I have never owned a bomber jacket. I’m not sure whether I’ve always confused them with the sports jackets you see regularly on holiday, usually on Americans and Germans, or a combination of the two, most often resembling Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I’ve never been on board. Or maybe it’s because bomber jacket and boiler jacket sound a little similar, but you’ll never catch me in the latter. So it is odd now, having suffered through five (or so) years of having any active interest in fashion and missing the point of bomber jackets, that my interest has been piqued.
A bomber jacket, at least by my definition – a short cut, long-sleeved jacket with zip and good pockets – seems to be the best trans-seasonal purchase you could ever make. It is versatile: ideal in the elements and on sloppier days with a hood underneath, and equally dresses up with tuxedo trousers. Or at least that’s how I’d style one, should the day ever come. That likelihood is increasing almost daily. Considering a bomber jacket got me thinking about alternatives to my outerwear collection. This usually goes: Barbour, check; mega-watt oversized coat for meeting, smart office days and miscellaneous city outdoor events and autumn/winter fashion week; check, and this really jolly vintage suede jacket my Mum bought me years ago (that at first I hated, and is nicer than I’ve described.)
The aforementioned pieces are cut down to a basic formula of being compliment centric – even the Barbour/s, that everyone has seen a million times – and not making me look at all dressed up, allowing for the I-just-threw-this-on look, which is invariably the case. And that is, on all accounts, a touch sad for the other coats on the back of my door, in hanging bags and otherwise distributed for selection during the morning’s getting dressed charade, because I rarely deviate.
But I feel a turning of the tide. It is approaching with the kind of ferocity mostly seen on Atlantic beaches: bomber jackets are everywhere. Zara have one concealed, labelled as a cardigan but I’m convinced: it’s a bomber through and through. Zip up the front, slightly baggy sleeves and that cut, sitting right above the hips. And it’s pink. Topshop have bombers all worked out too, festooning the website with slightly longer shapes that skim the hips. I’m not convinced of their ability to flatter, but applaud the effort. They’re cuddly too, in a few colours and consequently blend trends, mixing pink with the teddy bear fluffy I discussed a few weeks ago.
But what is most blinding about the bomber jacket is that it inhabits a certain kind of cool: its super-fun-times rating errs towards the wild side. The bomber, like the easy-peasy borrowed-off-my-boyfriend (or not) baseball top seems to talk you into it. It charms you into the changing room. What can I say, it’s a flirt.
And that’s the thing about oozing cool – whether you feel it or not, it shows in your stride. Plaster on an insouciant half-smile, and team it with your bomber. Done and dusted. On days when you don’t feel cool (read nearly every day)let your bomber do the work for you. Even a spot of Bitchy Resting Face seems to work fine; I know, I’ve tried it.
Perhaps the bomber will become your buddy. Its food for thought, that one garment could change your outlook. Maybe this is The One.
Click through the gallery for my shoppable bomber jackets.