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The bomber jacket (a.k.a, the flight jacket) has a familiar story: Developed by the military in the mid-1900s, it’s now a style staple, and today you can spot the best bomber jackets on the most stylish musicians and celebrities, from Drake to David Beckham.
So what makes the best flight jackets so good? Like most great menswear pieces, it comes down to a marriage of fashion and function. Because they’re warm yet lightweight, the best bomber jackets can be layered in the winter or rocked on their own during spring and fall. Plus, many classic nylon bomber jackets are also water-resistant.
And then there’s the timeless style of a bomber jacket: They go with almost everything and introduce some casual military-inspired edge. The best bomber jackets can be worn with go-to sneakers and jeans (say, while running errands), or they can be worn dressier with slacks and grail-worthy kicks for a night out.
Thanks to the continued popularity of bomber jackets, you can now find them in a range of fabrics and fits. Nylon is the classic flight jacket material, but there are also cotton, linen, canvas and leather options. Some are slim fit (which is great for wearing over a tee) while others are baggier and good for layering.
The Best Bomber Jackets for Men
1. Alpha Industries MA-1 Flight Jacket
This Alpha Industries flight jacket epitomizes the military-inspired look that made flight jackets a hit with civilians. Unlike many modern bomber jackets, this one was actually used beginning in 1959, and Alpha Industries has been smart to retain the old-school military look. It boasts a reversible design with a nylon shell and lining (for water resistance), as well as a polyester lining for warmth. We prefer the jacket in this classic sage green color, although it comes in a couple of stylish colors. Rock it casually with jeans and bold sneakers for best effect.
2. Everlane The Bomber Jacket
For a more toned-down bomber jacket, check out this one from the minimalism experts at Everlane. It’s made of a polyester blend material that’s soft but also water-resistant in case of showers. Other noteworthy features include a two-way zipper and magnetic closure welt pockets. The jacket comes in a handful of muted, modern colors and works with just about everything in your wardrobe from sweats and sneakers to chinos and loafers.
3. Filson CCF Bomber Jacket
Workwear has recently taken the fashion world by storm, making this Filson CCF bomber an excellent purchase right now. But, like all things Filson, the bomber is far from fast fashion. It’s made of a cotton duck canvas and features triple-stitching as well as rivets — all of which combine for a tough-as-nails jacket. You’ve also got plenty of room for tools (or, more likely, your phone, wallet, headphones and other daily necessities) thanks to several pockets on the exterior and interior. The jacket is obviously at home while working (say, in the woodshop) but it also looks great on a commute with baggy chinos and sneakers.
4. Rothco MA-1 Flight Jacket
Another classic military surplus pick is this Rothco MA-1 flight jacket. Like Alpha Industries, Rothco started as a military supplier and offers serious build quality. This durability comes from a 100 percent water-resistant nylon shell and details like ribbed hems, collar and sleeves. But the Rothco jacket also offers minimal military style. You can throw it over almost anything in your closet for a casual night out, running errands or traveling in style.
5. H&M Linen Bomber Jacket
If you’re tired of sweaters, check out this linen bomber from H&M. The jacket is made of an airy, lightweight linen with a comfortable polyester-elastane lining. This makes it ideal for spring, cool summer nights, or fall when you’re not quite sure how to stay warm (but not too warm), and fresh at the same time. You can pair it with just about everything in your transitional wardrobe, but we think it looks best with other warm-weather pieces like jeans, a comfortable tee and white sneakers.
6. Allsaints Men’s Kemble Suede Bomber Jacket
For a more sophisticated bomber jacket, go for this Kemble jacket from Allsaints. Thanks to a supple goat leather suede shell, the jacket can be worn with slacks, a button-up and dress shoes in addition to sneakers and jeans. And although it’s on the minimal side, you still get some convenient zip pockets on the hips and one on the chest.
7. Paul Smith Wool Bomber Jacket
Paul Smith is known for nailing upscale yet casual style — and this bomber is proof of that. With an Italian-made 100 percent wool shell and extremely minimal design notes, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more versatile, laid-back piece of outerwear. The fit is on the slim side yet super flattering — as expected from the designer. If you plan on layering the bomber (or just like a more baggy fit), go one size up.
8. Rick Owens Drkshdw Bomber Jacket
Although most bomber jackets are classic and versatile, Rick Owens proves that the bomber can also be a statement piece with this Drkshdw jacket. First, you’ll notice the dusty brown color, which puts a slight twist on the military look. Second, there are ample pockets on the welts and on the arm (again sticking to the classic look). Lastly, on the back, you’ll find the Rick Owens letter logo in an oversized rib hem. Like all things Rick Owens, it’s bold and unique — and a super wearable statement piece for any season.
9. Saint Laurent Suede Bomber Jacket
If you want a truly premium bomber that retains the jacket’s signature military vibe, check out this one from Saint Laurent. It has all the fixings of a stylish bomber jacket, complete with a utility pocket, ribbed collar and a ribbed hem that brings together a slightly baggy fit. But, with a buttery-soft 100 percent lambskin suede construction, it’s a perfect fit for any five-star hotel bar. In tobacco brown, it’s also easy to pair with low-key pieces like your favorite pair of denim jeans and sneakers, although the jacket also works with casual slacks and button-ups as well.