The bomber jacket is back in style – with a little help from Marilyn, the Telegraph reports.
“There has always been something quintessentially American about bomber jackets. The exaggerated sleeves, long zip and tight waist will forever be associated with Hollywood films like Top Gun and The Great Escape. Or indeed Marilyn Monroe, pictured above in 1954 surrounded by Air Force pilots. She was in Korea at the time, sent to raise the morale of the troops and both she and the men around her are wearing the leather and shearling B-15.
It’s essentially the same bomber jacket we know and love today, and has its origins in a coat designed by the US Navy in the 1940s in response to advancing jet technologies. Aeroplanes were flying faster and climbing higher than before and pilots needed a solution to being in an open cockpit in freezing rain and high-altitude temperatures – the result was bulky outerwear made from nylon.
Back down on earth, the insulating and quick-drying properties of nylon became apparent, as did the glamorous associations of fighter pilots: Hollywood glorified their feats and soon their clothing became symbols of adventure.
From there, the jacket went on a 20th-century journey, popping up in 1970s skinhead culture and again in 1980s clubland fashion – and today it can be seen on the catwalk in the men’s collections at Dior, Sacai and Rick Owens, and the women’s at Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta.
The grown-up way to wear one is with a fitted bottom half – either slim-fit jeans, a knitted column dress or tailored trousers – to keep your proportions balanced.
As party season revs up, labels like Khaite and Miu Miu have remade theirs in silver and suede, as have an array of high-street brands. But, fittingly, one of the most memorable bomber jackets of recent years must be a Dries Van Noten design that was printed with an image of Marilyn Monroe – the ultimate symbol of America on the ultimate American jacket.”