Few reasons why I love flight jackets with a little “flight jacket 101” (in a few short sentences, because all of this can be easily Google’d… like I did to make a point) built in. One, because they’re military inspired, they’re bound to be durable & hyper functional. Since flight cockpits during WWI weren’t enclosed, these jackets were issued to pilots to battle the elements they were flying in (they were eventually upgraded to nylon from leather post WWII). Your shielded from any sudden storm or gust of wind. Considering the nice weather, however, I think simplicity is key and comfortable with what’s worn beneath. Two, because they will last, they’re the ideal jacket to document travels with patches you find around the globe. Give it time to accumulate, but sleeves and front panels are A-OK.
I’m wearing a flight jacket from Alpha Industries (namely the Burnett, a lighter version of the classic MA-1) — they’ve been around since the beginning (they were the original distributors to the U.S. Army in the 1950’s), so it’s nice to have a piece of historical relevance hanging in my closet. Now, deep blue (especially nylon) is tricky to pull off if you’re not going for a total military look as I didn’t; but a long, neutral tee will open up those pant (or shorts!) options in your closet right up. Why? The jacket cinches above the hip while the tee falls below; so if you find that your jacket-to-bottom color transition is too harsh, let the tee break it up, jacket unzipped.
The classic orange liner in the jacket, which is actually prevalent in all MA-1 flight jackets since inception, is quite strong, even reflective against my tee; so I went for earthy tones with the pants, sporty shoes (also styled in this and that look) and backpack (closer shots of it can be seen in my first post!).
So this hat. I’ll be honest — I haven’t worn it since the day I bought it years ago at Maxfield’s in LA. I have a big head (I’m all too familiar with un-velcro-ing or unsnapping a borrowed baseball cap) and resort to what may seem like larger than normal sizes. This Prada one is actually a bit too small, but I gave it another shot, cocked it to the back with a pair of shades and now have established a newfound love for it I’ll pair with seasoned looks to come.
Photography by Michael Singer