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The Leather Bomber Jacket

Updated on June 2, 2011

The leather bomber jacket has gone through several periods of popularity. In the last decade, it was must-have wear for the hip hop crowd. However, anyone can wear a bomber jacket regardless of what group they belong to. Men and women alike are drawn the the look of the jacket; many people feel that wearing a leather jacket is slightly rebellious and romantic, those drawn to the bomber jacket are no different. The leather bomber jacket has a long and colorful history.

The leather bomber jacket was originally developed for World War I aviators to wear while flying. The cockpits of the early planes were open to the elements and the pilots needed a way to keep warm. In 1917, the US Army’s Aviation Clothing Board developed the first leather bomber jacket (or flight jacket). The jacket featured a high collar (sometimes with fur attached), a zipper with wind flaps, a tight cuff and waist, and lining (some were lined with fur). In 1926, Englishman Leslie Irwin created the first lambskin bomber jacket and became the official supplier to the Royal Air Force in the UK during World War II.

Since its military origins, the leather bomber jacket has become popular with various groups including skinheads and hip hop followers. However, anyone can wear a bomber jacket.  The jacket is attractive and useful in places with a cold climate. It can be worn almost year-round and looks better the more broken in and worn it is. Most people look good in a leather bomber jacket.

There are leather bomber jackets for men, women, children, pets and toys. They also come in any colors and designs that you can think of; from black, to those featuring the American flag or a cartoon character, to white, and to pink. The popularity does not seem to have declined in the almost 100 years since they were developed and it doesn’t look like that popularity will lessen anytime soon.

Snoopy would have looked much cooler if he'd been wearing a leather bomber jacket.
Snoopy would have looked much cooler if he'd been wearing a leather bomber jacket.

Five Reasons to Own a Leather Bomber Jacket

  1. It looks cool, you can pretend you are a World War I flying ace.
  2. It keeps you warm and the elastic around the cuffs keeps cold air out.
  3. It can be worn by either men or women.
  4. It makes a statement about who you are.
  5. It comes in a variety of colors and designs.


Submit a Comment

  • oceansnsunsets profile image

    Paula 3 years ago from The Midwest, USA

    I have seen leather bomber jackets, but never owned one. It was fun to learn the history behind them, thanks for sharing.

  • Arthur Fontes profile image

    Arthur Fontes 7 years ago from Fall River,MA

    I was a sleeve setter fo Vanson leathers for seven years. I produced thousands of bomber jackets. Very popular.

  • fishtiger58 profile image

    fishtiger58 8 years ago from Momence, Illinois

    I love leather jackets of any sort. I always buy mens leather jackets because they seem to be heavier and warmer. Great hub.

  • nicomp profile image

    nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

    Memories of every WWII movie... the dashing pilots in their leather bomber jackets with lambskin trim. Thanks!

  • alekhouse profile image

    Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

    Enjoyed this...interesting info and well put together. I love the jacket with Bugs Bunny on the back...and you're oh so right about Snoopy. Thanks for the read.

  • Julie-Ann Amos profile image

    Julie-Ann Amos 8 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

    Oh these take me back...

  • KCC Big Country profile image

    Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

    Very nice hub...I've always wanted a leather jacket. Might have to break down and do it someday. I live in Texas though, so the weather is rarely cold enough to warrant one.