Style fact: the leather biker jacket’s lesser-known name is the ‘Perfecto’, which is apt when you consider that it’s arguably the most perfect – not to mention powerful – piece of outerwear there is.
Sure, it evokes timeless images from Hollywood’s golden age of bad boy rebels and guitar-slinging 1970s rockers, but there are even cooler, more contemporary (and experimental) ways to wear a biker nowadays.
Here we break down five of them, which will see you through transitional season in style…
The Smart Leather
Whether you’re heading to a wedding or an end of year prom, it’s the season to smarten up and step out looking uncharacteristically refined.
But if you’re unsure of how to pile on the style without pulling on a stuffy suit, why not exchange the blazer for a handsomely cut leather biker? When worn with a crisp white shirt and pair of black Derbies, it acts as a surprisingly sharp accent to your outfit and – importantly – looks much more modern than a suit jacket.
If, like the ‘health goth’ king himself David Beckham, you’re the kind of man who likes to don head-to-toe black and accessorise with a pair of monochrome trainers and superfoods juice, then a quality leather jacket is your no-brainer outerwear choice.
Commit fully to the aesthetic by combining with technical legwear or tailored joggers and then throw a tough-as-nails leather jacket over an exploded longline T-shirt.
It’s a fashion-forward look that says you have a gym membership and a Mr Porter account – and you’re not afraid to use either.
The Modern Rocker
The leather biker has long been considered a key player in the rock star’s outerwear arsenal. And given the effortless cool that the jacket lends an outfit, it’s not hard to see why.
But rather than going down the traditional rocker route, cut a contemporary path and wear yours over a sharp shirt, some distressed/ripped skinny jeans and a pair of heavy, no-nonsense boots.
Image: Topman AW14
If you don’t want to go all-out Marlon Brando, the simplest way to balance the leather jacket’s rebellious undertones is to contrast it against one of this season’s freshest prints: floral.
Riccardo Tisci’s SS15 collection for Givenchy was chock-full of stylish monochrome florals, setting the tone in terms of tough spring style. But you can scoop yourself an affordable slice of the flowery pie by heading to ASOS, Topman, Mango or River Island, which are all currently offering a wide range of muted options to set against your leather.
Finish with white chinos/jeans and trainers for a clean, summer-ready aesthetic.
Image: George Elliott, Photographed by Eric White
Lightweight knits are the missing piece of the transitional wardrobe puzzle – breathable when temperatures rise and cosy when the beer garden gets frosty.
However, in the wrong hands, they can end up looking a bit safe. Toughen up your knitwear by layering a biker jacket over the top, which not only brings an instant edge to your everyday look, but also offers an extra layer of defence against spring’s notoriously turbulent weather.
Image: AllSaints SS13