Originally created for military pilots, the Bomber jacket, also known as the Flight jacket and very close cousin to the Varsity jacket, has gone on to become a bona-fide menswear classic and a modern-day must-own for any style-conscious gent. Comfortable, cool and effortless, the outerwear silhouette has been adopted by casual wear lovers for generations, still holding its own as a fashion staple to this very day. From high-end to high street, the bomber continues to be revived and reinvented season upon season, with little sign of stopping. For this Fall/Winter season, we have four equally sharp yet cosmetically different choices to cover all the bases.
When that colder weather sets in, a bomber jacket may not be the most obvious choice to layer over formalwear, but it can look just as sharp as a blazer during the summer. If you want the smart bomber look, team your jacket with a crisp white shirt, slim-cut chinos and a pair of loafers/monk-straps for a dress-down look. Don't be afraid to pair a Bomber with a tie as well. The zipper or buttons should blend in and pockets remain empty of anything other than your hands. Stick to minimal collar and cuffs that echo the jacket’s body. But above all else, never do it all the way up. You need to spot the shirt and tie below to tilt your look towards the formal.
Born out of the American school system, the varsity jacket has gone on to cement its rightful place within the wardrobes of men worldwide. Traditionally, this silhouette features a wool torso, button fastening, ribbed cuffs and waistband, contrast leather sleeves and a boxy fit – yet the modern industry definition isn’t so rigid. Sidestep all preppy and Ivy League connotations by combining your modern varsity jacket with simple casual staples – think slim-cut chinos, selvedge denim, sneakers and neutral T-shirts.
One of the jacket’s many strengths is undoubtedly the breadth of versions designers can offer, and therefore are available at many price points. Men looking for an alternative to a blazer have quickly realized that a simple bomber shape in suede looks grown-up, expensive and goes with pretty much everything else in their wardrobe. Put simply, the bomber is season-less, ageless and adaptable to all manner of fabrics. If you aren't sure how to style it, when in doubt, go minimal.