Early last year French Vogue featured Kate Moss in an editorial titled Sur La Route (On The Road), seemingly inspired by the 1968 film Girl On A Motorcycle, starring Kate’s icon, Marianne Faithfull.
Although Kate’s editorial certainly inspired a new era of biker chic, the trend has been around for years. In 1967 Brigitte Bardot released a song called “Harley Davidson” and posed in over-the-knee leather boots and leather shorts. Further along the road in 1980, Joan Jett burst onto the scene singing “Bad Reputation” in her trademark leather jacket.
Fast forward eleven years to 1991: German fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh photographs eight supermodels, including Helena Christensen and Linda Evangelista, in biker boots and leather caps for Vogue magazine. If biker chic wasn’t already a trend, by 1991 it certainly was.
Kate’s editorial featured all elements of biker chic, from fringe detail to studded embellishments to leather motorcycle jackets. As with all the best trends, there is something for everyone – from small pieces like leather biker gloves to large pieces like studded jackets and buckled boots.
While our inspiration for Top Buys: Biker Chic comes from Kate’s editorial, we know that if you like the look, you’ll love Girl On A Motorcycle. Meanwhile, enjoy our ten favorite biker chic pieces.
1. Vintage Studded Cut Offs ($98) by Free People // Besides leather, roughed-up and torn denim is the ultimate biker chic look and a pair of vintage Levis are the perfect piece to start with if you want to try biker chic style. These shorts by Free People are totally one-of-a-kind and are studded by hand, giving each pair an authentic touch. A few carefully-placed stains and some distressed rips here and there and you’ll find yourself looking like you’ve been a biker girl for years.
2. Ballet Biker Gloves ($38) by Free People // A pair of studded gloves are the ultimate biker accessory. They also happen to be the perfect piece for the girl who wants to try biker chic without coming on to strong. This pair, made of faux suede, will keep add a tough edge to your look without going overboard.
3. Rizzo Biker Jacket ($78) by BB Dakota // This cozy bomber jacket is perfect for bringing out the biker spirit in you. Although it screams biker chic, and would be perfectly paired with a pair of distressed denim jeans, this jacket is versatile enough to be worn with any outfit you choose. The faux leather fabric adds an edge to the jacket while the knit inserts add a more feminine, cozy touch.
4. Moto Rhinestone & Chain Bracelet ($29) from Bebe // If you’re looking for jewelry to complete your biker chic look, you’ll need something with chains, studs, leather or all of the above. That doesn’t mean you can’t add a flirty touch, though, which is why this bracelet is perfect, combining metal chains with rhinestones. The overall effect leaves you with a don’t-mess-with-me look that is sexy and will leave everyone wanting more.
5. Mini Stud Dress ($64) by Rare // The studded detail on this dress perfectly sums up the biker chic aesthetic, while the shoulder pads and body-con shape add a very modern, on trend touch. We think it looks the best when layered under a bomber jacket and paired with chunky leather boots. Messy, bed hair is the finishing touch.
6. Studded Hobo ($120) by SR SQUARED By Sondra Roberts // When it comes to finding the perfect bag, biker style always calls for an oversized bag that can be slung over the back of your Harley. Fringe or stud detail is the perfect embellishments for your bag and it should always come in black leather. It should come as no surprise then that we think this studded hobo bag is the ideal pick!
7. Sinful Kerchief T-Shirt ($48) from Buckle.com // Another great layering piece, this printed tee will add a rebellious edge to your outfit. It is simple enough to be worn with a variety of different pieces, like with the shorts in #1 or with the jeans in #10, yet it is enough of a stand-out that it can complement another focal piece, like the skirt in #8 or the jacket in #3. For a DIY touch, cut off the hemline and wear it with a ragged edge.
8. Premium Biker Skirt ($70) from Topshop // The heart of biker chic is centered on pairing rough and tough elements with items that are still flirtatious and feminine. This leather paneled skirt perfectly defines the biker chic aesthetic, combining an on trend, sexy bandage fit with a hardened, leather fabric to get the ultimate design.
9. Los Angeles Motorcycle Club Tank Dress ($124) by Castlerock // This tank dress is another versatile piece that can be worn in a variety of different ways. As a dress, it could be styled with a pair of chunky biker boots, yet as a top, it could be worn with a distressed denim skirt or a pair of leather shorts. The options are endless! We like it knotted at the side and worn with the jeans in #10.
10. Junkie-Tooth & Nail Slashed Stretch Twill Jeans ($90) by Kill City // Recently we were lucky enough to sneak preview some of the pieces from Kill City’s Spring 2010 collection and in the process, we laid eyes on this pair of distressed jeans from their Fall 2009 line. Right now, Kill City are all about the biker chic look and though the Spring 2010 stuff isn’t on the market just yet, these jeans are the ideal piece to see you through.