The Fascinating History of Women's Aviator Sunglasses

The Fascinating History of Women's Aviator Sunglasses

Posted by Stephanie Petchers on

Aviator sunglasses are a timeless classic in the world of eyewear. Their popularity has endured for over 80 years and they remain a popular choice for pilots, military personnel, and fashion enthusiasts alike!

The origins of aviator sunglasses can be traced back to the early 20th century. In the 1920s, airplanes were becoming more common and pilots were facing a new problem: the sun's glare. This made it difficult for pilots to see clearly and could be dangerous during flight. To combat this problem, many pilots began wearing goggles with tinted lenses.

History of Aviator Sunglasses for women

Aviator sunglasses have been a popular fashion accessory for women for decades, but their history is often overshadowed by their association with male pilots and military personnel.  Aviator sunglasses for women have evolved over the years and have become particularly sought after due to iconic influencers of their time such as Amelia Earhart, Gloria Steinem, Jlo, Jennifer Aniston and Victoria Beckham.

The origins of aviator sunglasses for women can be traced back to the early 20th century. Women were beginning to take to the skies as pilots, and they needed a way to protect their eyes from the sun's glare during flight. The first aviator sunglasses were commissioned by the US military in 1935. This first aviator style of sunglasses was the U.S. Army Air Corps D-1 Sunglasses made by American Optical. The first aviator sunglasses that women wore were smaller adaptations of the original aviators.

During World War II, women served in a variety of roles in the military, including as pilots and support personnel. Aviator sunglasses were issued to female pilots in the US Army Air Corps and other branches of the military, and they quickly became a symbol of courage and patriotism.

Women Aviators

In the post-war years, aviator sunglasses continued to be popular with women who wanted a stylish and practical accessory. Hollywood celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor were often photographed wearing aviator sunglasses, helping to further popularize the style.

Although aviator style sunglasses were available to civilians before WWII, it wasn’t until after the war that they gained in popularity. The first aviators sold to civilians were available in 1937 and were made by Bausch & Lomb. When they were designed in 1939, they were patented as the “Ray-Ban Aviator”.

Famous female celebrities in aviator sunglasses[Pictured: Gloria Steinem, Jennifer Lopez, Victoria Beckham, Angelina Jolie]

In the 1960s and 1970s, aviator sunglasses for women underwent a transformation. The frames became more rounded and the lenses were often tinted in bright colors, reflecting the bold and colorful fashion trends of the era. Some aviator sunglasses also featured decorative elements such as rhinestones and other embellishments.

In the 1980s, aviator sunglasses for women experienced a resurgence in popularity. The frames became larger and more exaggerated, with oversized lenses and bold frame colors. The sunglasses were often paired with power suits and other professional attire, giving women a sense of confidence and authority.

In recent years, aviator sunglasses for women have continued to evolve. Many modern versions feature sleek, minimalist frames in neutral colors such as black, gold, rose gold and silver. The lenses may be tinted in a variety of colors or feature a mirrored coating for a futuristic look. Some aviator sunglasses also feature polarized lenses, which provide enhanced protection against glare and harmful UV rays.

Velvet Eyewear Aviators

In conclusion, aviator sunglasses for women have a long, fascinating history. Originally designed to protect the eyes of pilots, they quickly became a popular fashion accessory for women of all ages and backgrounds. At Velvet, our aviator sunglasses, like the Bonnie, Gloria, and Jesse styles, are all designed specifically for a female fit and her fashion. They are all a versatile and stylish accessory that can be worn with a variety of outfits, making them a must-have for any fashion-conscious woman.

Check out some of our Velvet Aviators.

"100% Female, 100% UV Protection since 1999."


Velvet XOXOX


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