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The bomber jacket, also known as a flight jacket, began life, like many other men's garments — as utilitarian military wear. At its most basic, the style has a knit ribbed collar, cuffs, and waistband, and sits above the hip. Originally made of leather, by the 1950s, the Air Force had switched to using nylon for its bomber jackets. These days the bomber has been reinterpreted by high fashion, while at the same time becoming a wardrobe essential for all genders.
The reason the jacket has become a clothing staple is its flattering silhouette that's broad at the shoulders and narrower at the cropped, fitted waist. The broad range of materials, from merino wool to moleskin, also make the bomber a go-with-anything closet staple. Although bomber jackets are usually considered to be a cold-weather style, you can wear them any time of year — from breezy summer nights to brisk fall days — depending on the material you choose and whether you wear additional layers or not. To help you find the perfect one, we've rounded up our 13 favorite styles of bomber jackets.
And while bomber-style jackets are gender-neutral, this guide is geared towards men's sizing, but can be worn by any gender identity. Clothing companies have moved towards inclusive sizing, as can be seen in the variety of sizes available from this guide's selections. If you're looking for smaller sizes, traditional women's sizing may be the way to go.
These are the best bomber jackets in 2022:
Sandbank Softshell Flight Bomber Jacket
This classic-style bomber jacket comes in a range of colors and sizes and at $32 is a great deal.
If you're looking for a classic bomber without a premium price, Sandbank makes a version of the MA-1 that will cost you just $32. It has the same features as the original — a utility pocket on the arm; ribbed collar, cuffs, and waist; and two side pockets. Made from polyester, this is a lightweight jacket good for spring, summer, and fall. It comes in five colors, from burgundy to deep blue.
Independence Brothers Flight Jacket
This direct-to-consumer startup offers a fully customizable flight jacket for under $500.
Independence Brothers sells custom leather jackets using full-grain leather that's sustainably vegetable tanned. Since 2019, the company, based in Philadelphia, has been making its jackets in Leon, Mexico, the country's center for leather tanning and production. Independence Brothers is known for its excellent customer service, transparency, and pricing.
The Flight Jacket features a plush white faux sherpa collar, elasticized cotton cuffs and hem, and two traditional flap pockets on the front. You can choose lambskin for $30 more, or calfskin, which is a thicker, stronger leather. You can also choose the lining, including a quilted polyester for added warmth ($25); and choice of metal for the YKK brand zippers. From there, there are easy-to-follow instructions on taking your own measurements for a custom fit. It takes between six to 10 weeks for delivery since the jackets are custom made. The company tells me it may take less time for delivery, which is free within the U.S. You can also design your own leather jacket for $525 using the company's customizer app.
The Jacket Maker Coffmen Suede Bomber Jacket
The direct-to-consumer brand The Jacket Maker's Coffmen Suede Bomber has an elevated look and can be fully customized.
The style of The Jacket Maker Coffmen Suede Bomber is closer to the World War II-era flight jacket than the MA-1, which has become the go-to bomber jacket design of late. The combination of suede and the more formal-looking collar gives the Coffmen an elevated look. Suede, unlike smooth leather, comes from the underside of the animal's hide and is softer and thinner than traditional leather. It makes for a more breathable jacket that will get you through nearly the entire year, depending on where you live.
You can learn what the customization process is like from our previous story about the brand. The one drawback? This jacket is currently only available in brown and black. Delivery can also be long. It takes seven to 10 days for delivery of off-the rack jackets, and two to four weeks for delivery if you need customization, according to the company website.
J. Crew Everyday Bomber
J. Crew's Everyday Bomber Jacket is just that — an easy-to-wear and easy-to-pair take on the classic bomber style.
J. Crew is known for its clean, classic, American-preppy style. The company's take on the bomber is no exception. The J. Crew Everyday Bomber streamlines the style by trading the traditional ribbed waist for a straight hem that gives the jacket a more contemporary look. J. Crew tweaked it further by removing the traditional utility pocket at the arm. It's a light jacket and can get you through spring, temperate summers, and straight into fall. It also pairs easily with polos, T-shirts, casual button-ups, jeans, and chinos.
Private White V.C. Moleskin Bomber Jacket
Private White V.C.'s Brown Moleskin Bomber Jacket gives this style a high-end upgrade with classic British tailoring and regionally sourced materials.
