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The Best Aviator Frames of 2020

Aviator frames are a true classic. Above all, they just might be the most widely known eyewear style in the world. For almost 100 years, these rugged frames have been a fan favorite. Aviator sunglasses were initially developed for American jet fighter pilots. But since then, these double-bridge frames with droplet lenses have made a steep ascent. Today, almost all premium brands carry aviator styles, also known as ‘pilot glasses’. For this reason, here is a selection of the Top 9 Best Aviator Frames of 2020. Additionally, you can see them on your own face in our Virtual Try-On tool.

Aviator Frames: History of an eyewear icon

The success story of aviator frames began in the 1930s. Back then, American company Bausch & Lomb created the first prototypes. The client commissioning the new style was the U.S. Army. The Army’s jet pilots needed eyewear with better optical protection. In terms of functionality, pilots requested protection from harsh sunlight and the intense blue sky. That’s because these were causing symptoms such as nausea and headaches.

Aviator glasses soon became standard issue for jet fighters. After that, the masculine aviator sunglasses made their big break into the mainstream. In the 1980s, several Hollywood movies showcased the rugged life of jet fighter pilots. The most famous movie was ‘Top Gun’ with Tom Cruise starring as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell. Consequently, aviators became cult classics and top sellers across the globe. But despite their fashion appeal, one of the strongest advantages of pilot glasses remains unchanged: Above all, they offer functionality due to their frame design.

What makes a frame ‘aviator’ style?

Introduced in 1937, the original aviator frame was called ‘anti-glare’ eyewear. Back then, all models were equipped with green-tinted lenses. These lenses blocked a large part of visible light, but still offered enough contrast for pilots. For this reason, pilots were able to read the red-colored instruments in their cockpits. Even today, some aviator sunglasses pay tribute to the original by featuring green lenses.

Another typical feature of pilot-style frames is their teardrop-shaped lenses. This shape offered pilots sun protection from all angles. While the initial frame was crafted from plastic, the follow-up released soon afterwards already used a delicate metal frame. A metallic frame remains typical of aviator styles today. The resulting lightweight finish offers important functionality to wearers. And in order to protect against impact, most models feature the double bridge for extra robustness.

Modern interpretations of aviator frames

The most striking design feature of the aviator frame is clearly the double bridge. In 2020, almost all name brand designers have incorporated aviators into their line-ups. Premium brands offer numerous different interpretations of the iconic eyewear style. These variations include variations in colors and materials. The classic shape has been updated with rounded and geometric forms. Meanwhile, some modern styles incorporate key features of aviators with characteristics from other frame styles. But whether it’s classics or bold new designs, aviators soar highest in the sunglasses segment. At the same time, a growing number of brands offer prescription aviator styles. But be careful: it takes a bold wearer to land this variation.

Who looks best in aviator frames?

It’s always hard to make generalizations. However, the iconic aviator frame is one of those universal styles that flatter faces in any shape and form. In other words, everybody should own at least one pair. We also believe in the old rule: eyewear looks best when it offers a bit of contrast to the wearer’s face. That’s why the rounded, teardrop shape of the classic aviator best matches angular faces. However, wearers with round faces can also find geometric interpretations of the pilot frame. The only way to find out for sure? Trying them on! For instance, by using our Virtual Try-On tool.

The 9 Top Aviator Frames of 2020

Almost every premium brand carries several aviator styles. To clarify, the original is attributed to Ray-Ban, which was part of Bausch & Lomb. The original frame has inspired eyewear designers across the globe. That’s why we have created a selection of the Top Aviator Frames of the Year 2020. Have a look around and get inspired. Perhaps use our “Match my Style” feature to find your perfect pair. Similarly, use our Virtual Try-On to see if you’ve got the right stuff to rock aviators with confidence.

Are you looking for a quick summary of trending aviator sunglasses by premium brands on FAVR? Then follow this link. And if you’re looking for RX aviator styles, you’ll find them right here.


Other popular eyewear styles

Of course, the FAVR platform features more than just aviator frames. That’s because there’s a wealth of trending and classic eyewear styles in the eyewear universe. In conclusion, here are some articles covering these styles:

The Best Panto Frames of 2020

The Best Cateye Frames of 2020


Looking to see which frames suit you best? Our Style Assistant can help!

Not sure if you’re the aviator type? Our FAVR Style Assistant helps you make quick and educated choices. Above all, you can check if aviator glasses match your individual style. We call this feature Match My Style and you can try it entirely free right here.



Photography, header photo:

photo SPECTR MAGAZINE / AVA PIVOT @spectrmagazine
location BERLIN

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