Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Motorcycle Jackets (great article, btw!)

So, I just came back from the FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) museum, where they had a motorcycle jacket exhibit. Learned a few things about motorcycle jackets that I never new before. They've actually been around since 1928! So, a flapper and a biker coulda happened. Bizarre.

The iconic style is the Perfecto jacket. Sorry, the guards at the museum were total nazis about taking pictures, but the museum actually had one of these jackets diagrammed out. Apparently every part of the design and construction is intentional and practical. Asymmetrical zipper to protect against the wind,  zippers at the sleeves for putting on/taking off gloves, cropped since the dudes wore high-waisted pants,  and the epaulettes  at the shoulders (yes...that's what they're called...who knew!?) are for stashing your gloves. I always wondered what those straps were for. I always kept my hat and scarf in those things.

Of course, it was always a symbol for rebellion, especially in 50s film

still from The Wild One, which was banned in the UK...for being awesome i guess.
and our friend James Dean, of course. I personally couldn't stand him in Rebel Without a Cause. So whiny. 
biker gang, colorado 1970s
The design of the jacket was basically the same for women...except shorter sleeves and the zipper diagonal was reversed.
hells angels biker gang 1965
women bikers 1975

ralph lauren 
I don't actually own a leather jacket in the Perfecto shape...It's been on my to-buy list since forever. My husband has one, though. Here I am wearing it. I thought he was super cool when he wore it. I was also 18 when I first met him.

I also have a RED cotton jacket in the perfecto shape. I don't really wear it too much cause red is so LOUD and the motorcycle shape screams REBEL. This jacket kind of screams trying too hard. That's kind of my problem with the classic motorcycle jacket. It's almost too iconic. 

I think if I were to get a motorcycle jacket today, I'd probably get one like this Trash and Vaudeville teeny cropped jacket (which I tried on every time I went in that store) and wear it with a high-waisted long skirt. Like those poodle skirts, but evil obviously. For that 50s vibe. Y'know.

Do you have a Perfecto motorcycle jacket? Thoughts? Still cool? Cliche?


  1. I don't actually have a perfecto style one, but mine is very close - I love the motorcycle jacket because it's perfect for all weather and goes with everything. I think the advantage of a clichéd or common item of clothing is how it serves as a base for your own personality and tastes; the minor details changed, the customisation.

  2. Argh, I´ve been wanting one for ages now, but I always refuse to pay so much for it. Boris has one of real leather, it was actually a real investment for him when he bought it. It looks absolutely awesome and I love how the jacket looks ironic with his round shaped glasses, I call it the intelligent biker look hehe.
    Have to get one and fill it with studs and pins... one day, one day...
    btw that picture of you with long hair!!! wow!! you should model more ;)

    1. Yeah, when my husband bought his he payed a small fortune for it. That's one of the biggest reasons why I didn't get one. Haha yeah, I need to do more outfit shots. Those require time and lighting, haha.

  3. Awesome blog, I love all the photos!

    My punk friend explained all the different types of motorcycle jackets a while ago. I thought it was fascinating (still do!). I really want a leather jacket as I have twill versions, but the Straight to Hell jackets (sold at Trash as well) makes my heart sing! I'll have to settle for my twill versions.....

    1. I love the twill ones you have! I'm actually a fan of the twill ones too. I like the idea of owning clothes you can wash at home.

  4. I have a perfecto style one from high school. My ex painted a big red goth ankh and DETROIT on the back in gothic script. Yeah, he was from Detroit.

    1. "What's wrong, baby? Detroit is the greatest!" That sucks. Well, there's always fabric paint and patches.