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Coats & Jackets

How a bomber jacket should fit

How a bomber jacket should fit

There is often a feeling that a bomber jacket is a trend-led item, not a wardrobe staple like the blazer or the wax jacket, but in fact, since it’s early origins the bomber has been a jacket worth making wardrobe space for. 

We keep saying it, but most of the best menswear items have a military history and the bomber jacket is no exception. Originally created for US Airforce pilots before the first world war to keep them warm in the open cockpits, the lighter versions we think of today weren’t introduced until the 1950s and 60s, when changes in aircraft meant that a lighter version (typically made from nylon with an orange lining) became popular.

It’s wasn’t just the military that found a place for this lightweight but still warm jacket. Adopted at one stage by everyone from counter culture skinheads to 00s rappers, and today the bomber jacket comes in all styles and fabrics. “It’s one of those menswear staples that requires minimal effort to make it work for you,” says stylist Toby Standing, “and there are so many different styles out there, there’s something for everyone.” A dark navy or black simple, fuss-free, bomber can work with smarter looks, like formal trousers and a shirt, while the classic khaki style a white tee with blue jeans is always a winner.

Once you’ve found the right style, you need to make sure it fits properly, and Toby shares his tips on how to get that right. Nail the fit and you’ll be ahead of the crowd when that Top Gun revival happens.

Size

Don’t go for something too tight, size up if you have to - but make sure you have enough room in the arms so that they don’t fit too tightly. You should be able to zip it all the way up and still have room for a light jumper underneath without the seam pulling or making you look like the Michelin man.” 

Length

Bombers are supposed to be a shorter jacket, don’t go for anything longline or something that falls lower than the waist of your trousers.”

Sleeves

“You should have enough room to move your arms comfortably – if the arms are too tight they’ll pull the whole jacket. And your cuffs should finish just at the end of your wrists.” 

Shoulder

“As with most traditional jackets, the shoulder seam should sit on your shoulder. Any lower and it’s too big.”


Words: Nadia Balame-Price
Photography: Lola & Pani
Styling: Toby Standing