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Styling a Bomber Jacket

The bomber jacket began as a functional military uniform that made its way into the world of fashion. Learn how to style this iconic piece in a variety of ways.

5 Ways To Style a Bomber Jacket

Bomber jackets are classic pieces of outerwear that have withstood the test of time. Although it has military origins, the style took on a life of its own in the civilian world as a fashion staple. There are plenty of ways to incorporate a bomber jacket into your wardrobe, no matter your style.

Discover Bomber Jacket History

Originally referred to as a flight jacket, it was first produced in 1917 for WWI pilots. This style of jacket was designed by the US Army Aviation Clothing Board to keep people warm at high altitudes in open-air cockpits. However, the jacket came into its own with the A-1 model introduced in 1927. By this time, it had evolved into the leather style with a knit collar and cuffs that sits high on the waist.

The bomber continued to evolve alongside military technology through the years. It wound up popular in mainstream culture by 1950. Nobody can forget the image of James Dean wearing this iconic jacket in 'Rebel Without a Cause' in 1955. From there, the style took off into civilian life.

The flight jacket became a staple in the aesthetic of many different subcultures and youth movements through the decades. Punks in 1970s London, LGBTQ communities in the 1980s, and hip-hop stars in the 2000s all had a unique spin. This long history has given this jacket an inherent association with the cutting-edge and streetwear culture.

Get Started With Bomber Jacket Outfit Ideas

The defining features of a flight jacket are a cropped, cinched waist and loose sleeves. Therefore, it highlights your waist and puffs out your arms ever so slightly. Regardless of style, it’s good to pair this type of silhouette with something on the bottom that is high-waisted with slim lines.

Like most jackets, the bomber is great for layering. This style can come in a variety of weights, patterns, and materials, so the layering method can change dramatically. Regardless, this jacket has a certain authority to it that will come through and accentuate any style.


1. Casual

A bomber jacket has a distinctly sporty vibe that works well with casual outfits. Throw one on over a pair of skinny jeans and a tee. You can balance out your shape with a pair of boots or chunky sneakers. If it’s a little warmer out, you can wear the jacket open with a crop top and some jean shorts. 

You will even look put together wearing a bomber over a pair of leggings. This style doesn’t clash with athleisure in the slightest. It will elevate your look to be more intentional. You truly can’t go wrong. For example, a bomber with stripes down the arms looks great with a sports bra and leggings.


2. Alternative

You can have a lot of fun pushing the boundaries of the bomber jacket form. Funky textures, such as faux fur or snakeskin, give it a whole new feel. The shape makes voluminous materials look really good, and you don’t lose your waist. You'll feel like you are on the runway.

You can also find flight-style jackets covered in graphics or bold colors. There are lots of ways to make the jacket the center of attention. Having a conversation piece or two in your closet is important to pull out for fun occasions. Imagine standing out in a bright red fur bomber walking down a busy city street.

3. Vintage

If you like vintage style, the bomber jacket is a safe bet for recreating styles from the 1910s onward. For a military look, it helps to find a flight-style bomber in leather. To look even more like a pilot, look for one with a little fur lining around the collar.

Depending on the decade you are going for, there's a lot you can do with this jacket. To recreate 1970s punk, you will need some dark work pants and a pair of Doc Martens. A pair of pleated, high-waisted pants will send you back to the 1950s, especially with a pair of saddle shoes.

4. Glitzy

The sportiness of the bomber jacket works well in contrast with the glitz and glamor of sequins. Such a jacket makes a big statement on its own and can be worn with simple layers underneath, such as a black dress or a pair of jeans. However, if you’re going big, why not take it all the way? 

For example, if you have on a multi-colored, sequined bomber, you can pull out one of the many available colors to coordinate your matching pieces. A bold pencil skirt or a body-con dress also brings a sense of Hollywood glam.

5. Wintry

A bomber jacket is a jacket, after all. Find one that’s made for cold weather with more insulation. This will make it appear a bit bigger or puffier than more lightweight versions. Bombers typically have a very low collar, so they look nice with a turtleneck underneath. This will highlight and elongate your neck while keeping you warm.

If you want to play up winter street style you can pair your jacket with a thick pair of cargo pants and Timberland-style boots. This look works well with satin in black, red, or olive. Big hoops will add a touch of femininity to the look.

Find a Fashionable Bomber Jacket

When adding pieces of outerwear to your wardrobe, you don’t want to skimp on quality. However, you also don’t want to pay more than you need to just for a high-end name. Look for a boutique that caters to your sense of style — you’re more likely to find a unique piece that will stay with you for many years to come.

Kate Hewko is a revolutionary fashion retailer run by women for women. No matter your age, you should dress in whatever way makes you happy. Don’t be afraid to try something new, such as a bold bomber jacket. Our eclectic collections are sure to contain something to get excited about. Visit our website to learn more and browse our selection.

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