Where does the bomber jacket originate from?
The MA-1 bomber jacket is part of a bigger family of flight jackets; garments initially brought into fruition to keep pilots warm and dry when cockpits were originally unheated and open. As the technology and shape of planes changed over time, so did the type of jacket worn in flight. After a number of issues and redesigns, the MA-1 bomber jacket was first introduced in the 1950s and has since become a staple for military and civilian use.
The MA-1 jacket was developed in a nylon material as this lent it water resistant properties. The garment also came with a bold orange internal lining so that if a pilot were to crash, they could turn the item inside-out and become visible for rescue. The piece was designed for use in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius. The original item had a woollen knit collar, waistband and cuffs though the civilian specification is often designed with acrylic. Special features such as the slash front pockets and zip fastening arm pocket have become an iconic part of this deeply stylish item.
More than a uniform…
The MA-1 jacket was not only a military spec garment produced for the cockpit but one which took popular culture by storm. The military influence combined with the warmth of the bomber jacket made it the perfect piece for punks and skinheads to adopt as part of their rebellious uniform. When worn by these sub-cultures, the garment took on a new dimension which quickly rose in popularity. The piece can even be found in Hollywood films like Steve McQueen’s The Hunter and Tom Cruise’s Top Gun.
Today the MA-1 bomber jacket is a staple piece in any casual wardrobe and is often seen adorning the catwalks of New York, Milan, Paris or London. At Zee & Co you can shop a collection of some of the most alluring bomber jackets on the market including those from brands like Alpha Industries, Belstaff and PS by Paul Smith.