Aviators, Cat-Eyes, Clubmasters, and Wayfarers

Aviators, Cat-Eyes, Clubmasters, and Wayfarers

A Guide to Iconic Sunglasses

Sunglasses are more than just protection for your eyes.  They are a fashion statement.

At Woodies, we know how important it is for you to own a pair of sunglasses that sends the right message about what kind of person you are. Sporty, stylish, sexy or dangerous - the right pair of sunglasses can help give you the look you want.

To help you choose a pair of sunglasses that suits your personality, fashion style and mood, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that examines four of the most iconic styles of sunglasses ever - Aviators, Cat Eyes, Clubmasters and Wayfarers.


Aviator Sunglasses

As you probably guessed from the name, Aviator sunglasses were originally developed in the 1930’s for use by pilots in the military. They were designed to replace pilot goggles, offering a lighter, thinner, more elegant design that can be easily put on or taken off while wearing a helmet.

Aviator sunglasses are characterized by their large reflective lenses, thin frames, double or triple nose bridge, and flexible ear hooks.

aviator sunglasses

They first entered the mainstream media during the Second World War, when photos of General Douglas MacArthur wearing aviators were published on the front page of major newspapers. These photos helped boost the popularity of aviators, positioning them as “the sunglasses for heroes”.

Aviators remained popular during the 1960’s and 1970’s, with gold and white Aviators being the sunglasses of choice for Elvis Presley. However, Aviator sunglasses experienced their biggest boom during the 1980’s with the release of the box office hit Top Gun. Sales of Aviators jumped 40% as men around the world entered “the Danger Zone”, emulating the military style of Tom Cruise and his fighter pilot comrades.

One of the best things about Aviator sunglasses is their flexibility - they look equally good on both men and women. They look fantastic on rock stars, movie stars, and anyone wearing a uniform. They work best in casual situations, especially when they are paired with a leather jacket and jeans.

Woodies offers three great choices for aviator lovers - the stylish aviator sunglasses with zebra wood arms, and the traditional metal framed aviators with classy walnut wood arms (https://woodies.com/collections/wood-sunglasses/products/walnut-wood-sunglasses-with-metal-aviator-frames). 


Cat Eye Sunglasses

Pick any female movie star or fashion icon from the 1950’s or 1960’s, and there’s a fairly good chance her favorite pair of sunglasses were Cat Eye sunglasses. Though Cat Eye sunglasses were particularly popular among women, some fashion conscious men of that era also chose to wear them. 

Cat Eye sunglasses are characterized by the upsweep at the outer edges of the frame, where the frame meets the arms. Unsurprisingly, the name comes from their resemblance to the eyes of a cat.

cat eye sunglasses

There are a large number of variations within the Cat Eye style, from Hollywood diva dramatic to simple and stylish mainstream. Lenses can be round or oblong, frames can be thick or thin, and the glasses can be made from plastic, wood or metal.

Cat Eye sunglasses first became popular in the 1950’s, and were the sunglasses of choice for celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Marylin Monroe. The style experienced a second boom in the 1980’s, when the shape changed slightly to a wider, more rounded style.

Cat Eye sunglasses are the perfect choice for any female wanting to add a little bit of retro sophistication to their look. They can be worn with a dress at an afternoon cocktail party, with jeans and a t-shirt at a local cafe, or with a skimpy bikini down at the beach.

If you’re looking for glasses with an edgy, feminine appeal, Woodies has a pair of vibrant red bamboo Cat Eye sunglasses (https://woodies.com/collections/wood-sunglasses/products/woodies-red-cat-eye-bamboo-sunglasses) that are sure to make you the center of attention wherever you go.


Clubmaster Sunglasses 

Two words come to mind when you talk about Clubmaster sunglasses - retro and timeless. Since their introduction back in the 1950’s, Clubmaster sunglasses have been worn by both intellectuals and fashion icons.

Clubmaster sunglasses are characterized by their thin lower frame, thicker upper frame, and squared-off round shape. They were originally known as browline sunglasses, a name that stems from their unique design - the dark, contrasting material along the top of the frame and arms draws attention to the wearer’s natural browline.

clubmaster sunglasses

Clubmaster sunglasses were popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and were the iconic glasses worn by African-American minister and human rights activist Malcolm X. However, Clubmasters experienced their biggest boom in the 1980’s when they were worn by Bruce Willis in the popular detective show Moonlighting.

The enduring popularity of Clubmaster sunglasses comes from both their classic style and their versatility. They look great on almost any face shape - long, round, oval or rectangular - and can be worn by both men and women.

Unlike the sporty Aviators, bold Wayfarers, and chic Cat Eyes sunglasses, Clubmaster sunglasses have a distinctly vintage look. Although they look good paired with a polo shirt or t-shirt, they look fantastic when paired with business suits, blazers and country club jackets. Whether you’re entertaining clients at an outdoor cocktail party, or on a first date at a beachside restaurant, Clubmasters are great for helping you stand out and be remembered.

For guys who really want to make a statement, consider pairing a grey, three piece suit with a pair of Woodies zebra wood Clubmaster sunglasses. It’s a classic style that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.


Wayfarer Sunglasses

If you’re looking for a pair of sunglasses that work well in almost any situation, you can’t go past the bold and stylish Wayfarer sunglasses. With their roots in the counterculture movement of the 1960’s, the Wayfarer style combines fashion with a hint of attitude. They are arguably the best selling style of sunglasses worldwide.

Wayfarer sunglasses are characterized by their large, squared-off shape, dark lenses and thick frames. Many Wayfarers come with one or more distinctive metal spots on the corners of the frame.

wayfarer sunglasses

It’s hard to pick a single period or person that has made Wayfarer sunglasses so iconic. Bob Dylan and John F. Kennedy made the style famous in the 1960’s, but it was probably the 1980’s that saw the Wayfarers popularity rise the most. After first being worn by Jake and Elwood Blues, the stylish outlaw protagonists of the early 80’s hit The Blues Brothers, Wayfarers appeared in an average of 60 television shows and movies every year. Their amazing popularity continues to this day.

Wayfarers are traditionally all black, though these days you can get them in a variety of colors and patterns. They are extremely versatile, and can be worn with swimwear, a t-shirt and shorts, a shirt and long pants, or even a business suit. Although they were originally worn by men, they look just as fashionable on the modern woman.

Woodies offers a wide variety of Wayfarer sunglasses, with a range of colors and materials to choose from. If you’re looking for a truly unique pair of Wayfarers, we recommend our stylish walnut wood wayfarers sunglasses with black polarized lenses


Talk To Us

If you have any questions about styles, or just want some advice on which pair of sunglasses looks best on you, feel free to contact us anytime (https://woodies.com/pages/contact).


  • Scott Sprouse -

    Wow! Really loved this post. I’ve found some amazing customized party sunglasses here: https://www.sunglassville.com/Custom-Party-Sunglasses

  • Daniya Gardener -

    Wooden or bamboo sunglasses are my all time favourite. it is so classy ! i loved the clubmaster sunglass.. just lovely. i would love to get it.. I found some amazing custom bamboo sunglasses in www.sunglassville.com/promotional+wooden+sunglasses which was amazing.

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