Michael 84

How To Style A Bomber Jacket This Season

By Michael Adams | Friday, 11th May, 2018


This is perhaps my favourite style of jacket, they’re transitional, pretty timeless and not season specific – I am talking about the bomber jacket. With a vast array of styles, colour and materials, it’s a piece of clothing which can be worn as a casual piece – In my opinion, it’s a great choice when you need to wear an extra layer, but not cold enough to warrant wearing a fully blown ‘big’ coat.

In this guide you’ll read everything there is to know about this incredibly versatile piece of outerwear, here we go!

What Is A Bomber Jacket?

A bomber jacket has a few characteristics. These include:

  • Hip Length – It should generally be short – It should come no further down than the top of your legs; In some cases you can get slightly shorter options
  • The neckline – This is usually a round neckline, similar to a crew new T-shirt.
  • The cuffs, neckline and ribbing at the base should be elasticated and knitted.
  • The fit should be close to the body – This is helped by the elasticated cuffs, neckline and ribbing.
  • Zip Fastening – Usually zip fastening.

The history of bombers can be traced back to the war where pilots wore them in World War II. This is where the alternative name of flight jacket comes from.

Length

Typically in menswear the term ‘bomber’ is applied to any jackets or coats of hip length. They’ll be called bomber length or something similar. While it could be considered to be true, this guide is talking about the staple jackets we see in fashion today, rather than just the length of fit.

Bomber Jacket Materials

A bomber jacket is either made from Cotton, Polyester, Nylon or a mix. As mentioned above, you can get them made of all materials; From leather to wool. But we’re looking at the classic variety which you may want to buy, rather than variants mentioned. There’s a few materials you’ll come across.

Men's Cotton Bomber Jackets

Cotton

The first thing to know about cotton is that it’s not all created equally. There’s a huge variation of the textures and types of cotton which can be used. A great example of typical material used is what’s know as “sweatshirt material”. This is exactly how it sounds, the same cotton used in sweatshirts. Fairly heavy, it’s a really nice material for this.

Pros

  • It’s light and soft
  • It has a smarter finish
  • Good for layering

Cons

  • It’s not waterproof
  • It could be too light

Cotton Jackets Above

Nudie Jeans Alexander Bomber In Yellow – £230here | Tommy Hilfiger Cotton Twill – £130here | PS By Paul Smith – £295here

Polyester Bomber jackets for men

Polyester/Poly-cotton

Polyester or a Poly-cotton blend is a great choice for a bomber. These are usually water resistant, and it’s a mix of materials which you’ll find a lot of menswear brands use in their options. It’s still light, but not as soft as the sweatshirt material option, but is seen more of an outdoor kind of jacket thanks to it’s properties.

Pros

  • Quite light and quite soft
  • Can be more on the casual side
  • Water resistant

Cons

  • Not as soft/smart as cotton
  • Not completely waterproof
  • It’s usually not something you’d layer

Products Shown Above

Armani Exchange – £165here | Ted Baker OHTA – £199here | Mango MAN Pocket Bomber – £70here

Men's Nylon Bomber Jackets

Nylon

This is just a personal style kind of thing, but I hate nylon! Nylon is great if you’re looking for a casual look and want something waterproof, they are the perfect choice. But for me, they are just too casual, and I don’t like that shiny finish they have to them. They are the lightest options of them all, and I think they feel quite cheap.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • The lightest option
  • Very casual

Cons

  • Not very smart
  • A really thin and cheap feel

Products Shown Above

H&M Nylon Jacket – £35 – here | Burton Nylon Bomber – £40here | Zara MEN Lightweight jacket – £60here

Style Ideas: What To Wear With A Bomber Jacket

The bomber is the perfect jacket to wear in the Spring, and when the weather cools down, the Autumn too. Since they’re so light they are such an easy piece to style with just about anything you already have in your wardrobe.

If you’re going for a smarter look, a plain white T-shirt or plain white shirt will work wonders, and keep you looking nice and tidy with this fresh look. It’s not uber smart, but since it’s form fitting, teaming it with plain clothing will keep your overall appearance fairly sharp.

When it comes to the bottom half of your outfit, dark denim would be the way to go if you’re looking to keep everything at the sharper end of the smart casual scale. For footwear, it’s completely up to you. Smarter trainers like Stan Smith’s in the warmer months or other smart trainers will work fine, as will brogues and other more casual shoes.

For the look and what to wear, the colour will play a big part.

Jaeger bomber jacket for Spring Summer 2018

Bomber Jacket Colours

There’s a huge number of options when it comes to the style of the jacket along with it’s colour. For the most versatile option, plain styles are the way to go. They’re both smart and casual depending on what you choose to wear with them. If you want to make a statement you can go for a pattern or graphic, but generally it’s better to stick to the classics.

This is where the staple colours come into play. Black, grey, navy and other blue hues are perfect and will go with practically anything you can throw at them. Other colours such as greens and reds will also work, but you may have to may more attention to the colours you’re wearing with them to avoid a clash.

Navy

I’ve already mentioned a navy bomber jacket, but I think it’s possibly the best colour. It’s dark but not black, and will go with everything. For a casual look I would go for a plain white tee, make sure the fit is good. To smarten things up a shirt will not look out of place, white would be good, but a light blue is an alternative options which would still work well.

Black

Another easy colour to wear, a black bomber will work with anything once again. You can go for a contrasting colour such as white, or go for a more tonal outfit choice and go for the all black look with a black tee or shirt, and black jeans.

Grey

Different shades of grey work well with a nice number of colours. There’s the choice of wearing the classic staple colours with the grey to keep the look low key, with all colours working well.

Green

Wearing a green colour bomber jacket could get some heads turning, it can be a powerful colour. You can opt to go for a more neutral green such as a military green or pastel hue, which is toned down but still a stand out colour. Wearing this with a neutral palette will keep the outfit looking sleek.

How to style a bomber jacket for men

Layering

Layering is a definite possibility when the weather is a bit on the cold side. Teaming with a tee, sweatshirt and on the lower half pair of neutral colour chinos will work extremely well, or for an even more casual look, a hooded top.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is A Bomber Jacket Warm?

Yes and no. It will depend on what it’s made from. A thicker material is obviously warmer, while the thinner nylon material ones aren’t. They’re usually suitably warm enough for most weather in the UK, excluding Winter.

How Should It Fit?

They are short and have a hip length, they should be hug and be semi fitted, opposed to larger jackets which have a loose, baggy fit.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a transitional jacket from season to season, something to keep you warm or dry, or something comfortable which can be edging on smart casual, the bomber is for you. It’s a Swiss army knife of outerwear, and it’s an item of clothing you should have in your wardrobe. With so many styles, colours and menswear brands available, there’s never a shortage of choice for this much loved and essential piece of menswear.

You can see what to wear with this over in the style advice part of the blog, with other guides on what to wear and how to style your current clothing.

Do you have a bomber jacket, or will you be adding one to your outfit choices this season? Let me know what you think.


Michael Adams

Written By: Michael

Founder and editor of Michael 84, A UK men's blogs covering the best of fashion, style, tech, grooming, fragrances and lifestyle.


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