A journey through time with: The MA-1 Bomber Jacket

The Bomber Jacket has quickly become a fashion favourite after being seen on many celebrities including Usher, Zayn Malik and the man himself Becks. Best known for its lightweight design and military background, this multifunctional jacket is definitely not a newbie in the fashion world.

Starting as a jacket that was designed for cold, cramped cockpits, the bomber is now a staple fashion piece for the modern man.

First making its debut in the mid 1950s, the bomber jacket was designed by the United States Air Force to serve as an intermediate weight flights jacket for use all year. Prior to the invention of the jet aircraft, fleece-lined leather jackets were issued to flight personnel. However once jets could fly at much higher altitudes and in much colder temperatures, the bulky leather jackets became wet from rain or perspiration and would then freeze, making them both cold and uncomfortable.

As a result, there became a need for a new jacket to be designed which would be both lightweight, yet still warm.  In came the Bomber Jacket…

Originally the MA-1 was made from a high quality nylon outer shell and a nylon lining, with a double faced wool material in between for warmth. After a few years the wool interlining was replaced with polyester fiber to make the jacket much lighter but still very warm.

The jacket originally had a front tab where pilots could clip their oxygen masks when not in use, however with time and advances in airplane technology this was removed. Other additions which got removed over time included, sewn loops for radio wires and United States Air Force decal on each sleeve, which were removed when the jackets began being used by other branches of the military.

The MA-1 was initially produced in midnight blue and sage green. Blue was the original colour used by the military, but it was soon replaced by green.  This was presumably adopted to help pilots with camouflage protection on the ground.

Nowadays the MA-1 has been modified for the commercial market, making it more useful for consumers for everyday wear.  At boohooMAN we have a range of bomber jackets, from camo print to longline.  Find a few of our favourites below…