Introduction

Although here in the UK we continue to be baffled by our recent warm weather, we all know that it is not destined to last – the long days will soon start getting shorter and all-too-familiar rain showers will begin making their way back into our lives.

High street shops are already rolling out their autumn/winter collections, and even FashionBeans is starting to turn its sartorial head towards AW13 and the key pieces we need in order to help transition our summer wardrobe through to autumn.

And one of the most popular jackets for this ‘in-between’ season this year is the bomber. However, not just any bomber jacket will do – designers and high street collections alike are combining the industry’s current penchant for print with menswear’s key outerwear silhouette to create a staple piece that packs a creative punch…

The Printed Bomber Jacket
Key Show: Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli was one designer who wholeheartedly backed the printed bomber. His SS13 collection included a wide variety of styles, including a blue and white version with an Aztec-style pattern emanating from the centre of the chest outwards, along with a blue/purple fade effect patterned bomber, which gave the garment a textural feel.

By far my personal favourite from the Cavalli collection was a suede bomber jacket in a beautiful aquamarine tone with an all-over polka dot pattern. It sounds completely over the top but, in fact, the pattern was extremely subtle and sophisticated:

Roberto Cavali Printed Bomber Jackets SS13

On The Runways

Other designers backing the printed bomber trend include Dolce & Gabbana, who showcased a printed silk bomber complete with a colourful mural pattern that featured armoured knights in battle. The sumptuous palette of red, gold and blue utilised was extremely rich and vivid, and helped create a piece that was almost tapestry-like in its appearance.

Jonathan Saunders went for a similar statement approach within his collection by featuring a vibrant, kaleidoscopic print bomber in bright shades of blue, purple and magenta. Saunders also included an off-white bomber complete with a muted check pattern – perfect those looking to take a more subtle and understated approach to the trend.

Meanwhile, the Calvin Klein collection showcased several bomber jackets with on trend floral prints applied to the sleeves and body in tones of blue and grey:

Printed Bomber jackets on the runways at D&G, Jonathan Saunders and Calvin Klein

The Fashion Press

Earlier this year, we identified the bomber jacket as the key outerwear silhouette for 2013 – and based on the advance collection previews we have seen for AW13 and SS14, the style’s popularity is unlikely to wane any time soon. It is a piece that is definitely worthy of your investment, and these new printed bombers offer an effortless way of staying on trend whilst simultaneously ensuring your look stands out from the crowd.

The fashion press seem to agree, with Esquire magazine identifying the printed bomber as one of a number of resurgent pieces from the 1990s, an era that is currently trending within the industry. Similarly, Harrods’ online fashion magazine detailed how prints and patterns have now fully infiltrated menswear, and paid particular attention to the printed bomber jacket.

Furthermore, the Huffington Post recently wrote: “The bomber jacket is expected to become the most ubiquitous garment for spring/summer 2014. If this garment had made appearances on the runway over the last couple of seasons, it was never as unavoidable as in the fashion shows that took place in London, Florence, Milan and Paris during June 2013.”

In summary, it looks like the bomber jacket is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Modern Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Printed Bomber Jacket Lookbook

SSENSE IDOL YOUTH 2013Suiteblanco ss13surface to air ss14mark jacobs aw13David Jones edit of Calibre spring 2013ami ss13primark ss13ami ss14balmain ss14
Current Key Styles

Turning to the high street and online retailers, the current range of printed bomber jackets is vast. Topman alone has a wealth of options available, including a leopard print, an all-over baroque-style print and digital, strobe light effect patterns. The brand’s subtler takes include a blue stripe print, a burgundy tile print and a palm leaf print in retro shades of brown and tan.

ASOS are stocking a wide and affordable range, with highlights coming in the form of camo print and all-over paisley print bombers. Urban Outfitters are also pushing the trend, stocking a cobalt blue bomber with an all-over American football theme print, a neon medallion print version and a Fred Perry red and white gingham print jacket.

For those of you that have a higher disposable income, look no further than Mr Porter – they are currently featuring a stunning bomber by Etro in a wool blend tartan pattern, and a Raf Simons bomber in black with a striking neon floral print that really pops.

The fashion forward set should head on over to Oki-ni for a designer selection that includes a blue/grey bomber with an opulent jacquard weave pattern by Richard Nicoll, a striking Art Deco-style pattern applied to a structured bomber by Vivienne Westwood, and a black and grey quilted bomber with a rock print design by adidas x Opening Ceremony.

  • Vintage Renewal Printed Bomber JacketVintage Renewal Printed Bomber Jacket
  • Villain Leon Bomber JacketVillain Leon Bomber Jacket
  • Asos Bomber JacketAsos Bomber Jacket
  • D-struct Bomber JacketD-struct Bomber Jacket
  • United Colors Of Benetton Bomber JacketUnited Colors Of Benetton Bomber Jacket
  • Asos Bomber Jacket With Contrast SleevesAsos Bomber Jacket With Contrast Sleeves
  • Asos Bomber JacketAsos Bomber Jacket
  • Asos Bomber With Printed SleevesAsos Bomber With Printed Sleeves
  • Bellfield Bomber Jacket With Leaf PrintBellfield Bomber Jacket With Leaf Print
  • Topman Washed Black Animal Baroque Sleeve Bomber JacketTopman Washed Black Animal Baroque Sleeve Bomber Jacket
  • Topman Grey Marl Floral Front Bomber SweatshirtTopman Grey Marl Floral Front Bomber Sweatshirt
  • Topman Taxonomy Bomber JacketTopman Taxonomy Bomber Jacket
  • River Island Black Bellfield Camo Sleeve Bomber JacketRiver Island Black Bellfield Camo Sleeve Bomber Jacket
  • Etro Reversible Wool-blend Bomber JacketEtro Reversible Wool-blend Bomber Jacket
  • Raf Simons Flower-print Cotton-twill Bomber JacketRaf Simons Flower-print Cotton-twill Bomber Jacket
  • Topman Criminal Damage Animal Print Bomber Jacket Topman Criminal Damage Animal Print Bomber Jacket
  • Richard Nicoll Silk Jacquard Camo Bomber Jacket 164838Richard Nicoll Silk Jacquard Camo Bomber Jacket 164838
  • Paul Smith Men’s Houndstooth Printed Bomber JacketPaul Smith Men’s Houndstooth Printed Bomber Jacket
Final Word

Clearly, the bomber jacket is here to stay for the foreseeable future – and it is fast becoming an essential purchase for any style-conscious gent. During the colder months, men’s fashion traditionally tends to take a step towards more sombre tones, but perhaps this is the year that the bold, vibrant prints of spring/summer transition to autumn/winter.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and musings. Have you invested in a bomber jacket this year? If so, what style did you opt for? Would you ever consider a statement printed/patterned version, or is it simply too much?

Let us know your opinion in the comments section below…