Originally designed for pilots, the aviator has now become a quintessential item in the everyday person's collection of accessories. It adds a certain je ne sais quoi to any outfit, giving sleek elegant outfits an edgier feel, and making simple, basic outfits seem more put together.

The now iconic elements of the aviators all served a function: the teardrop lenses provided protection from the sun both when looking straight ahead or glancing down at the dashboard; the bar across the eyebrows stopped sweat (in a potentially sweltering cockpit) from dripping into the pilots eyes.

Nowadays, aviators come in all different colors, shapes, and sizes, so there is no reason to not find a pair that works for you. There are a couple of considerations to take into account when choosing a pair of aviators that will become closet staples.

closet basics - aviators


The original aviator had a pronounced droop in the teardrop. This is really not the most flattering shape for many people. Thankfully, as I mentioned, there are now so many variations that everybody should be able to find something suitable: some designs may droop more, others will be more rounded, others even more square. The location of the lowest point of the droop is also important, this should be immediately noticeable to you when you try them on.


The eyebrow bar is an essential feature of aviators, and it really would be a pity to forgo it completely, however, its placement relative to your eyebrows can be a little tricky. Again, there are so many different variations nowadays, ranging from no bar at all to thick, heavy ones. Somewhere within that range, there is the right pair for you!


They come in all colors of the rainbow now, but if you are looking for a pair of timeless sunglasses, the simpler the better. Get some aviators with a classic metal frame in a neutral: gold, rose-gold, silver or black; likewise for the tint. Check to see how dark you really want your sunnies to be and stick to a brown or black tint. General rule is that with warmer undertones, you'll probably be wanting to go for a gold frame and brown or dark blue tint, and with cooler undertones, a silver or black frame with black tint.

Then, by all means, if you love aviators and you wear them every day, get a couple of other trendy ones with plastic frames and/or mirrored, colorful tints. Just make sure you really invest in a pair that you won't get tired of.