Style File: Fashion revs up - Biker jackets

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Dressing for the pitstop can be full of pitfalls (and pratfalls) but Lee Holmes pinpoints the key moto-inspired menswear pieces to put you in style pole position

The leather jacket stands the test of time as a style perennial. But it’s also a bit of a minefield. After all, “leather jacket” encompasses a multitude of styles and sins. Considering spending your hard-earned cash on a leather trench? Remember The Matrix and back away. Brightly coloured padded leather catching your eye? Watch Thriller and realise the error of your ways. What was questionable on Michael Jackson in 1983 has in no way been rehabilitated for 2013. Clearly, not all leather jackets are created equal.

Perhaps, then, on the surface at least, the jacket that’s the most appealing is the most classic: the black leather biker or motorcycle combo. Google it, and be enticed by the constellation of cinematic stars past and present sporting the louche look with rakish aplomb. Probably the most famous image of all is Marlon Brando astride a Harley, sporting a beyond-classic Schott Perfecto in 1953’s The Wild One. When his character, Johnny Strabler, was asked what he was actually rebelling against, his disdainful reply of “whadda you got?” instantly confirmed both attire and actor as talismans of youthful dissent.

There’s a catch. Marlon makes it all look all-too easy. Both he and the Schott are a hard act to follow, regrettably leading many a man down the biker jacket route for all the wrong reasons. Remember this; for mere mortals like ourselves, no amount of revving around on a motorcycle looking mean, moody and sweaty in a black leather cap is going to turn you into a modern-day Marlon. Real life just doesn’t work like that.

Instead, look to labels such as  Belstaff or Matchless for a more grown-up take on the leather motorcycle jacket; incredibly versatile, these  21st-century bikers can be dressed up with a shirt and tie, or down with a simple T-shirt and jeans. Still not impressed? Eschew leather entirely and opt for the waxed version from Barbour – think Steve McQueen  astride a Triumph bike – which is actually a damn sight easier to pull off.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Glazier

    £16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist historic buildi...

    Recruitment Genius: Office and Customer Services Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small but very busy (and f...

    Recruitment Genius: Portfolio Administrator

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has become known a...

    Recruitment Genius: Mechanical and Electrical Engineer - Midlands

    £35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrig...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot