What Is a B-3 Bomber Jacket?

The B-3 style aviator jacket is a true classic that is both practical and durable. It has been a long time favorite on Northern Grip as this garment combines great style with a rich history. It was originally designed as a flight suit for bomber crews. Since then, the B-3 has been worn by both men and women who appreciate its functionality and fashionable flair.

History of use by aviators

The invention of the sheepskin aviator jacket arose out of a real need for the military, as during the WWI most aircrafts did not have enclosed cockpits and temperatures up in the air quickly reached sub-zero temperatures, so a durable, warm outerwear became a must. During World War II, a new model of aviator jacket known as the B-3 was introduced. Made from a sturdy and warm shearling it was inspired by the designs of Leslie Irwin. The US Air Force adopted Irvin's design and developed the B-3 model.


Rise to fashion fame

Due to its practicality and aesthetic appeal, the B-3 jacket and its style variations soon found its way into civilian wardrobes. Marlon Brando's performance in "On The Waterfront" (1954) further cemented its place as a cultural symbol of ruggedness and style.

The B-3 jacket experienced a second wave of popularity in the late '80s. Thanks to another iconic main character, Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, played by Tom Cruise in "Top Gun" (1986), where he was seen wearing this classic bomber jacket style. To this day, it can be considered the most recognizable pop culture reference when it comes to the sheepskin bomber jackets.


A runway regular

The aviator jacket has been used in runway shows as far back as its inception in the '30s. In the '90s fashion designers like Gianni Versace, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein incorporated it into their collections to great success. Runway models also helped make this item a must have for everyone from teens to adults who wanted to be cool and trendy. It's instantly recognizable and makes it a great way to stand out from the crowd!


Street style favorite

The B-3 bomber is a staple of street style, and it's easy to see why. The jacket is versatile enough to be worn with everything from jeans to chinos and can be dressed up or down depending on how you style it. It also has an air of toughness about it. Wearing this style of sheepskin jacket is an easy way to elevate even the most basic of outfits.



The B-3 bomber jacket has been around for a long time. It's warm, it exudes masculine vibes, and it seems to always be on trend. The B-3 bomber jacket is a great investment in your wardrobe and if cared for properly will serve you for many years to come.