We’ve been noticing more and more suede bomber jackets on the menswear scene lately, but mostly they’ve been in the usual sandy shade of buckskin.
So when this navy number from Levi’s Vintage Clothing landed at Hickoree’s Hard Goods this week, we were pleasantly surprised. Naturally, it’s got all the period-specific sturdiness you’ve come to expect from LVC, but here’s what else you need to know. The Story: LVC is dedicated to reproducing archival Levi’s pieces—even down to the “pine tree” green jacket label of this 1960s-era bomber jacket—and this one is based on a WWII-inspired bomber jacket in a luxurious navy sheepskin suede.
Who to Channel: You’ll want to land somewhere between Chuck Yeager and Tom Cruse in Top Gun. (So cool it on the “fist pumping while motorcycling alongside fighter jets” thing.)
When to Wear It: Right about now, as long as rain isn’t in the forecast.
Degree of Difficulty: Medium to high, actually. Even though it seems the suede bomber is making a comeback, the years of billowy excess and mob ties have given the jacket a bit of a bad rap. In other words: keep it classy.
The Story: Following his decorated service in WWI, Private Jack White founded a clothing factory in Manchester, where this outerwear is still made to this day. (Needless to say, the line has got a strong heritage/military vibe.)
Who to Channel: Chuck Yeager if he were a character in Doctor Zhivago.
When to Wear It: It’s got a light quilted liner, so you’ll have to layer this with a chunky sweater and some flannel if you’re heading into the deep winter, but that also means you can get away with this in fall or spring without all the layers.
Degree of Difficulty: Low. It’s like flying a helicopter—just don’t press too many buttons.
The leather bomber jacket lost its way over the past decade or so—mostly relegated to the backs of street toughs and old fellows who didn’t mind a lot of billowing in the arms and midsection.
But this suede bomber from Brioni is righting the course: the trim silhouette, the slim arms, the partial lining to remove the threat of bulkiness. Here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: Brioni. You’ve heard of them. They were ruling #menswear for decades before all you hashtags were even born. Ancient rulers of the prehistoric #menswear kingdom. And they’re still on top of their game.
Who to Channel: An incredibly dapper fighter pilot or, if you’re of the mind that this suede is somewhat satin-like: Ryan Gosling in Drive.
When to Wear It: This is another versatile layering piece that you can wear over a light shirt or chunky sweater, so it’s got a decent amount of shelf life. Just make sure there’s no chance of rain.
Let’s talk about Fashion Week. While we try to steer clear of the capital-F-ness of it all, there’s plenty of worthwhile menswear happening. So, to recap it all, we’ve scoured the usual boots-on-the-ground suspects to bring you a compendium of everything you need to know about what happened (and what you’ll be wearing in six months). Just the facts.
The Italian upstarts over at Esemplare had us feeling for fall months ago, and finally a few of their jackets have begun to slowly trickle westward (to England, which is good news for those of us without an Italian proxy buyer on call).
Oi Polloi has just received a handful of good-looking numbers in some mossy tones that are right on time for a weekend upstate. This bomber-style jacket in particular has got all of the makings of the perfect fall accomplice—replete with shawl collar that can be turned up in the face of any strong gusts.
It looks like Schott's not the only one trying out a lighter take on the classic leather bomber. Behold, Engineered Garments’ Explorer Jacket, a twist on the classic Schott silhouette and fabric straight from a trench coat.
It's good for a couple reasons. First off, it brings the bomber into warm weather with the breathable poplin. It also addresses a certain portability issue that plagued the old, heavyweight Schott—well-known to anyone who's gotten an incidental upper-arm workout from carrying around their bomber all day. This version is lightweight and plays well with suitcases and coat-hooks, which means you may end up getting a lot more wear out of it.
In short, it's a mint green Vespa to the Schott's Ducati.
One of the nice thing about having a particular style is that it lets you turn old staples on their heads.
By now, Daiki Suzuki’s style is pretty well-known. Under the Engineered Garments label, he’s championed simple, trim workwear items from the beginning, and birthed a trend in the process. Now he’s taking on the traditionally bulky leather bomber jacket…and turning into a slim cotton twill jacket that looks like exactly what you’d expect from Suzuki.