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Bomber jackets are a menswear essential. They can be dressed up or down with ease and look amazing with a host of casual and formal pieces. The most important factor in looking great in a bomber jacket is making sure it fits great. So here is a men’s fit guide answering the question: how should a bomber jacket fit?
How a Bomber Jacket Should Fit
As with any outerwear piece, the shoulder fit needs to be spot on. It’s next to impossible to alter the shoulders, so the first thing to look out for is proper shoulder fit. So how to tell if the jacket fits properly in the shoulders?
Well, the shoulder seam of the jacket should end right where your shoulder naturally drops to your arm. If it goes past this point, then the jacket is too big. A jacket that is too big in the shoulders will look sloppy and take away from the rest of your outfit.
If the shoulder seam of the jacket comes before your shoulder ends, then the jacket is too small. A jacket that is too small in the shoulders will make it uncomfortable and will limit your range of movement.
Note: The bomber jacket I am wearing does not have conventional shoulder sleeves, instead it has raglan sleeves. But the same fit criteria can be applied: the shoulder seam of the jacket should end right where your shoulder naturally drops to your arm.
Most fit guides overlook the importance of proper armhole fit. After the shoulder fit this is arguably the second most important factor in determining proper fit. The jacket’s armholes should high and small.
The benefit of having a smaller and higher armhole is that it will make the body of the jacket more slim. It will also give you more range of motion.
This might seem counterintuitive but if the jacket armholes are low and large, then as soon as you raise your arms, the jacket will start to pull from the body. Low and large armholes will also limit your range of motion and will also make the jacket more bulky.
The armholes should be high and small but not to the extent that it becomes uncomfortable. If you feel the jacket sleeve tight under your armpit, then the armholes are probably too small and/or high. You should then either try the larger size or go for another brand or fit.
How Should a Bomber Jacket fit the Torso (Body)?
You should be able to zip up the jacket comfortably without any pulling in the body. Basically, you want enough room under your jacket to wear a lightweight sweater or dress shirt. This will cover you for most casual/dressy outfits.
Are Bomber Jackets Supposed to be Loose?
Bomber jackets have historically had a loose and boxy fit through the body. This was because pilots needed insulation in their jackets to keep them warm at high altitude.
So, unless you are a pilot or intend on wearing your jacket at 40,000 feet, you should go for a trimmer fit. Not only will this accentuate your shoulders relative to your waist, but it will make dressing up the bomber jacket easier.
How Long Should a Bomber Jacket Be?
The body of your bomber jacket should fall straight and end around your upper hip bone. Simply put, your jacket should cover the belt you would be wearing with jeans/dress pants.
Anything longer than this will take away from the classic styling of a bomber jacket which is meant to be more cropped (shorter) than other jackets. Anything shorter than this will make your jacket seem too short since it will expose your lower back the moment you raise your arms.
Since bomber jackets have an elastic ribbed waist, the fitting of the jacket around your waist should be snug since the elastic will loosen over time. If the elastic ribbed waist is already loose when trying on the jacket, then it’s best to put it back and try on another one. A loose waist looks sloppy and makes you look skinny or the jacket too large for your body.
Bomber Jacket Sleeve Length
Just like any properly fitting jacket, the sleeves of the bomber jacket should end where your wrist meets your hand. Anything shorter than this will make the sleeves look sloppy when you raise your arms since they will come up your wrist even more making the jacket look small. Anything longer will look like the jacket is too big.
Since bomber jackets come with elastic ribbed sleeves, you need to get the sleeve fit perfect since it will be very difficult to have it altered. Just like the elastic ribbed waist of the jacket, the elastic ribbed sleeves should also fit snug around your wrist. If the ribbed sleeves are too loose, the jacket will look sloppy. Don’t worry if they are a bit snug, they will loosen with wear.
How to Wear a Bomber Jacket
Bomber jackets are incredibly timeless and versatile. Depending on the type of bomber jacket, you can wear it with casual or formal pieces or even both. If your bomber jacket has a lot of logos and tags then it is definitely on the casual side so it will look best paired with jeans and casual chinos. You can wear casual bomber jackets over casual shirts such as t-shirts and henleys. As for shoes, a casual bomber jacket looks great with canvas or leather sneakers as well as boots.
If you want some style inspiration on how to style a bomber jacket check out ‘5 Ways to Wear a Bomber Jacket’.
If your bomber jacket has a minimalist design with little to no logos or tags, you can definitely dress up the jacket. Pair the jacket with dress pants, chinos/khakis and even dark wash jeans for a smart casual look. A minimalist bomber jacket looks great paired with formal pieces such as a dress shirt and tie. For shoes, I find that chelsea boots look amazing paired with bomber jackets since it gives the look an understated edge. You can also opt for dress lace up boots and dress shoes like derbys and brogues.
I hope you found this comprehensive men’s fit guide on how should a bomber jacket fit helpful. Now with all this information, go out and purchase a great fitting bomber jacket.
Here are some recommended Bomber Jackets
Banana Republic: Motion Tech Bomber Jacket
Banana Republic: Vegan Suede Bomber Jacket
Everlane: The Bomber Jacket
Grand Frank: Marloes Dark Brown Suede Jacket