The uniform piece. We all own one of those consistent legendary fail proof items in our wardrobe. They are the items that serve you well year after year. They work with your life, your style, your lifestyle! They epitomize the term ‘slow fashion’ as they are always present in your closet and ready at hand to join in on any occasion. They feature in many of your photos forming memories. They are effortless. If your friends were asked what you are known for wearing well? then this piece would be on the top five list. This is the magic uniform piece that your capsule wardrobe builds around.
One of my uniform pieces is the timeless leather biker jacket.
The vintage inspo
The biker jacket has quite the history in our modern-day culture. Irving Schott (co-founder of New York outerwear company, Schott Bros) was the first one to design the biker jacket in 1928. He sold it for $5.50 at the New York Harley Davidson store. The jacket was named ‘The Perfecto’ after his favourite cigar.
In 1953, the film ‘The wild one’ was released with Marlon Brando wearing the classic leather bomber. The leather biker began to acquire its reputation for being part of the rough and rebellious culture! Then in 1955 James Dean began to showcase the leather biker and own the heart-throb bad boy look. Steve McQueen flies the flag for the 1960 leather biker jacket. Beauty!!! Then the likes of Debbie Harry of Blondie, Sid Vicious and the Ramones boys hit the New York scene. The Ramones were actually wearing the Schott Perfecto biker jacket as they performed on the CBGB stage in New York and catapulted the beloved stripes, biker jacket and converse into our lives and ingrained it into our style subconscious! Since then, the biker has never left us. Kate moss is seen in her uniform piece regularly and the French vogue editors are effortlessly throwing theirs over their shoulders with ease. The black leather biker jacket is seen from the street to the catwalk. In my heart its a true uniform piece.
The style set inspo
The leather biker jacket is a firm favourite with the British style set along with the French Vogue editors.
Biker jacket brilliance
The uniform biker works so well in the wardrobe. This beauty dresses up and down so well. It’s one of those clothing pieces that look better the more they are worn. It should tell tales of the nights out, the laughs, the fun and the travelling it’s experienced. I think it looks effortless and adds the hint of ‘cool’ to the floral dress, the hint of ‘luxe’ to the ripped jeans and the hint of sophistication to the all black outfit ensemble.
Dress up doll
Always throw it on with the floral dress, the vintage dress, the tweed trouser or the ladylike pleated or the pencil skirt.
Dress down baby
Simplicity is the key for luxe beauty. The biker works so well with the delicate white shirt, cotton v neck t-shirt, the cashmere crew neck jumper or the grey sweatshirt!
My love for stripes is clearly not a secret! I blame the Ramones boys for my love of the biker with stripes. Nothing works better than the biker and stripes. It’s my go to uniform on the crazy days. There is no thought or care in this uniform. It’s just full of confidence and bliss as I love what is looking back at the mirror at me. The Ramones have influenced many with this style formula. Kate Moss and the French Vogue Editors are also fans.
* all above images were frantically and blissfully pinned on Pinterest! *
When you are buying a biker jacket keep in mind these factors that have helped me.
If you are in-between sizes then go for the size smaller. Remember the leather will stretch a little over time and the biker looks much better as a fitted jacket than a baggy one.
Leather biker or faux leather biker?
I believe Leather is better if you can or choose to buy one. I feel the way the leather hangs and ages enhance the look of the biker. However there are some great faux leather styles out there on the street. I have had a faux leather jacket in the past and although it was a great jacket, I ended up selling it as it didn’t hang as a well as a leather one. If this is a uniform piece you are trying out to see if it works as a wardrobe staple then a faux leather is a good start. If it’s a winner then you can just save up for a good leather one.
How much should you pay?
The most you can comfortably afford.
Best places to find one?
The high street
A good high street start would be; Topshop, Mango & Zara.
The street luxe
A premium brand in my biker jacket heart would be All Saints. They are the best leather bikers in my book. Butter soft leathers, that have been designed to have that aged beauty already. I adore my All Saints leather Jackets. You can find some good deals in their outlet stores in the UK. They also have fabulous winter/Xmas sales where you can easily bag one for half price. Don’t disregard a preloved one (the more they are loved the better they are!) so keep an eye out on ebay or vestaire collective.
The designer touch
All hail the black leather biker jacket from Saint Laurent this season. A hop, skip and jump to Net-A-Porter and this beauty can be yours. Spare $4,500 anyone??!
The Vintage treasure
Don’t disregard that another persons trash is someone else’s treasure. The leather biker looks better with age. Scout out the vintage and charity shops. Cross those fingers as you scour the racks. Maybe luck will be shining down on you that day.
My biker collection
My biker leather jacket collection history started with a simple ‘perfecto’ style one that I remember saving up my babysitting money and buying when I was 16 years old from a day trip in London. This was followed by my beloved vintage style hip length leather in the 2000’s that I wore under the influence of Kate Moss who wore hers so well in her Johnny deep dating days. I actually wore this biker gem to the gig at the Camden Monarch, London, the night I hooked up with my husband.! I still have this jacket stored away with the sentimental pieces of past wardrobes. Now I own and adore three from All Saints. I managed to bag them with handsome reductions in the sale or via ebay. The three jackets are all quite different in their styles and I wear them with different attitudes and style formulas.
Wearing: All saints Belvedere jacket (4 years old) , Zara long-sleeved stripe tee, Topshop Jamie black skinny jeans with knee rips, Madewell black ‘billie’ boots, All Saints ‘Jackson’ tote bag, Daisy Knights gold watch
Wearing: all Saints Cargo jacket (3 years old), All Saints grey cable knit jumper, H&M square scarf, J.Brand love story flared jeans, Ash jalouse boots
Wearing: All Saints Steine jacket (1-year-old), Equipment star silk print shirt, Topshop Jamie jeans in black with knee rips, Zara stud brogues, Ember Skye zip clasp clutch bag, Daisy Knights gold watch
Wearing: All Saints Steine jacket, Aritzia leopard print scarf, Wilfred free white long sleeve tee, J.Brand love story flared jeans, Ash jalouse ankle boots, Zara fringed messenger bag, Gapkids grey felt fedora.
My biker love
The biker jacket will always have a place in my wardrobe. From my first jacket I bought at 16 yrs to my beloved All Saint Trio that can tell many a story of my life today. Whatever your capsule wardrobe holds dear to you and whatever your uniform pieces may be. Never feel like you can wear something too often. If it works for you, then just enjoy it. A good wardrobe is one full of the things you love.