked great in Aviators, however, included Michael Jackson, Lou Reed, Johnny Knoxville, Jim Morrison, Tom Petty, Freddie Mercury, Axl Rose, Slash, Kanye West, Donny Tourette, and E-40.
That should be a wide enough variety of faces to prove that Ray Ban Aviators are one of the most flattering styles ever. And women dig them too, although the Aviator has somewhat of an undeserved reputation as being a "masculine" style. Have you seen the pics of Megan Fox wearing Aviators? I guarantee the adjective "masculine" won't even enter your mind.
The truth is that men and women from every walk of life and of all ages wear Ray Ban Aviators because they look great on most any face shape, and you can't beat them for blocking glare and giving you all day comfort and totally undistorted, clear viewing. They're now made in Italy by Luxottica, and they do not take shortcuts when it comes to crafting eyewear.
If you buy a pair of Ray Ban Aviators today, and keep them in their case when you're not wearing them, they will last forever without so much as a scratch. The only maintenance you might have to do other than cleaning the lenses is tightening the little screws on the side pieces. If you're in your 20s now, though you won't believe me, I can promise you will rock the style just as much when you're in your 40s. That's the magic of Aviators. They are the closest the eyewear world gets to being a universally flattering style.