Believe it or not, your summer wardrobe owes more to advances in military air technology than your drone-blighted conscience would like to think. For if it wasn't for the US Air Force updating their fleet after WWII with quicker, nimbler planes, we'd never have been introduced to the sartorial stalwart that is the MA-1 bomber jacket.
The reasoning is simple: smaller aircraft meant compact, insulated cockpits, which in turn meant pilots needed lighter and more manoeuvrable attire in which to shout military soundbytes out the window like in the films. Out went bulky models like the A-2 and B-15 flight jackets with their wool collars and thick linings, gorgeous but designed for warmth, and in came a dashing little number called the MA-1.
With a parachute-friendly knitted collar and synthetic fabrics, the utilitarian jacket soon gained popularity throughout the military before becoming commercially available and transcending into popular culture. Skinheads around the UK adopted it as their jacket of choice (which was great before they got all racist) and Steve McQueen wore one in 'The Hunter’. Now you can too. Behold.
Retaining the details which make the MA-1 such an icon, yet enjoying luxury fabrics and a slimmer fit, this beauty from German brand A Kind of Guise will set you back a fair whack, but my god you'll look good. It's made from goat suede, so probably best not to jump out of any planes in it.
Sometimes it's the subtle details that make an item stand out. The MA-1 style collar turns this simple cardi into a bomber hybrid that I’m digging immensely.
This Norse Projects bomber is fashioned from ultra-soft Scandinavian reindeer leather, which means you better lock it up over Christmas unless you want Santa Claus to have a shit in your fireplace once he finds out you’ve got Rudolph’s cousin hanging in the wardrobe like some Texas Chainsaw Massacre turnout. Other than that though, it’s beautiful.
Doing the monochrome thing can give the impression that you’re holding and folding when in fact this jacket only costs 30 notes. Slim ‘track pants’ (or jogging bottoms if you’re old school) and a white tee are all you need to finish the job. If you’re a true monochromatic Rick Owens devotee you can get your old chap out, but I don’t recommend it - this doesn't look like it'd make a comfortable pillow in your cell overnight.
In case you hadn’t heard, UK garage is back in a big way, and this embroidered Evisu bomber proves it better than any cassette of a Paul Trouble Anderson recording off Kiss FM could. A reversible jacket actually means you’re getting two for the price of one. So that’s a plus. Goes well with a JD & coke.
Stop the bloody press. We've got a last minute injury time winner (I actually had to come back and add this one in).
Cut from the finest Japanese waterproof fabric, Huez have got the colours on this so right it shouldn't be allowed. Walk down the street in sunglasses and a purple bomber and congratulations, you've just won life.
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