The men’s bomber jacket. It to me is the epitome of cool and a classic. Every man who own one, weather or not they were in the military. Timeless and practically seasonless. A statement Like the trench but someone the bomber has fallen a bit out of favor. Like all great classics pieces in the fashion world, this one too, originated from the military, out of utility and then recycled into a trend.
We can thank the French during WWI for discovering the significance of leather as the most sturdy of materials for warmth and protection from nature’s elements. These pilots had enough to focus on! The “Bomber” jacket was officially born. It was only a couple of years later in 1917, that the US military took note of this too and established an “Aviation Clothing Board.” Then, in the early 1930s , the A-2 bomber jacket was issued as part of the official military uniform. Originally, these jackets were made of seal skin, for maximum warmth and durability. It didn’t take long for that to change to horsehide, which was much more practical. These jackets featured cinched cuffs and waists and wrap-around collars.
Though A2 retired in the early 40’s, the next iteration was the B-15 – rugged, featuring a fur collar but this was short-lived because the fur got in the way of the parachute. A few modifications were made and the MA-1 was born, featuring a knit collar and an orange lining, for the purpose of SOS. These brave military pilots were the guinea pigs for what is now a versatile and timeless wardrobe statement piece.
In the post WWII era, these once-military commissioned only jackets were making their way into the mainstream. There were some adjustments in material and style, making the jackets more practical for every day wearing.
There are a few statement pieces worth investing in and the bomber jacket is among them. The bomber jacket is a unique piece because it is quintessentially masculine.