The best bomber jackets for men are sartorial chameleons. More than any other type of outerwear, they can go from rugged to sleek to street in the blink of an eye, and will work with virtually any fit in virtually any wardrobe—which is why you absolutely need one in yours.
The bomber jacket began life, as so many menswear staples do, in the military, originally designed to keep a warm pilot in the cockpit during World War I. Eventually, those early flight jackets evolved into a wide spectrum of civilian takes we know and love today— from slick nylon windbreakers to boxy leather varsities—but a handful of the most iconic details remain the same: ribbed hems and sleeve cuffs to keep the cold air out; fuller fits for easy layering; a cropped, above-the-waist length to make it easier to sit in a cramped fighter jet while wearing one. That cropped goes length beyond mere functionality. It’s also extremely flattering, perfect for lengthening your legs and showing off all the squat work you’ve been putting in at the gym. Whether you’re throwing your jacket over a pair of high-waisted pants or mid-rise jeans, the bomber flatters every body type out there.
And with so many versions on the market today, there’s absolutely a high-flying bomber jacket to fit your style and taste. Whether you’d prefer to keep things clean and classic, dip into something a little wilder and louder, or ball outrageous with a high-end designer interpretation, we’ve rounded up a baker’s dozen of the absolute best men’s bomber jackets to slip into over and over and over.
The Bomber Jacket
When you picture a bomber jacket, the Alpha Industries MA-1 is likely the first thing that comes to mind. It’s long been a staple in streetwear culture, showing up on the backs of Pharrell and Ye and countless other style icons. Alpha dubbles in modern interpretations and high fashion collaborations, but their MA-1 bomber remains a timeless icon for a reason: it’s made to the exact same specifications as the ones issued to Air Force pilots in the ’60s, constructed from hardy, water- resistant nylon with a plethora of pockets inside, outside, and on the sleeve. It also happens to be reversible, with an extra swervy orange on the other side for those days you’re feeling extra. Whether you’re rocking a plain white T-shirt and faded jeans or a button-up shirt and slim-fit pants, there’s no outfit this classic bomber jacket can’t pilot.
The Minimalist Bomber Jacket
Everlane’s take on the bomber jacket is the ideal toned-down version, if you’re not so keen on the classic puffy and cropped fit. It’s slimmer through the body and cut from a subtle, matte cotton-poly twill. Those design decisions make an already sleek jacket even sleeker, which means it’ll slide right into any wardrobe with ease.
The Big Man on Campus Bomber Jacket
Thanks to fellas like Tyler, the Creator, the varsity jacket is all kinds of cool again. Maybe you never earned a varsity letter in high school, but the prepped-up take on the bomber can still earn you plenty of style points on the streets. Stewart & Strauss’s classic varsity is affordable and well made, but it’s the biggest selling point is the sheer number of color combinations (48!) to choose from.
The Wallet-Friendly Bomber Jacket
Rothco has been supplying garments to the military since 1953 and continue to produce some of the hardest-wearing goods on the planet. Their MA-1 flight jacket is about as authentic as it gets, with its water-resistant nylon outer, utility pockets, reversible hi-vis orange lining, and a surplus-store-level price tag.
Nine More Bomber Jackets We Love