What is a Bomber Jacket?

Written By Bakes

Avid writer on Men's Hair, Grooming, and Lifestyle!

To answer your question, what is a bomber Jacket?

A bomber Jacket is a short waist length jacket which contains garment specifics such as matching cuffs, zip closure, ribbed waist band and low-cut standing collar. There are other variations of the bomber jacket which have a flat collar.

Our latest in-house editorial details the bomber jacket history, its place in culture today, different styles & where to buy the best quality pieces.

History of the Bomber jacket

The bomber jacket has an interesting history, originally designed in the 1940’s the intentions of the bomber jacket were to keep the first pilots warm during the World War II.

With aircraft technology improving allowing planes to fly at higher altitudes exposing pilots to colder weather conditions resulted in the bomber jacket being created to keep pilots protected, warm and in uniform.

As the bomber jacket was created for pilots this would explain the jackets original term “Flight Jacket”

Since its initial introduction in the world war it has been rebranded as the bomber jacket or baseball jacket.


Different types of bomber jackets


leather jacket

Leather Bomber Jackets styled in the MA-1 way will follow the same principles, while most of the jacket is leather it will contain a viscose Ribbed collar, cuffs and hems.

The combination of fabrics adds to the bomber jacket detail making it highly sought after. High quality bomber jackets are usually crafted from goat, cow or sheep leather.


Baseball Jacket (Wool & Leather)

baseball jacket

The baseball jacket is normally comprised of leather sleeves and wool front and back fabrics. The baseball jacket will also include contrasting colors and patterns.

With the team’s logo embroidered on the left chest for further detail, the baseball jacket shares the same principle as a typical bomber jacket.



types of bomber jackets

Suede bomber jackets will normally have minimalist detailing to keep the theme of style & sophistication constant. Brands producing suede bomber jackets will usually only have logos inside the jacket.

These bombers will also feature a viscose Ribbed collar, cuffs and hems.

Although suede is leather we have included it on the list due to its softer surface and appearance.  


100% Polyester/Cotton

cotton flight jacket

The standard bomber jacket sold in a range of retailers are usually crafted with polyester or cotton fabric. These bombers are sold in a range of colors, feature zip closures, classic fit & machine washable. This is perfect for everyday wear.


Original US Vintage Flight Jackets

original flight jacket

The original flight jacket has become a staple fashion piece today. This bomber contains several features

  • Pen Pocket on the sleeves
  • Usually crafted from Nylon and Polyester
  • Water repellent allowing you to keep dry in wet weather conditions
  • Some vintage flight jackets are reversible
  • Branded U.S logo on sleeve

Although the bomber jacket has transcended into different contemporary styles the original flight jacket is the blueprint for all styles on the list. 


Sporty & light

sporty jacket

The MA-1 style jacket has not only been modeled by high-end luxury brands but has been integrated in sportswear apparel by sports companies and teams.

Designed with convenient details such as lightweight fabrics and ventilation holes to ensure breathable functions. This is a great option for sports activity & leisure.


Oversized Bomber Jacket

oversized bomer jacket

As the name suggests the oversized bomber jacket has been designed to be a stand out piece. While the fit may be noticeably larger the jacket still follows all the bomber details from its collar, hems and cuffs.


MA-2 Flight Jacket


The MA-2 jacket is the follow up edition from the MA-1 with slight variations in style. Firstly MA-2 flight jackets consist of a folded collar as opposed to the rounded MA-1 elasticated collar, secondly the MA-2 jacket consists of cargo style pockets in front and lastly it is slightly shorter than the MA-1.

The MA-2 also comes in different styles and fabrics from polyester, Nylon and leather.

Subcultural Movements

The bomber jacket is a perfect example of a fashion piece being connected & synonymous to multiple sub cultural movements such as the British skinheads in the 1960’s, alternative rock and grunge all the way to the early 2000s with the jacket being integrated into Hip Hop Culture in the form of baseball jackets.

For more information Highsnobiety created a piece around How the Bomber Jacket Formed and Subverted Subculture


Final Word

The bomber jacket is a classic silhouette that has transcended through time and culture. The MA-1 bomber jacket has become the blueprint to which brands continue to model their jackets after.

No longer is the bomber jacket just a functional item but an item that tells a story while embodying a rich history. We hope we have answered your “what is a bomber jacket” question. 



Where can i buy a bomber jacket?

The best quality jackets on the market in my opinion are All Saints Bomber Jackets. You will also find great pieces at Selfridges & Asos as they house multiple different brands and labels, your bound to find a great bomber.

How should a bomber jacket fit?

To ensure your bomber is a great fit it should sit right on yours shoulders, slim through sleeves and embody a tailored look as opposed to it being bulky.

*Rules don’t apply to an oversized bomber or original flight jackets as the nature of these jackets are baggy *

What is bomber jacket used for?

The original intended purpose for a bomber jacket was to keep pilots warm during World War II, today the bomber jacket is used for leisure, sports, casual outfits & warmth.

Why is it called a bomber jacket?

The term bomber jacket derives from the air force bomber crew who flew aircrafts during the World war. More about that HERE


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