Bomber jackets are one of many fashion staples with a history in the armed forces. Function, it would seem, frequently looks good. First popularized in the 1950’s, their simple styling with ribbed cuffs, collar and waist went from military to punk, and have had a recent resurgence in popularity.
Popularized by European airmen at first, who wore their old military jackets in civilian life, the ease of adding additional lining or wearing them thinner has made this jacket prevalent in many industries — Police, Pro Baseball, Varsity jackets — and continues to be an easy layer for nearly any casual situation. That versatility has lead to many different iterations across the spectrum of styles, costs, and fabrics!
They have of course now made it into high fashion, and the options below are great examples thereof. Suede, leather, nylon, wool, colors and price points for all tastes and wallets, these have huge utility to be dressed up or down!
1. All Saints Kino Leather Bomber Jacket
Having good taste is expensive. So while some readers may scoff at the $500 price tag for this bomber jacket, this look is worth every penny. The Kino Leather Bomber Jacket from All Saints doesn’t have the embellishments and accents that you sometimes find on designer men’s clothing. It’s a classic bomber jacket with a zip closure on the breast and ribbed trim on the sleeves and collar. All Saints is very trim cut, which makes this perfect to wear over thinner button-ups and T-shirts.
2. Bonobos Boulevard Bomber Jacket
A basic navy bomber jacket is one of the most versatile jackets you can have in your closet. Wear it with dark wash jeans and a light blue oxford cloth button down, and bring out some of the crazy designer sneakers you just bought for a little pop. Throw on olive chinos, a grey crewneck sweatshirt, some beat up canvas sneakers and walk to the bar around the corner for some Sunday Football. Wear it to the stadium for a soccer game! Wear it with white jeans in the spring! No matter how hard you try, you really can’t go wrong here. Bonobos always makes great fitting clothes, and their outerwear has a standard fuller cut. The navy nylon is tough and hard wearing, and will look nice and crisp for a long time to come.
3. Everlane The Bomber Jacket
BEST COLOR OPTIONS
If you’re the type looking for a jacket you can wear on a daily basis with just about any outfit, Everlane has you covered. The online retailer’s take on the bomber is a streamlined and handsome-looking jacket available in Dark Slate, Black, Brushed Pewter and Navy. And as is typical with Everlane, it’s extremely well priced. The jacket arrives pre-washed so you won’t experience any shrinking should you get it dirty and need to give it a rinse. Likewise, the base of the jacket is made of recycled polyester, so you can feel good about picking one of these up.
Personally, we like the Dark Slate color as it’s a bit unique in what is already an over-crowded market. But really, any of these jackets are a great buy.
4. Zara Padded Bomber Jacket
The quilted look isn’t for everyone, but those who appreciate the style will love this option from Zara. Not only it is an affordable option (we love Zara for their price point), but it looks damn good with just about any outfit. The padding and shell is made from 100% recycled polyester like the Everlane jacket above, but this one will give you a bit more points in the style category. Available in a dark blue (pictured below) and black, we like how the jacket has a slim fit. It pairs exceptionally well over a hoodie with light wash denim. For men who like clothing with a little more texture, this is one of the best bomber jackets of the season.
5. Buck Mason Bruiser Bomber Jacket
BEST LEATHER OPTION
With Brando vibes and a solid price point for a leather jacket, the “Bruiser” bomber jacket from Buck Mason is a can’t miss option. This bomber has a thick, quilted lining underneath twice-washed lambskin, which is just as soft as the more prevalent calfskin, but will wear longer and with more durability. This option is great for the winter and may be the warmest option on this list. We see your Bomber jacket and raise you a leather jacket; it’s the best of both worlds. Wear this one with a zip hoodie, black shirt, some high top Nike’s and grey jeans for a cool urban look.
6. Alpha Industries MA-1 NASA Bomber Jacket
BEST ORIGINAL MILITARY
As mentioned earlier, the bomber jacket came from military styling and use, only to move from there to the fashion world. One of the originators thereof is Alpha Industries, a brand whose roots are as outfitters for the actual military of the US. Their high-quality gear can be now be had by the general public, and the punchy orange satin lining makes for a striking detail. Pick up this cool NASA-branded one, as you’re going to look so good you’ll be over the moon!
7. REISS Devon Slim Fit Knit Bomber Jacket
BEST CASUAL OPTION
If you’re clever, you can wear a bomber jacket just about anywhere. The key is finding the right jacket (or jackets), to be able to match the style and mood of the location. Case and point: this knit bomber from REISS. Featuring a tight, diamond-knit texture, this polyester-cotton jacket makes for a great option when running out the door for errands or a Sunday brunch. We also love the color. That cool, heather gray makes it easy to pair with just about anything. Likewise, it’s not so outrageous that showing up to a family function would be out of bounds. Even if you already have a staple bomber jacket in your lineup, it’s well worth it to pick up a jacket like this to have on hand.
8. Zara Textured Bomber Jacket
MOST ACCESSIBLE HIGH FASHION
Zara is known for fashion-forward pieces at a very accessible price point. This wool bomber jacket in a subtle shade of navy is an excellent example. The wool construction dresses up this option, making it go perfectly with grey dress slacks, a white button-up and some sharp loafers. It can hold its own as a statement piece as well. Bring it out on date night or for dinner with friends in the early spring.
9. Golden Bear Albany Bomber Jacket
The classic letterman will always be just that, a classic. And if your tastes tend to lean away from today’s trends and fall closer to the old school, this is the bomber for you. It’s not affordable by any means, but this is the sort of jacket you buy and hold onto for decades, not years. The chest is made from an 80/20 wool/nylon blend, while the arms are made of 100% cowhide leather. In other words, the materials match the price point. Plus, in all black, this jacket has a timeless cool that will work with just about any outfit, in just about any setting.
Unfortunately, 70’s mustang and pomade sold separately.