Bikers today are, as a rule, law-abiding people who commit only one crime - they prefer to ride without a helmet. But this was not always the case. When the movement was in its infancy, motorcycle clubs were a big problem for the American police. Since then, much has changed but a trademark biker style has not gone. Vests, bandanas, leather jackets, hoodies, as well as various biker accessories are still relevant.
A modern biker jacket has evolved from the gears of American military pilots. The US Air Force took an active part in the Korean War. In the middle of the 20th century, aircraft were not yet equipped with airtight cockpits, so pilots needed special clothes to protect them from the wind and adverse external factors. Such requirements resulted in creating a specially tailored jacket. It was sewn from thick, dense leather; the model had a narrowed waist and elongated sleeves with wrist fasteners, which fully covered outstretched arms during piloting. Its distinctive detail, a diagonal zipper, made this jacket original and recognizable.
After the WWII, American pilots started saddling “steel horses”. However, they did not want to part with an image of fully leather-packed guys so they brought it to the motorcycle movement. An aviator jacket turned into an excellent riding gear thanks to protection against wind, resistance to abrasion, and good thermal insulation. Plus, it helped to create a cool-looking masculine image. All these factors made a leather jacket the favorite clothing item of bikers around the globe.
There is an opinion that a traditional element of biker symbolism found on jackets (wings) has originated from aviation. The skull and flames mimic the image of a famous flight squadron "Hell's Angels", whose veterans founded the eponymous biker club in the US.
Another important attribute of a biker image, besides a motorcycle, tattoos, beard, and a girl in the back seat, is a vest. Biker vests can be leather and denim (the latter is called ‘cuts’) and they are worn on top of jackets. For a biker, a vest is basically a passport. It bears all necessary information about its owner and a motorcycle club he belongs.
The main attribute of a vest is Colors - an emblem of a motorcycle club, sewn on the back. It is a sacred thing for a biker.
Colors usually consist of three parts. The upper arc-shaped part (upper rocker) indicates the name of the club; the lower rocker denotes the country or city in which the club / branch is based (or the word “nomad”); the central part is the club’s logo.
The look of the colors varies depending on a biker’s rank. Hang-arounds have the right to wear only the lower rocker, prospects are allowed to have both the lower and upper rocker, full patch members sports all three elements of the Colors.
Bikers are often compared to warriors. They deserved it not only due to the frightening appearance but also because the life of motorcycle clubs in many ways copies the army principles. For special merits, a biker can be awarded a distinction mark - a belt buckle or a patch.
Helmets, bandanas, gargles
Bikers are known for riding without helmets. However, this statement is true in relation to 1% bikers who are also called outlaws. The rest 99% members of the biker community are law-abiding people who follow the rules and wear helmets (or, as they call them, domes). Especially popular are stylized vintage helmets that copy the fashion of the 1950s. Not only do they complement the image of the “old school” bikers, but also are able to save you when it’s needed.
Bandannas and classic aviator gargles can also be attributed to the list of must-have biker accessories. At the time, the first bikers really were wearing aviator gargles; this item is so convenient so that it has barely changed after 80 years.
Bikers prefer soft leather motorcycle fingerless gloves with rivets on the wrist and small holes on the back of the hand. If you wear such gloves, you can use your favorite gadget without removing the glove. This fashion accessory is also used by cyclists, as well as young people who love rock music.
In addition to leather pants and boots, every steel horse owner has a biker pouch, which is usually attached to a belt. These accessories are mostly made of python or crocodile leather, adorned with wicker elements, embossed with intricate patterns, and often they carry biker symbolism. Being made by hand, they are as creative as they are multifunctional. Normally, they offer several compartments to conveniently place a mobile phone, cigarettes, lighter, money, and many other important items.
Real bikers rarely talk about themselves. However, there are things that can silently convey the strength of spirit, courage, and determination of these thrill-seekers on motorcycles. These items are biker jewelry. A solid wide leather bracelet has been an indispensable attribute for the very first bikers. It has not lost its relevance now.
Nowadays, a biker a ring, massive bracelet, and a skull pendant are must-have elements for every biker. These accessories are made to last thanks to specially selected alloys. The most common material for biker jewelry is 925 sterling silver. Not only is this alloy beautiful and appealing, but also very durable and longevous.