SUPER BOMBER, MAN!
Something I've had going around and around my head lately. As opposed to SUPER BMMBERMAN! the classic game which would be cool also. But no, Im talking about clothing.
The flight jacket, bomber jacket, or bombardier jacket refers to a garment originally created for pilots. They eventually became part of popular culture and apparel.
I don't believe I have ever owned or worn a bomber jacket before now*. Growing up I associated them with skinheads and rough types, always the black and orange colourway too. Today they can be seen in various forms and colours and are available from all over the place. From high fashion to high street and everywhere in between. The best ones in my opinion are from the likes of The Real McCoys emmulating the original military flight jackets, made for practical reasons and the fact they look amazing and capture interest come second.
I will say that a cheap bomber jacket cannot disguise itself, it will always look cheap. This basically accounts for most if not all high street store versions. Many a brand of late has had a bomber jacket in it's collection. The two most appealing to me have been the following -
OBEY x KEITH HARING VARSITY JACKET
This varsity style jacket from the brand is in collaboration with the late Keith Haring has a wool mix body with faux leather sleeves (sadly) and features a press stud fastening, an elasticated ribbed collar, hem and cuffs, two front pockets and the infamous Haring Baby print branding in tonal black on the front and back.
Of course the all black everything appeals to me as does the work of Keith Haring and the iconic baby logo.
I've not known Obey clothing to be of that great a quality if I'm honest, and I only saw this once in passing at Urban Outfitters but it did look pretty awesome. Of course I have left it too late and there are no Mediums in the UNIVERSE. I did find one on eBay but after winning the auction the seller made up some shit about it being damaged and not suitable for selling. This after having told me the BIN price which was £40 more than what I won the auction for. Coincidence? The fact that the jacket came up again within days under a different seller using the exact same wording and photos was apparenly another coincidence, according to the parties involved. Ass holes.
You may have noticed this is referred to as a Varsity Jacket, and not a bomber. I think the main difference being you'd expect to see logos and branding on a Varisty both front and back, but both comprise of many the same features and elements.
Dr Martens Mens College Bomber
This classic college bomber jacket comprises a British Millerain body with leather sleeves. It has a cotton rib at the collar, cuffs and hem, as well as the traditional oversize press stud buttons, typical to college bomber jackets.
To the naked eye you could be forgiven for thinking there is really no difference between the two. The Obey jacket retailed at £140 and the Dr. Martens retails at £165. Now for that extra twenty quid, here is another important difference -
Obey - BODY: 50% Wool / 50% Polyester, CONTRAST: 100% PU, LINING: 100% Polyester
Dr. Martens - Black British Millerain body with leather sleeves (ANTIQUE BONNEVILLE WAX/LEATHER), Oxblood lining
And for me the difference is the Obey jacket has been made to appeal to a wider and more trend savvy audience, and the Dr. Martens appeals to those interested in quality materials/construction and the genuine styling/attitude of the bomber (as we've known it at least since the 80's).
I only saw the Dr. Martens jacket for the first time last night (at the Carnaby Street store), and I wish I had tried it on. I'm still not convinced I suit a bomber (varsity?) jacket but I definitely appreciate them. Having almost owned the Obey jacket I am happy that it didn't work out, not in the way it went down, but it's given me a fresh look and understanding of the intended style of the jacket. Also the different message wearing one or the other gives out. Hands down I'd opt for the brand history, proven quality and street attitude of the Dr. Martens version.
Maybe that comes from age, experience, no longer feeling the need to fit in and being confident wearing whatever I like the look of. I've grown comfortable wearing a shorter jacket this past year, both with my leather jacket and also a *bomber jacket from LEE which was a recent aquisition from eBay for just a tenner. I bought it to replace the longer quilted styled jacket I had worn for the past few years.
I'm not adverse to buying used clothing, it does pay to be smart with the brand however and LEE have never let me down. I knew from previous items that the condition would be great and it also proves the bomber jacket is a timeless piece fit for any wardrobe.
Now all that's left to ponder is I wonder if thet Dr. Martens jacket will go into sale at some point....