Bomber jackets are somewhat familiar to most of us. Maybe we saw one on someone in a picture or noticed the style in the movie Top Gun. The question is, are you and your closet ready for one of your own?
A bomber jacket is an outer layer of clothing that was originally made for fighter pilots in World War I. Airplanes were relatively new on the scene, and this was one of the first times they were being used in battle. The cockpits weren't yet airtight or insulated against aerial temperatures, so pilots wore these jackets to keep warm while they went on bombing missions and raids. The first jackets were heavy, durable leather that zipped up in the front with elastic cuffs at the wrists and an elastic hem at the waist. Later on, sheepskin was added to the lining for more insulation.
Today, the bomber jackets are still worn by pilots of the military, but the look has been copied by the average citizen as well. The zip up front is still a staple feature of the modern bomber jacket, and most still retain the clear cuffs and waist hemline. Materials, on the other hand, range from leather to polyester to suede and other fabrics. The collar can be more of a defined crew neck, or it can stand tall on the neck, or it can be big enough to fold over like a typical shirt collar.
A bomber jacket is an excellent jacket for the modern man since it offers the sophisticated yet casual look that many desire from their wardrobes. The design of the jacket is informal, and if you get one in polyester, the jacket can be an excellent casual piece. On the other hand, a well-made bomber jacket in one of the nicer materials like leather can easily raise the level of your look, giving you some semi-formal options as well as all of the chill choices.
How Do You Wear a Bomber Jacket?
The bomber jacket is an overlayer. This means you're considering it in terms of the pants it is being worn with and the top you're laying under it. Barring something closer to trousers, the bomber jacket works with any kind of casual pants. For your underlayer, higher necklines that follow the style of your jacket's collar will work best. For more specific examples, read on!
The crew neck neckline of a men's T-shirt is a beautiful match to the typical collar style of a bomber jacket. Bomber jackets tend to be darker in color, so a T-shirt in a lighter neutral like white or gray could make the perfect rebel look when put with a black leather jacket or, if you match your T-shirt with a military green jacket, you can communicate Maverick of Top Gun's confident attitude. Black T-shirts also work well, especially with colored jackets. Whatever you choose, T-shirts make for excellent underlayers. Throw on a pair of black or dark wash men's jeans on the bottom and a pair of sneakers, and you have yourself a bomber jacket outfit!
A men's sweater with a high neckline gives you an extra layer of warmth which is a nod to the bomber jacket's original purpose while also giving you a good match with the bomber jacket collar. Some men's turtlenecks even go well with some of the taller collared jackets. The best colors for sweaters are still neutrals, with white, gray, and black being the safest color choices. Choosing high-quality jeans to complete this combination makes sense with the level of this outfit. Men's chinos pants could also be a possibility if your bomber jacket is one of the nicer ones. Clean white sneakers or boots for footwear, and you have an ensemble that's toasty and classy.
This one does appear to break the bomber jacket's collar rule. However, if you look at it from the front, a pullover hoodie comes up quite high on the neck, creating a crew neck image that's quite similar to those of the two previous underlayers. A hoodie is also very in line with both the casual style of the bomber jacket and the keeping warm element that was so definitive in the bomber jacket's history. Whatever the reason, when paired with casual jeans, this can be a great outfit option.
Like bomber jackets, aviator sunglasses were originally developed for pilots. Thus, this accessory is a natural match for the jacket. If you're going to own and style a bomber jacket, you definitely have to have a pair of aviators to complete the look.
With these stylish choices, you're ready to get a bomber jacket of your own. Look good and fly safe!