Joe Biden’s Aviators Have an Almost 60-Year History—And a Little Bit of Baggage

It’s hard to tell the exact moment that Joe Biden became inextricably linked with aviators. As the vice president became a jovial pop-culture figure through Barack Obama’s first term, the aviators were already a part of his appeal. By 2014, even he was in on the joke. When he started his Instagram account that year, his first post showed a solitary pair of aviators on his desk in the West Wing. Last year, his campaign began making T-shirts and yard signs featuring a pair of the sunglasses, and at this week’s Democratic National Convention, they were a frequent presence, during the audience applause segments and Tuesday night roll call. …

In some ways, Biden has become so known for his sunglasses because his wardrobe, heavy on blue and navy suits, is somewhat nondescript. Obama was occasionally a creative dresser during his presidency, but Biden’s style hasn’t changed too much in the decades since he became a national figure. Unlike Donald Trump, his outfits are well-tailored. The aviators, especially when he pairs them with a bomber jacket and a wide grin, represent Biden’s boisterous personality even in photographs.

By Erin Vanderhoof, Vanity Fair

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