Tom Cruise has been influencing our choice in shades ever since he flashed his iconic grin and slipped on those dark wayfarers in Risky Business. Not to mention for those of us who grew up in the '80s, classic teardrop aviators will always make us think Top Gun. And now, his latest movie American Made is redefining once again what it means to wear “Tom Cruise sunglasses”.
American Made tells the unbelievably true story of Barry Seal, a TWA pilot who suddenly finds himself operating one of the biggest covert operations in the history of the CIA, an operation which also gave rise to the infamous Medellin cartel.
In American Made, Tom sports square-framed aviators, the choice of NASA astronauts and military pilots. The brand chose for the film are from Randolph Engineering, though the logo on the lens has been removed for the movie, the tiny “Randolph” text is still visible in some on-set photos. These sunglasses are a soft square-shaped spin on the more oval frames of classic aviators. Not only is the square-framed aviator a versatile Primer-approved look, we've talked in the past about how they're a retro classic that will always be in style.
Randolph has been making standard uniform-issue aviator sunglasses for the military ever since they won their contract with the U.S. Air Force in 1982. These sunglasses are built to last, with a quality scratch-resistant coating and a lifetime warranty on all its solder joints.
But even before that, in 1956, American Optics first developed their “Original Pilot” sunglasses for military pilots. In 1967, Commander Neil Armstrong famously wore these on the lunar surface, and today those sunglasses are on display in the Smithsonian. Head over to Amazon for our more affordable (and museum-worthy) pick, the “Original Pilot” from American Optics for around $50: