The best bomber jackets, in fact, all modern bomber jackets, are based on the MA-1 bomber jacket designed for military pilots in the 50s. Worn on and off duty by pilots, the now iconic style was copied by menswear brands. After James Dean wore a red bomber jacket in Rebel Without a Cause, it became an outerwear staple. Fun fact, the actual bomber jacket from that movie was valued between $400,000 and $600,000 when it went on auction in 2018.
The style, with its ribbed waist and cuffs, zippered and slashed pockets, was originally popularized by European airmen. These jackets were also the basis for the varsity, baseball and souvenir jackets, and their close cousin, the track jacket. Styling-wise, the only difference is the fabrication: varsity jackets have leather sleeves, while both souvenir and baseball jackets are made from a shiny satin or silk-like material. These days you can find men’s bomber jackets for every season in everything from velvet to linen. Easy to wear, they can be layered over T-shirts and heavy sweaters — and they look damn handsome on.
Check out some of the best bomber jackets for men to wear now that will surely turn some heads as you strut down the street this season.
1. Everlane’s Bomber Jacket
This Everlane bomber has that cool, calm and collected vibe written all over it. Perfect for the cooler weather expected in the coming months, you’ll make this jacket your go-to throw-on no matter the occasion. From first dates to grocery shopping, look sharp in the bomber that’ll boost your confidence all season long. The fashionable look also comes in two more colors, black and navy. So no matter what look you’re going for, Everlane’s got you covered.
2. Wilsons Leather Emmett Classic Leather Bomber
BEST LEATHER BOMBER
Having good taste is expensive, but this baby’s beyond worth it. Though bomber jackets are most practically used in transitional seasons like fall and spring, you can wear this one even in the coldest months of the year due to its craftsmanship. The Emmett uses genuine leather on the outside to create that attractive bad boy kind of vibe, while the inner is layered in cozy faux fur with an included hood you can zip-off when you’re feeling frisky and want to pop that collar. Detailed on the front chest are two pockets you don’t see that often in most bombers, so, we have to say we love this one for its uniqueness. Act fast, though — Wilsons Leather is currently having a 45% off summer sale, so this jacket that normally goes for $300 is just $165 right now.
3. UO Corduroy Harrington Jacket
Corduroy is finally back in style and we’re completely here for it. The Harrington jacket from Urban Outfitters is a prime example of where corduroy is headed this season by giving us a dapper washed black look that’s perfect to rock this fall. Pair it with your favorite printed sweatshirt or your dad’s flannel shirt that you stole from him a few years back. It’s a cool way to complete your entire look when heading out in chillier weather.
4. Mango Linen Cotton Bomber Jacket
BEST ELEVATED STYLE
Linen’s a natural fabric that has a luxurious feel and is durable at the same time. This bomber jacket is done in a nice beige and has copper-tone zippers that add to its premium style. It looks elegant, masculine and quite rich, if we do say so ourselves. Try pairing it with pale or pastel shade pants and a white tee to pull the elevated look you want to rock this fall.
5. Alpha Industries L-2B NASA Flight Jacket
Knoxville, Tennessee-based Alpha Industries has been making military outerwear since the 1950s. You can’t get more authentic than this NASA jacket that’s sure to spook any alien in a five-mile radius. It even has the “remove before flight” red tag. The jacket sports two front slash pockets with button closures and a zippered pocket on the sleeve. It’s a dope conversation starter and really well represents the trend’s origin.
6. ASOS Bomber Jacket with MA1 Pocket
BEST NEW NEUTRAL
In the 18th century, aristocratic men wore pink, mauve and pastel shades. in The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby wore a pink suit to lunch, and pink hues are always on the runway during Men’s Fashion Week. Pink, mauve and all the tones in that color family are now considered unisex shades. This cleanly cut cotton jersey bomber jacket with its MA1 pockets is part of the brand’s responsible design initiative. ASOS has teamed up with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to promote better farming practices. This jacket will not only look good on you, but it’s great for the environment too.
7. Scotch & Soda Reversible Bomber Jacket
This Scotch & Soda jacket is a stellar choice this fall because you’re getting two completely different jackets for the price of one. Yup, you read that right. The navy blue all-over design reverses into a printed checked bomber jacket for whenever you’re feeling a little spicy. Even the cuffs change when you flip it, from navy cuffs on the solid-colored side to black and blue striped on the printed.
8. Icecream Heritage Jacket
BEST LIMITED EDITION
Pharrell Williams is a record producer, performer, style icon and fashion designer/maven. He’s designed jewelry and glasses for Louis Vuitton, sunnies for Moncler, collaborated with G-Star Raw and has a long-running partnership with Adidas. His other long-running fashion partnership is with Nigo, the designer/owner The Bathing Ape. The two work together on Billionaire Boys Club and Icecream. Their black cotton bomber/varsity jacket has striped cuffs, collar, and waistband. On the back is a whimsically drawn ice cream cone on a skateboard. It’s finished with a snap front and two slash pockets. This is one of the best bomber jackets because they only made a certain amount of them. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.
9. Canada Goose ‘Woolford’ Slim Fit Down Bomber Jacket
BEST FOR WINTER
Who says you can’t rock a bomber jacket through the winter months? While most options may not keep you as warm as you’d like, that’s no problem for this puffy bomber from Canada Goose. It’s meant for some seriously chill temps and wet weather since it’s made with water-repellent fabric. Coming in four different colors, pick your poison for your favorite coat to rock all winter long.
10. Logeeyar Men’s Printed Slim Fit Bomber Jacket
BEST FLORAL PRINT
There’s always something cool about the juxtaposition of delicacy and toughness in a design. This slim-fitting floral print bomber is a good example of that. Red roses float elegantly against a darker black background and the result is pretty hardcore. The zip front bomber jacket has two front slash pockets. It also comes in numerous patterns that range from skulls to camo and blue flower petals.
11. Mauna Kea Tie-Dye Bomber Jacket
Swirled together like sherbert, this tie-dye bomber exudes a laidback beach vibe. That’s because the creator of the brand is an Italian surfer who loved hanging 10 off Mauna Kea in Hawaii. This Italian-based menswear company combines tech fabrication with surfer and streetwear inspo. The cotton bomber jacket has buttoned flap pockets and a zip front.
12. Ben Sherman Harrington Signature Harrington Jacket
A lot of the best bomber jackets for men evoke James Dean’s look, and this could be Dean’s Rebel Without A Cause style twin. The cotton front zip bomber made by British menswear company Ben Sherman updated the style for today. It has the same stand-up collar as Dean’s, and is lined in the brand’s signature check pattern. It has two front button-flap pockets. If you’re not a fan of the shade but like the style, the jacket also comes in 11 other colors
13. Standard Issue Souvenir Bomber Jacket
The souvenir or sukajan jacket’s invention created by the American servicemen who were stationed in Japan after WWII. They commissioned local tailors to create a bomber-like jacket design that was made from parachute materials, Japanese silks and were embroidered with traditional Japanese motifs. They were called “souvenir jackets” because they actually were souvenirs for the G.I.s. They had extraordinarily little room to take things back home, and a jacket could be folded easily into a duffel bag. This unisex jacket uses the standard bomber jacket design and is made with embroidered dragons on a silk-like polyester. It has two front slash pockets and a front zipper
14. 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 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. Snag it as soon as you can, though, because this bomber is on final sale. So get it while it still exists!
15. Burberry Harwell Icon Stripe Leather Trim Twill Bomber Jacket
Burberry is known for its iconic tan-checked designs that have draped scarves, wallets, jackets and more for years. We’re loving this new take on their classic look by using a primarily tan color with simple red, black and white accent stripes across the shoulders. While it’s easily the most expensive on our list, it’s also most likely the most stylish.