The bomber jacket is one of the most popular outerwear styles of the current day, and probably the most famous piece of military clothing to find crossover success as a piece of civilian wear.
With the advent of air combat in World War II, pilots needed outerwear that was going to be functional in high-altitude cold weather, while still being streamlined enough to stay out of the way of plane operation. As flight tech advanced, cockpits became more cramped with tech, and planes could fly faster and higher. It’s these details that spurred innovation from leather and fur to wool and waterproofed nylon.
Bomber jackets were a significant part of military life, but following the Korean War, and especially after the Vietnam War, it was integrated into civilian life. Traditionally constructed bomber jackets work in a temperature range that goes from roughly 14 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so the style was much desired for those who happened to need a functional jacket.
The jacket possesses a rich history which can be traced from its military origins through various subcultures including the punk and skinhead movements, gay communities in the 1980s, and more recently the high fashion set.