Though men’s fashion isn’t as cyclical as its female counterpart, the racks in our favorite stores are still affected by trend.  The biggest trend in menswear right now is streetwear.  The casual, urban aesthetic can be found everywhere from exclusive boutiques to discount department stores.  For streetwear enthusiasts and those more hesitant to try out the style, the bomber jacket is the perfect alternative.  Unlike ripped jeans or longline t-shirts, bombers don’t push the wearer out of his comfort zone.  There’s just enough modern detail to fit any aesthetic.  Don’t think twice about adding one to your arsenal.  Regardless of your style preferences, there’s room for a bomber jacket.

What Is a Bomber Jacket?

Officially, a bomber jacket is a casual outerwear piece that was worn by military pilots in the early part of the 20th century.  The jacket provided warmth and protection while keeping the pilot’s arms free enough to operate his aircraft.  Over the years, the jacket has morphed from a utilitarian piece into a more fashionable wardrobe enhancement.

What Are Characteristics of a Bomber Jacket?

While there are several variations on the classic bomber, there are a handful of key details that separate it from other styles like the varsity jacket.

A bomber jacket will have a zipper closure, and the metal will almost always be crafted from gold or silver to create contrast with the color of the jacket.  Bombers are also defined by their ribbed collars and cuffs.  Though some of fashion’s more adventurous designers have started playing with length, most bomber jackets will hit at your waist.  Last, but most certainly not least, the bomber is known for the extra padding around the arms and torso.  This is a jacket that was first created for insulation in cold cockpits.  So, it’ll look a little round and puffy.  This is totally normal.

How Should a Bomber Jacket Fit?

Bomber jacket fit is tricky, mainly because it’s built to run a little large.  Don’t approach bombers the same way you’d shop for a trench.  You’re not looking for a snug fit here.  You want a jacket that serves as a warm layer and allows you to fit other layers underneath.

Pay close attention to the shoulder hem.  It should fall in line with the blocking of your natural shoulder.  If the hem hits you mid-shoulder or closer to your bicep, the sizing is all wrong.

Why Do You Need a Bomber?

Most Spring outerwear is designed to steal the show.  If you throw on a classic trench or a Macintosh, you cover up your outfit.  Your jacket becomes your entire look.  The bomber jacket is functional enough to keep you warm and dry, stylish enough to add modernity to your look and subtle enough to complement the rest of your outfit.  It’s the rare piece that has tons of personality but works effectively as a supporting player.

If you want to dabble in streetwear for the first time or you’re just looking for a new way to layer up this Spring, the bomber jacket is the way to go.