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Fall fashion 2016: Bomber jackets make a comeback with a new twist

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Reported by Caitlin O’Flanagan

Bomber jackets have been a reoccurring trend for years and have reemerged this fall season with a new twist.

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Langara students Jashandeep Kaur and Sanika Joyal rocking their bomber jackets. Photo by Anna Tilley.

They are back and bigger than ever, in store windows, magazine pages and on A-list celebrities. Ranging from the classic military style to the new, brightly embroidered statement jacket, they are everywhere.

Terry Pitts, who teaches fashion history at Langara, has noticed the bomber’s continued popularity and said it all comes down to practicality.

“People’s lives are very fast-paced, and in turn, comfort can be fashion’s driving force,” Pitts said. “Designers keep finding new ways to interpret the bomber, but its ease and comfort are what makes it so important.”

History behind the bomber jackets

Originally designed to keep First World War pilots warm in the skies, these jackets have become much more than military apparel. Starting in the 1970s they became popular amongst civilians, and they’ve become a prevalent part of skinhead and hip-hop culture.

Kanye West used Alpha Industries, a company that made some of the original “flight jackets,” for his Yeezus tour merchandise. He is just one of the notable celebrities making this street-fashion trend so famous.

Popular spots to buy bomber jackets

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Cara Stryer, owner of Vincent Park sporting her bomber jacket, one of the hot products of her clothing boutique. Photo: Caitlin O’Flanagan

Cara Stryer, owner of Vincent Park, has had to restock her personal favourite of the season, a Cheap Monday bomber, three times already since the middle of August. “I can’t keep them on the shelves,” Stryer said.

Being able to wear them all year, mixed with the jacket’s versatility, is what Stryer attributes to the bomber jacket’s appeal.

Aside from boutiques like Vincent Park, bomber jackets can also be seen in Hudson’s Bay, American Eagle and Nordstrom. It’s never been so easy to get your hands on one that fits your style and your budget.

Rooted in history, but always being presented in a fresh new way, this won’t be the last time the bomber jacket is a must-have of the season.

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