Friday, November 5, 2010

M is for Motorcycle Jacket

Hello my Dear Readers! I hope you're having a Fabulous Friday! Today I am sharing another excerpt from the book The One Hundred by Nina Garcia..."A Guide To The Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own." It shares the A-Z staples each woman should have in her wardrobe, and today we are continuing on with the letter M. :)

M is for Motorcycle Jacket:

Ms. Garcia writes:

"It has been part of the perennial uniform of the cool kids for quite some time now. It is the jacket of subcultures: bikers, rock 'n' rollers, punk rockers, metalheads, rebels (with or without a cause). And because the fashion world loves subcultures, the motorcycle jacket will always be the jacket of choice for the absolutely stylish. Every model, actress, and musician has her old faithful version to throw on when she feels the need for that elusive cool factor. It should be in your closet for days when you want to channel Fran├žoise Hardy or Marianne Faithfull or the Sex Pistols. Or all three at once—it definitely communicates a super "It" factor.


* To avoid looking like you are stuck in the '80s, stick to black and avoid shiny, cheap leather. Only the best hides for the motorcycle set. Also, avoid the double-breasted or the crossover. Few can carry these off in a way befitting a style rebel.

* Proportions are key. Either go oversized or shrunken. Steal it from the boys or go down a size. There are no in-betweens.

* Beat up is best. Vintage is great—all of the best leather jackets seem to be hiding in LA vintage shops. (There are a few items that are best found in LA vintage shops, and this is one of them.)

* Wear it with the usual suspects: skinny pants, short shirts, denim, and denim skirts. But also dare to pair it with a feminine dress or a pencil skirt and camisole. For a total French look, wear it with a white sailor top, skinny pants, and flats. But no matter what, keep the jewelry to a minimum. The biker babe and diamonds just don't live in harmony with each other.

 The Inside Track: My Favorites

 * Rick Owens: The new coolest-kid-on-the-block. He has these amazing, paper-thin versions that all fashion-insiders adore. Owens sums it up best: "I'd describe my work as Frankenstein and Garbo, falling in love in a leather bar."

* Topshop, H&M, Forever 21: All make great inexpensive versions. If we are going on a shoot and need a leather jacket in a pinch, we can always depend on these chains. Rebel on demand.

* Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Comme des Gar├žons, Gucci: These are standbys and the mainstays. They will always have a good motorcycle jacket in stock, and you can be sure it will be a classic, enduring version. The cost may set you back a bit, but in the end, you've invested in a piece that invokes attitude and sass. Worth every single dollar.

"What're you rebelling against, Johnny?" 

"Whaddya got?" --The Wild One, Where Marlon Brando made the leather jacket the Rebel Uniform--

Fashion 101: Fashion Vs. Function

The leather jacket was born out of function and was meant to protect bikers should they hit the concrete. The original, the Schott Perfecto, was created in 1928. At the time, the jacket sold for $5.50 at a Harley-Davidson shop in Long Island. The design was durable, rugged, and immediately embraced by the biking community. It is still sold today (though no longer for $5.50!) and is a great fashion statement in and of itself. However, it is nothing like the Rick Owens and Balenciaga versions we wear today.

On a real motorcycle jacket, each feature is chosen out of practicality. The leather will be at least a millimeter thick to protect riders from the road. There will also be more usable pocket space and better weather protection. The back may be slightly dropped so the rider can comfortably lean forward and keep the wind out. The sleeves are usually precurved. A leather jacket created for fashion has none of these features. The leather is generally much thinner, the pockets are placed more for aesthetics than for storage, the sleeves are not precurved, etc. But, of course, if the leather jacket is made right, it will look cool either way—whether you are biking or hitting the Friday-night club circuit."

(All the information above is from the book)

From real to faux, leather jackets are in abundance these days at all different price points. Not only meant to be worn in cold weather conditions, lightweight versions are available for those living in *warmer winter* climates and as options to wear in spring, as well. Just like the denim jacket, a leather jacket is a great staple piece to have in your can easily make an outfit or dress instantly casual, yet chic at the same time.

