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.
Yesterday we celebrated Veterans Day—and it reminded us of the great contributions our servicemen have made to this nation over the years.
In terms of protecting our freedom, foremost, but also in our everyday dress. Just take a look at Major General Chuck Yeager here. He’s just hopped out of a fighter jet, but this very well could’ve been the same getup you wore out to watch football yesterday.
The list is long: khakis, bomber jackets, aviators, peacoats, desert boots, etc., all started out as military-issue clothes that veterans brought back home to wear around town—or, in some cases, had local tailors recreate to better suit their return to civilian life. And now we’re all wearing some version of them. Not to mention, a lot of the military-issued stuff (like Schott’s peacoat) is still among your better options out there. Further confirming that enduring style relies more heavily on function than form.