Fashion A to Z: M for Moto plus 15 ways to wear it

The motorcycle jacket, or moto for short, is a classic American item. The first motorcycle jacket was designed in 1913 by Schott NYC. Schott NYC released the first jacket in 1928 under the name Perfecto for Harley Davidson. This jacket featured zippers rather than buttons found on previous versions. Zippers gave the wearer more ease and functionality. Marlon Brando made the jacket famous in 1953 by wearing the Perfecto in the film The Wild One.

From there the jacket style was embraced by musicians, rockers and rebels of all kinds through the years.

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission from your purchases through these links. Thanks for your support.

While a women’s version of the leather motorcycle jacket came out in the 1954 Harley Davidson catalog, it was not until the 60s and 70s that it was embraced by females, and then only those who wanted to be rebellious. The leather moto joined mainstream female fashion on the 90s.

The lines and designs of the moto jacket have softened over time, and you can now find a moto jacket in not only leather, but faux leather, suede, faux suede and even cotton twill. You can get them in a variety of colors and spend as much as your heart desires for a moto jacket. $6,995? (Not in my budget!)

There is no end to the ways in which you can wear a moto jacket. Give instant edge and cool vibes to any outfit and wear it with any shoe style. Throw it on with jeans and boots, with a dress, with jeans and sneakers, with skirts or jumpsuits.

I was hesitant at first to add one to my closet. We had some pretty mild winters for several years with little opportunity to wear a moto jacket. I finally caved and asked for a black faux leather moto for Christmas a few years back (similar), and then added a light weight tan colored faux leather one to my closet a little later. I’m wearing both in a medium. The tan jacket is a petite medium. I already owned a leather jacket, but it’s not a moto style. I haven’t regretted the addition of either jacket. They really do add some edge to an outfit and once you get comfortable having it in your rotation, a moto jacket is easy to wear (weather cooperating.)

Here are 15 ways to wear a moto for your inspiration.

Related- 15 Ways to Wear A Denim Jacket for Spring

15 ways to wear a moto jacket

1 Striped top+olive jeans + chelsea boots

Jacket- Blank NYC; similar top- Banana Republic; option jeans- NYDJ; option boots- Clarke’s option

2- Black tee+grey jeans+scarf +sneakers

Sneakers- New Balance; similar jeans- NYDJ; scarf – Cents of Style; black tee

3 With a white tee+ Jeans- the classic Marlon Brando/ James Dean look

Tee- Old Navy; jeans- Caslon; option shoes- Steve Madden

4 With a colorful top and olive jeans

Top- JCP; option jeans- Old Navy; boots- Vince Camuto; necklace- Lucky Brand; jacket – JCP similar

5- With a sweater dress

Dress- Amazon; Booties- Cole Haan- option

6- With a floral skirt- Give a floral skirt or dress a little edge

moto jacket and skirt outfit

Striped tee shirt- Target; skirt- Old Navy; option option option booties- Cole Haan

7- With corduroy pants and a sweater

moto jacket with sweater

Sweater- Amazon; pants- JCP; boots- Vince Camuto; necklace- JCrew Factory option

8- With a striped shirt and jeans+booties

moto jacket with jeans and booties fall outfit

Tee- Target; jeans- Articles of Society

9- With a sweatshirt dress +leopard booties

dress and moto jacket outfit

Dress- Amazon; boots- Circus by Sam Edelman

10- with grey jeans+tee+ scarf

moto jacket with scarf outfit

Tee- Old Navy; jeans- NYDJ; scarf- Maurices; shoes- Franco Sarto

11- With a black tee +snakeskin jeans

moto jacket and snakeskin jeans

jeans- Wit and Wisdom; plus size option shoes- Nordstrom

12- with a black sweater + grey jeans + snakeskin booties

Booties- Blondo/Nordstrom- option; option

13- With striped tee and olive jeans

14- Over a monochromatic outfit- burgundy and mauve

15- with a burgundy tee +scarf+jeans- This beige jacket really makes the burgundy tee pop!

Do you have a moto jacket? What’s your favorite way to wear it?