The classic black motorcycle jacket honestly needs no introduction...but here goes one anyway! Since its 1928 debut, it has become an iconic piece transitioning from its intended use as protective clothing to a fashionable symbol of youth counterculture, and a blank canvas to be styled as one pleases. Marlon Brando and James Dean kept it simple in the 50s and 60s with white tees and selvage denim, punk rockers in London added spikes and studs in the 70s & 80s, while Toni Braxton rocked an updated 90s version of the Brando look for her debut album cover. Today, motorcycle jackets come in all colors, silhouettes, and materials, but the classic black still reigns supreme.
I’ve had several versions in my adult life, mostly made of cheap materials ordered from Amazon or found for the low in the mall. While they look good in the beginning, the story of these jackets always ends the same: worn out, torn up, cracking at the collar and falling apart. After that, it's off to the mall to get another cheap version to satisfy the need to look cool. But all that changed Christmas Day 2017 when my sister gifted me this Calvin Klein version. This quilted lining making it perfect for the colder months which is when I wear it the most paired with a turtleneck or sweater. What I especially like about this jacket though is its simplicity and lack of unnecessary flash. Unless you’re one of the punk rockers I mentioned above, the studs, chains and crazy colors of some high fashion versions completely take away from the piece itself. Sometimes too much adornment can fuck up a good thing (I know, this coming from the guy who regularly looks like a walking disco ball). But it’s true, a statement outerwear piece doesn’t have to be overthought. It’s all in how you rock it and it should stand alone in its simplicity. I can literally wear my jacket with anything, dressing it up or down for any occasion, all while effortlessly adding a level of badass to the look.
( left to right: an early version circa 2012 vs. the refined 2017 model)
I think everyone should own one of these jackets. There are so many different versions out there that are sure to fit any style and budget, and they look good on every body type. Committed to cruelty-free fashion? Try on made with vegan leather at half the price of leather. Love the silhouette but hate the leather look as a whole? Try one in felt, velour, cotton or any other fabric. If you can dream it up, chances are it exists online.
Whatever you decide, just wear it with the confidence of a rock star whose public awaits!