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What Is A Bomber Jacket?


We live in the golden age of bomber jackets. There have never been that many awesome models you can style so well with basically anything. Many gents who want to look fresh and put together but not too formal opt for this popular model. Yet, what is a bomber jacket? What’s the story behind it?

The main reason bomber jackets are so popular is the versatility and relevancy to all ages. Just slip into one and you’ll appear more attractive instantly (a masculine military vibe is the one to “blame”). An ideal choice all-year-round, this piece of apparel features great layering potential. Yet, not so long ago – bomber jackets were center of attention for another reason. Here’s why.

History of a Bomber Jacket

The first sheepskin bomber jacket saw the light of the day almost 100 years ago, in 1926. Leslie Irvin came up with an idea of designing a comfortable and warm jacket the England Royal Air Force wore during WWII. The most popular model of a bomber leather jacket, the A-2 design created in 1927 was given to all pilots who finished basic flight training until 1942.

These flight jackets were mostly made of brown and black leather with either sheepskin silk lining. A typical model had 2 front pockets and elasticized waist and cuffs. Initially, bomber jackets were tough and heavy for the reason pilots were involved in bombing raids back then (which is why they received the nickname “bomber”).

Yet, although pilots continued wearing flight jackets, other soldiers seemed to love the slick look of this piece but wore them when out of duty as the A-2 model didn’t provide enough warmth to the rest of the crew.

Then, all of a sudden, the Air Force stopped making sheepskin bomber jackets and switched to nylon. Once the leather jacket made a big comeback in 1988, it never went out of style again. Even ladies fell for the charm of this garment.

What Is a Bomber Jacket Nowadays?

A bomber jacket as we know it is short (waist or hip-length), made of leather, cotton, polyester, and nylon. It comes with ribbed cuffs and waistband and zipped front, with a couple of functional pockets – either 2 or 4. You will spot models with flat round or shirt collars.

Types of Bomber Jackets

Some of the most popular bomber jacket types include:

1.      Polyester bomber jackets

Men seeking style with a dash of casual usually stick to polyester bomber jackets. The perfect spring garment is available in a myriad of colors and designs. Some even come with logos on. Lightweight and waterproof, polyester bomber jackets can be layered so you can fit this type into most outfits.

2.      Wool bomber jackets

Thick and warm, wool makes a great choice for winter months. Wool bomber jackets are authentic and classy. You can find authentic and faux models, of which some are water-resistant. This model is rather simple so you can combine it well with jeans, cotton sweaters, etc.

3.      Leather bomber jacket

The most popular model, a leather bomber jacket is a statement piece. If you want to appear more masculine, leather will add a bit of alpha-male vibes to your look so you won’t even have to make efforts to turn heads.

You will find many models combining leather and suede, which may be a good choice for chilly nights when combined with a warm sweater.

How to Style

Lots of zips make a bomber jacket a bit retro. If you want to ensure you look put-together, opt for a clean, minimalistic shape. Style your bomber jacket with non-shiny fabric – cotton or wool. We would recommend avoiding wearing contrasting colors and big logos.

Bomber jackets are best for styling with casual clothes – jeans, t-shirts, chinos, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1.   Is a bomber jacket warm?

Initially, bomber jackets were designed to provide warmth to pilots in cold climates. Until this day, this garment experienced multiple alterations. Leather sheepskin models seem to retain warmth and make a good choice for wintertime. Bomber jackets made of fabric are suitable for mid-spring to mid-autumn season. 

  1.   Are bomber jackets waterproof?

Some of them are. If you have a waterproof jacket, that means you can wear it when it is raining. On the other side, a water-resistant jacket can handle a couple of drops, but heavy rain would damage it. You should know the difference between these two features when buying a jacket.

  1.   Are bomber jackets hooded?

Yes, you can find models with detachable hoodies. Although you couldn’t find a hooded bomber jacket back in 1926/7, this feature arose gradually. Most hooded bomber jackets are made of nylon and cotton.

Wrap Up

A timeless garment, bomber jacket went through a lot – including war. It suits everyone and you can style it easily if you stick to the basics. Not only you’ve learned what is a bomber jacket but you could take notes on how to style this iconic fashion staple and achieve a tip-top look every time you wear it.