Tom Cruise in Top Gun

I love sunglasses, and always have and aviators are a staple in my sunglass wardrobe (oh yes, there’s a wardrobe). I always have (at least) two pair… one pair in silver  (with black lenses) and one in gold (with amber-colored lenses). I’m partial to many large sunglass styles (which a good friend of mine would be all too eager to point out) but I would say that aviators are my signature sunglass style.

There’s something classic, sexy, brave about wearing a pair of aviators… like the smokey eye, they never go out of style, they just get updated a little.

Aviators were first introduced by Ray-Ban and made available to fighter pilots only in 1936 (the general public couldn’t get their hands on them until 1938). They became well-known after General Douglas MacArthur was photographed wearing them during World War II, but it was in 1986 when the aviator was reborn and became a fashion icon thanks to the movie Top Gun.

General MacArthur

General MacArthur

Now, aviators are a common piece in fashion eyewear, in fact, the Ray-Ban Aviators are one of the most copied styles in history.

As much as I love fashion, I have to admit that I have never invested in designer sunglasses, I’ve always gone for the less expensive imitations.  The most expensive pair I’ve ever owned I lost in Lady Bird Lake in Austin, TX and after that I just couldn’t bring myself to buy expensive sunglasses. However, owning a pair of Ray-Ban Aviators is one of my fashion goals.

What I find most interesting about sunglasses in general is how they’ve come to add a certain sense of celebrity to any ensemble. You can being wearing the frumpiest, most miss-matched, awkward outfit during the day, throw on a pair of sunglasses and instead of having people wondering what mental institution you escaped from, you have them wondering who you are. If you really want to turn heads, try wearing them when you go out at night (keep in mind, I don’t mean running to the gas station, you need to be out and it helps if you have an entourage). I’m not saying that certain people wont think you’re a jerk, but for sure they’ll also be wondering if you’re a famous jerk.

So, just for fun, I want to see you in your shades, aviators or not! Strike your best celebrity pose, or that of a friend, and send it to me at and I’ll do a slide show featuring all my famous friends in their most stylish shades!