There are few modern men's garments so undeniably iconic as the leather motorcycle jacket. It shares rarified air in the menswear world with the blue jean, the T-shirt, the oxford button-down—pieces so integral to what we consider to be men's fashion that no style-minded guy's wardrobe could be considered complete without one. Like those aforementioned garments, there’s a clear mental picture that forms when you discuss a “motorcycle jacket,” but outside of a few distinct details, there’s plenty of room (and examples both past and present) to show off the style’s potential to be rework, rethought and rebuilt. From its original beginnings as a biker’s necessity, to its position as modern-day signifier of “downtown cool,” we examine the history of the motorcycle jacket.

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