On my recent trip to Europe, I was pleasantly surprised by the onslaught of autumn-esque weather. I call it an onslaught because when I left Washington, DC it was a very hot and humid upper 80-degrees afternoon. But with the out-of-the-ordinary spin we’ve been experiencing with weather patterns around the world, it should’ve not come as a huge surprise to me that the early September nights in Paris would be so cool. In contrast, when I was in Paris last year around this time, I may have been caught in the heat of an Indian Summer; it was relatively hot and sticky then. So the comfortable weather this time around was something I easily embraced, given my utter ire over uncomfortable humidity. Heat is one thing, but humidity opens up another issue altogether.
The weather in Paris (and Geneva, where I was just prior) served as the perfect backdrop for nights out enjoying glasses of wine, having grand dinners, and taking in walks through one arrondissement to another. And being in the thick of this feeling excited me to no end of the coming of Fall and Winter. (Because Winter is coming, after all.)
I’m not so much a fan of freezing temps as I am a fan of Fall/Winter fashion. When Fall comes to mind, I honestly think of “jackets and coats,” while others may be quick to gravitate to thoughts of pumpkin pies, hearty stews or even warm cups of cider. In an odd way, I find myself more excited about what jacket I’ll be able to pair with my favorite jeans. (First world problem, no doubt.) But with the earliest of Fall-ish days now presenting itself to us, I’m inspired to dish on the simple and casual, yet potentially sexy bomber jacket.
The bomber jacket finds its humble beginnings back in the early days of aviation. Otherwise known as the “flight jacket,” or “bombardier jacket,” it was originally created for airplane pilots. Like most uniform pieces, however, popular culture eventually incorporated the aviation-inspired piece into the fashion consciousness of men everywhere. And while the basic design still serves many a uniformed professional today (think cops, among others), the modern iteration of the bomber jacket has transcended fashion genres from skater culture to hip hop. And while it may not have the same cache as the now immortalized A-2 flight jacket, it still finds itself on fashion runways across the globe – from light Spring-wearable jackets, to heavier shearling versions equipped to handle the Winter frost.
With different price points and styles, there is surely a bomber jacket out there for everyone. And if you can make it work, the right version can easily transition you from your day job to your night on the town. Here are some of my current favorites:
At the most affordable level is the Cotton-Blend Bomber Jacket from France’s celio*. This is a most basic version without being completely boring made of a cotton and polyamide blend. Complete with a ribbed stand-up collar, as well as ribbing detail on the jacket cuffs and hem, the additional zipper details make this a good bet for those guys who like to keep things simple. 69.99€ at celio.com.
Coming up a notch in both style-level and price point is the Contrast Sleeve Bomber Jacket by Spanish chain H.E. by MANGO. Some guys find it tough to pull off anything two-toned, but with the right level of confidence (and wisely-chosen outfits) it is absolutely something quite easy to pull-off. This casual version offers the standard ribbed edges as well, but specially features contrast faux leather trims all throughout. The “khaki” colored body paired with the standard black arms and ribbed edges make for a laid-back rocker-esque look. Currently $109.99 at mango.com.
If there is an American designer who can put an interesting spin on a classic look in the most fashionable way possible, it has to be Marc Jacobs. His casual line, Marc by Marc Jacobs, features a Padded Cotton-Blend Jacquard Bomber Jacket – a mix of matte and satin-finished cotton-blend jacquard. The navy bomber boasts light padding and classic ribbed trims, as well as large front pockets with hand-warmer slits adding to the overall efficiency and comfort of the piece. This jacket is currently available from mrporter.com for $500.
And finally, to top this list is a sheepskin bomber from one of France’s most fashion-forward ready-to-wear labels: Carven. The simple jacket is a heavier version that is probably more suitable for even-cooler weather conditions. Like the other bombers on my list, this one features the classic ribbed trim and cuffs, but boasts a full (and furrier) collar. The middle zipper and patch pockets add to the simplicity of the look, making this piece a viable option for casual outings and smart occasions alike. $1,879 at theshapeoftheseason.com.