Bomber Jacket

AKA: Flight jacket, Bombardier jacket

How to say it: say it as it looks

Traditional Features: 


  • waist length jacket
  • fitted at cuffs, waist and collar, usually with elasticated or ribbed fabric
  • fastens down centre front with a zip
  • loose through the body
  • usually has pockets, often slanted


…of the style: The bomber jacket went through many incarnations before it made its way to popular fashion. It was first created for pilots in 1917 when the cockpits were open to the elements and the pilots needed to keep warm. Originally made in leather, as fabric and aerospace technologies advanced the cockpits became covered and more crowded, so it  was necessary to use high quality nylon as it was less bulky and allowed for more movement. Although there have been many different styles, the ‘fashion’ bomber jacket most closely resembles the MA-1 jacket which was first created by the US Air Force in the 1950s.

Due to its comfortable fit and good insulation, the bomber became popular with civilians and In the 1970’s the bomber became the ‘uniform’ of the skinhead movement in Britain. Its use in iconic films, such as Rebel without a Cause, The Great Escape, Top Gun, Pulp Fiction and Drive, further cemented the bomber jacket into popular culture and it has become a fashion staple season after season from the catwalk to the high street.

…of the name: The various names for this style of jacket stem from the fact that it was originally worn by bomber pilots while flying, hence the bomber or flight jacket. The term ‘bombardier jacket’ comes from the name for the member of a bomber crew who is responsible for releasing the bombs.

For a more in depth history of Bomber Jackets, try Wikipedia, HighsnobietyFrench Truckers or get your hands on the Fairchilds Dictionary of Fashion.

21st Century Bomber Jackets

While it was originally a man’s jacket, the bomber has definitely made the leap to women’s fashion and designers now create feminine bombers in all kinds of fabrics and colours.

elle-helmut-lang-breeze-crinked-gauze-bomber-jacket-lgn elle-dkny-herringbone-sleeved-leather-bomber-jacket-lgn donna karan burberry porsum bomber

Top row –  Helmut Lang, DKNY

Bottom row – Donna Karan, Burberry

0 thoughts on “Bomber Jacket

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *