First sported back in 1918 by WW1 fighter pilots, the practical leather biker jacket has come a very long way.
We got the first fashionable piece in 1928, when Manhattan raincoat maker Irving Schott designed the first motorcycle jacket for Harley Davidson, and the biker jacket as we know it was born.
By the 1950s it was the prime tough guy look, thanks to Marlon Brando and James Dean on the big screen. Women first got our own version in the 1954 Harley Davidson Accessories Catalogue, where it was called the ‘Ladies Companion Jacket’. It probably had less pockets though.
The popularity of Mod fashion in the 60s, and the gorgeous rock chicks of the 70s – we’re looking at you Joan Jett and Debbie Harry – brought the biker jacket to mainstream fashion in the 80s.
Then, through the 90s they lost their edge a little. By the 2000s, high-end fashion designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and Gucci had them all over the runways for silly high prices, but then everything sort of settled in.
Costume designer Jenny Beavan rekindled the rebel spark at the Academy Awards in 2016. In the midst of the usual red carpet fashion formality, she showed up to accept her Oscar for best costume design for ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ wearing a fantastic black leather jacket, complete with a skull and flames bedazzled on the back.
The disgusted looks on the faces of the old men she passed as she took the stage quickly went viral – how DARE she not conform to their fashion and beauty standards, right?! – and we hope the women in the lives of those men have never let them forget how wrong they were to behave in that way.
Right now, we’re loving the balancing out between wardrobe staple and edgy street fashion that a biker jacket can bring to anyone’s life. They add an essential urban edge to an otherwise plain outfit… everyone should own one!
But How Do You Wear A Biker Jacket?
- Try it layered over a light knit, skinny jeans and ankle boots for an early autumn vibe on the cooler evenings out and about.
- Dress up your boyfriend jeans and a stylish tee, with a statement necklace, leather jacket, and pretty heels.
- Throw it over one of this summer’s fab maxi dresses, grab a clutch, and you’ve got a chic evening look that will take you anywhere
- If you’ve got a professional looking skirt and cardi combo going on, but you want to lean a little more towards edgy executive than a limp librarian look (not that librarians are in any way uncool, we love you!) – put a sleek suede biker over the top and there you have it.
- Go for a short swingy skater style dress, topped with a leather jacket and cute scarf – you can pair this with tights and ankle boots, or try a longer knee boot to change the vibe.
Call in to Redlane to see our full range of biker jackets!