The best bomber jackets, in fact, all modern bomber jackets, are based on the MA-1 bomber jacket designed for military pilots in the 50s. Worn on and off duty by pilots, the now iconic style was copied by menswear brands. After James Dean wore a red bomber jacket in Rebel Without a Cause, it became an outerwear staple. Fun fact, the actual bomber jacket from that movie was valued between $400,000 and $600,000 when it went on auction in 2018.
The style, with its ribbed waist and cuffs, zippered and slashed pockets, was originally popularized by European airmen. These jackets were also the basis for the varsity, baseball and souvenir jackets, and their close cousin, the track jacket. Styling-wise, the only difference is the fabrication: varsity jackets have leather sleeves, while both souvenir and baseball jackets are made from a shiny satin or silk-like material. These days you can find men’s bomber jackets for every season in everything from velvet to linen. Easy to wear, they can be layered over T-shirts and heavy sweaters.
Scroll through to find the best bomber jackets for men to wear now and through the fall.
1. Zara Men Tie-Dye Print Bomber Jacket
Because this tie-dye print is done in monochromatic shades, it gives the jacket an abstract art vibe. Long after the trend ends, this jacket will never look dated. Made from lightweight viscose, it has a front zipper and two welted slash pockets.
2. All Saints Kino Leather Bomber Jacket
BEST LEATHER BOMBER
Having good taste is expensive. So while some readers may scoff at the $500 price tag for this bomber jacket, this look is worth every penny. The Kino Leather Bomber Jacket from All Saints doesn’t have the embellishments and accents that you sometimes find on designer men’s clothing. It’s a classic bomber jacket with a zip closure on the breast and ribbed trim on the sleeves and collar. All Saints is very trim cut, which makes this perfect to wear over thinner button-ups and men’s T-shirts.
3. Scotch & Soda Floral Print Bomber Jacket
A mid-century inspired print of palm trees, clouds and leaves in red and earth tones on a deep blue background gives makes this one of the best bomber jackets for its slightly raffish air. This men’s bomber jacket can be hand washed, has two front slash pockets and is framed with black ribbed cuffs, waistband and neckline. Wear it now with dark jeans and a tee, and in the fall with a reddish-toned scarf to highlight the print.
4. H&M Linen Blend Bomber Jacket
BEST ELEVATED STYLE
Linen’s a natural fabric that has a luxurious feel and is durable at the same time. This men’s bomber jacket done in a light beige, has silver tone zippers that adds to its premium style. It looks elegant, masculine and rich. Try pairing it with pale or pastel shade jeans and shorts.
5. Alpha Industries Men’s L-2B NASA Flight Jacket
Knoxville, Tennessee-based Alpha Industries has been making military outerwear since the 1950s. You can’t get more authentic than this NASA jacket. It even has the “remove before flight” red tag. The jacket sports two front slash pockets with button closures and a zippered pocket on the sleeve.Buy: Alpha Industries Men's L-2B NASA Flight Jacket, Replica Blue, M $165.00
6. ASOS Design Jersey Bomber Jacket
BEST NEW NEUTRAL
In the 18th century aristocratic men wore pink, mauve and pastel shades. in The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby wore a pink suit to a lunch, and pink hues are always on the runway during during Men’s Fashion Week. Pink, mauve and all the tones in that color family are now considered unisex shades. Mauve can even be considered a neutral tone as it works with so many other colors. This cleanly cut cotton jersey bomber jacket with its two slash pockets is part of the brand’s responsible design initiative. ASOS has teamed up with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to promote better farming practices. This jacket will not only look good on you, but its good for the environment too.
7. Rag & Bone Manston Slim Fit Reversible Bomber Jacket
This Rag & Bone jacket is one of the best bomber jackets because it’s two jackets for the price of one. The light blue printed bomber jacket reverses to navy satin. Even the cuffs change hues when you flip it. They go from light to navy blue. The slim fitting the jacket has two side snap pockets.
8. Icecream Heritage Jacket
BEST LIMITED EDITION
Pharrell Williams is a record producer, performer, style icon and fashion designer/maven. He’s designed jewelry and glasses for Louis Vuitton, Sunnies for Moncler, collaborated with G-Star Raw and has a long running partnership with Adidas. His other long-running fashion partnership is with Nigo, the designer/owner The Bathing Ape. The two work together on Billionaire Boys Club and Icecream. Their black cotton bomber/varsity jacket has striped cuffs, collar, and waistband. On the back is a whimsically drawn ice cream cone on a skateboard. It’s finished with a snap front and two slash pockets. This is one of the best bomber jackets because they only made a certain amount of them. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.
9. Logeeyar Men’s Printed Slim Fit Bomber Jacket
BEST FLORAL PRINT
There’s always something cool about the juxtaposition of delicacy and toughness in a design. This slim fitting floral print bomber is a good example of that. Pale blue toned flowers float against a darker blue background and the result is very masculine. The zip front bomber jacket has two front slash pockets. It also comes in 14 other patterns that range from skulls to camo and more.Buy: Mens Casual Lightweight Jacket Printed Pattern Slim Fit Bomber Jacket Varsity Coat $35.98
10. Mauna Kea Tie-Dye Bomber Jacket
Swirled together like sherbert, this tie-dye bomber exudes a laidback beach vibe. That’s because the creator of the brand is an Italian surfer who loved hanging 10 off Mauna Kea in Hawaii. This Italian-based menswear company combines tech fabrication with surfer and streetwear inspo. The cotton bomber jacket has buttoned flap pockets and a zip front.
11. Ben Sherman Harrington Signature Harrington Jacket
A lot of the best bomber jackets for men evoke James Dean’s look, and this could be Dean’s Rebel Without A Cause style twin. The cotton front zip bomber made by British menswear company Ben Sherman updated the style for today. It has the same stand up collar like Dean’s, and is lined in the brand’s signature check pattern. It has two front button flap pockets. If you’re not a fan of the shade but like the style, the jacket also comes in 11 other colors
12. Standard Issue Souvenir Bomber Jacket
The souvenir or sukajan jacket’s invention created by the American servicemen who were stationed in Japan after WWII. They commissioned local tailors to create a bomber like jacket designed that was made from parachute materials, Japanese silks and were embroidered with traditional Japanese motifs. They were called “souvenir jackets” because they actually were souvenirs for the G.I.s. They had extraordinarily little room to take things back home, and a jacket could be folded easily into a duffel bag. This unisex jacket uses the standard bomber jacket design and is made with embroidered dragons on a silk-like polyester. It has two front slash pockets and a front zipperBuy: Standard Issue Unisex Navy/Silver All-Over Dragon Souvenir Jacket,Medium $15.99
13. Bonobos Boulevard Bomber Jacket
A basic navy bomber jacket is one of the most versatile jackets you can have in your closet. Wear it with dark wash jeans and a light blue oxford cloth button-down, and bring out some of the crazy designer sneakers you just bought for a little pop. Throw on olive chinos, a grey crewneck sweatshirt, some beat-up canvas sneakers and walk to the bar around the corner for some Sunday Football. Wear it to the stadium for a soccer game! Wear it with white jeans in the spring! No matter how hard you try, you really can’t go wrong here. Bonobos always makes great fitting clothes, and their outerwear has a standard fuller cut. The navy nylon is tough and hard-wearing, and will look nice and crisp for a long time to come.
14. Everlane The Bomber Jacket
BEST COLOR OPTIONS
If you’re the type looking for a jacket you can wear on a daily basis with just about any outfit, Everlane has you covered. The online retailer’s take on the bomber is a streamlined and handsome-looking jacket available in Dark Slate, Black, Brushed Pewter and Navy. And as is typical with Everlane, it’s extremely well priced. The jacket arrives pre-washed so you won’t experience any shrinking should you get it dirty and need to give it a rinse. Likewise, the base of the jacket is made of recycled polyester, so you can feel good about picking one of these up.
Personally, we like the Dark Slate color as it’s a bit unique in what is already an over-crowded market. But really, any of these jackets are a great buy. While we love the look, this jacket may be too warm for the summer months.
15. Zara Textured Bomber Jacket
MOST ACCESSIBLE HIGH FASHION
Zara is known for fashion-forward pieces at a very accessible price point. This wool bomber jacket in a subtle shade of navy is an excellent example. The wool construction dresses up this option, making it go perfectly with grey dress slacks, a white button-up and some sharp loafers. It can hold its own as a statement piece as well. Bring it out on date night or for dinner with friends in the early summer.