Since 2016


April 22, 2019 9 min read

by Joanna Smykowski

Joanna does quite a few things in life, but writing has been her favorite by far. She is a city girl who has moved to a beach town, and second to writing, will never tire of music, travel, and the friendships she makes as a result of both.

Leather jackets are a fashion statement and a lifestyle. As with all fashion, what you wear helps define you. It is a part of your personality and sense of style that you show to the world.

This is especially true when it comes to outerwear. It is the first thing people see when you encounter them, whether you shake their hand or just pass someone by on the street. In addition, your outwear is the first thing you are displaying to the world. Because of this, it is even better if that outwear gives you confidence and comfort, and allows your inner self to shine through.

When we say outwear, we mostly mean jackets. The jacket realm is massive, even when you narrow it down to just leather jackets. One of those options for outerwear is leather flight jackets.

What are flight jackets? How do you wear a flight jacket? Look no further for those answers. In this article, we will delve into leather flight jackets, their history and how to wear them as well.

What is a Flight Jacket?

First thing is first. Before we dive into everything you need to know about flight jackets, let’s go over what they are.

Flight jackets, also known as bomber jackets, are distinctive in style. They were created in the first half of the 20th century and still keep many of the same design elements that they were originally born with.

The jacket can be made from a few different options, such as fabric, leather, and sheepskin. It always included heavy insulation. It is cut waist length and closed with a zipper or buttons. Bomber jackets also traditionally have elasticized cuffs and a hem, or other tight waist and wrist closures. There is also a collar on bomber jackets. They (the collar) were originally made as another barrier against the cold and wind, but today it can be worn flipped up and secured around the throat for style or extra protection against the elements.

History of the Flight Jacket

Flight jackets we originally made as a men’s garment jacket. They are also known as bomber jackets, and they were created as highly functional work wear for members of the military. They were created in the early 20th century around the time of the first World War. As you can guess, the name flight jacket was given to the garment because it was made for pilots in the military.

When planes were first created and flown, the cockpits, which is where the pilot flew and directed the plane, were open. As a result, the temperature inside was cold and windy since there was no way to regulate it. In order to help pilots and protect them from the cold and wind, flight or bomber jackets were created.

During World War I, flight jackets where made of weather resistant materials on the outside to beat the elements, and they were all-natural products-such as leather-that you know today.

As years passed, bomber jackets evolved with it. Increased technology led to different kind of planes being flown. They were flying higher but were still not anywhere near as advanced as they are today. As a result, the conditions that pilots were becoming exposed to only got worse, needing a tougher jacket. A British aviator named Leslie Irvin altered the bomber jacket to be able to handle the high-altitude conditions. These ranged from unpressurized cockpits (while today, we have an oxygen bag that will come down if the pressure drops too low!), and temperatures as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flight Jacket Models

Flight jacket models

There are many different types of bomber jacket models. “A” jackets were lined with wool, cotton, or silk. “B” jackets were based on sheepskin. Both models have been used by forces such as the United States Army Air Forces. Since then, the jackets have continued to evolve.

Where have I seen flight jackets?

Flight jackets were not only functional, giving them a historic aspect, but they are fashionable as well. As a result, many famous people have been seen sporting bomber jackets not only in real life, but in movies as well, especially if those movies took place during any of the World Wars. Some famous wearers of the bomber jacket include Tom Cruise in Top Gun,Leo DiCaprio in The Aviatorand many others.

Tom Cruise in Top Gun

How to start looking for your first flight jacket

If you have found yourself enamored with bomber jackets and have decided that you want one for your own, it is time to figure out what you want your first flight jacket to be.


The style of your jacket is important. As we mentioned before, it is the first look of your personality that the outside world gets. In addition to that, it is what you are wearing yourself as outwear to protect you from the elements.

Do you want a more old school bomber jacket with heavy lining to keep you warm? Do you want something with a more classic vintage look that is reminiscent of the original bomber jackets? Or are you looking for something more stylish, less practical, and more modern?


When picking your jacket, the fit is one of the most crucial aspects to making sure you are happy with your purchase. As will anything you wear, you need to make sure that not only the sizing is right, but that it compliments your body and needs as well. A jacket too big or too small will translate to a completely different look. Smaller jackets can also end up ripping and then the investment that you made in your jacket will be a waste.

The saying goes that a good leather jacket should feel like a second skin. A good way to test this out is by trying the jacket on, especially when you are purchasing your first leather bomber jacket. This way, you can get an idea of sizing moving forward, in case you want to order jackets online. When you are trying your jacket on, be sure to lift your arm up to test it out. Are you struggling to lift your arm above your shoulder? Is it uncomfortable in any way? If so, then trying the next size up may be something that you want to do.

