Leather jackets have, in recent years, continue to be a popular fashion stable for both men and women; thanks in part due to wear by some of the world’s most famous celebrities but, above all else, because they offer a style which doesn’t go out of fashion; one which is practical and comfortable.
We wondered though; has it always been this way? We’ve taken the time to look at the history of the iconic leathers, going right back to the fighter pilot bomber jackets of World War 1, through the first ever biker jacket sold by Harley Davidson and all the way through pop culture of recent years.
There’s a reason why we all love leather so much …
Practical vs Fashion
First things first; don’t forget that the leather jackets we often see for sale from the likes of Lakeland Leather and high street stores generally aren’t those which a motorcyclist would wear. Why? Because the ‘biker jacket’ has become a trend; something inspired by the practical safety-wear worn by motorcyclists.
We caught up with one of the team at We Want Your Motorbike who stated, “There’s a noticeable difference between a ‘biker jacket’ worn by a rider to protect themselves in the event of an accident to that worn as a fashion item. That worn as safety gear will typically be a lot heavier weight and offer far more protection. Of course, that’s not to say they’re not similar in style; simply that an off-the-shelf fashion jacket won’t offer the same level of protection.”
Biker jackets, such as these, are worn for the purpose of safety. They’re typically also a lot more expensive…yet a necessity.
On the other hand, there’s thousands of individuals, both male and female, who love the biker look and wouldn’t be seen out of the house without their jacket.
Where did, however, the ‘biker look’ come from?
In many ways, there’s a simple answer … pop culture!
Don’t forget that the classic ‘biker jacket’ was brought into the limelight by the likes of Sid Vicious and the punk movement; most of whom wouldn’t have been seen dead without a leather jacket!
Add to this film and TV; Danny from Grease, Han Solo from Star Wars … all iconic movie characters who donned a leather jacket. Then, of course, there’s characters from Guardians of The Galaxy, Indiana Jones, The Matrix … the list is almost endless!
The bottom line is that leather jackets offer wearers that iconic look; one which doesn’t go out of fashion, which is comfortable and which looks the business!
The history of leather clothing goes back to World War 1, when the leather bomber was worn by fighter pilots. Shortly after, the first leather biker jacket was sold for around $5.50 by Harley Davidson. Yes, they may have started out as a military-staple more than 100 years ago, however times have changed and it’s not just bikers and soldiers who are the main wearers.
Whether you’re a biker or a fashionista, there’s no denying that leather jackets are still in trend today and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon.