Rebel with a Cause: The History of 3 Iconic Leather Jackets

Before the leather jacket became our favorite style to borrow from the boys, this must-have piece claimed a place in history as protective outerwear. Let’s take a look back at how some of the most iconic styles made their way from the military and motorcycle subculture to the masses.

Iconic Leather Jacket Styles

The Racer
In the 1960s, motorcycle enthusiasts in Europe favored smaller street bikes – called “café racers” because riders could easily hop on the tiny frame to get from one café to the next. The lambskin-jacket style sported by those sleek street riders became known simply as “the racer.”

The Bomber
It’s no secret that flight jackets are military-inspired. But it wasn’t until WWII that the “bomber jacket” became commonplace in the cockpit. Aviators favored this quilted version of the leather jacket because it boasted heavy insulation and ribbed-knit trim to keep out the cold.

The Moto
The moto was first sold in 1928 at the Harley-Davidson store as a must-have for the motorcycle enthusiast. Just like the Harley – which is often thought to be built for show rather than speed – this detailed jacket showcases decorative chrome hardware throughout.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

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December 10, 2013