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by Babs Iverson about a month ago in trends Β· updated about a month ago
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Looking Good

Photo by Alex Perez on Unsplash

While their dad was overseas, visiting the on-base library and going to the on-base beach, were our family's go-to activities. Living close to the Air Force Base, we were grateful and thankful for the free activities and the diversion.

In 1973, viewing an aerial demonstration by the Air Force Thunderbirds didn't seem out of the ordinary. Back then, the touring Thunderbirds was almost an annual event. At the time, my pre-school son, my daughter who was a toddler, and I were military dependents. Straining our necks, we watched the aerial show. After viewing the flying aerobatic team, we spent the remainder of the afternoon on base seeing and touring military aircraft.

Two days later, we were at the Tyndall Air Force Base Beach which had playground equipment. While we were at the beach, the pilots from the Thunderbird team swaggered confidently across the white sand beach. Of course, the pilots were wearing their aviator glasses. The image of the military pilots in their uniforms, the dark green lenses, and the white sand was an impressive sight.

Why were the pilots at the beach? Honestly, was clueless. While taking notice, we ignored the pilots as we were too busy having our playtime at the beach playground, swinging and sliding, and enjoying the fun in the sun.

Yet, recalling that scene to this very day, what is the backstory regarding the iconic aviator glasses worn by the military pilots?

Before 1936, military pilots wore goggles. The "pilot's glasses" were designed and developed by Bausch & Lomb. While sunglasses protect our eyes from direct sunlight, the aviator glasses provided protection for the pilot's eyes in order to fly through the skies. Because aviators wore them, the eyewear obviously was called aviator glasses.

By Hans Dorries on Unsplash

In the movie Top Gun, Tom Cruise and his co-stars wore aviator glasses. With Top Gun, a smashing and dazzling 1986 hit movie, the Navy experienced a boost in recruitment. Since Ray-Ban marketed the aviator glasses, it would not be a stretch of the imagination that Ray-Ban witnessed an increase in sales of the aviator glasses too.

Of course, celebrities wore, were seen, and photographed in the impressive aviator glasses. This increased the eyewear's popularity. Nevertheless, the lightweight metal frames with large tear-drop lenses were convex, not flat like sunglasses, with dark green color lenses.

In addition, the dark green color lenses are functional, not fashionable. Scientifically designed, the dark green color assists in reducing shine and increasing clarity and sharpness.

While Ray-Ban sells aviator glasses with dark green, black, and gray tint lenses, they aren't the only company that produces aviator glasses. If you Google aviator glasses, you will find other brands and various styles of the original aviator glasses. Interestingly, one well-known retailer has their version of aviator glasses for $8.00.

During World War II, General Douglas McArthur arrived in the Philippines and was photographed wearing aviator glasses. Naturally, the photograph appeared in major newspapers.

In the 50s, Marlon Brando wore aviator glasses giving a tough and mysterious edge to the eyewear. While in the 60s, Ringo and Paul McCartney wore aviator glasses for rock concerts, giving the eyewear a hippie vibe. In fact, Ringo and Paul opted for pink and yellow lenses. From military beginnings to movie screens, aviator glasses have become fashionable and stylish. Plus, the aviator glasses aren't gender-specific.

Indeed, the aviator glasses are a classic, stylish fashion accessory. With the release of Top Gun: Maverick, there is bound to be an increase in sales of aviator glasses. Can't help but wonder if the military has had a boost in recruitment.

By Andrej Nihil on Unsplash

Ultimately, for style, comfort, and for protection, your best choice would be aviator glasses. Why choose ordinary sunglasses? Since the iconic fashionable glasses fit just about every face shape, everyone or almost everyone looks fabulous in the aviator glasses.

Looking good!


About the author

Babs Iverson

Barbara J Iversen, also known as Babs Iverson, lives in Texas and loves her grandkids to the moon and back. After writing one story, she found that writing has many benefits especially during a pandemic and a Texas-size Arctic Blast.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (7)

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  • E. J. Strangeabout a month ago

    my dad was a navy pilot story reminds me of him thanks for another wonderful piece!

  • Rick Henryabout a month ago

    Nicely written and interesting topic

  • Keila Aartilaabout a month ago

    My daughter - a teenager - insisted on buying aviator glasses - they are cute!

  • Angela Derschaabout a month ago


  • No glasses could make me look good , but a great story Babs

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    This was such an interesting and enjoyable read!

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    interesting story. Well done.

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