Quick History of the Bomber Jacket

Categories Fashion


The enduring popularity of the military inspired Bomber Jacket continued apace in 2016.

Any doubt 2016 is the year of the bomber jacket? Google has reported a six-fold increase in searches for the bomber, without doubt the biggest trend in menswear this year nearly a century after it was created.

The bomber jacket was born out of World War I, when the US government designed heavy-duty leather jackets to keep air force pilots warm at high altitude, featuring wrap-around collars, tight cuffs and zipped pockets.

British aviation pioneer Leslie Irvin developed the classic sheepskin-lined flying jacket and was the chief supplier of the Royal Air Force during WWII, but huge demand meant other manufacturers stamped their own unique style on the design.


The bomber seeped into civilian culture through skinheads in the 1970s but was transformed into a mainstream fashion piece by Tom Cruise as the swashbuckling ‘Maverick’ in Top Gun (1986), and became fashionable in hip-hop culture in the early 2000s.


In 2016, the super-versatile jacket — less bulky and more fitted these days — has enjoyed a revival thanks to trend-setters like Kanye West, who’s included green and black bombers in his Yeezy fashion line.


Stylish celebrities Drake, Jared Leto and David Beckham have all been snapped rocking a variety of bomber styles, which comes in a range of bold colours and patterns.


See also:

3 Ways With A Bomber Jacket