13 Best Aviator Sunglasses for Men in 2021: Ray-Ban, Persol, Warby Parker, and More

All shades are kinda cool, but the best aviator sunglasses for men might be the absolute the coolest. Originally developed in the 1930s, aviators were designed to replace the bulky goggles worn by military pilots, which frequently fogged up at high altitudes. They were designed with a lightweight metal frame and brow bar that could easily fit under a helmet, teardrop lenses that covered the wearer’s entire field of vision, and green lenses to reduce eye strain from blue light and cut glare. Soon after, Bausch & Lomb introduced the style to the civilian market, dubbing them the Ray-Ban Aviator. Sound familiar?

From there, aviator sunglasses for men exploded in popularity, worn by flannel Mad Men in the ’60s, bell-bottomed disco dancers in the ’70s, and just about anyone who watched. Superior gun in the 80s. In 2021, superstars like Jay-Z, Timotheé Chalamet and the entire cast of fast furious keep aviators in style, and you’re as likely to spot them on the runway at a Gucci show as you are on the streets of Manhattan. Their endless popularity comes down to their endless versatility: the teardrop shape means they look great on virtually any face shape and pair well with everything from party-ready shirts and leather loafers fantasy to flared jeans and fuzzy cardigans.

Whether you’re looking for club-ready frames, hyper-luxe hues, or a clean, classic piece, there’s a pair of aviator sunglasses for men that’s just right for you. Here are a dozen bakers of the most stylish, high-performing, and badass pairs to buy right now.

The OG Airmen

Ray-Ban Classic Aviator Sunglasses RB3025

Ray-Ban nearly invented aviator sunglasses nearly a century ago, and the original design remains as beautiful and timeless as ever. They come in dozens of frame and lens combinations, including a slew of gradient lenses, but this pair of gold frames and black lenses is our Commander-in-Chief’s favorite pair. and Maverick’s Superior gun. Whether you’re piloting a jumbo jet or nursing a hangover, these polarized aviator sunglasses will make you look like you’re flying.

The aviators that look good on everyone

Original American Optical pilot sunglasses

These sunglasses have literally been on the moon. American Optical sunglasses were worn by the entire Apollo 11 crew—and From Niro in Taxi driver, in case that is not enough. The original pilots are built to US military specs, so you’ll lose them long before you break them. While the standard aviators feature a triangular teardrop lens, the AO version is a little squarer, making them ideal for a variety of face shapes.

The Best Affordable Airmen

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Le Specs “Hercules” 56mm Aviator Sunglasses

Looking like you have a pilot’s license doesn’t require a wad of cash. Le Spec’s take is a great alternative to American Optical, with a lightweight metal frame and square lenses that look great on most faces. They may not come with anti-glare polarized lenses, but at less than half the price of other options, you won’t miss them much.

movie star aviators

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Persol PO0649 Aviator Sunglasses

Synonymous with Steve McQueen, the Persol 649 aviator sunglasses were designed more for riding in road-ripping sports cars than high-flying airplanes. With its iconic, dashing keyhole bridge and pointed arrowhead hinges, it’ll bring some serious Old Hollywood flair to a casual golf jacket and jeans or a sleek turtleneck and dressy slacks.

The aviators that real pilots wear

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Randolph USA Classic Aviator Sunglasses

When it comes to quality, you can’t do better than Randolph Engineering, the Air Force’s official sunglasses supplier since 1982. Their signature model, which takes six weeks to make a single pair, is dubbed “The Tank”, thanks to its nearly indestructible frames. They are a bit more expensive than other big name options, especially for non-polarized lenses, but the quality and pedigree are worth it.

Eight Other Aviator Sunglasses Worth Checking Out

Warby Parker “Kittrell” Sunglasses

These sleek Warby Parker frames are particularly suited to large faces and prominent noses.

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Diff Camden Sunglasses

Toned down and less flashy, Diff’s Camden sunglasses give an understated vibe thanks to the gray colourway and softer silhouette.

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Jacques Marie Mage x George Cortina aviator-style acetate sunglasses

Crafted in conjunction with the legendary George Cortina, these Jacques Marie Mage aviators are crafted with premium Japanese acetate, gold hardware accents, and suave blue gradient lenses.

Akila Alias ​​Sunglasses

If Enzo Ferrari had fallen into the Tron universe, he’d be wearing these purple-dipped aviators.

Quay Australia 62mm High Key Oversized Aviator Sunglasses

The bigger the sunglasses, the stronger the vibrations. Quay’s oversized frames with gold mirrored lenses exude enough party energy to fuel a Pitbull World Tour.

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Gucci aviator sunglasses

Shorter than the average aviator, but much smoother.

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Cartier Eyewear Santos de Cartier aviator metal sunglasses

Your favorite rapper is probably wearing them right now at an outrageous pool party with an obscene amount of champagne.

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Dita Eyewear Flight Aviator Sunglasses

You may not be Dwayne Johnson, but these shades will bring you a little closer.

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