Which Leather Bomber Jacket is For You?
The leather bomber jacket is a classic piece of outerwear that gives the man who wears it the appearance of being adventurous, strong and stylish. With so many variations on the original style worn by military pilots, how do you choose the best one for you?
Quality leather isn't cheap, so you'll be better off putting some thought into the fit, color, type of leather and overall style of the jacket you buy. Tailoring leather is costly and difficult, and cheap leather wears out quickly to much disappointment. A good leather jacket can be worn in almost any situation and will last a lifetime.
In order to choose the perfect leather bomber jacket for you, you'll want to consider a few things.
What weather conditions do I want to wear this jacket in?
Many leather bombers come in light, athletic styles. The leather is flexible without needing to be broken in, is lined with a light material, maybe the jacket includes a hood, and the cut and style is more reminiscent of something a baseball player might wear, rather than a pilot. These are great for men with a sporty edge to their look or who live in warmer climates.
Other jackets come lined with a quilted material, giving more warmth to the jacket. The leather may also be of a sturdier, heavier quality.
Even warmer still is the classic, shearling lined leather bomber. This is the perfect jacket for cold weather, as it is very warm and also it can withstand the elements. If you're looking for the classic, rugged look that will keep you comfortable all winter, this is the bomber jacket that you are looking for.
There are several different kinds of leather that are used to make clothing, some of a much higher quality than others. If durability is a concern, top grain or full grain leather, which is cut from the outer hide, will last longer than "genuine leather", which is cut from the inner hide and is generally thinner. "Bonded leather" refers to scraps of leather that are pressed together and chemically bonded, resulting in a low quality material.
While cow hide leather is the most commonly used for jackets, there are many other hide choices out there such as bison, steer, pig or lamb skin, so check those out if you're looking for a different texture and feel.
What Kind of Style Am I Trying to Recreate in my Wardrobe?
Leather jackets can be used to make any look pop with a rugged confidence. Some styles, like the biker or moto jackets, give men the rebel-without-a-cause look. The bomber is a bit less James Dean and a bit more Indiana Jones than the motorcycle riding looks. Bomber jackets are taken directly from the styles of jackets worn by military pilots and they carry with them the look of a put together, but risky character. Play up the military history even further with some trendy military style boots.
Not just a utility item, bomber jackets come in a lot of different cuts. The original was designed to be fitted around the hips using elastic, and closely they follow the form of the body to allow the wearer good mobility. However, you can find many oversized cuts that might suit your style better. If you like to wear large or baggy shirts and sweaters, then you'll want to go for one of these bigger cuts. It's trendy with some styles of leather jackets, like a motorcycle jacket, to let your longer t-shirt hang below the bottom of it, but not with the bomber. Keep whatever shirt you're wearing underneath and inside of the jacket.
Do I want black, brown, or another colored leather?
Originally, bomber jackets were brown to match military uniforms. Brown leather gives the feeling of a working, active man. You can find a lot of brown leather that already looks worn, making you appear even more like you spend your free time fixing engines or discovering hidden tombs.
Black leather still carries with it a rebellious, bad boy spirit. Black bomber jackets are associated with smart, urban living. The kind of guy who knows his way around things, can hack any problem, and knows where the best nightclub is, would naturally go with a black over a brown bomber.
You can also find plenty of less conventional colors, like maroon, blue, green etc. If you want a statement piece rather than an everyday jacket, then maybe a strong color is what you're looking for.
How Do I Wear It?
Leather jackets don't need a lot of dressing up to look stylish. Even with just a simple t-shirt, well cut jeans, and a pair of boots you'll be dressed for a range of occasions. The most important things to remember is that your jacket should fit you right and everything in the rest of your outfit is in good condition. If your clothes are unclean and falling apart, there's little a high quality leather jacket can do for you. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance if the struggling artist vibe is what you're intending to give off, some rips in your shirt could pull everything together. As for fit, if the jacket is too big and makes you look like you dug into your dad's closet, or too small and you look like you were in your girlfriends closet, the appearance that you're a man in control of your life will be lost. Unlike a lot of other clothes, leather isn't easy to tailor, so be extra mindful of how things fit when trying jackets on.
Don't Overdo It
Be careful to not overcomplicate styling the outfit you wear with your leather jacket. While these jackets have a lot of associations with uniform, monochromatic looks, you can bring whatever pair of nice denim, simple leather boots, or cozy flannel you already have in your closet and you will be dressed in a solid outfit. Resist the temptation to step out in head to toe black leather unless you're actually getting on a motorcycle. You can certainly put together some eye catching ensembles in head to toe leather, but you'll find that the button ups and hoodies that are already in your closet pull together a look that is both a little on the sophisticated side, yet still casual enough for every day wear.