Bomber Jacket vs Varsity Jacket: Key Differences

Bomber Jacket vs Varsity Jacket

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The bomber jacket and the varsity jacket are two of the most popular types of jackets that people embrace whenever the season is right. At first glance one might initially confuse these two particular jackets; however, there are differences in their conception, appearances, and ways in which they can be worn.

In this guide, we will come to know Bomber Jacket vs Varsity Jacket to assist you in providing an idea of which one is perfect for you considering the look & feel.

The History and Origins

Bomber Jackets

varsity vs bomber jacket

There is information about the origin of this piece of clothing as far back as the beginning of the twentieth century when it was used as a flight jacket intended for pilots and other aviation personnel.

It had ribbed cuffs and hems, and the cover was zipped up to the neck, which provided warmth as well as free movement as in the cockpit. After WW2, or even in its latter period, this military-influenced style became wearable casual clothing.

Varsity Jackets

varsity jacket vs bomber jacket

While the letterman jacket was worn for athletic proficiency in school, the varsity jacket was initially designed as an athletic garment for college students and was also known as the letterman jacket. It had a descriptive look with a woolen body, leather or knit sleeves contrasted with the body, and clear school tones or lettering.

Although originating with sporting dress specifically high school and college sports, the varsity jacket has transcended beyond the more specifically sporting or sporting-related fashion.

Key Design Features

Both of the jackets have their uniqueness. here are some of them

Bomber Jackets

are varsity jackets in style
  • Front zip or button closure
  • Ribbed knit cuffs, collar and waistband
  • Practical details like flap pockets and zip compartments
  • Often made of nylon, polyester, cotton, or leather

Varsity Jackets

what is a varsity jacket
  • Button or snap front
  • Contrasting colors and lettering
  • Wool body with leather or knit sleeves
  • Classic collegiate athletics style and details

Materials and Construction

It is also largely used in the manufacture of bomber jackets thus why it is mostly associated with lightweight but very strong fabrics such as nylon, polyester, cotton twill, or leather. The ribbed knit feature around the cuffs and the hem ensured that they had a tight as well as insulated fit around their wrists and ankles. Some designs possess an interior lining or limited insulation for defense against heat.

As the collar slogan implies, varsity jackets have retained their athletic looks and sporting functionality and the most common body design is wool which could be thin or thick and may have purposefully padded insulation. It has usually a ground or slack with trace hem and sleeves that are either leather or knit material.

It is also important to look at the lining and the level of insulation that the jackets provide since the designers have provided numerous options for the two in both jackets.

How to Style Them

The beauty of it is in the fact that, due to its military-inspired design paired with the absence of excessive details, the bomber jacket is highly wearable in both formal and casual settings. At first, it appears like it can be worn over jeans and sneakers for that nonchalant outfit look but it can also be teamed with a button-up shirt and chinos for a more formal look. Fit is crucial – one should not look like a bloated pilot in a bomber.

The simple varsity jacket coordinates very well with casual wear that may include jeans, chinos, t-shirts, and sneakers during the weekend. The versatility and effortless style mean that it should be a little too big, very loose, and roomy. The colors and types are a tad more daring, evoking the air of a traditional preppy and college style, and it is best worn casually.

Suitable for Your Figure

Low cut and sleek lines at the front and back make the bomber comfortable and suitable for most body shapes. Though the ribbed knit cuffs and hem give some definition to your silhouette, the collar remains clean up top. Sometimes, bomber jackets are designed to have a slightly elasticized waist, so you can cinch it in at the sides.

Being narrow and long through the body and shoulders, varsity jackets best suit taller, predisposed sports persons. Sometimes, slimmer designs or alterations could be necessary, especially for smaller-sized individuals. The difference in color and those extra elements help to create contour and volume. It is exhausting the front of the shirt and rolling up the sleeves which gives the shirt a relaxed look.

Where to Buy Quality Jackets

For bomber jackets, some top brands to consider include:

Classic varsity jackets can be found from retailers like:

Conclusion – Bomber Jacket vs Varsity Jacket

In terms of the general design, the bomber jacket and the varsity jacket may not appear very similar from the outside, but both are casual, sporty jackets. The bomber for instance can be dressed up or dressed down and has a tonal and fitting advantage to the figure than the hoodie. However, there is no doubt that the varsity jacket epitomizes collegiate style even more than the letterman jacket does, and has a loose fit that can be highly appreciated for casual wear on the weekends.

Regardless of which style is ultimately selected, do not forget to pay attention to what kind of shoes are fitting for the climate of the area and personal preferences about the shoes’ weight. It can be lots of fun wearing them over your present collection of jackets!


Are varsity jackets only for athletes?

Nope! Varsity jackets started with athletics, but now anyone can rock them for a sporty-chic look.

Can I wear a bomber jacket for formal occasions?

It depends! Classic bombers might be too casual, but a sleek leather bomber could work for some dressier events.

Which jacket is better for winter weather?

Varsity jackets tend to be warmer with thicker materials like wool. Bombers can be thinner, so choose a heavier fabric or layer up for winter.

Do bomber jackets ever go out of fashion?

Bombers are a classic style that keeps getting reinvented. They’re a safe bet that won’t go out of style any time soon.

Where can I find the latest styles?

Department stores, clothing brands, and online retailers all offer varsity and bomber jackets. Search for “2024 varsity jackets” or “bomber jacket trends” to find the newest styles.

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