Despite starting out life as military wear, the humble bomber jacket has gone on to become a bona-fide menswear classic and a modern-day must-own for any style-conscious gent.
With the silhouette a huge trend for spring/summer 2015, we bring you the five types of bomber jackets you should be considering adding to your wardrobe this season, along with some advice on how to style them.
1. The Flight Jacket
The shape from which the bomber as we know it was born. Although almost every contemporary brand now produces their own take on the timeless flight jacket, there is only one choice if you desire true authenticity: the MA-1 by Alpha Industries, a company that started out life as a contractor to the United States military.
Reworked in a number of new colourways and fabrics for SS15, our favourite is this navy nylon version, which is cut slim and features the signature zipped sleeve pocket along with a ribbed hem and cuffs for a snug fit.
Alpha Industries MA-1 Bomber Jacket, available at ASOS, priced £110.
Bring a sense of toughness to what is still widely considered a traditionally womenswear print by layering your flight jacket over an on-trend floral shirt this season:
Image: River Island Summer 2015
2. The Smart Bomber
A bomber jacket may not be the most obvious choice to layer over formalwear, but it can look just as sharp as a blazer during the summer.
The key is to opt for a well-fitting design in a neutral colourway with minimal detailing – this linen, wool and silk mix version from Suitsupply ticks all the right boxes.
Cut with a tapered waist and cuffs, it features vertical zip pockets and a press-stud front fastening, all of which combine to produce an elegant and sophisticated piece of outerwear.
Blue Bomber Jacket, available at Suitsupply, priced £149.
Team your jacket with a crisp white shirt, slim-cut lightweight trousers/chinos and a pair of loafers/monk-straps for dress-down Friday in the office:
3. The Printed Bomber
If you’re looking for an easy throw-on statement piece, a printed bomber could be just the ticket.
Coming in everything from checks and stripes to geometrics and florals this season, we’re fans of this digital camo version by ASOS, which is crafted in a silky-feel fabric for an interesting textural effect.
Bomber Jacket With Printed Poly Tricot, available at ASOS, priced £32.
Always let your printed bomber take centre stage by keeping the rest of your outfit simple and muted.
Try combining with monochrome sports luxe staples such as longline tees, minimal trainers and black denim to craft slick, streetwear-inspired looks:
4. The Modern Varsity Jacket
Born out of the American school system, the varsity jacket has gone on to cement its rightful place within the wardrobes of men worldwide.
Traditionally, the this silhouette features a boiled wool torso, button/popper fastening, ribbed cuffs and waistband, contrast leather sleeves and a boxy fit – yet the modern industry definition isn’t so rigid, and this example from New Look is case in point.
Eschewing in-your-face varsity lettering/numbering and bold preppy colour combinations in favour of minimal detailing and a tonal grey palette, it is understated and versatile, ensuring it will get good use throughout the warmer months.
Stone Contrast Bomber Jacket, available at New Look, priced £39.99.
Sidestep all preppy and Ivy League connotations by combining your modern varsity jacket with simple casual staples – think slim-cut chinos, selvedge denim, sneakers and neutral T-shirts:
5. The Suede Bomber
Bomber jackets have been given a luxe update in recent years, with both designers and high street brands alike reworking them in premium materials such as suede.
An effortless way of adding texture to your spring/summer looks, a suede bomber in a seasonally-appropriate neutral such as beige, stone or pale grey will not only bring character and depth to any outfit your create, but can be dressed up or down to suit the occasion.
Toulan Grey Suede Bomber Jacket, available at Reiss, priced £375.
Craft an on-point head-to-toe neutral look that is ideal for the warmer months.
The key is to mix your shades – white, beige, ecru and pale grey all work beautifully together – and textures to ensure there is clear definition between each piece:
Image: Reiss SS14