You’re probably wearing a bomber jacket. Soon it will be spring. You’ll be wearing one then as well. And in between – depending on just how cold it gets where you are in the winter – you’ll likely wear one too. Because bomber jackets for men are back in style and ubiquitous.
That shouldn’t be a surprise. If you live long enough, you’ll see lots of boomeraging men’s styles. They are in. Then they are not. Then they are in again. Bombers are the perfect example of this. Ask your Dad. He probably had a bomber jacket in the 80s. Most everyone did. Perhaps he wore the classic A-2 leather bomber jacket with patches that Tom Cruise wore in Top Gun. Or maybe he wore one of the lightweight versions that the brand Members Only carried. Or ask your Grandpa. He may have worn an MA-1 bomber (big front pockets and a knit collar) during the Vietnam or Korean wars. Or ask your great-Grandfather. He may have sported one of the original bomber jackets (thick leather for warmth and a fur collar) in WWII.
In this article we’ll walk you through the basics of bombers, how to wear them, what colors and styles to consider and how the jackets should fit. Because there’s no doubt your kids and grandkids will rediscover bomber jackets too. And they’ll want to see pictures of you wearing a bomber back in the ancient days of 2023-24. So read on, and let’s make sure those pictures are flattering .
Who Can Wear a Bomber Jacket
“Bomber jackets! Love them. Especially for fall,” says Melissa Slavick, a Taelor stylist. “They add just a little bit of edginess to an outfit without being overly over the top.”
Nicole Gibbons, another Taelor stylist, agrees. “Bombers are great. They're so versatile. You can wear them on dates. And wear them to work or a casual outing. And I feel like they’re so much fun,” she says. “We have them in so many different colors and prints and fabrics. We even have a windbreaker type polyester.”
Scott Shapiro, another Taelor stylist, is also a fan of bombers. And he notes that they work for guys across a wider age span than many other in-style clothing items.
“Bombers are a pretty cool style. They work for someone who is a little older and wants to dress nicely, but doesn’t want to look like they’re trying to be young,” he says. “ But I think they look really good on younger people too.”
The Perfect Fit for a Bomber Jacket for Men
This doesn’t mean bombers are for everyone. Bombers work well for some body types, but less well for others.
“Guys that I wouldn't have wear bomber jackets are those with longer torsos or if they have a little bit more of a belly,” Slavick says.
Joanna Medeiros, another Taelor stylist, also cautions taller guys against bomber jackets. “I don't recommend them for guys over 6-feet, because they're gonna hit them really weird,” she says. “You want to make sure that it's not cutting you off or it's too short. Because a lot of guys don't like to tuck their shirt in and you don't want to have this really short jacket and then a longer shirt.”
The key, she says, is that a bomber jacket should fall a little bit below the belt line.
Gibbons has similar reservations. “A bomber jacket should definitely go past your shirt or be at your belt. It would look a little awkward otherwise” she says. She also notes that bombers should be slightly oversized. “You don't want a super slim fit. Bomber jackets should look more relaxed.”
Pairing a bomber jacket with other items
Slavick says one of the advantages of a bomber jacket for men is that they work well with many other clothing items.
“They can definitely be worn casually like with a t-shirt or graphic t-shirt or a Henley underneath,” she says. “But guys can also wear bombers for a date night – especially if it's a faux suede bomber jacket – it just adds a little bit of texture over a button-up.”
(Left) JACK & JONES BLACK FAUX SUEDE BOMBER JACKET (Right) JACK & JONES LIGHT BROWN FAUX SUEDE BOMBER JACKET
Color is a consideration, too. Bombers work well as a signature item that plays off of more muted clothes. “I would have the bomber be a pop of color and that they wear a more neutral color underneath,” Slavick says. She’s particularly fond of green bomber jackets. “I would have that be the staple piece and add a cream or a white or gray shirt underneath.”
Taelor's Product: Pastel Green Bomber Jacket; LIGHT GREY HOODED KNIT HENLEY; VELVET WHITE HENLEY (Left Photo from Pinterest)
Where to wear a bomber jacket
Medeiros says one advantage to bomber jackets is that you can wear them in a wide variety of situations.
“They really are universal,” she says. “You can wear a bomber with your joggers or jeans and your t-shirt or you can wear the same jacket with your chinos and a button-up with loafers as business casual for the office.”
She’s particularly fond of a lightweight linen bomber that Taelor carries. “You can dress it up or dress it down,” Medeiros says.
(Left)CIVIL SOCIETY CREAM LINEN LIGHTWEIGHT BOMBER JACKET (Right) SONS + FATHERS NAVY LINEN BOMBER JACKET
Don’t have a stylist? Want some help finding and choosing clothes that will make you the best possible version of you (without having to do laundry or spend a fortune), let Taelor help. Taelor is a menswear rental subscription service dedicated to helping men look their best when it matters most. Our styling service, powered by a human stylist and assisted by artificial intelligence, finds the clothes that help you win – at work, on a date, at a party, or wherever you spend your time.
By Paul Conley