Check out these options available now:

*Belstaff® (at J.Crew)

Do you agree with Ms.Garcia when it comes to the Motorcycle jacket? Are you planning on purchasing one this year? Do you already own one? If so, do you wear it often? Please do share! :)

Have a beautiful and blessed day!



  1. I went for the Eileen Fisher motorcyle jacket in a ponte knit fabric. Love it...not as pricey as going leather (which I have enough of already) and a much closer fit.

  2. Love this post. itztru: I'm SO excited to hear there is another EF fan out there! I just ordered her motorcycle jkt and can't wait to receive it - I think UPS might drive up today! Glad to hear you love it! Thanks FFM for another great fashionable post.

  3. I agree with Nina! It's a great piece to have in the wardrobe. I bought one last year, I can't wait to break it out again. In fact, I'm thinking about your post of yesterday, FFM, and taking inspiration from that outfit. I have a great dark chambray shirt and black skinny jeans. I like the black moto over pencil skirts, too!

  4. I would love to own a motorcycle jacket, but I don't know if I could pull it off. Plus, there are other wardrobe staples I need before it. Someday I'll invest in it. Great post!

  5. I just picked up a faux leather moto jacket from Zara. I've only had it a couple weeks but I've already worn it quite a bit!

  6. I don't like shrunken jackets or cropped ones in general. they just do not suit me very well. I would love to find an oversized version of this jacket though!

  7. Love Nina Garcia-

    I did buy a motorcycle jacket, but I just haven't been wearing it and every day it pouts in the closet and says, "Why don't you ever take me anywhere?"

  8. To Elizabeth in MO...Eileen Fisher is quickly replacing other brands in my closet. I love the simplicity and ease of her clothes. And her pucker-wool scarf in Foxglove looks great with the jacket! Just enough warmth and a great pop of color!

  9. To itztru: Yes, I agree with you. I find I'm purchasing more and more Eileen Fisher - pricey, but quality is impeccable, LOVE the fabrics, and I too like the simple, clean lines with a modern or architectural twist. Also - I can see her pieces working in my closet for years to come, not trendy or "disposable". I just noticed on her website that the pucker wool scarf is on sale - I may need to place another order this weekend! Thanks!

  10. Hi ladies! Thank you all so much for stopping by today. I'm glad to know you enjoyed this post. :)

    itztru and Elizabeth: I've been eyeing some of the Eileen Fisher line but haven't yet taken the plunge. I was in one of our *higher end* shopping districts today and noticed they have one of the EF stores there, so I'll have to go check it out when I have some more time.

    Desert Flower: I will definitely be wearing something similar to that look from yesterday, too...I love it! Today I opted for my Talbot leather jacket (the one in the Luggage color), a black tee, and dark denim. The weather was cool enough that I felt completely comfortable all day long. :)

    LT: Have you considered going for one in Faux Leather? You can find them at really great prices. It would give you the look without the major expense. :)

    Kelly: Your jacket sounds fabulous! I have just recently started checking out Zara and love a lot of the pieces they offer.

    Ady: I think there are definitely some *boyfriend* style leather jackets out there. sells tons of leather at longer lengths, so you might check there. :)

    Mother of Style: My leather jackets have been in my closet awaiting cooler weather until today. I'm so glad I finally had the opportunity to let one of them out. ;) I hope you decide to put yours on soon, too. :)

    Have a wonderful evening everyone!

  11. Speaking of the book... I got it last week and is quite fun reading!

  12. I would rather own a leather jacket that is not of the motorcycle variety. I would get much more use out of it. After looking for a leather jacket to replace mine from the 1990's for the past 3 years and finding nothing I liked....I happened upon one yesterday. Sometimes it pays to not be actively looking and just stumble upon a find. Org. price was $300 and I got mine for $144 from Nautica at Macys.