Bomber Jackets: The Pilot’s Legacy in the Driver’s Seat

Bomber Jackets: The Pilot’s Legacy in the Driver’s Seat

Bomber jackets are undeniably cool, transporting you to a bygone era of daring pilots and classic aeroplanes as they dominate the skies for adventure and freedom. In my latest style post, I will delve deeper into what makes a bomber jacket a wardrobe essential. Carry on reading to find out more!

Originally, bomber jackets were crafted from solid and tough leather to ensure they stood the test of time, even when worn hard. If you manage to find yourself in the enviable position of grabbing a vintage model in a thrift store, you will feel that each scuff and crease tells a story about its past, clearly showing that these types of clothing items transcend time.

Historical Background

Bomber jackets have been on the market for decades, dating back to World War I, when pilots needed outerwear suitable for harsh conditions (especially as the cockpits were typically open-air). Originally, they were known as flight jackets and crafted from heavy-duty leather, lined with warm shearling to protect against the coldest temperatures when flying at high altitudes amongst the clouds.

During World War II, the bomber jacket’s design evolved even further. The iconic A-2 jacket was adapted with front zippers, knitted cuffs, and a waistcoat (to produce a closer fit and keep the cold out during airborne excursions). These particular features would go on to become the bomber jacket’s defining characteristics throughout its lifetime.

Influencing Future Styles

During the 1950s and 1960s, bomber jackets slowly infiltrated the wardrobes of the average guy, no longer solely for fighter plane cockpits. Hollywood definitely had its hand in this fashionable shift, thanks to iconic stars of the big screen, such as Steve McQueen and James Dean, who rocked the humble bomber jacket on and off the set – undoubtedly boosting their effortless style with that rebellious, cool vibe they were famous for.

During the following decades, the bomber jacket continued to evolve, adapting when necessary to changing styles and fashions. Despite laying low during the colourful 1960s and 1970s, it would see a massive popularity surge in the 1980s, largely thanks to the release of “Top Gun“, in which Maverick (Tom Cruise’s character) made it cool once more.

During this time, many designers started trying different fabrics, cuts and materials when experimenting with the jacket’s classic design, which projected its appeal to a much larger worldwide audience. With many variations available, from a vintage leather model to a modern premium Corvette jacket, the bomber style retains a timeless appeal. It boasts versatility while offering practicality and class in equal measure – yet it is constantly being modernised thanks to fashion houses adding their unique touch of flair to the catwalk.

Modern Bomber Jacket Styles

Since its early military origins, the bomber jacket has come leaps and bounds, offering a complementary mix of classic design and contemporary style. Many different fabrics are now used during the construction process, from classic leather, suede, wool, and even lightweight nylon – each of these wildly different materials totally changes the entire outlook of the jacket. Sleek yet understated designs are suited for street ensembles. Meanwhile, flashy options featuring prints, patches, and embezzlement offer an eye-catching alternative.

One of the biggest brands in the bomber jacket niche is undoubtedly Alpha Industries, with its wide variety of different-coloured models that add vibrancy to your outfits.

Styling A Bomber Jacket

Bomber jackets are highly versatile, allowing them to be adaptable to a number of different outfits, from casual to something a little smarter, and even across each of the four seasons.


Level up your casual styling with an everyday look, such as denim jeans, a printed tee, low-profile sneakers, and a bomber jacket – an effortless outfit ideal for weekend city breaks or social gatherings with the lads. Choose the lightweight nylon model for those warmer days or timeless leather if you want an edgy appearance.

Smart Casual

Despite its casual design, a bomber jacket can easily be incorporated into smart casual outfits by opting for neutral colours such as black, navy, and olive and pairing it with chinos and a button-down shirt. Chic and fashionable, it is ideal for that important date night or casual business meeting. Complement this getup with loafers or dress shoes.


Thanks to the bomber jacket’s simple style, you can effortlessly add various accessories to enhance its appeal – beanies or baseball caps with aviator sunglasses for casual wear. Alternatively, wear a scarf, flat cap, gloves, and a belt for formal winter wardrobes, and a sleek wristwatch and jewellery to complement both styles.


Bomber jackets are captivating pieces of clothing that blend practicality, style, and history. They are undoubtedly must-have items in any man’s wardrobe. Do you have one in your clothing rotation already? Let me know in the comments below.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *