If you are a jacket lover, chances are you are already aware of the flight leather jackets from the 60s. But, are you aware of the history of these jackets? Do you know how they became popular and why people still wear them today?
Well, if you are really interested in the origins of these flight jackets and how they have evolved, keep reading. This article is going to take you back to the era in which they rose to popularity and shed some light on the reasons for their obsession among antique jacket lovers.
Brief History of Flight Jackets from 1900’s
The term “Flight Jackets” was coined in the middle of the 1960s, but these jackets were invented even before that.
Back in the early 1900s, when the United States of America was preparing for the first World War, their airplanes didn’t have enclosed cockpits; like the ones we have today. So they designed jackets that pilots could wear while taking a flight high into the skies, where the temperature is usually much lower, and keep their bodies warm.
To combat this issue, the US army manufactured special types of jackets that now we call flight jackets or aviator jackets and distributed them to its armed forces who were going to take part in the war.
Around 10 years later, Lesli Ivrin(a parachutist) designed the classic sheepskin flying jackets. These jackets were used by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.
The demand for these jackets rose so high that Irvin had to engage subcontractors in the businesses; he made those jackets more impressive by introducing new variations of design and color.
Even when the temperature in the sky was less than -50°C, these jackets kept the pilots and fighters warm. And this is how flying jackets caught the interest of not just militaries but also the common people living in an extremely cold region.
How Once Military-Personnel Exclusive Jackets Turned into Casual Jackets
Between the 1970s and 1990s, flight jackets became popular among common Americans. Soon, the bomber jackets got international recognition when they were used as the national costume of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC meeting held in Seattle, Washington.
Since then the flight jackets have only gotten more popular with the name of aviator jackets. You will see a lot of Americans wearing them on the streets casually; a famous celebrity like Kanye West wears these jackets on and off the television.
Material Used in Flight Jackets…
The body of these jackets was initially made with boiled wool, which provided much-needed warmth in the cold climate. Nowadays these jackets are available in several different materials including leather, wool, silk, satin and suede.
As it goes without saying, leather is the strongest of all. It’s much more durable, comfortable, and offers a great feel to the one wearing it. Other materials are also decent when 100% original, but they are not as long-lasting as leather.
That’s why we see all the major flight jacket brands pushing leather jackets at the front on the shelf as well in ads.
What are the Key Features of a Flight Jacket?
You will find dozens of different features in various flight jackets. The most notable ones are:
- 100% Original Leather: The best jackets are made of 100% leather. Synthetic leather or leather made of plastic and chemicals doesn’t last long nor offers the comfort you expect.
- Zipper Pockets: The best flight jackets offer you plenty of space in the form of multiple pockets. You can keep small stationery items as well as gadgets.
- Built-in Belts: Some flight jackets designed for pilots or for motorcyclists offer you built-in belts to control your body during a ride or flight.
- Hood: Modern-day leather jackets even feature a hood. This unique feature adds a bit of glamor and personality to your outfit.
- Collar: There was a time when leather jackets featured no collar, they were plain. But not anymore, nowadays leather jackets even have a fancy collar which takes your look to a whole new level!
Who Can Try Flight Jackets?
As said earlier, flight jackets are for everyone. It’s not like they only match the pilots or army professionals but they are so common today that anyone can wear them. Actors, athletes, artists, and so many other professionals can be seen wearing them.
The world’s leading jacket brands are selling these jackets offline as well as on online marketplaces. All you need to do is find a jacket in the color of your choice in high-quality material and in your size.
Just be careful while buying one for yourself. One wrong choice and you won’t be able to meet the objectives you had behind this small investment.