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Coats & Jackets

What exactly are: Bomber jackets?

What exactly are: Bomber jackets?

In a nutshell

An ideal spring jacket, the bomber jacket was invented in the 1940s to keep the first fighter pilots warm. 

Backstory

When air combat introduced the need for protection against cold weather at high altitudes during World War II, the leather bomber jacket was born. As new plane models flew faster and faster—and cockpits remained unprotected from the elements—the jackets began to be made from wool and nylon, which helped save pilots from wind and rain. The best styles aren't so different from that first iteration: hip-length and with a zip up the front. 

How to wear them well

"The bomber is really easy to wear well as long as you stick to a clean, minimal shape; lots of zips and snaps can look retro or costumey," says Thread stylist Millie Rich. "Go for a nonshiny fabric like wool or cotton, in a block colour without large logos or contrasting trims. If the bottom of the jacket hits your hip-bone, it's the perfect length: any longer or shorter and the jacket isn't as flattering. Wear a bomber with classic casual clothes like shirts, t-shirts, jeans, chinos and leather shoes and you've got a foolproof casual look."