How to Pick the Right Leather Bomber Jacket

A bomber jacket was originally designed for pilots in warfare conditions. In the first world war aircraft cockpits were not fully enclosed so there was a need to keep the pilot warm. Long sleeved leather jackets were chosen initially by French and Belgium pilots in 1915 and the trend caught on with other countries.

In September 1917 the US Army started a branch called the Aviation clothing board and their initial design was one that stuck. High wrap around collars, zipped front, wind flaps, and elasticated wrists and waists to keep things snug. Some were fringed and lined with fur for extra wind resistance and thus the bomber jacket (or flight jacket) was born.

Of course pilots have always been a symbol of masculinity and something every man has once dreamed of doing (especially during the war). So the bomber jacket and variants have come into fashion numerous times over the years.

Styling Cues of Bomber Jackets


Bomber jackets were originally made out of leather, this is still popular for modern fashionable jackets but modern bomber jackets are made out of a synthetic material which is much lighter and maneuverable but doesn't have the same durability.


Pockets on bomber jackets are traditionally at the front around the waist height. This is for easy access when sitting (as opposed to the side or chest pockets). A few of the more expensive ones will have interior pockets too.


Bomber jackets are loose fitting around the shoulders and torso, however they close in and fit snug at the extremities (waist, sleeve and collar) to close in the air and keep you warm. Modern bomber jackets (especially from fashion designers) tend to be more closely fitted and can be very feminine womans bomber jackets or masculine mens bomber jackets.


Fur was traditionally used as a wind trap to keep the bomber pilots warmer. Synthetic fur or an inner fleece lining is more likely to be available on modern winter leather bomber jackets as it is cheaper, morally and environmentally better and just as effective in keeping the body at the correct temperature.


Zips are nearly always used in non leather and leather bomber jackets as they seal the jacket up better in comparison to buttons. Flaps covering the zipper are also common and are buttoned up. Bomber Jackets are supposed to be easy to wear and put on, so there should not be an excessive amount of buttons (3 at most). Buttons are usually metal poppers rather than the sewn in ones (especially on leather bomber jackets) as they are more durable and easier to use.

Which Bomber Jacket is For You?

Are you after a bomber jacket for practicality or fashion?

Bomber jackets were designed as standard to be very practical jackets so a traditional choice of styling will suit very well and keep you warm for many winters. A good quality one will not be cheap, but will be worth the money and last you many years.

Fashionable bomber jackets can change the traditional style and add their own cues here and there whilst taking the general design of a typical leather bomber jacket. Take a look at the woman's jacket in the picture above - it is a fashionable version with the flexible waist and shoulder pads with low cut neckline. Fashionable ones tend to be more fitted too and not have the large inside air pocket for warmth traditional ones have.

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