On your bike, son.

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Boys like a leather jacket.

Biker Gilet from River Island SS11
Biker Gilet from River Island SS11

It’s a manly jacket because it’s made out of something dead.

It’s a manly jacket because we grew up with our strongest male role models wearing them: Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator, Neo of The Matrix fame, even Brad Pitt’s questionable red number in Fight Club.

The problem is, these icons of masculinity are somewhat out of date. The man in the leather jacket has entered a crisis. On the one hand, the leather jacket is a classic, on the other it’s bordering onto the cliché of the manly man. All the while fashion has moved in the opposite direction, towards androgyny.

Leather jackets are nevertheless popular, but it has also never been more important for men to avoid a clichéd wardrobe.  Nowadays, the majority of our male fashion role models come from stylists with only one modus operandi: the boy-band.

This season, the military trend has evolved to create a space where the leather jacket is no longer passé, but rather is adopted into utility clothing.

Get on board and get in the gang, Lancaster Black Rebels Motorcycle Club.

It might seem easy enough to do, just throw on your leathers and some tattoo sleeves, but there are some important details for attaining the essential biker look; the most critical being the style of collar. The perfecto collar (double-style split lapel) is the only choice for authentic biker style, and has the vintage feel of a Brando biker movie.

Because the style has evolved from the utility trend, follow your utility handbook in choosing your new leathers. Studs and spikes are superfluous detail, so unless you’re going down the punk avenue, a la Ramones, stay away from them. Zips are the detail to embrace to add a little character to your jacket, and are also useful for storing loose items while you’re on your hog.

Another feature from last season to transcend into the biker trend is quilting. We saw it last year in the high-street explosion of Barbour jackets, but the quilted leather jacket is nothing new to bikers. It detracts from the vintage appeal, because modern-day bikers have a tendency towards it, but nonetheless it has the edginess of the biker style that you’re looking for.

Black Short Western Style Boots from River Island £69.99
Black Short Western Style Boots from River Island £69.99

The real problem with leather jackets is that because they are seen as classic, people just throw them on with anything. The biker jacket has to be supported with a bit of attitude from the rest of your ensemble. You’re meant to be a rebel, so tees with funny slogans and cats that shoot lasers out of their eyes just don’t cut muster. Distressed clothing gives that don’t-give-a-damn look perfectly, but at the same time, stick with clean lines: skinnier styles suit this particular utility trend better.  Why not finish off the look with a pair of biker boots?  Almost any pair of leather boots will do (provided they match your top half), but if you’re looking specifically for the biker boot, they are characterised by leather straps linked to a metal loop on the side.