ORIGINALLY military flight-utilitarian, the bomber jacket’s simple shape has transcended its primarily insulating purpose and become as a style classic. The regimented gave way to the rebellious in its popularity among the slightly to fully subversive pop culture identities and street fashion through many cycles. James Dean and Tom Cruise were early adaptors. Greek letters and varsities cemented it into Americana. Hip-hop gave it its African-American turn.
Each demographic from each era made their own with subtle tweaks. There’s the standard zipper versus buttons and poppers, welted, zip or flap pockets, fitted, capped or raglan sleeves and many other design differences but the knitted elastic collar, cuffs and hem on the easy silhouette remain the requirement.
Perhaps the most notable of more recent times was that white, quilted satin number with a gold embroidered scorpion on Ryan Gosling in 2011’s Drive. We’ve sporadically seen sport versions on the likes of Pharell, glam retro styling on Bruno Mars and a resurgence of raglan sleeves and fancy embroidery — Asian themes in particular — of late. Then Lucky Blue Smith saw an entire themed line well within anyone’s reach flying of the shelves, making that brand ultimately cool again. I swallowed that hook, line and sinker.
The Japonisme embroidery never fails to start conversation. I’d reserve a satiny finish for the evening but solid color pairings bring it down to the territory of daywear. Plain blacks, whites and greys have always been no-brainers to pair it with and the colorway best extend to footwear. Chucks complete the ensemble but boots are smarter in these petulant rains.
Thrown over a crisp button front with tailored pants and dressier shoes makes it an instant Jared Leto. Its rollover into the rollover of athleisure picked up a little more dress formal and luxe. With how this trend will surely see itself in cyclic peaks – and all major brands from A to Zara carrying a version or two — the season should see you hopping on board this flight, too.