The Biker Jacket Is Forever Cool
The biker leather jacket makes a comeback for menswear this summer, but it is not the first time we see it on the latest runways. In fact, when has the motorcycle jacket ever gone out of style?
The Evolution of the Motorcycle Jacket
We take a Sinikka-stroll down memory lane and step off with where it all started...
The jacket was originally designed in 1928 by Irving Schott. He designed the jacket for bikers, with signature, wide lapels and thick, rugged leather to keep a biker warm and scuff free. Irving added cool, industrial hardware like zippered cuffs and metal rivets to the jacket. It is first sold to the masses at the Harley Davidson store in New York City, for under $6!
In 1953, Marlon Brando wears Schott's jacket in the movie "The Wild One." Teenagers hang posters of the iconic black and white image of Brandon, sitting on a motorcycle in his biker jacket, in their rooms. The motorcycle jacket becomes the teenage rage. High schools ban students from wearing biker jackets at school.
Two years later, just as the rage starts to die down across high schools in America, we see James Dean sport one in the movie "Rebel Without A Cause".
The leather motorcycle jacket becomes synonymous with the rebellious, rugged man. Steve McQueen, Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda all sport motorcycle jackets, not only in movies, but in daily press photos.
The 1970s arrive and the leather jacket now takes on a new take as the go-to accessory of the rock rebels. Seen on The Ramones, Mick Jagger and adopted by punk rockers. Debby Harry ignites a new rage by giving the jacket a twist: the sleeveless motorcycle vest.
Thanks to the popular TV show "Sons of Anarchy", the motorcycle jacket is back on the runway for men. It is no longer only shown in rugged, distressed, black. Designers have modernized the jacket in pristine white leather or classic navy and red, with excellent tailoring. The new biker jacket is polished enough to wear to the office.
Both Fendi and Tom Ford use the color cognac for their jackets. Fendi elects to showcase the color with a waxed and polished leather. Tom Ford shows his biker jacket version in distressed chocolate leather and supple cognac colored suede.
How to Wear
There are many variations to the motorcycle jacket. Most fall into 2 categories: rugged and high fashion.
The rugged motorcycle leather jacket is a treasure to be handed down through the generations. Besides being appropriate for wearing on motorcycle rides, this comfortable style motorcycle jacket is great for casual wear. Combine the rugged biker jacket with jeans or khakis. Depending on the season, a sweater or t-shirt are the perfect layering partners.
With designers like Rick Owens, Tom Ford, Michael Kors and Italian fashion house Fendi presenting modern, perfectly tailored versions of the motorcycle jacket, the high fashion motorcycle jacket can be worn to work in many careers.
Keep the look work-appropriate by going with a monotone color palette. Group a navy biker jacket with navy pants. Wear a dress shirt and tie underneath. Tom Ford's cognac suede motorcycle jacket would pair handsomely with grey and tan attire.
Regardless of whether you are sporting the rugged or high fashion version of this classic jacket, the key is in layering. Don't be afraid to mix and match, but remember that the accompanying pieces are just as important as the jacket.
The biker jacket has evolved from a utilitarian motorcycle jacket to the statement accessory of cinema rebels, rockers and punks. Today at Sinikka, we celebrate the motorcycle jacket is a timeless piece that has been interpreted in a variety of ways for every man to enjoy.