Motorcycle jackets deemed cool again


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My head still swivels if I catch a whiff of Drakkar Noir. Teenage me rears her head and breathes deeeeeeeeep.


It is a fundamental law of physics that the New York Times is incapable for knowing what is or isn’t cool.


Hold on, I’m emailing my wife, she’s been wearing them since the early 70’s.


Well, no one asked ME.


My dad was in his late 60s when this happened. He was riding someone else’s custom bike (because his friend had more money than sense, and bought a bike he couldn’t ride), and it failed structurally on the freeway. He dumped it and rolled. Then he walked away, sore but with no road rash. THAT’s what’s cool about motorcycle jackets, also leather pants, sturdy boots, gloves and helmets.


I think cyclists nowadays, who actually care about their physical wellbeing, wear kevlar-plated gear (contained within synthetic material, as it’s heavy and potentially hot). Leather is better than cotton, for sure, but…


I keep seeing people on bikes with like shorts and t-shirts and sneakers… usually a helmet, but not always. What the hell are these people thinking?


I’ll definitely tell him that he’s doing it wrong. He will surely appreciate the input.


Not much?


I was never aware they were deemed uncool, but I don’t pay much attention to the deemers. I’ve always liked them.


What, how can these be anything but the definition of cool?

Ah, another instance of me blocking anything style-related that happened after 1990. The end of cool!


I’ve got a pretty burly story my mother, who worked in the ER, told about a motorcycle accident where the rider was wearing sneakers. Family dinners were fun back then.


I am wearing a motorcycle jacket today, because it is warm, more or less waterproof, and nowhere near wearing out, if that’s even possible. It is not cool. At my age anything I do is uncool simply by definition.


I’ve heard people in such getups say “I probably won’t crash” and “If I crash I won’t live anyway, plus it is hot out.”

When I rode a good bit, my friends referred to that look as “squids” bc they squished like squid when the crashed.

No one deserves to get smeared, but tshirts and shorts are a poor choice.




I just retired from everyday use my Schott Perfecto with a lovely side lace cinch that I’ve worn since 1994. Before that I had a jacket bought at Commander Salamander when I was a teen in Richmond VA in 1983. My incredible partner tried to source a pattern matched jacket for me when the back panel started to disintegrate, and the folks at Schott were not able to cough that up pattern, as they have been changing their manufacture and marketing. I have a new jacket from them, sized properly, made of some of the best leather I have seen in a jacket for 30 years.
As a queer punk into leather, I don’t really care if straight fashion culture considers my jacket cool or not. It’s not worn as a fashion statement for the season, but a part of my identity.
Oh, and if you want to wear Hello Kitty and wear a patent leather in pink, fantastic! Not my thing, but that is a hard look to rock for anyone!


Leather of appropriate thickness (1.5mm+) is more effective than anything except serious ballistic nylon. It’s remarkable material, skin.


Last time I was on a bike, it was probably 75 or 80 out, and you bet your sweet ass I was wearing heavy denim, engineer’s boots and my ancient motorcycle jacket. Fucking morons begging to exit the gene pool go without.


This is like a discussion of which brand of motor oil will work best in our new Toyota Corollas.

The textile jackets will work just as well as leather for any and all riding I am going to be doing, including the odd trackday I might take my 40 year old motorcycle to.

I wear leather cause it looks cool. NYT and Boing Boing be damned! I wear fedoras and leather jackets. Generally not at the same time tho. Call me Indy.