Like so many good designs the Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses were actually born out of practicality for a thinner, lighter and more elegantly designed eyewear to replace flight goggles in WWII in the USA. Since then they’ve been an object tied to popular culture design and fashion. Of course, in the intervening 70 years since being invented, they haven't gone without the latest advances in technological lens and frame improvements: but is all that worthy of today's price of $178 available from ottica.com. Who offer an expansive range of glasses from premium brands that include Ray-Ban, Micheal Kors, Burberry, and many others. With an enjoyable browsing experience that includes the ability to narrow down your search by style, brand, size and material. It's a one stop shop for all your eyewear needs including prescriptions. We were very impressed with the informative customer care, with updates letting us know when our glasses were assembled and then dispatched. We were able to track right to our door - in fact these came two weeks early!
Come on, this is a design that you just can't help but admire. The charming oversized lenses and thin gold framing of our pick is a visual and timeless jewel. Ray-Ban offer the ability to customise the size, colour of frame, lens (prescription offered) type/tint and temple tips too (available on Ottica.com). In fact, we spotted a nifty folding design on offer, along also with some tweaked design interpretations that admittedly don’t live up to the originals that we have here. The novel official Ray-Ban case, that came with our pair of Ray-Bans, could have been retrieved straight out of the cockpit of a US fighter plane of the time; with visible exterior stitching and chunky aged vintage-looking leather that’s encouragingly satisfying to use.
The truth is that the quality becomes apparent when you get the Aviators in hand and feel the shape and design. There is a built-in bend tolerance: although the frame can literally bend out of shape if stressed too much, it will go back to its correct shape with a little careful attention. Nevertheless, these aren’t on the durable spectrum of the Sungod Classic 2 Sunglasses, that’s why we’d recommend safeguarding your investment in the case when not being worn.
Are they comfortable & will they suit my face?
Ah well, some of us at the studio look good with the distinctive Aviator shaping on and others. . . well, they just don't go. The Aviators are definitely sunglasses you need to try before you buy. Thankfully you don't need to leave the comfort of your home to do so. The Ottica website has a feature whereby you can virtually try-on any pair of their glasses on top of an uploaded photo of your face in real-time. It's a brilliant component, that gives you a leisurely approach to shopping for glasses. However, we have noticed that the oversized downward lens shaping compliments female features and they will almost always suit oval and diamond face shapes too. The overall lightness and thin arms of the design have the benefit of not clinging or leaving lines against the cheek, and they’re a discrete easy choice for hours of continuous wearing. Whilst they tick the comfort areas, those with long hair could get it caught in the temple tips and hinges due to the exposed design of these components.
Do they work?
The actual lenses featured on the original Aviators were intended to literally ban rays - this being the derivation of the brand name. Nowadays they feature UV protection, a greater level of durability and not to forget to mention they come in an array of colours and levels of tint. Fundamentally our pair of non-polarised standard brown lenses (RB3025), which you can see the wearer's eyes through, work brilliantly to expel rays from the line of view and this colour also adds a soft warm tone visually. Whether wearing these on bright and sunny or overcast days, our Ray-Ban Aviators' lenses don’t dull things down. Clarity may be better with the polarised lenses, but with the standard format we have no complaints to make for day to day usage. They have a bit more glare on extremely bright days, but are perfectly fine for driving, walking, etc.
Whilst today's Ray-Ban Aviator releases are sturdier and feature better lenses for clarity and protection from the sun than their earlier counterparts, the basic design will never get old and doesn't need improvement. It’s an iconic shape embedded in popular culture for good reason.