The bomber jacket is one sort of item which never goes out of fashion and it’s no often a season goes by without a where at least one brand doesn’t try to reinvent it. As the bomber jackets return thick and fast for this season we take a look at the item which always remains relevant and youthful, along with the best versions of it to buy right now.
It was once known as the Flight jacket- and sometimes still is- because of its roots in aviation, but the bomber jacket as we now know it really found its fame in fashion from the 70s onwards for its classic, retro appeal to youth subcultures. The bomber jacket has now become a feature of high fashion, street fashion, sportswear and evening wear too. It’s a design which has become notorious for being worn by celebrity style icons such as James Dean, Elvis Presley, Steve McQueen, Tom Cruise and more recently Ryan Gosling in the cult film Drive.
The bomber jacket appeals because it’s fitted, lightweight and comfortable as well as boasting deep, accessible pockets it could also come in any number of fabrics or technically savvy incarnations.
Whilst the original is always going to be the MA-1 flight jacket, plenty of variations add to the legacy of this style.
The very first types of these jackets would have been worn during the period of World War 1 when pilots needed something practical to wear whilst flying in sub-zero temperatures. These would most often be made from leather featuring a sheepskin collar.
With a classic zip utilitarian style and puffed sleeves. At this time they often came in blue, navy or olive green colours. They still had a penchant for the retro aviation style though because they would often sew flight club style badges on the garment, inspired by the war era. Today it is a multi-functional item and whereas in the past it might have a collar, sometimes it now gets swapped for a rounded neck. One thing most styles of bomber jacket have in common is a high waist line which often sits quite close to the body, a feature which became apparent because the jacket was designed not to restrict a pilots movement, therefore shorter because he would be sat down on flight.
It provides an instant clean cut appearance as well as being one of the most useful layering items you have; hoodies and jumpers will sit perfectly beneath whilst the jacket will remain neat underneath a host of bigger statement jacket.
Take G-Star RAW and Versace for example, who have both taken this classic design and modernised it with vivid printing in their own in-house style. Fred Perry’s bomber keeps things very traditional and exudes an air of Mod style, whilst Diesel have taken inspiration from the aviation field and given it a twist of modern street-wear in its appearance. Versace has two collections; Versace Jeans has a shiny polyester jacket with black mesh overlays on the sleeves for urban looks. But the Versace Collection on the other hand has a much cleaner, sophisticated version in pure black with a quirky waffle texture.
The bomber jacket is practical, easy-to-wear and ultimately masculine, and it is the perfect item to round off your look this spring.
Shop this ubiquitous style at Mainline Menswear