The Return of the Aviator

Share This Post

Featured Frames (above) by Reykjavik Eyes

There can be no doubt that aviator glasses are well and truly back in fashion. Originally invented for pilots (hence the name), they were hugely popular in the 70’s and 80’s… and 30 years on, here they are again. Top brands like Chloe’, Jimmy Choo, Lacoste and Police are bringing out aviator frames as their signature pieces.

In this blog, we’re going to look at the reasons why they are now ‘on trend’, as well as the many variations that exist within the aviator style.  We’re not looking at aviator sunglasses, those are a totally different proposition to these frames, which are worn with a clear lens. If you’re looking to read more about aviator sunglasses, check out my previous blog about the best aviator sunglasses of all time.

And while you’re here, we really recommend this page all about aviator frames:

What has changed in 2018??

Frame by Jimmy Choo

Over the last 10 years, there’s been a definite, clear trend towards bolder, thicker frames. And in the last few years, the ‘in’ shape has generally been round.

But the best way to stand out is to be different, and so we’ve seen some of the biggest brands in eyewear attempting to do that earlier in 2018 (click here to see our report from the Milan eyewear show back in March) by going away from plastic frames and back to metal.

We’ve also been seeing since last year the re-introduction of the ‘brow bar’ – an extra piece which runs across the top of a pair of glasses, surplus to the regular bridge.

Frame by JF Rey with red accented brow bar

Combine those two ingredients of a metal frame and a brow bar and you have the recipe for an aviator. But even within the confines of the ‘aviator’ style, there are many variations. Let’s take a look.

The 3 Types of Aviator

#1 – Square

The Square aviator tends to fit wider than the face in the cheek area. It is usually worn oversized, but not necessarily, and can often be more of a feminine style as in the Jimmy Choo version pictured earlier in this blog.

Frame by Allied Metal Works

The example above is a unisex frame in gold, a colour which is making a big comeback in eyewear – it’s actually the most in-fashion colour right now, in part because of how well it works with the aviator style.  It’s not surprising to see such an on-trend frame coming from Allied Metal Works, a range designed by one of the best eyewear designers in the world right now (Patty Perreira, who has also designed for Paul Smith, Prada and Oliver Peoples).

However, you could tone it down by going for a more subtle colour, as shown below:

Frame by Eco Eyewear

Eco Eyewear is an environmentally-friendly range of glasses from an established designer called MODO. I’m a big fan of both MODO and Eco. The model shown comes in gold, silver, gold with a black lens rim and silver with a navy blue lens rim (pictured). I think having a contrasting lens rim gives a bit more interest to a frame, and having the frame less metallic overall makes it easier to wear if you aren’t used to something shiny.

Frame by Hugo Boss

I should also mention this example from Hugo Boss (worn by Henry Cavill, Superman), which is a square aviator, although far more narrow than usual. Despite being small compared to current trends, on the right face it can look really cool. Hugo Boss are not exactly the most adventurous designer, so you know if they put their name to a style, it’s probably a safe choice. Hopefully that gives you a bit of confidence in making the step to wearing an aviator.

#2 – Teardrop

This is the original and most classic shape of the aviator, but is maybe the most difficult to wear with clear lenses as the pointy bottom half of the frame is quite distinctive. However, with a little confidence it can look really cool. Generally speaking, this tends to work better on a man.

Frames by Police

Having said that, Chloe’ do a slightly smaller teardrop aviator in gold which has been one of our most popular frames in recent months. So it’s certainly not the case that this style is only for men.

Frames by Alium

The frame above is the most state-of-the-art aviator on the market. It’s from a range called Alium Lab by Face a Face and is created using 3D Printing. It is a very bold look, yet the frame weighs less than a thin metal one would. The fact that a style like the aviator is being created using such modern means shows just how on-trend and in-demand it is.

#3 – Round

Last but not least, we have the most modern form of aviator. This is ideal for anyone with a smaller face who doesn’t want the oversized look where the frame protrudes outside the border of the face. Because round has been the ‘in’ shape for a number of years now, this poses the least contrast to recent fashions, and an easy transition if you have already had round frames (the only difference really is the brow bar).

Frame by Carrera – worn by Jared Leto

I currently wear a round aviator and love this look. As with all of the aviator styles you can pull it off with a thicker or thinner rim. If you like to make a statement, choose a heavier frame.

A round aviator is a completely unisex look. It can look really good on a man or lady, as you can see from the pictures above and below:

Frame by J F Rey

The above frames are a new release this year and were immediately incredibly popular, so confident people have definitely been embracing the return of aviators. It’s a shame that we in the UK are usually a year or two behind the rest of Europe, but it has been great to see us adopting the aviator quite quickly.

Can you wear an aviator?

Frame by Carrera – worn by Justin Beiber

There have been many different models photographed in this blog; they all have different face shapes and features. It’s absolutely not a case of having the ‘right’ face for an aviator; it’s about finding the right aviator for you. That’s if it’s the look you want to go for, but if you want to be as fashionable as possible, it’s probably the way to go. We can help you choose the perfect new pair of glasses. Book an appointment for a styling consultation today by calling us on 01772 312213.


More To Explore

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Please complete the information below to subscribe to our occasional newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Request your FREE eBook

Send me a FREE copy of ‘How to choose the perfect glasses’