This spring, the traditional varsity bomber is being upgraded with a new, bolder identity. What began as a simple piece of outerwear is being taken in an unexpected direction as the weather warms up. We saw 1950s-inspired satin prints and leather bombers with studded embellishments at Prada, while Chloé’s Resort 2012 collection featured classic cuts updated with vibrant, monochromatic hues. No matter the collection, bold prints, luxurious satins and bejeweled finishes have turned this storied jacket into a current must-have.

Give this outerwear trend a try with our tips for making the look work for you and your wardrobe this spring.

Embrace accents and vibrant prints

This spring’s twist on the classic bomber jacket means cheerful colours and prints that get noticed. Prada emblazoned its beige studded version with a Cadillac. While that particular design might not be for everyone, there are no shortage of patterns, prints and embellishments this season so look for a jacket – whether loud and colourful or covered in studs – that speaks to your style. Topshop’s new Spring 2012 line features bomber jackets that echo some of the bold prints and hues seen on the runways. From tropical florals to animal prints – these fashion trends are all about outerwear that gets noticed.

Spring 2012 fashion trends: Pop of colour

Pair brights with neutrals

Since the bold bomber jacket is staking its claim on the style spotlight, balance out your look with neutrals. This spring Japanese designer Tsumori Chisato introduced a bright orange and blue bomber accented with red anime-inspired palm trees. The bold design featuring vibrant colour blocking was paired with equally loud tangerine printed shorts on the runway. But to make the look work for you, something subdued (slim grey pants, skinny dark denim) would be a more ideal accompaniment. Too many bright colours can begin to clash, muddling the overall effect of your outfit.

More tips on wearing these different bomber jacket fashion trends – think ladylike and patterns, on the next page…
Take a ladylike approach

As Prada’s Spring 2012 collection has established, lavish patterns are now being paired with delicate skirts and this spring’s bold bomber jacket is no exception. Case in point: dainty floral-printed bombers with grey toned sleeves were debuted paired with pleated knee-length skirts. The nostalgic influence of the collection (and the jacket in question) was captured in Prada’s Spring 2012 campaign as model Katryn Kruger donned a floral bomber with
pastel-hued separates and elegant baubles.

Don’t go overboard with pattern

Head-to-toe plaid and hypnotic prints were a dizzying sight in Gwen Stefani’s LA.M.B. Spring 2012 collection, featuring high-voltage hues and eye-popping prints that might look great on the runway but don’t always translate as well to everyday life. Instead of overdosing on plaid or another equally bold pattern, take a cue from Yves Saint Laurent, whose collection showcased a more subdued faux-houndstooth bomber jacket with ebony trousers. Or if you are craving colour, choose a bright monochromatic bomber instead of opting for print, a look recently spied on Elle Fanning who has been been known to sport bright varsity jackets paired with more neutral pieces.

Embrace the bomber this spring by using the classic jacket to give otherwise neutral looks a splash of bold colour or combining it with ladylike pieces – another one of spring’s must-try style trends.

Read more:
Spring 2012 fashion trends: Unconventional high heels

Revamped ladylike stylings
Spring 2012 fashion accessories: Pop of colour