The bomber jacket is an American menswear classic. The original Type A-1 flight jacket that debuted in 1927 was crafted from heavy leather to keep pilots warm during flight. As time passed, the bomber jacket was adapted by the Japanese before it made its way around the world and into the counterculture. It inspired countless functional and fashionable variations, which all share defining characteristics. The waist-length jacket has side pockets and a front zipper. Its collar, cuffs and hem are edged with ribbed knit trim. The jacket’s fit is roomy for easy layering, and its shorter length eliminates bulk while allowing for more freedom of movement.
Read Also: 10 Leather Jacket Outfits to Try Now
Bomber Jacket Designs
Today’s bomber jackets run the gamut from utilitarian to urban. You can find them at home in the country or city and can be worn in mild to frigid weather. A bomber jacket can be crafted from natural or high-tech fibers. From humble cotton to luxurious suede, there’s a bomber jacket for every body type and wardrobe. You can even wear a reversible bomber jacket. They are flattering, versatile and always in style.
A bomber jacket can be crafted from any fabric, but the most common choices are cotton, leather and nylon. Suede and wool are popular fabrics for autumn, and polyester is also quite common.
A classic bomber jacket is typically made of a solid fabric in a dark or neutral color. Lighter-weight nylon and cotton jackets in brighter colors are also popular. The lighter and looser the fabrication, the more likely designers will dress up the jacket with stripes and patterns. In recent years, quilted bomber jackets have become a popular and comfortable option.
Tips for Wearing a Bomber Jacket
The bomber jacket you choose depends on your own personal style. If you’re looking for some fresh ideas for wearing this iconic jacket in 2023, check out the tips below.
1. Wear It With a T-Shirt
A bomber jacket and a t-shirt are a can’t-go-wrong combination for casual weekend wear. To look smart, coordinate the colors and fabric for each piece. When the weather is warm, wear a cotton or nylon bomber jacket in a solid color with a short-sleeved t-shirt that’s solid or striped. When temperatures drop, you can wear the jacket with a long-sleeved hooded shirt.
2. Wear It With a Henley
To take your style up a notch, layer a bomber jacket over a long-sleeved henley. This is a relaxed look with subtle appeal. The buttons at the collar dress up the shirt and draw attention to your face. For a soft yet masculine fall look, try a cotton-poly henley underneath a suede bomber jacket.
3. Wear It With a Turtleneck
Wearing a turtleneck on its own can be a bit tricky, but when paired with a bomber jacket, the combination is a sophisticated cool-weather look. A navy, chocolate or black bomber jacket worn with a matching wool or cashmere turtleneck will make a luxe statement. Create a subtle play on color with a dark or neutral jacket and a turtleneck in a lighter or complementary color. The effect should be refined and chic.
4. Wear It With a Sweater
A bomber jacket worn over a sweater looks cozy and approachable. Pick a leather jacket with a relaxed fit so the sweater can drape without bunching up. The thickness of the sweater will influence the style and fabric of the jacket you choose.
5. Wear It With a Puffer Vest
A nylon or cotton twill bomber jacket worn with a puffer vest looks sporty, warm, and intentional. It’s not only practical enough for the country or a weekend brunch, but it can also function as streetwear with the right accessories.
6. Wear It With a Button-Down Shirt
Wearing a bomber jacket with a button-down shirt can create a preppy or lumberjack vibe, depending on the fabrics you choose. Since the fit of a bomber jacket is relaxed, the shirt can be too. Ironed cotton button-downs can also be layered under sweaters for an intentional, put-together style.
7. Wear It With Jeans
You can’t go wrong with a bomber jacket and jeans. The classic styles complement each other and look right in any casual situation. This combination looks rugged enough for a trip to the country or the farmers’ market and stylish enough for a baseball game or catching up over a cup of coffee.
8. Wear It With Khakis
Khakis can be classic or preppy. They look a touch more refined than jeans and are perfect for making a good impression without trying too hard. A leather, suede, or corduroy bomber jacket in a warm tone is a perfect complement to khaki pants.
9. Wear It With Joggers or Sweatpants
Worn with fitter, more stylish sweatpants, a bomber jacket can look hip and current. The key to getting the right look is combining textured and patterned fabrics in similar or complementary weights. A wool or cotton jacket and sweatpants in matching or contrasting colors worn with a graphic t-shirt will achieve a look that’s hip. A patterned nylon bomber jacket with a white or black t-shirt and coordinating joggers are also a must-try. The look should be youthful, fun and active.
10. Wear It With Corduroy Pants
Paired with corduroy, a leather or wool bomber jacket telegraphs tactile luxury. Plush fabrics and refined fibers will make this combination dressy and elegant, and it looks great for a weekend stroll around town.
What Shoes Should You Wear With a Bomber Jacket?
Shoes are the finishing touch to any bomber jacket ensemble, and they can make or break your look. Your shoes should suit the style of the total look. Brown leather boots will look great with a wool or suede jacket in chocolate, olive or grey, but they won’t suit a navy nylon bomber jacket. You can wear white trainers or sneakers with a black bomber jacket or high tops with a nylon bomber jacket.
Wearing a Bomber Jacket in 2023
While bomber jackets are a perennial favorite, they’re enjoying a resurgence in 2023. With endless opportunities for personalization, a new bomber jacket is a perfect way to stay current while expressing your personal style.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.