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Shrug Off the Cold with a Shearling Jacket


Vogue Italia’s contributing editor Rushka Bergman wears a crackle-finish, oversized, leather shearling jacket that skims the hemline of her thigh-grazing dress. Photograph by Valentina Frugiuele.

Between puffer jackets and leopard coats, this season’s outwear trends are geared to capture attention, and the shearling jacket is the breakout star. The classic silhouette took flight on the catwalks, where it underwent a modern, luxurious makeover. While at Balenciaga the jacket was seen forcefully pulled off the shoulders, Marc Jacobs showcased oversized dimensions, and Maison Margiela offered distressed, caped silhouettes.

Practical and timeless, the jacket comes with an old world charm, dating back to the early 1900s when airplanes were built with roofless cockpits. Due to sub-zero temperatures at high altitudes, stunt-man and parachutist Leslie Irvin designed a wool-lined sheepskin jacket that insulated against harsh weather conditions during flights. Irvin began manufacturing his designs in 1926; the jacket was popular among fighter pilots during World War II and even became the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force supplier.


Gigi Hadid teams a black muscle shirt and striped cropped jeans with a Proenza Schouler jacket draped off her shoulders during Paris Fashion Week. Photograph by Valentina Frugiuele

The rugged jacket saw a revival in the 1970s, taking on boxy and elongated styles. Today, slimmer cuts, cropped designs, extra-long sleeves and colorful options separates the silhouette today from its humble beginnings. The retro-inspired top layer only gets better with time. The more the leather ages, the more it becomes supple and full of character.

With the resurgence of the aviation staple, a number of style stars have jumped on board the trend. Drake is seen wearing a chocolate shearling-trimmed jacket à la Vetements style on the cover of his latest album, Views. Meanwhile, Gigi Hadid kept things cozy during Paris Fashion Week, where she was seen sporting a glossy Proenza Schouler number.

Swayed? Brave the short-lived winter chills by shopping our edit of aviator shearling jackets in the gallery below.

Click here to discover more outerwear trends of the season.

Opening Image: Courtesy of Valentina Frugiuele

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