With roots in the military (created for WWI bombing pilots, hence the name) and the masculine shape, to back up its historically stylish and practical features — chiefly comfort, warmth, and ease of movement — the bomber jacket is a traditional all-year round essential in menswear. Widely considered the jacket of the season, the bomber comes in a wide variety of versatile textures and styling options, easily suiting all tastes and seasonal conditions, from lightweight waxed cotton for spring/summer to exceptionally warm, fully lined leather or suede classics, that can handle the harshest winters thrown their way. However despite all its advances and easy styling options, getting the fit of a bomber jacket right can be a tricky thing to get right, especially with its unconventional shape. I found mine from Pepe Jeans Loncon and I really love it.
Overall Fit of Bomber Jacket
The fit of any piece of outerwear, bomber included, is really important, as it’s the piece that can make or break an outfit. Needing enough space to layer over a range of outfits, while being close enough keep you warm and, well, not look like a sack – a bomber’s fit is just as important as any other piece of clothing. Whether you’re going for a classic bomber jacket shape or a longline design, it’s important that you’re working with a jacket that looks its best and complements your body type.
It’s universally agreed that the most crucial aspect to a perfectly fitted jacket lies first and foremost in the shoulders. If they don’t naturally fit then the jacket is a loss, as even if you’re going for an oversized style, baggy shoulders is never a good look. In this case, the fit is the same as any other jacket and it’s important that it carefully frames your shoulders, giving you a smooth, clean look. To double check that your jacket is perfectly fitted around your shoulders make sure you’re following these basic rules.
Bomber jackets tend to be a little less streamlined than conventional jackets, with the traditional, durable style focusing on a more statement, padded look. However this ‘bulkier’ look is generally created by the materials used, with the leather outing and inner lining causing a heavier finish, and on the whole, you want to go for a fairly fitted look so you don’t run the risk of looking swamped. Because of the cropped design of the jacket, you want to create a flattering V-shape when you have it zipped up, with the padded edge fitting closely around your torso. The easiest way to tell if your jacket fits properly in the waist is to try it on and see how much excess material hangs on each side and underneath your arms. Anything sticking out more than an inch on either side should be considered as being too bulky so you should opt for a smaller size. Chest wise, it should fit comfortably slim, with little to no added weight. You want something that will be form fitting whether zipped up or left open. Length wise, unless you’re going for a modern long line design your bomber jacket should land on the top of your trousers, or just above, in order to elongate the appearance of both your torso and legs in a subtle way.
One of the distinctive features of a flight jacket is the knitted collar that frames the neck, contrasting to the chunkier look of the jacket itself. Originally added in to protect the wearer from the high altitude winds, it’s now a distinctive part of the look, so it’s important that it fits correctly. The collar generally extends up a little, giving a clean, streamlined look that encompasses the neck. Don’t go for a design that goes too high up the neck as you want to gain a flattering, complementary look, but not get a roll neck finish.
If you’re going for a more striking, padded design made from a thick material and an inner lining, your sleeves are generally going to be a little bulkier to match with the rest of the jacket. However, if you’re going for a more slim fit nylon design it’s important to make sure your sleeves are fitted and have the right amount of stretch. Bomber jacket sleeves have a unique design, with each one ending in a knitted cuff that fits snugly around your wrist. Each sleeve should end on or just above your wrist bone, with conventional designs showing a clean contrast in size between the main part of the sleeves and the cuff.