What is a bomber jacket?
The bomber jacket was initially designed, by Lesile Irvin in 1926, for pilots in World War II. It helped them stay incredibly warm in the cockpits, were composed of either nylon or leather and features a collar. There are many types of bomber jackets, B3, G1 and A2 to name a few, and are still sourceable through your local vintage stores or on eBay and Etsy.
Being heavily popularized by modern Hip-Hop fashion culture, bomber jackets have been favoured as of late. Many street wear enthusiast claim that a bomber jacket is a curcial, and essential, piece in every man’s wardrobe.
Most easily accessible modern bomber jackets are usually in nylon and does not feature a prominent collar. The nylon’s lighter weight serves as a layering piece rather than an actual jacket; changing the intended purpose of bomber jackets.
I like the look of the modern bomber but it is a little too casual for my taste. I also do not own any long sweaters to accommodate the longline look and it just does not match up well with my wardrobe. I find the aesthetic of the vintage bomber more appealing and complimentary with my tailored-favoured wardrobe.
The bomber is a beefy leather that can with stand temperatures up to -5 degrees. It features a shearling collar, thinsulate lining and ribbed cuffs & hem. Considering its application as an outer piece, these jackets tend to lack much shape or have very little slimness to them. If you are about to pick one up online, look for a retailer that offers free returns and size down. Alternative, your best bet, is to try them in store.
It’s surprisingly easy to pair this jacket with your tailored wardrobe. Usually the first thing I grab, once you decide on wearing the jacket that is, is a pair of flannel trousers – any colour will do. I had these charcoal flannel trousers (pictured) made in Singapore this summer, along with the cream and denim pair, by Dylan & Son. They have been getting SO much wear recently that I am contemplating commissioning another grey herringbone one from him.
Jeans, especially your raw denim pair, will work equally well.
There is only one option for footwear here, boots. Sneakers will just look odd as it’s casualness does not blend well with the jacket’s ruggedness. Your dress shoes, such as wingtips or cap toes, are plausible choices but the structure of boots gives the jacket a more cohesive look.
With boots, anything type is appropriate – chukkas, chelseas or even wingtips. The only thing you have to be careful of is its shade. If your jacket is black, go with black boots. If your jacket is brown (mine is a very dark brown), go with brown.
With the bottom out of the way, you are only left with the inner layer. I base my decision on what my weather app forecasts the day to be. If it’s cold, as it was when these photos were taken, I opt for a middle gauge or chunky knit turtleneck. If it’s a little warmer, I would (only sometimes) pair it with a white or light blue dress shirt or a cashmere sweater.
In regards to the colour pairing of the inner layer, look at the season for inspiration. If its Fall, wear Autumn colours – rust, dark orange, charcoal, grey, olive etc.
If you are looking for a slightly bigger contrast, a white turtleneck, like this chunky one from Reiss, will do just fine.