Forget the leather and ditch the denim. The bomber jacket is this season’s cool-girl outerwear of choice.
And clearly, it’s what we’re currently coveting.
Let’s take it back to World War II, when technology was booming louder than your neighbor’s Bluetooth speaker you can hear through the walls every night — Thanks for that, by the way. Planes were starting to fly higher and faster, and the pilots needed gear that would keep them warm at the high altitudes. Enter the quintessential fur collar.
Then around 1950, the MA-1 jacket (the one that pops into your mind when you think bomber jacket) hit the scene, nixing the fur collar for knit and swapping out the cotton for nylon, which was essential for keeping the guys dry when they were, oh you know, flying open planes through the clouds.
Little known fact: Bomber jackets were originally designed in a midnight blue color. The green shade we normally associate with the classic bomber jacket came around in the 60s, when soldiers in Vietnam needed more effective camouflage to blend in with the dense vegetation.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that the jacket hit Hollywood and became a trend embraced by the public. Indiana Jones was running around in a bomber jacket in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Tom Cruise was cruising around Top Gun in an OG leather bomber with a fur collar.
And we all know how the rest of the story goes. Various subcultures started to pick up on the trend, designers began to show them on the runway, and eventually, bombers came to the masses.
Of course, trends tend to fade into and out of style. But this FW 2016 season, we can definitely count bombers in. Everyone from Fendi, to Dries Van Noten, to Maison Margiela, Gucci, and Vetements showed their own interpretations of the trend at Paris Fashion Week, adding full-on fur, metallic detailing, and unexpected color.
And as you’ve seen all over your Pinterest homepage, it-girls have also taken on the trend. Gigi and Kendall both count bombers as an essential (great for athleisure getups), while Lily Aldridge and Olivia Palermo elevate their sporty jackets with luxe prints and rich detailing. Even North West has been known to sport her Yeezy bombers everywhere from the airport with Kim to ballet class with Penelope.
3.1 Phillip Lim | Green Bomber with Cardigan Ribs | $850
This 3.1 Phillip Lim take on the bomber we know and love is updated with an easy shirt tail and flat pockets to cut down on bulk for a slimmer silhouette. We suggest keeping the jacket zipped to maintain the illusion of a peek-a-boo shirt, and finish with a tee, ripped denim, and black loafers (we love black and sage together) for the perfect weekend look.
Bridge & Burn | Carson Railroad Stripe | $188
We love the classic button-pocket detailing on this Bridge & Burn bomber, finished with denim railroad stripes and a contrasting knit-rib collar. The grey tone is perfect for layering (it’s a great base neutral) and the lightweight cotton is ideal for cool spring and summer nights… It won’t keep you dry, but planes have doors these days anyway.
Paul & Joe | Navy Zip Jacket | $237.50
The knitted diamond print on this Paul & Joe jacket is subtle enough for everyday wear and light pattern mixing, but bold enough to be your standout piece when worn over the shoulders with head-to-toe neutrals. Our tip: Wear this bomber with black or light-wash denim to avoid a Canadian tuxedo-esque look.
Moschino | Panelled Bomber Jacket | $2,650
Speaking of a statement piece. This Moschino jacket is not for the girl who shies away from standing out. We love this bomber paired with a simple tee, jeans, and white sneakers ensemble topped off with a pony to show off the full glory of the jacket. But if you’re this bold with your outerwear choices, we say go all the way if you dare.
10 Crosby by Derek Lam | Rounded Jacket with Zip | $795
None of us want to ditch our trusty leather biker jackets for a could-be fleeting trend, which is why this 10 Crosby by Derek Lam take on a bomber is perfect for the dresser who isn’t ready to dive head first into bomber mania. Plus, the perforated sleeves add a cool, unexpected texture that makes the price tag totally worth the splurge.