How to Wear a Bomber Jacket: Men’s Style Guide

Easy on-the-go outerwear.

Bomber jackets are wardrobe stars for all the right reasons. They’re lightweight, stylish, and still warm.

What’s more they’re versatile enough to amp up any outfit. Bomber jackets are available in many styles, colors, and materials, so you can play around with them in a lot of exciting ways. Make them a show-stealer in your day-to-day fits, or dress them as down as possible; your call. 

This article will show you how to wear a bomber jacket by showcasing nine cool bomber jacket outfit ideas.

What is a Bomber Jacket?

A traditional bomber jacket is a cropped, waist-length jacket with elasticated and ribbed cuffs, a gathered hem, and a defined, wraparound collar.

These jackets usually have a zipper on the front and a pocket on each side. Original bomber jackets were often made out of leather, but today you can get them in multiple fabrics, including nylon, wool, suede, polyester, cotton, etc. 

The bomber jacket has its roots in the military. It was mainly used by military pilots and hence, was also known by the name ‘flight jacket’ then.

Bomber jacket vs. varsity jacket

People often use the terms bomber jacket and varsity jackets interchangeably, although they aren’t quite the same thing. While they have a similar shape, color, and waist band, varsity jackets tend to have school initials or emblems, bright colors to represent the school, buttons instead of a zip, and contrasting color sleeves. In comparison, bomber jackets tend to lose the school associations and have a zip fastening.

How Should a Bomber Jacket Fit?

The fit and size of a clothing item can make or break your look. Whether it’s a sweater, a shirt, a pair of jeans, or trousers, determining the right fit is a crucial step to making a good attempt at dressing up.  

So let’s help you figure out how should a bomber jacket fit.

  • The jacket should fit slightly loose around the torso but snugly towards the end of your waist, leaving behind enough space for one layer.
  • Sleeves can be more or less roomy, but the cuffs should finish right at your wrists. 
  • The shoulder seam should sit right at the natural edge of your shoulder. 
  • The jacket should not fall below your waist; best finished right at the hip bone.

Do you zip up a bomber jacket

I think bomber jackets look best when unzipped. But of course, you can wear them unzipped too. Just make sure yours fits right by following the above tips, so it’s not too tight and stretched when fastened up all the way.

How to Wear a Bomber Jacket

With a Crew Neck Shirt and Jeans

black bomber jacket red t shirt jeans

Starting off with the most basic of fits. A classic bomber jacket can elevate the ever-so-famous T-shirt and jeans combo. The above outfit nails the look by sticking to black for the jacket and jeans and then making the outfit pop with the red t-shirt. Finish off the look with sneakers or canvas shoes for a simple fall fit that’s as easy-going as it gets. 

Layered over a Turtleneck 

Black jeans sweater and yellow bomber jacket

Picking a loud, jazzy bomber jacket? Go minimal for the rest of your outfit, and let your jacket do all the talking.

In the image above, the yellow bomber jacket is neatly balanced with the all-black outfit underneath, leaving only one conversation piece in the look. On the other end, the turtleneck top and streamlined pants make it all look smart, trimmed, and in line for a smart-casual affair. 

Paired with Leather Pants and Boots

Bomber jacket boots and raw denim

Start by throwing on a printed bomber jacket and lock it down with a pair of straight-fit leather pants for a total luxe look. Leather pants scream statement, so pair them with leather boots, and you’re all set for the trendiest events. 

Now leather pants can be too out there for some people. If you’re some people, swap out the leather pants with smart chino pants for a similar but less hip appearance. 

Unzipped Over a Hoodie

Bomber jacket and hoody

Dressing up a hoodie or dressing down the bomber? This outfit goes both ways. 

A solid, warm hoodie is a foolproof layer under a bomber jacket. It takes away the edginess of the jacket and infuses a relaxed, laid-back element into the outfit instead. Conversely, introducing the jacket is also an easy trick to spice up a basic hoodie.

If you want to wear a bomber jacket over a hoody, make sure you buy one with enough room for it to fit over the extra layer.

As Part of a Matching Separate Set

Matching separates are ruling the fashion world, and yes, you can do it with bomber jackets, too, if you find a matching set. 

This particular outfit may be too graphic and loud for most, but you can dress up in a moderately playful set that doesn’t scream in your face for cool weekend activities. 

As a Double Denim Combo

Denim domber jacket and black jeans

This one will typically pass as a denim jacket, but if you notice the details, it is actually a fun fusion of a denim and bomber jacket. Topped over a hoodie and jeans team up, the denim bomber jacket looks effortlessly stylish yet easy-going. Read more about this for pairing a denim jacket with jeans here.

With A Button-Up Shirt and Pants

Gray bomber jacket black jeans shirt

Choose a loose-fit, casual button-up and lock it down with pants and a belt. The shirt, although casual, is still a button-up, making the outfit float amidst smart and casual. You can make it smarter with a suit jacket or more relaxed with a bomber jacket. This look here with a bomber jacket is perfect for after-hours fun. 

Try a Different Texture

Blue quilted bomber jacket

Textures are always a fun idea to be more expressive when it comes to fashion. You can try out various textures and materials like suede, velvet, or wool if you wish to take a break from the regular bomber jackets. Case in point: A quilted bomber jacket in velvet coupled with a pair of leather pants makes a stunning, eye-catching look for those ready to take off from their comfort zones!

Next up in Fall Fashion

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Photo of author

Mariah Syed

Mariah is a writer at The Boardwalk.

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