The bomber jacket is this season’s obligatory item of male apparel. It doesn’t really seem to matter exactly what kind of bomber you go in for – Lanvin have gone for restrained lines that come close to a tracksuit zippy at times, Dolce & Gabbana have covered some of theirs in prints and Dsquared2 have offered up both collegiate and militaristic looks. But it seems to matter very much that you do acquire a bomber jacket. And if you don’t want to splurge on what might well turn out to be a one-season wonder, then all the usual high-street suspects are offering perfectly good versions at reasonable prices.
So, good news for most. Pick the right fabric and the bomber is the perfect inter-season item: cool enough to cope with warm weather and warm enough to provide some extra comfort when those cloudless sunny days turn to far cooler evenings or, indeed, the schizoid idiosyncrasies of what is now the norm for seasonal weather bring inclement damp and chill instead of a real summer.
Nonetheless, the bomber can be a tricky beast. With bombers, size really does matter. So it’s best to take your time to get it right. Bomber length is meant to be on the waist when fastened. Not easy if you haven’t got one. Better go for another seasonal look – like utility jackets– if you’re very skinny or too husky. Don’t t think you can get away with that old trick of buying a jacket that’s long enough to hide your love handles: if the waistband hangs down under yer bum, you’ll look like a deflated balloon. Similarly, the volume has to be just right. Too much and you’ll look like a Teletubby; too tight defeats the point.
Sure, some of the trendy young things are styling theirs as a layered look; an open bomber over a long-cut t-shirt. It might work while you’re swaggering around in mild conditions, but the minute you zip it up, you transform yourself into a credible impression of an inverted thistle.
And, of course, trousers matter. Your jacket rightly on the waist, but still wearing those low-rider strides from three seasons ago that pull down at the back? You can see where that’s going… Or, more importantly, beware the folly of combining it with cut-off trousers above the ankle. Some of the tall, spritely youth might be able to pull it off as a summer look, but any gentleman of a certain age should be decidedly cautious about silhouettes that wreak havoc with body proportions. Don’t say we never warned you that it’s a fine line between trendy and tragic…
SS16 bombers, top to bottom: Selected dark tropical print bomber; Just Cavalli batik print bomber; Mr Porter satin bomber from the Maison Kitsuné capsule collection.