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The bomber jacket has become the beloved outerwear piece of today’s leading street style stars. It’s classic, yet rugged, and surprisingly versatile when worn with frayed denim or over a luxe slip dress. Originally developed for pilots during World War II, bombers (or flight jackets) are typically made of a heavyweight nylon or polyester fabric with banded cuffs and zip-fronts.
The initial design, referred to as the MA-1, has been recreated and reimagined several times over the last few decades. Japan’s iconic silk iterations, known as sukajan jackets, were popularized after the war when American soldiers had their flight jackets embroidered with colorful Japanese imagery as souvenirs.
It was then resurrected as a menswear staple in the new millennium, appearing on the runways in 2000 at Raf Simons and in 2004 at Helmut Lang.
Thankfully, they’ve crossed over into womenswear, and can now be found in everything from silk to perforated leather. Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid have matching ones. Rihanna is a fan, too. And thanks to a handful of designers from Chloé to Coach, you can cop one right this second.
The key to pulling them off for everyday is balance. Try pairing a luxe metallic version like the ones seen at Gucci with distressed jeans and all-white sneakers. The slouchy ones by Vetements are a little more structured, so play around with proportions by wearing it with a flowy dress. Get the look yourself by shopping a few of our favorite picks below.