Private White V.C. is a British brand that handcrafts its clothing in the last factory in Manchester — which was once the world's leading clothing manufacturing center — using high end, regionally sourced materials. As far from fast fashion as you can possibly get, the company even has a lifetime repair service. That being said, the brand's products are not cheap. The Moleskin Bomber Jacket will run you $450. But it's a classic that will last for years.
The Private White V.C. version of the bomber stays true to its military roots, but gives the style a huge upgrade through its classic British tailoring and regionally sourced materials. Moleskin, a cotton cloth known for its ruggedness — it's traditionally used in hunting and outdoor clothing — is combined with a touch of elastane (2%) for added stretch. Wear it as you would a blazer or dress it down with jeans and leather sneakers.
Filson Quilted Pack Jacket
The Filson Quilted Pack Jacket is tough enough for outdoor work but striking enough for city life.
Filson, an American heritage brand based in Seattle, is known for its hard-wearing, well-made clothing and outdoor gear. The company's take on the bomber jacket is the The Filson Pack Jacket, which is based on the MA-1 bomber. Its rib-knit cuffs and collar are reminiscent of the classic style, but this jacket also features a drawcord adjustable waist rather than the traditional rib-knit hem to help keep out the cold.
Its quilted outer shell is made from a water-resistant cotton-nylon blend. The quilts are filled with PrimaLoft Gold insulation, a synthetic insulator that provides warmth without bulk and is breathable and water resistant. Filson even thought about the pocket lining. It's made from a warm fleece to keep your hand warm when the temperature drops. The jacket is lightweight but warm, making it great for spring and fall while still slim enough to be layered for winter.
Everlane Bomber Jacket
The Everlane Bomber Jacket has become a modern classic. It's sleek, simple, elegant, and comes in a great range of colors.
The Everlane Bomber is sleek without being completely minimalist. It includes the MA-1-style utility pocket on the arm and two slash side pockets and features a two-way zipper and a magnetic closure. It's a great deal for $88, considering the jacket is on par price-wise with options that don't have the same sustainability and ethical standards as Everlane.
The Everlane Bomber Jacket is made from a cotton and recycled polyester blend that's water-resistant and PFC-free. The company produces the jacket in Vietnam in a factory with set ethical standards. It's also backed by a 365-Day Guarantee, meaning you can return it for a new one within a year if there are any quality or performance issues.
Todd Snyder Quilted Bomber
Made from 100% Italian Cotton, the Todd Snyder Quilted Bomber is crafted with a high level of quality you'll appreciate.
With the look of a fashionable bomber and the feel of your favorite cotton sweatshirt, the Todd Snyder Quilted Bomber is one you won't want to take off. The brand also made matching Quilted Pants if you want the full look.
Bonobos Boulevard Bomber
The Bonobos Boulevard Bomber is a modern take on the classic bomber jacket.
The Boulevard Bomber from Bonobos features all the key elements that make up a classic MA-1 bomber but is refined for style. It's lighter, thinner, and comes in black and blue. You can't go wrong with either color.
Patagonia Diamond Quilted Bomber Hoody
Unlike most bomber jackets, the Patagonia Diamond Quilted Bomber is hooded.
Venturing beyond traditional bomber jackets, this version from Patagonia also features a hood with drawstring. While the look might not be classic, it's a useful inclusion for transitional weather. The design also includes diamond-quilted stitching and a front chest pocket.
Alpha Industries MA-1 Bomber Jacket
When it comes to bomber jackets, an Alpha Industries MA-1 Bomber is as close as you can get to an official military-issued jacket.
Originally designed for Air Force flight pilots, the MA-1 was the first bomber jacket to transition into civilian wardrobes. With a lighter, less bulky design than the original, this MA-1 is a good choice for spring weather.
Frank and Oak Skyline Reversible Bomber Jacket
You can alternate between a smooth finish and a diamond quilted pattern with The Skyline Bomber from Frank and Oak.
Whether you're indecisive or simply like to switch it up sometimes, the reversible Frank And Oak Bomber is worth adding to your wardrobe. It comes in four colors, but we particularly like the brown version.
Sene Studio Flextech Bomber
As a made-to-measure garment, you're guaranteed to get the perfect fit with the Sene Flextech Bomber.
If you love made-to-measure garments, then the Sene Studio Flextech Bomber is for you. After a short quiz about your body measurements and how you like your clothes to fit, you can order this jacket — and a variety of other styles — from Sene made custom specifically for you.
The lightweight bomber is made from a four-way stretch material called Japanese FlexTech and uses a minimalistic design for modern style.
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