Who created the first bomber jacket?

Whether you need a winter bomber jacket for cold temperatures, a light cape for spring or a military-style sherpa jacket, there's no denying that a good bomber is a must-have in your wardrobe. But how was the classic bomber jacket created and why has its fashionable appeal endured for decades? In this post, we'll take you through the history of the bomber jacket, including a closer look at design variations, some little-known facts and their place in the Alpha Industries legacy. In World War I, aerial bombing was a common war strategy, especially in Europe, which led to the development of bomber aircraft and the training of fighter pilots, known as “aces”, to carry out strategic bombing. The first pilot bomber jackets were made of leather and leather, both highly insulating materials that were well suited to the cold and outdoor cockpits of World War I bomber planes.

What we know today as a bomber jacket probably owes its name to these planes and their pilots. During World War II, technological advances allowed planes to fly faster and at higher altitudes, leading to the need for even warmer pilot jackets. In the photo above, the B-3 was one of these low-temperature models, lined with thick sheepskin. The models of flight jackets became increasingly innovative both in style and in materials.

The B-15 flight jacket was introduced in the 1940s, with knitted wool cuffs and an outer layer of nylon or a cotton-rayon blend. It also featured a mouton leather collar and oxygen mask straps, two design details that did not make it to later versions and a pen pocket on the sleeve, a design detail that did. First created by Dobbs Industries (predecessor of Alpha Industries) in 1948 and introduced in the US. UU.

Military in 1949, the MA-1 flight jacket featured updated specifications, such as a wool knit collar, to replace the B-15's fur, and high-quality nylon and polyester. This allowed for a lighter jacket that could be worn in warmer climates. While originally appearing in midnight blue, MA-1 was predominantly made in sage (or olive) green during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Olive bomber jackets allowed better camouflage on the ground over previously used navy blue bomber jackets.

Alpha Industries began manufacturing military outerwear in the 1960s through contracts with the U.S. And it quickly became a respected name in military clothing in the U.S. The bomber underwent several design iterations, including the lighter L-2B, the CWU-45P and its warm-weather version, the CWU-36P. Both CWU models were manufactured with flame-resistant Nomex and serve as the current military flight jacket uniform.

The war continued during the 1950s and 60s, and soon, military clothing reached surplus stores and reached civilian hands. In Britain, the bomber jacket was adopted by modern subculture, as well as by the “skinheads” of the working class, named for their shaved heads and the harsh, hypermasculine look of heavy worker boots combined with military attire. This look was soon chosen by the LGBTQ community as well, and it wasn't long before the bomber jacket took hold as a fashion statement. In the U.S.

Military clothing became a real urban fashion, and hip hop artists could be seen in various military-style trends, such as fatigues, heavy boots, camouflage prints and, of course, bomber jackets. More than just an aesthetic, the appropriation of military clothing reflected the spirit of the streets where hip hop came from, embodying the tough and robust personality that urban black communities embraced in response to decades of socio-economic struggle. They saw themselves waging their own war on the streets, and this was reflected in hip hop fashion. It was also at that time that Alpha Industries began producing jackets for the commercial market between military contracts, significantly expanding its brand and commercial business in the 1980s.

The bomber jacket quickly permeated pop culture during the 70s, 80s and 90s, as evidenced not only by its ubiquity in various strains of the American subculture, but also by its presence in the media. In the 1980 film The Hunter, actor Steve McQueen wore a traditional-style MA-1 jacket in sage green, and even showed his bright orange lining in the film's climax scene. Then, in 1986, came the movie Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise in an iconic G-1 flight jacket that would make film and fashion history. In the bomber that followed, the bomber trend experienced a renaissance and Alpha even experienced an increase in sales that year, validating the jacket's “cool factor” among young avant-garde players and consolidating the durability of its style for years to come.

As we mentioned, flight jacket designs have changed over the years with varying degrees of popularity. So what makes a bomber jacket real? Part of what makes this jacket so attractive is its versatility. The bomber's standard fit is gender neutral and casual, and the functional design easily adapts to warm, cold and transitional seasons. With your arm relaxed by your side, measure from the center of your back to the point of your shoulder and along your arm to your wrist (just below the round bone).

Measure around the body with level tape at the widest part of the chest. Measure around your waist with the tape level at the narrowest point of the torso. Stand with your heels 2 to 3 apart. Keep the tape level and measure around the widest part of your hips.

Leslie Irvin designed and manufactured the classic sheepskin flying jacket for the first time. In 1926 he set up a manufacturing company in the United Kingdom, and became the main supplier of flying jackets for the Royal Air Force during most of World War II. However, the demand during the early years of the war was so great that the Irvin company hired subcontractors, which explains the slight variations in design and color that can be seen in the early stages of the production of Irvin flying jackets. In 1917, the Aviation Clothing Board of the U.S.

These special jackets were needed because the cockpits of the First World War fighter aircraft were outdoors and without insulation. To protect themselves from the severe cold, the original flight jackets were made of horse leather or sealskin and lined with fur. While all of the above jackets are commonly referred to as bomber jackets, and are part of history, the B series jackets were the first flight jackets specifically designed for high-altitude bombers and their needs. The B-3 was introduced in the mid-1930s, made of sheepskin and lined with sturdy sheepskin.

It did not have the woven waistband that appeared on previous flight jackets, but two leather straps allowed the pilot to close the wide sheepskin collar. It was a bulky coat designed to keep bombers warm at 25,000 feet high. The best basic pieces seem to be those that came out of functional necessity, and the bomber jacket is no exception. Decorative elements such as ruffles, embroidered patchwork, laces are also added to bomber jackets, making them an essential fashion item that comes in a variety of colors, fabrications and styles.

Originally designed in response to the requirements of advanced jet technologies in the 1940s that made it possible for aircraft to climb higher and faster than ever, the resulting B-15 bomber jacket looks a lot like the modern MA-1.It has evolved into several styles and silhouettes, including the letterman jacket and the trendy bomber jacket that is known today. The silhouette of the bomber jacket has not changed much compared to the original, although it has a sporty, masculine silhouette with a fitted waist and a more generous fit, such as the voluminous sleeves and the extra pockets to be functional. As the gender gap in fashion has narrowed over the years, the bomber jacket has become a favorite unisex style. As stated earlier, early bombers housed a fur lining for warmth with a wraparound collar, as well as cinched cuffs and waists to help keep that warmth in place.

Of course, progress and change are inevitable, but the fact that the bomber remains as recognizable as ever demonstrates its purpose in longevity. The MA-1 appeared in Europe in the late 1950s, and by the end of the 1960s, bomber jackets had made their way into the closets of civilian subcultures around the world. West bought a hundred MA-1 jackets and applied his own logos and patches (one of them being the controversial Confederate flag sleeve patch) to sell to his fans, and he himself could be seen sporting an Alpha Industries' own bomber. .