Traditionally, bomber jackets were made for men with a slimmer build. The waits and cuffs had elastic in them so that they could hug the skin tighter and cut air off from coming inside. While that standard does not apply today of slimmer build, the elastic waistline and cuffs still exist, which is something you need to make sure you are comfortable with if you are buying a more classic jacket. Some people may not enjoy the elastic cuffs or waist, so if you are one of those people, make sure to find a jacket with a looser fit. These feature in the jacket helps accentuate the broadness of your shoulders. Again, if you are a broader person in general and do not want the fit to be tight, be sure to look for something looser.

You can also get your jacket custom fit. While this option may cost a little more, it gives you a more personal attachment with your jacket. it is fit just for you and your measurements, which leads to the more comfortable jacket that you can have. Generic sizes, while they usually do the job, are never the same as something custom fit. Think about if you get a tailored suit versus purchasing one off of the rack and fitting into it. They both look good, but the tailored suit will look and feel even better. The same goes here. Companies such as Independence Brothers does custom made jackets which you can order just to your style and flair.

Flight Jacket Styles


The color of your jacket is the next choice you need to make. If you are getting a bomber jacket made of a material that is not leather, such as satin, there are tons of colors available, especially within women’s fashion. You can get a rainbow array of colors, from bright pinks to white to everything in between.

For the leather lovers out there, the options are more sleek, streamlined, and neutral in tones. As you can except from leather, black or brown are your best options. Consider what you usually wear and what will look best on you. Do you want something a little more sheik? Black may be the way to go. Brown leads to a more vintage look.


Leather, our favorite thing. There are many options for different types of leather. While it may seem enthusiastic when we say each aspect of your leather jacket is important, it is true, and the leather type is no exception. The material lends to not only the look, but its function, price, and quality.

Leather that is top grain is a high-end option. It is split from the bottom layers and the top is smoothed off. It lends to a softer finish but is flexible and durable.

Full grain leather is more unique in its markings. It is thicker and stiffer, and can also be very pricey.

Fake leather is always an option, but we tend to steer clear from it. The jacket will not last as long and it will not look as good. The lower price tag is not worth it in the end if your jacket lasts less time and you have to buy more in the long run. This jacket is an investment on yourself and one that is worth it to make.

Where can I go to purchase a great leather flight jacket?

The options here are many. Many stores have brick and mortar locations as well as online outlets in which you can shop. Companies that you can buy flight jackets include, but are not limited to:


Each company is known for certain style of bomber jacket and different price tags, so you can see which best fits your needs.

Flight Jackets in Movies

I have my awesome leather flight jacket. Now what?

Congratulations! You have purchased an awesome leather flight jacket. You look good, you feel good, and you have something to protect you from the cold and maybe even the rain.


This jacket is an investment that you made. The last thing that you want is for the jacket to deteriorate quickly. Taking care of your leather flight jacket is crucial to making sure that does not happen.

Most leather jacket websites and stores will have care instructions as well as products that you can purchase to care for your jacket. One such care option is leather lotion, which is for finished leather and cleans, moisturizes, and preserves the leather. The preservation especially helps with the longevity of the jacket. you can also get other products such as spray protector or leather cleaner wipes. Conditioning it helps it to not dry and crack, helping it last for years and years after you purchase it.


Leather flight jackets are versatile and really able to be worn. However, make sure that when you choose it, it does pair with the rest of your wardrobe. Wearing your jacket and complimenting it with not only your style and your fit, but with what you already own, allows you to have as many opportunities as possible to break out your bad boy look.

PHYSICAL - The Admiral Moto

PHYSICAL - The Suede Double Rider

PHYSICAL - The Technical Bomber


This article was not only for you as the reader, but about you. You are the consumer; the person who loves flight leather jackets. Or maybe you were unsure, and this article helped you solidify an opinion. You are the person who is going to perhaps do some lingering research on more jackets to see what you want. You are going to take a look at what you own already and visualize what you want next. You are the one who is going to go into a store, or begin browsing online, for that perfect leather jacket.

So, this article is to help you. Knowing what you are wearing gives you power and ownership over it. Even knowing the history of a jacket that has only been around since the last century, but has so much background, makes not only a good conversation starter, but also a way for you to connect with what you are wearing.

As a consumer, it is important to do the research and reviews and choose a jacket that is the best for you and your needs. The look, the feel, the price tag, all must cater to you. At the end of the day, you are the person who will be wearing that jacket on a regular basis and walking into the world.

The bottom line here is that a leather jacket is more than just a jacket. Yes, it will keep you warm or dry, but it goes beyond that. A leather jacket can change your life. Fashion has always been a powerful thing, and a way that you present yourself to the world. Leather jackets are not just clothing or outerwear. It is an extension of yourself and your personality. It is a statement. Flight jackets have their own personality and history within them. A jacket can transform your day and project confidence and the person you want to be to the outside world. No matter which jacket you choose, you need to make sure that it is the best version of yourself that you envision and make a reality whenever you put that jacket on.

We hope this article helped in some way. Let us know your thoughts, and what you would like to see more or less of. Men, click here, here, and here for more resources on leather flight jackets. Ladies, click here and here. Leave comments, questions, and suggestions below. We would love to hear from you. Happy shopping!

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