The military has long been a source of inspiration for men’s fashion. It gave us chinos, as well as the color khaki; it gave us the navy blazer; it gave us the peacoat. Military gear continues to drive trends in fashion because it is strong, simple, and functional, three qualities that men prize in themselves and in their clothes. The leather bomber jacket fits all of those criteria, so it should come as no surprise that it has migrated from military apparel to a style staple of men the world over. Especially as the cold weather comes swirling down our streets and onto our doorsteps, a bomber jacket should quickly become a good friend of any FashionMR wanting to brave the chilly outdoors.
Also known as the flight jacket, the bomber jacket has its origins in the First World War, the dawn of military aviation. In those days, airplanes did not have closed cockpits, and pilots flying sorties needed something to keep them warm in the cold upper atmosphere. This need grew more pressing during World War Two, when the altitudes at which aircraft flew rose tremendously- and though planes had closed cockpits by that time, those were not insulated, making a thick coat essential to ward off the frigid temperatures. The result was a closely cropped, thickly lined jacket with a high collar and elasticized bands at the sleeves, along with elastic around the waist. Like so much military apparel, after the wars it found many fans among civilians as it became associated with heroism and daring.
Bomber jackets have remained similar in their basic shape, though they do change between manufacturers. Some have pockets on the chest, while others maintain two simple pockets for a more streamlined look. The material they are made of also varies: many are made of leather, while others are made of nylon or other synthetic fabrics. All are classic pieces that should find a versatile place in a FashionMR’s wardrobe. Pair a classic brown leather bomber jacket with chinos or corduroys for protection from the cold. If you prefer to be more adventurous, try a jacket in another color, or even a cotton bomber jacket with a patterned exterior. Unlock your inner flight jockey and dress for adventure.