Are Aviators Really Unisex?
In 1936 Bausch & Lomb introduced aviator sunglasses. These were actually called “Pilot’s” glares or shades. Why … because they were developed for pilots and hence the name “Aviator”. These were later sold under the brand “Ray Ban”. Again, it was a well thought name because it simply meant “Banishing Rays” and thereby providing shield against the harmful radiation. Eventually, Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to the Italian eyewear entity, Luxottica Group for an exorbitant amount. The year was 1999.
Since then aviator sunglasses have turned into a legend. Years and seasons have passed by but its popularity continues to rule the fashion landscape with impeccable consistency. Interestingly, aviator was developed as a unisex eyewear accessory. And true to its image, it soon became a part of fashion kit of men and women. On the face of it, aviators for both genders appear same.
So, are these glares really unisex? Do they sport same parameters and design elements? The simple answer is no. Look closer and you will find subtle difference. Mentioned below are some of them.
Although the shape of the aviator remains the same for men and women, its size varies. The physical dimensions for the former tend to be smaller than the latter. Women prefer bolder, larger frames for enhanced eye protection and also to make a loud style statement. Even the diameter of the frame wire is thinner. Slim wire frame composition enhances the slender face of women and more importantly contrasts sharply against their soft physical and social attributes.
Yet another difference in the design is the use of opaque or transparent temple tips or ear pieces as they are popularly called. On the other hand aviators for men tend to boast black or brown tips.
Lens Colour –
Lens colour for men typically revolves around dark shades such as grey, green and brown while women tend to prefer bright and bold colours, including gradients and mirrored variants. Some of the common hues which are popular amongst women’s aviators include; blue, yellow and pink. These loud colours offer a unique style statement, and goes well with most of the attires.
Nose Bridge –
Aviators for women are crafted with a narrower nose bridge because of their narrow / slim physiognomy. However, as the bridge is made of nose pads and not moulded, which incidentally are quite versatile, and easily adjustable, this metric is not really a matter of concern.
A point to remember – none of the above is really etched or considered as a commandment in any fashion book. Fashionistas break rules and experiment with various versions. So, if you are one of those rebellious style gurus throw these tips into the dustbin and create your own fashion rule.