Men’s fashion thrives on classic pieces, maybe even more so than its female counterpart. In fact, the entire FashionBeans ethos is built around the idea of timeless style.
We’re all aware of the old adage, ‘fashion fades but style remains’ and this really does ring true in the world of menswear. Of course, this fickle game we all subscribe to has a habit of regurgitating items and trends – thrusting them back into the limelight.
And for AW13, it’s very much been the turn of the bad ass biker jacket.
The modern interpretation of a ‘biker’ takes its lead from the original Schott Perfecto, introduced in 1928. The asymmetric zip is the jacket’s defining feature, with zipped cuffs, epaulettes, a flap change pocket and belted front – all included on the Perfecto – making fleeting appearances on current iterations.
This symbol of rebellion and adventure has a rich history and significant cultural importance, which is exactly what makes it such a menswear classic. It starred alongside Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953) and was heavily favoured by the Ramones, while Schott also provided the US military with their leathers for World War II.
Today, the biker jacket is less reserved for punk rock pioneers and military heroes and more an everyday, every man outerwear choice. Our trend expert, Ben Jones, has already earmarked it as a key piece for 2013/14 and today we break down how you can seamlessly incorporate a biker into your current wardrobe…
Ways To Wear: The Biker Jacket
Before we start, here is some lookbook inspiration to help get the creative juices flowing:
Look One: Off-Duty, Winter Ready
Ready your leather for winter by investing in a piece with a Borg collar. Sidestep the punk and rock connotations of the silhouette and integrate it into a more heritage-inspired ensemble that makes good use of rugged textured elements – the statement collar being the first of them.
Don an on trend yet timeless cable knit jumper underneath the biker and opt for a pair of wool trousers to smarten the look up. The versatility of woollen trousers shouldn’t be underestimated; they partner a shirt and tie as well as they do a cable knit and biker, making them a worthy addition to any wardrobe.
Finish this texture-heavy look with some slim brown leather boots. Make sure you give your trouser hems a couple of turns/rolls to really show them off:
- Burton Grey Cable Knit Crew Neck Jumper
- Asos Leather Biker Jacket With Borg Collar
- Browns Flannel Wool Trousers
- Selected Homme Rich Leather Boots In Brown
Look Two: Smart-Casual
Juxtapose against the biker’s edgy roots by pairing with smart-casual pieces. Forgo the blazer in favour of the leather and slip it over a slim Oxford shirt and knitted tie combination. Bring it up another sartorial notch by accessorising with a neat tie bar that doesn’t threaten to overpower your neck wear.
The tie provides a strong pop of colour against the black and white backdrop. Complement this with some burgundy suit trousers – the rich autumnal hue works extremely well with both the deep green tie and the black leather jacket.
Finish with a pair of black double-monks, which offer something different to traditional brogue and Derby silhouettes:
- Uniqlo Men Oxford Slim Fit Long Sleeve Shirt+
- Lanvin Knitted Silk Tie
- J.crew Engraved Metal Tie Clip
- Topman Black Leather Biker Jacket
- Reiss Peter Formal Twill Trousers Bordeaux
- Topman Black Leather Monk Shoes
Look Three: The Transitional Period
Move away from conventional black leather and instead favour a grey woollen take on this classic.
Keep it casual with just a t-shirt underneath – its dark yellow colouring makes a subtle statement and works just as well within a rich autumnal palette as it does when the spring sun is shining.
Dark wash jeans and some slick suede tassel loafers top this transitional look off:
- Reiss Felix Salt And Pepper T-shirt Citrus Yellow
- Allsaints Seton Biker Jacket
- Topman Dark Wash Vintage Slim Jeans
- Alexander Mcqueen Tassel Front Loafers 156518
Look Four: A Sleeveless Take
The biker doesn’t have to be ditched once the autumn/winter season finishes. That being said, black leather may not be the first thing you reach for when the sun comes out.
The gilet has finally shaken off a lot of the stigma that was once attached to the piece, so why not mix the two styles and take a risk with a sleeveless biker?
A casual piece, it will bring a new dimension to even the simplest off-duty ensemble. Layered over a sweatshirt and paired with some slim khakis and New Balance trainers, it may not be a natural home for this symbol of rebellion but it pays testament to its versatility:
- Reiss Maria Contrast Trim Sweatshirt Navy
- Allsaints Alloy Gilet
- Rake Cotton Canvas Chinos 162544
- New Balance 999 Suede And Leather Sneakers
Key Biker Styles
- Allsaints Hilling Leather Biker Jacket
- Allsaints Weiss Biker Jacket
- Allsaints Clash Leather Biker Jacket
- Bellfield Wool Biker Jacket With Pu Sleeves
- Topman Navy Suede Biker Jacket
- Topman Burgundy Leather Biker Jacket
- River Island Black Wool Smart Biker Jacket
- Edwin Further Leather Biker Jacket
- Leather Look Biker Jacket
- Fake Leather Biker Jacket
- Richard Nicoll Wool Melton Biker Jacket 164849
- River Island Brown Shearling Lined Biker Jacket
- Schott One Star Perfecto Leather Motorcycle Jacket
- Saint Laurent Slim-fit Leather Biker Jacket
- Mcq Alexander Mcqueen Leather Biker Jacket
The biker jacket is a true menswear classic that will help add an edge to any personal style. You may not be remotely punk or rock in your persona but, as shown above, this silhouette is extremely versatile and isn’t defined by its past associations.
So, whether you’re a shirt and tie kind of guy or prefer a more casual approach to dressing, there is room in any wardrobe for a timeless biker.
But now it’s time for your view:
- Have you forever been a biker admirer?
- Or have we just convinced you to invest?
- Which of the four outfits above could you see yourself wearing?
- How would you style the biker jacket?
- What are your thoughts on non-leather bikers?
Make sure you leave your thoughts in the comments section below…