On Your Bike

You might well be wondering to yourself just how much of a new trend this one actually is. It’s been hanging around for a while now, so why all the sudden interest? A correct observation, inasmuch as this style has been floating about for decades, since bikers first started wearing leather and created their own inimitable style in fact! But that’s not the point. What we here at FashionBeans and you our loyal readers should be more interested in is the way this style has developed and what is making this look a major player in 2011.

Perhaps the biggest factor is the ageing of looks from previous seasons, in particular the military trend. This trend has been with us for the last couple of years now, with varying degrees of popularity, but during A/W10 it reached its peak, the market is now saturated with trench coats, nautically inspired knitwear, t-shirts, military boots and all manner of accessories, and is now beginning to become very thinly spread and over worked. This is certainly not to say that these items have now become unfashionable, rather it is time for change. Hold on to your military inspired items (particularly if you own a camel trench coat – a fine purchase) however, as they will remain completely timeless and transitional in the future, and set you in good stead for this new look, saving you time, money and effort. But before we get too deep into this, let’s have a peek at the fashion worlds take on The Biker Trend.

Burberry Prorsum S/S11 Runway

Burberry Prorsum S/S11 Runway - Men's Biker Trend

As you can see from the looks above, Burberry have really taken a shine to this new trend, breaking away from their well known and highly regarded trench coat staple to produce a wide range of leather pieces that suit this new trend perfectly. But you might still be wondering how military and biker trends go together. Simply put, this is just an extension or development of the basic military trend; there is still the emphasis on simple, chunky and rugged items, but they are used in a different way or mixed with other pieces that don’t necessarily fit the military trend. You could also look at it as an original trend in that it takes the stereotyped biker look and makes it infinitely more fashionable with a focus on a smarter style; more tailored, refined lines, using trousers and shirts whilst retaining the darker colour palette synonymous with the biking world.

Biker On The Runways

The Biker Trend on the 2011 Runways

Of course the mainstay of this trend will be the Leather Jacket, nothing new here really, the choice is all yours regarding what style you wish to sport, as long as it isn’t one of those horrible branded, faux leather racing jackets, that only work at a race course… if you’re a racing driver. Also just because you wear full leather gear (safety first) doesn’t mean you are now fashionable; still looks too much in my opinion. I’m becoming distracted, actually being a motorcyclist and the biker trend isn’t necessarily linked. And here in fact is the key. Just as wearing military inspired clothes won’t make you a soldier, wearing a leather jacket does not make you a biker. These clothes allude to and suggest, giving you much greater flexibility in how you can model your outfits.

How To Wear

So what is the best way to tap into this new look? Personally, I would make use of the items currently on trend. Mix chunky footwear, military boots or otherwise with slim jeans or chinos (either tucked in or cuffed so they hang just above the ankle), a statement t-shirt and then your chosen leather jacket for that casual, laid back look. Keep colours fairly neutral or dark for the authentic image, using blacks, greys and whites, but if you are feeling adventurous, you could introduce more colour, maybe with a pastel jumper or cardigan, keeping in with the lighter palettes of spring but not being overly garish or in your face.

If you’re feeling really, really niche, go for the outside choice with a leather jacket that isn’t black – dark red or a very deep green perhaps. Feel free to mix in vintage pieces to give your final outfit a bit of flair, paying particular attention to accessories as these will really help to bring your outfit together and create a strong link back to the traditional biker look. You could even chuck in a paisley neckerchief or light coloured silk scarf to suggest some bohemian influence, and remember what I said about mixing in the military, your shearling/aviator jacket will work perfectly with this look to.

Editor Addition: How To Wear

I thought I would throw my opinion here as well because if you know me by now, you will be aware I have a slight obsession with leather jackets and this trend is something I really think can work well, if you get the ethos of the whole thing right. Like Will has mentioned, this isn’t about going all out biker, it is about picking key pieces such as your leather jacket/shirt, chunky biker boots and key accessories to ‘toughen up’ your look this year and add some edge to it. Burberry did an amazing job of showing how to work the biker trend by pairing leather jackets with items you may never consider using; smart trousers and shirts, olive chinos, gladiator sandals and the like. You have to remember this trend is being pushed for their spring/summer collection, so they are encouraging you to pair your leather with lightweight chinos, leather sandals, tailored shorts and draped tees for a clashing of styles which can transform a traditional outfit.

So remember to use your stripes from last year, your beige chinos and your tailored shorts. Try experimenting and bringing your original outfits bang up to date for this year. There is no need to replace your whole wardrobe, it is just a case of adding a statement piece (or two) to your existing looks. One of my favourite takes on the trend was throwing the biker jacket over the top of your shirt/tie combination on the way to or from work – sets you apart and gives you some differential from the blazer crowd – this could also work on a night out no problem.

Here is Will’s take on the trend and some example outfits:

Look 1
  • Lawrence S/s Crew
  • Requiem Short Kick
  • River Island Memphis Leather Look Jacket
  • Cropped Military Boot
  • Seven London Rams Head Leather Cross Tag
  • Storm Saddle Canvas & Leather Cuff
Look 2
  • ASOS Stripe Crew Neck T-Shirt
  • Selected Biker Leather Jacket
  • Jack & Jones Vintage Logger Leather Workboots
  • D&G New Oversized Aviator Sunglasses
  • ASOS Chunky Skull Head Ring
Look 3

As I mentioned before, this trend has also made the entire biker look smarter, so should you feel the urge to dress a little sharper, but still retain that rebellious attitude make use of another S/S11 trend – soft tailoring, as well as shirts, trousers, cardigans and other fine knitwear. This will create a much more tailored overall image, just retain the chunkier footwear and biker inspired accessories.

  • ASOS Slim Fit Shirt
  • French Connection Aurderly Cardigan
  • HE by Mango Washed Leather Longline Jacket
  • H By Hudson Westland Military Boots
  • Geo Printed Smart Scarf
  • YSL Moulded Square Frame Sunglasses
Key Pieces
  • ASOS Aviator Jacket
  • Selected Pete Leather Jacket
  • River Island Borgue Collar Leather Jacket
  • Kett Black Leather Jacket
  • Burberry Black Leather Grainger Biker Jacket
  • Marc Jacobs Men's Lambskin Leather Sports Jacket
  • ASOS BLACK Cropped Leather Biker Jacket
  • ASOS Sleeveless Biker Jacket
  • AAA Black Leather Biker Jacket
  • Recluse Biker Jacket
  • Collide Leather Jacket
  • Lanvin Leather biker jacket
  • ASOS BLACK Silver College Ring
  • Vortex Ring
  • Monarch Ring
  • ASOS Gothic Charms Pendant Necklace
  • Emporio Armani Silver Cross Thong Necklace
  • Richmond Silver Skull Chain Necklace
  • Belstaff Antique Black Strap Bark Master Biker Boots
  • Black Slip-On Leather Buckle Boots
  • Chronicles Of Never 10 Hole Boot
Your Opinion

So guys, lets get some feedback.

  • Is this a worthy successor to the military trend?
  • Is it actually a successor, or is it completely original?
  • Will you be mixing in some biker influences to your current wardrobe?
  • What kind of thing will you be doing with this trend?
  • Do you think it will be around for a while?

Let me know in the comments below.