With fall ready to set in soon, it’s time once again to begin thinking of outerwear. Light jacket season is one of the best times of the year, and you can’t go wrong with the long-enduring cool of the bomber.
Virtually every bomber jacket you see today can be traced back to the MA-1, which Dobbs industries developed for the U.S. Air Force and Navy in the early ‘50s. With nylon soon replacing the initial cotton versions, the lightweight jacket was intended to be warm enough to wear year-round inside a cockpit — but not too warm when warn unzipped back on steady ground. Alpha Industries took over the MA-1 contract in 1963 and helped spread the jacket to other military forces and civilians ready to adopt the look.
Like many other garments with military origins, the bomber is now a staple item that virtually every designer has put their spin on. Whether you want to keep things classic or go for something more avant-garde, we’ve put together the best bomber jackets you’ll be able to wear from fall all through spring as you switch up your layering.
Alpha Industries MA-1 Heritage ($160)
Alpha Industries still hews close to the original MA-1 specifications for a jacket you can also wear inside out. If your path ends here with the original, you cannot go wrong.
Y-3 Classic Bomber Jacket ($325)
This khaki bomber from Y-3 also stays true to the original but with more advanced Primaloft insulation that’ll make it easier to wear into the coldest months of winter.
Junya Wantanabe Man Wool-Paneled Bomber Jacket ($1,365)
If Kanye West did just one thing right on Donda, it was bringing the spotlight back on Junya Wantanabe. If you’re not familiar with the Japanese designer and Rei Kawakubo disciple, this hybrid jumper and bomber is the perfect introduction to his transcendent use of knitwear.
Adidas Parley Bomber Jacket ($184)
After establishing Parley recycled ocean plastic as a mainstay in sustainable sneakers, Adidas has expanded its application to clothing that doesn’t get much better than this murdered-out bomber.
Nike x Sacai Layered Bomber ($450)
Sacai was one of several brands Nike tapped to celebrate the Tokyo Olympics, and their collaborative bomber with subtle layering may have been the best item of the whole lot.
Alyx Metal Buckle Bomber Jacket ($745)
It’s okay to admit you only want Alyx’s jacket for the brand’s signature roller coaster buckle.
Isabel Marant Grey Kelios Jacket ($660)
Why hide the quilting inside when it’s this exquisite? Come holiday season, you could even call the snowflake-like breast pattern festive.