The mercury’s dropping and you can almost feel the nip in the air. The evenings aren’t as muggy and the nights are almost pleasant – puddles and potholes notwithstanding. The writing is on the wall. It’s the perfect season to start experimenting with the one trend that is as popular with celebrities and designers as it is with regular folk, like you and I. It’s time to start experimenting with ‘Bomber Jackets‘.
The Big Bomb
A quintessential wardrobe staple for any man of discerning taste, the bomber jacket is back this year and how. This fashion perineal traces its roots to World War II. In those days the pilots needed warm clothing that would protect them against high-altitude cold weather, while also being streamlined enough to comfortably fit inside crammed cockpits. Thus was born the B-15 jacket, the precursor to the modern-day Bomber. The original B-15 featured a fur collar (later replaced with a knit collar), a zip pocket on one sleeve and slash pockets.
Interestingly, while most people tend to associate the ‘Sage Green’ colour with all things Military, the original bomber jacket was actually Midnight Blue. The green was only deployed in ‘60s to camouflage soldiers in dense vegetation, which was crucial during the Korean and the Vietnam wars.
The bomber entered civilian wardrobes in the mid-50s. It topped the popularity charts from the 60s through the 80s, when men across Europe, Australia and eventually the US gravitated to this style for its warmth, comfort and unmistakably iconic style.
The 80s saw Hollywood heavyweights such as Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise flaunt the bomber jacket in the popular Indiana Jones movies and in Top Gun. And as the saying goes, from there, there was no looking back.
The modern-day Bomber
The modern-day bomber jacket forgoes the bulky sleeves and extra pockets in favour of a more streamlined design, although some ‘classic’ styles still draw heavily from the original bomber of the 60s. Today’s bomber jacket is no longer limited to leather and the traditional greens and browns, as fashion-forward men experiment with a variety of materials and colours.
Mango has some great jackets.
Choosing a Bomber Jacket
When selecting a bomber jacket, the fit should always be your first priority.
Shoulders: Look for a physique-hugging shoulder with the seam lying directly on the point where your shoulder meets your bicep. Oversized is not a good look for the bomber jacket, since it can easily overwhelm your frame and make you look bulky.
Waist: Your jacket should taper towards the waist to create a flattering ‘V’ shape. Your jacket should be slim but not too slim so as to allow for layering. Keep in mind: if you can see more than an inch of extra fabric near your waist when you try the jacket on, opt for a smaller size.
Length: A bomber jacket is a cropped style and its bottom hem should only just touch the top of your trouser, in order to flatteringly elongate your torso.
Sleeves: Stick to a slim fit for the sleeves as well. The sleeves should end at the bottom of your palm or near your wrist bone, in order to comfortably accommodate any layers. Definite no-no’s: chest pockets and puffy sleeves.
Colour: When it comes to colour, stick to a monochrome or a neutral palette for maximum versatility. If you’re in the mood for something bolder, you can experiment with a red bomber, a la James Dean, or a deep burgundy as is preferred by Ryan Gosling.
When selecting your bomber jacket, experimenting with texture is a great way to stand out from the crowd without seeming like you’re trying too hard. Look for Suede bomber jackets in colours such as beige, stone and brown, to put a spin on this classic. Prints can also make for an interesting twist, provided the design isn’t too overwhelming and does not overpower your frame.
You can find some on Zara
How do you style a Bomber Jacket?
Going casual: A bomber jacket has an inherently laid-back style. For a casual look, team your bomber with distressed or ripped denims and a graphic tee. Don’t wear very loose or baggy jeans with the bomber, since these jackets work best with a streamlined silhouette.
Innovating semi-formals: A bomber jacket is also surprisingly versatile and can make for an interesting selection for semi-formal gatherings. Slim fit trousers cropped to your ankle and a lightweight, formal shirt are all you need for a smart look. A tie can also be incorporated, if your mood and the occasion so demand.
Smart casual: Another cool way to mix and match is with wool and nylon, and polyester bomber jackets, which pair excellently with tapered, cropped pants or jeans, and plain tees or shirts. Round off this look with boat shoes for the perfect smart-casual look.
Out of the box: If you’re a fan of the sports-lux trend that has been making waves in recent months, you’ll be happy to know that the bomber jacket shares your enthusiasm for this trend. Layer your jacket with a hoodie, or with a polo or sweatshirt and relaxed trousers (such as joggers). If you are experimenting with a printed bomber, stick to a monochromatic look to focus all attention to your bomber.
Bomber jackets, when styled with care, make good investment pieces and can be repurposed in a number of fascinating ways. Don’t be afraid to splash a little extra for a piece that fits you well and has a good finish.
Find some cool Bomber jackets on Jabong.