Black-and-white close-up of a blonde woman with curly hair wearing aviator sunglasses

Our favourite aviator sunglasses for women

10 May 2024

Aviator sunglasses elevate your style and have a timeless look that never fails to please. They come in varying designs from the more traditional to innovative new modernisations of this classic frame shape. These kinds of sunglasses, also known as pilot style, are one of the most versatile designs and naturally complement a variety of different face shapes. Aviator sunglasses for women are a really trendy style to go for. They make the perfect go-to accessory whether you are escaping for a relaxed summer vacay, chilling at a music festival, or you plan to boss a confident business look.

Are Aviator sunglasses for women?

Despite traditionally being perceived as a very masculine design, Aviator sunglasses have since been reclaimed by women and are now a highly popular fashion accessory. They display your bold sense of style, professionalism and power. Many people do not realise that female pilots in the US military were issued with Aviator sunglasses. Following that, they very quickly became a symbol of their confidence and bravery.

After the war, Aviator sunglasses continued to be a fashionable option for women who sought a stylish and functional accessory. Aviator sunglasses for women are very flattering. You can easily pair them with virtually any ensemble in your wardrobe from casual to professional.

Close-up of a woman with straight brown hair wearing Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses in bright sunlight

A brief history of Aviator sunglasses

An innovation by Bausch & Lomb in the 1930s, Aviator sunglasses were first created for American Air Force pilots. Recognised even today for their large teardrop-shaped lenses, they were designed to adequately shield pilot’s eyes from bright sunlight and featured a top bar for added support.

These sunglasses were particularly important when the pilots were flying at high altitudes due to the innovations of the time. Hence why they are commonly referred to as aviator or pilot-style sunglasses. The sunglasses had green lenses which were designed to block UV rays and eliminate distracting glare from the sun. These pioneering sunglasses were originally made of plastic, however were modified and made from metal the following year. That was when the iconic Ray-Ban® Aviator sunglasses, which we all know and recognise today, were first born. Did you know that the brand name Ray-Ban® derives from their ability to block (or ban) rays of light from the sun?

A blonde woman with a straw hat peeking over the rims of her aviator sunglasses with brown gradient lenses

The Aviator’s rise to success

Following their initial triumph, pilot-style sunglasses became a real hit among individuals who enjoyed the great outdoors. The sunglasses were redesigned multiple times for outdoor activities, in particular fishing and hunting. A later style, known as navigator sunglasses, also became really popular in the 1970s and 1980s. They were developed for US military pilots who needed their sunglasses to fit under a helmet and alongside their bulky equipment. These stylish designs are slightly more angular in shape than the classic pilot-style frames we traditionally recognise. Instead of teardrop lenses, they have a smaller square or rectangular silhouette. They are perfect for cyclists and people who wear a helmet or hat during exercise or their daily activities. They allow for more room on your face and give you a slightly more toned-down look.

From the 1960s to the 1980s, Hollywood icons, feminists, musicians and movie stars, including Gloria Steinem, Stevie Nicks and Bianca Jagger, popularised new variations of the classic Aviator styles. Today, pilot-inspired frames are made of all kinds of materials and come in a variety of shapes. Aviator sunglasses have become a must-have fashion accessory for everyone and they are loved for their versatility and functional style. Aviators have an eye-catching design which is adored by celebrities and has dominated the runways. In fact, you often see famous faces like Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Kendall Jenner and J.Lo peeping from their Aviators in photos snapped by the paparazzi.

What face shapes suit Aviator sunglasses?

When choosing new sunglasses, it is important to consider which styles will suit your face shape. If you have an oval, square, diamond, or heart-shaped face, traditional retro-inspired Aviator sunglasses with teardrop lenses will really complement your natural features. If you have an oblong face, choose an oversized pair of pilot-style sunglasses with a strong outline to distract from the narrowness of your features. Meanwhile, the best women’s aviator sunglasses for a round face are contemporary angular styles with a square or rectangular silhouette.

Benefits of Aviator sunglasses:

A hand holding up aviator sunglasses in front of a blurry backdrop

Traditional styles of Aviator sunglasses will have large teardrop-shaped lenses which follow the contour of your cheekbone. As they did for pilots when they were first created, the sunglasses act as a reliable shield, protecting your eyes from the sun. Even newer designs with round or angular lenses, as long as they cover your eyes completely, will safeguard your vision. Simply add any of our reliable sunglasses tints which all provide 100% UVA/B protection.

A woman with blonde braids wearing a cap and aviator sunglasses while being active outdoors

Aviators are ideal for outdoor sports like fishing, cycling, hiking and golf, or even snowboarding and skiing. Adding polarised lenses to Aviator frames can improve visibility and reduce eye strain, helping you to stay focused. This is because polarised sunglasses enhance contrast and prevent horizontal glare from reaching your eyes.

A woman with long black hair putting on aviator sunglasses in front of her car

Pilot-style frames are great for driving when you add polarised lenses to them. Polarised sunglasses block dazzling glare from vehicle headlights and keep you safe when navigating wet roads. For an optimal driving experience, try Transitions® Drivewear® with your Aviator frames. These sophisticated lenses are able to prevent impaired vision as light changes rapidly in your surroundings.

Close-up of a pair of Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses with the plastic nose pads clearly visible

Aviator sunglasses provide a secure fit. Especially metal frames as they tend to have adjustable nose pads and are designed with good grip. This is ideal if you participate in a lot of intense sports activities that may cause your sunglasses to slip off your face.

What are the best Aviator sunglasses for women?

At Glasses Direct, we have a wide range of different sunglasses shapes and designs for you to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a confident and timeless classic or a subtle and modern style, we have plenty of stylish options for you to choose from.

Smiling blonde woman wearing aviator sunglasses in a field of sunflowers

Designer aviator sunglasses for women

Nothing says chic like a pair of Persol or Ray-Ban® Aviator sunglasses for women. Take your fashion to new heights with the ultimate accessory. Stand out with confidence in our range of luxury Premium Designer sunglasses. We have handpicked a couple of styles we are sure you will love! Stay in style with these on-trend pilot sunglasses. Follow the transparent trend with a pair of clear frames or go for a modern frame with a distinctive silhouette.

Styles that suit your athleisure wear

Sporty Aviator sunglasses are ideal for active trendsetters who love to keep fit, or fashionistas who favour trendy gym gear. Embrace the athleisure fashion trend with these functional yet fashionable sunglasses for women.

Channel your inner navigator

If you prefer square pilot frames, then why not try a classic navigator style? A slight variation from the traditional teardrop-shaped lenses, these sunglasses are a more compact and contemporary alternative. Add a modern edge to your outfit with a contemporary acetate frame, or achieve a high-flying look with a metal navigator frame. Why not mirror Charlie Blackwood’s cool and classic style in Top Gun?

Embrace a classic retro style

Revive the timeless fashion of the 70s with an acetate tortoiseshell frame, or elevate your 80s-inspired assemble with a pair of classic Ray-Ban® Aviator sunglasses. Achieve the ultimate Hollywood look!