L’Estrange London perfects another menswear classic with its Hydrowool Bomber
Combining a sleek silhouette with an innovative layering system, the master of capsule clothing has modernised this heritage piece
With the seasons having finally turned, following a relentless summer of balmy, unforgiving climes, it’s now time to layer up against the elements. The options at hand, however, are vast and varied – from macs to trenches, parkas to down jackets – which can often be overwhelming.
If, however, you’re looking to start somewhere, we’d suggest one piece of winter-proof outerwear that has stood the ruthless test of sartorial time: the all-reliable bomber jacket.
First finding renown as a hardy outer shell that was worn by 1920s military aircrew who needed protection while in their open-air cockpits, this menswear hero has since taken on myriad iterations, whether adopted by college student athletes or high-fashion runway models, and, in doing so, has been produced in various colours, materials and patterns. Indeed, with the choice on offer nowadays being plentiful, trying to find the bomber most suitable for you can sometimes feel like flying the open skies without a compass.
As supporters of the timeless and the classic, we have a particular penchant for a no-frills option: a bomber free of superfluous embellishments and bright hues; one that can slip easily over most ensembles and be worn throughout the seasons. This ‘less is more’ sentiment is one seemingly shared by menswear maker L’Estrange London.
The British brand, which was founded in 2013 with the intention of perfecting essential menswear items in the most sustainable of ways, has recently turned its attention to fine-tuning the bomber. Developed over a two-year period, in which the team ran through numerous design drafts and tested a bevy of materials until arriving at the right one, the Hydrowool Bomber is an item that mixes luxe fabrics with comfort, protection and precise detailing.
Most notable is its crease-free, hardwearing, flexible outer shell, which is crafted from traditional merino wool that fuses together a windproof, waterproof and breathable “membrane” layer, ensuring total protection against the ever-changing elements. The fabric, which was produced by L’Estrange’s equally sustainably minded partners at the Paulo De Oliveira mill, in Portugal, is also streamlined and tailored in fit, offering a more sleek alternative to the conventional bulky silhouette. In doing so, the label has made sure that its latest item works across all seasons and settings, whether dressed up with an Oxford button-down or made more casual with a plain white T-shirt.
Internal pockets, a slim zip guard, and a lining made at the storied Brunello suiting factory give the piece a hit of refined, understated finesse, and, as part of the L’Estrange London’s ethos of creating modular clothes, there’s also a back-neck clip, meaning it can be worn on its own or be affixed to the brand’s recycled-polyester vest.
And it is this focus on versatility, done by creating a capsule wardrobe that’ll work all-year round, that L’Estrange London does so well, encouraging its customers to buy fewer, but higher-quality, items of clothing, a “degrowth” aim that will ultimately be better on the environment. Moreover, to this end, the company uses only recycled and renewable materials, such as organic cotton, and also offers free-of-charge repairs to allow their customers to prolong the lifespan of their purchases.
“We carefully consider the types of products we introduce to our range, ensuring that each design is optimised for versatility and longevity,” says L’Estrange London cofounders Will Green and Tom Horne. “The Hydrowool Bomber epitomises that approach.”
L'Estrange Hydrowool Bomber
Need something equally timeless to wear with the bomber? These classic trainers are perfect for the modern gentleman…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.
Become a Gentleman’s Journal Member?
Like the Gentleman’s Journal? Why not join the Clubhouse, a special kind of private club where members receive offers and experiences from hand-picked, premium brands. You will also receive invites to exclusive events, the quarterly print magazine delivered directly to your door and your own membership card.