Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Shift your style gears this autumn by trying on the best in road-hitting, well-fitting fashion

Along with enviable machines, unforgettable routes and reliable company, one of the key appeals of motorcycling sits with its unrivalled and singular style.

From leather jackets to biker’s jeans, the ‘look’ of these two-wheeled travellers has become so striking that it has changed lanes into the wider world of style, and today influences everything from high fashion to the high street.

We took Sam Webb out on his Indian Scout to showcase some of the best looks from this season. So kick-start your wardrobe with these five top tips, and ensure that your take on motorcycling style is anything but middle of the road…

Go hell for leather in a tough, full-grain jacket

The leather jacket is perhaps the cornerstone of any biker’s style. Rough, rugged — yet somehow refined — these tough garments are made to both protect you and to look great. And, as sound an investment if you don’t have a motorbike as if you ride every weekend, they’re a style staple for a reason.

The gold standard in this area is, of course, Belstaff. Or perhaps that should be the brown leather standard? These two jackets, the equally iconic Trialmaster and Racer are cut in sleek-profiled autumn hues, and the former features the angled chest pocket developed specifically for bikers. Alternatively, Dunhill’s minimalist ‘Duke’ offering is inspired by classic styles. And, whichever you choose, they’ll age immaculately.

Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Belstaff Trialmaster Leather Jacket

£1350

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Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Dunhill Duke Leather Biker Jacket

£3095

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Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Belstaff Racer Leather Jacket

£795

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Wear the trousers with a tough, rough pair of jeans

Leathers aside, jeans are another rugged style made even cooler by men with motorcycles. Like the jackets above, denim will only look more and more masculine as it ages and fades — so long as you invest in a sturdy pair to begin with.

So who better than Levi’s to outfit you? With these ‘Performance Stretch’ denim 511s, it’s the ideal material to sling over and over a saddle without wearing thin. Similarly, Belstaff’s Tattenhall skinnies are a prime pick for road-tripping, and are reinforced with durable knee panels. Finally, for that ready-rugged look, why not head to Kent & Curwen, where these Harrow jeans come pre-distressed?

Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Levi’s 511 Stretch-Denim Jeans

£85

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Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Belstaff Tattenhall Denim Jeans

£195

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Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Kent & Curwen Harrow Denim Jeans

£195

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Check yourself with a warm flannel shirt

The checked shirt is a byword for rugged exploration and classic masculinity. From bearded lumberjacks to meandering motorcyclists, it’s a pattern that stands for adventure, and will look right at home underneath your leathers.

That’s not to say it can’t also be useful. From Fendi, this wool overshirt is plush and substantial — guaranteed to keep any backroad breezes at bay. Even Mr P’s brushed cotton offering, in a pleasingly autumnal burgundy, will keep you warm behind the handles. Or, if you’re looking for an inoffensive but fashionable foundation on which to build an outfit, Ralph Lauren’s soft wool-flannel is the perfect pick.

Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Fendi Checked Jacquard Overshirt

£650

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Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Mr P. Brushed Flannel Shirt

£145

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Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Ralph Lauren Wool-Flannel Shirt

£160

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A transitional jacket will keep you ticking over

The overshirt is one of those rare garments that should stay within arm’s reach all-year round. And that goes double for motorcyclists. Stylish, warming and ever-layerable, the overshirt has taken on a new facet of functionality with bikers — and it’s one you should be taking on board.

From Ermenegildo Zegna, this perforated suede overshirt is only partially-lined and surprisingly breathable — perfect to wear under your leather jacket. Aspesi’s offering is lighter-weight, and the ideal warmth to wear over a flannel shirt such as those above. Finally, Studio Nicholson have come up the field with this sharply-tailored, durable overshirt — a transitional marvel in a midnight blue.

Hit the road taxed and waxed

A welcome, warmer-weather alternative to the leather jacket, the waxed jacket is a heritage piece reborn with bikers. Ready for winter, storm-proof and striking, it’s your chance to nod to more modern motorcycling style, while honouring the look of bikers past.

The undisputed kings of the waxed jacket are Barbour. Based in England’s north, they have reworked and re-engineered the classic garment to fit the needs of the modern man. And, from winter layering to simple style, the jackets below are a testament to their success. Of course, Belstaff aren’t far behind, and their Roadmaster — with its zipped pockets and buckles — is a biker standard through and through.

Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Barbour Augite Waxed Jacket

£229

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Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Belstaff Roadmaster Waxed Jacket

£595

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Easy riders and rugged slacks: a gentleman’s guide to motorcycling style

Barbour Ashby Wax Jacket

£199

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Got the style sorted? Now sort out the machinery. This is our ultimate road-trip motorcycle…

Further Reading