Ever since the jet age jacket of choice for US military pilots landed at street level, its iconic silhouette has never strayed too far from the minds of the style-conscious. And although it’s been adopted by many a fashion house and high-street shop, and had its design tinkered with in a variety of ways, it maintains the rare ability to look great over anything from a hoodie to a tee to a button-down shirt.
Of course, with so many iterations to choose from, selecting your perfect piece requires some serious searching… or just a quick scroll through our favourites, which happen to be waiting for you below.
Alpha Industries NASA Funnel Neck
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
As with most things, the beginning is a good place to start, so we’ll kick off with the Tennessee-based company that made the original US military MA-1 bomber jacket back in 1963. To this day it still turns out authentic bomber jackets, but we’ve picked out this homage to NASA in black, with a high collar blasting the silhouette into 2019. A real head-turner and an excellent neck-warmer too.
Buy from End. (opens in new tab) | £179 (currently reduced to £115)
Björn Borg Centre
When the Ice Man smashed his way to Wimbledon victory back in 1976, who’d have thought he would be considered an underwear tycoon come the 2010s? Not us, but here we are, in a world of bright Björn Borg boxers. So we’re surprised that he’s stuck his name to a bomber jacket – and an excellent one at that! – that’s as classic as they come.
The cool kids at Volcom are less concerned with dropping bombs and more concerned with bombing down huge waves and vert skate ramps – which, it seems, gives them everything they need to turn out an attention-grabbing bomber jacket. The claret colourway is suitably against-the-grain, and the interior harbours a cheeky little secret – open up and discover a giant snarling mouth printed on its padding.
Now for quite possibly the only jacket that’s named after a sandwich shop. The “Paninaro” in YMC’s outrageously cool tartan bomber refers to the Italian youth culture that began in the ’80s and ate up brands like Stone Island, Timberland, Armani and Levi’s just as hard as it ate up the sangers from Il Panino, a snack bar in Milan. Made from fabric woven in Italy, this definitely would’ve looked the part then and will more than look the part now with your beat-up denim.
Nobis Ash Multi-Pocket
It looks like luxe outerwear brand Nobis has got pretty serious this winter. It’s ramped up the utilitarianism of the Ash Bomber with gigantic pockets that mean business, and finished up with a signature lamination that promises, vows and swears blind to keep you dry, no matter what.
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Nanamica Stripe-Trimmed Corduroy Down
An absolute nightmare in the rain? Without a doubt, but this outrageously excellent corduroy down bomber from one of the most in-demand brands is worth dramatically, theatrically and quite pathetically running for cover at the first sign of drizzle.
Every last bit of this bomber is recycled – ripstop polyester on the outside, recycled down on the inside, recycled trims, treads, the lot. It’s a part of Timberland’s “Do Good” collection and takes design inspiration from Japan to create a bold street staple that you can feel dead proud of wearing this chilly season.
Oliver Spencer Bermondsey
Self-taught tailor Oliver Spencer is at the crest of the wave of brands that craft top-quality and relaxed modern staples, and looking at this beaut it’s not hard to see why. He’s managed to take a thoroughly American classic and make it decidedly British, with big traditional-style pockets that share their shape with those on a country wax jacket.
MNML Sherpa Bomber
Just one hundred quid for the never-ending feeling of being hugged by a teddy bear? Take our wallet immediately.
Buy from MNML (opens in new tab) | £93.82
Craft beer drinker, Devonian, fisherman and former content director of Coach online, Chris contributed style coverage and features between 2016 and 2019.
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