The standard pair of aviator sunglasses is a classic accessory that never disappoints. Typically speaking, they have a thin wire frame, teardrop-shaped lenses, and though they first debuted in the 1930s as a protective style for pilots, the design will forever draw comparisons to 1986's Top Gun. The result is slightly oversized and sleek, but that’s not the only kind of look aviators have to offer: the current market demonstrates much more, with options to fit every aesthetic.
While aviators do have some similarities—the double nose bridge is a signature element of the design—many of today's versions feature acetate materials, colorful lenses, and a variety of frame shapes. These sunnies stray from tradition and provide bold, statement-making accessories to complement your summer wardrobe, whatever the rest of your outfits for beach days, road trips, and other adventures may look like. To get a thorough sense of your options, scroll ahead to find 25 of the best aviator sunglasses, ranging from modern classics by the likes of Bottega Veneta and Isabel Marant to creative interpretations by independent designers.
These are not your grandfather’s aviators. Made of Italian acetate, this pair features a thick frame in an amber color that feels fresh for summer.
Subtle details make all the difference in these aviator sunglasses from Etnia Barcelona. The touches of tortoise along the bridge and shades of blue on the earpieces make for an intriguing design that can coordinate with a whole range of outfits.
This cinnamon-colored pair of sunnies finds modern balance with a heavy frame at the top of the lens and none at the bottom.
Looking for a classically cool pair of aviator frames in gold? Naturally, Warby Parker delivers, and you can also customize the lenses to your glasses prescription if you choose.
Celebrity-loved, sustainably minded brand Lexxola's take on aviator sunglasses features a modern, thick frame and colorful lenses.
The defined shape and muted grey shade of these Corlin frames instantly set them apart, adding an extra touch of cool to your look.
Opt for an all-over silver aesthetic with these square-frame aviator sunglasses by Stella McCartney.
Coco and Breezy is the brand behind some of the best statement sunglasses on the market, and its version of aviator frames is classic yet unexpected.
The elegant gold and green lenses of these Saint Laurent sunnies offer a slightly softer finish than a standard, black-frame pair, making them perfect to complete a look embodying soft power.
These aviator sunglasses go light on the frame, but heavy on the futuristic, triangular vibes.
For a bit more drama, go for an exaggerated teardrop look. You can't go wrong with this oversized pair from Le Specs, which instantly makes any outfit feel that much cooler.
The brand behind some of the best swimsuits also offers modern eyewear to match, including these thick-framed aviators in a versatile, two-toned black finish.
Call them aviator-lite. These Raen shades provide the teardrop shape of the original style, but with a more pared-back wire frame.
We simply can't curate a list of the best aviator sunglasses without including Ray-Ban. If you’re a drawn to the classics, these are your match.
Made using reforested softwood trees, these clear aviator frames are a contemporary and eco-conscious version of the timeless trend.
Who can resist an iconic Gucci stripe? These aviator sunglasses bring iconic colors into the frames, so you can subtly show off your love for the brand to all those in the know.
Aviator sunglasses are not only a signature to the Michael Kors brand, but to the designer's personal style. See the world through literal rose-tinted glasses by taking this pair for a spin.
These pairs have a more shield-like shape across the face, perfect for whatever the day holds, whether that's sun protection or paparazzi dodging.
In a gold-and-tortoise finish, these Target sunglasses look like they’d cost much more than their accessible price tag.
Is a sunshine yellow shade of sunglasses a little too on-the-nose? We think not.
This oversize style by 3rd Eye View makes for an instant favorite. It comes in three playful lens colors that are difficult to choose from, but luckily the price point means if you're really enamored, you can pick up more than one.
Though these AOX frames have a thicker appearance, they’re also intended to feel lightweight. The polarized lenses are a plus, too.
The ombré gradient on these Isabel Marant pairs provides that je ne sais quoi that the French do so well. Modern and nostalgic all at the same time, throwing these on makes for an instant statement.
Bottega Veneta is known for making covetable accessories, especially over the past few years under the direction of Daniel Lee. These chic aviator sunglasses are no exception.
Cow print is all the rage this summer on everything from manicures to swimsuits—embrace the trend in a subtle way with these sunglasses.