Waxing Lyrical Over The Origins Of The Biker Jacket

Common culture can make it hard to know where anything really came from. Think Elvis Presley in his white PVC and slick-back hair and you hardly ever believe of a chain gang, singing in rhythm to the swing of the sledgehammer. Tough labour formed the origins of blues, and subsequently, rock ‘n roll music. In precisely the same way when you believe of the biker jacket it is seemingly not possible not to conjure up fiery photos of James Dean in 1955′s cult film Rebel With out a Trigger, cigarette in mouth and motorbike in tow.

The style sector has been promoting biker jackets on the back of this rugged, freedom-looking for, rebellion of youth sentiment for decades since. The clean-cut, popularised version of these issues was merely produced to appeal to the teenagers who could afford it. For all of the posturing of edgy, out-there fashions of the time, the biker jacket’s origins can be traced to the military in both Britain and the United States of America.

Where does the biker jacket come from?

The concept of the biker jacket in America finds its roots in the 1920s and 1930s. Aviator A-1 pre-Planet War 2 Air Corp styled jackets had been produced with fitted waists, from waxed goatskin or horsehide with mandarin style collars for bikers. 1 of the very first was developed by Irving Schott in 1928 and sold to Harley Davidson in New York for about 5 dollars. In Britain the story is very various. The Barbour wax jackets offered from www.ebay.co.uk, regardless of getting the initial-choice outside wear for Prince Charles these days, have been the very first utilized by bikers in Britain and, ultimately, by Hollywood stars like Steve McQueen.

Rather than influenced by military design and style or material as in America, the British Royal Navy took inspiration from Barbour and its one particular-piece racing suit. The Vintage Showroom notes the influence of Captain George Phillips who commanded the HMS submarine Ursula from 1937. Unhappy with the quality of his men’s clothing, Phillips subsequently approached the company and paid them out of his personal pocket to make a 2-piece suit of waxed cotton jacket and trousers, the prototype of which was worn by his crew from 1939. The suit became known as the Ursula and was commissioned by the Royal Navy for all of its submarines from 1942.

The Ursula was transformed into the International wax biker jacket which is still in production these days. It was employed for trial competitors and racing by British and American bikers throughout the ’50s and ’60s and has become an iconic piece of British design and style.

Design functions of biker jackets

Standard early biker jackets utilised the Ursula design of 2 chest and 2 skirt pockets and a removable hood, numerous of which have been purchased as army surplus and worn by bikers right after WW2. The initial Barbour International utilised angled chest pockets as opposed to horizontal, a mandarin style neck, a waist-high belt and no hood. Numerous of these characteristics remain on contemporary wax jackets, biker jackets in men’s and women’s models alike.

American-style biker jackets are made from thick black leather and are typically reduce in the fitted aviator style, with angled zipper pockets and prominent open collars. These are slightly adjusted from the military style, mostly in components, but retain some aspects of the earliest designs.

There you have it: ironically, biker jackets that came to be the ultimate symbol of cool, freedom and rebellion emerged largely from the demands of life in the military.

Kathryn Thompson is a lifestyle enthusiast and a mother of 3. She loves keeping up with style, travel and the latest looks. Her articles mainly seem on life-style blogs. You can stick to Kathryn on Twitter.

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