What To Wear + Pack When Going On A Motorcycle Road Trip (or venturing into the city)
boundless world of possibility fashioned upon a seemingly endless sea of concrete unencumbered by social responsibility (or technology) that intoxicating beckons you forth with the promise of an adventure filled with personal (and cultural) discovery, the (much revered) motorcycle road trip is one that remains as endearing, fascinating, and gratifying to both the senses and soul alike today as when its eponymous mode of transportation was first introduced to the world at large at the turn of the early 20th century.
In its simplest form, it is a welcomed escape (vacation) for those who characteristically hold dear an insatiable spirit for venturing into the unknown at the sole behest of nothing but their own will and wistful wanderlust.
Now tack on the reality of not but a care in the world to bother or deter you at any juncture — just an open road that answers to your every whim and desire — and a look that can carry you through it all.
In that regard, the motorcycle road trip allows us to escape (in style) from the mundane trivialities of everyday life and to venture out of both our comfort zones and the icy shallowness of the urban metropolis with no responsibilities, no distractions, and (most importantly) no itinerary or schedule to pander too; to embark on a potentially enlightening (or simply gratifying) journey that will inject a much needed genuine dose of “bygone adventure” into our lives.
If such is the reality, do not fret as the hardy yet handsome capsule wardrobe that you will discover below can surely be put to expert (transitional) use by any who are handcuffed to a life exclusively fashioned within the urban jungle just as well as it can for those with the luxury of taking them out in their natural environment (ie. motorcycle enthusiasts).
Individually broken down, each piece stands purposefully astute as an ideally stylized and functional compliment for the considered gentleman intent on hitting the open road in sheer practical styling whilst collectively touching upon everything you will need to be suited and rebooted for the trials (or perhaps trails) ahead.
Having said that, this 17-piece moto-inspired capsule wardrobe is filled with a sprawling range of updated menswear essentials the have been extensively perfected or repurposed to pander to the precise needs and desires of both the adventuring road warrior and urban dwelling sets alike.
Filled with versatile (and adaptable) wears that will not only carry you through any sort of road trip but also the transitional season ahead, it is not solely for the moto enthusiast but is rather something that will look ruggedly proper and flattering on all types of men and no matter where it is deployed — from quaint coastal villages and desolate desert highways through vibrant metropolitan city and bustling jungle locales.
So, here' to embarking upon a truly one-of-a-kind trip (or just a casual weekend date night) in both reassuring comfort and timeless heritage style.
And with that in mind let us dive right into the elements of the look itself shall we?
And first up on the sartorial docket is…
Featuring an athletic, slim-fitting 100% cotton 8oz. structure that is topped off with what is a character defining contrast ribbing of the collar, sleeves and hem, it exudes an old-school, retro James Dean vibe that one could say was expressly fashioned with the needs of the nostalgic motorcycle enthusiast in mind (FYI: It was not).
Venturing further down south (below the belt) we must now consider what type of trouser will work best? My advice would be to properly work into the look what has increasingly become known as the must-have contemporary moto styling staple: a pair of specialized black biker jeans (such as the Belstaff ‘Blackrod').
Crafted from high-quality, slim-fitting denim that is infused with a much needed touch of added stretch and defined by its articulated knees (in which offer heightened protection should you stumble off your bike), they provide that understated “devil may care” rakish elegance that works to carry this look to the next level erstwhile effortlessly bridging the gap between traditional and modern worlds with ease.
Sure, you could easily opt for (once again) sporting your favourite go-to black jeans if your prefer (or even fitted twill chino/utility cargo pants as well)…but where is the spirit or fun in that. Contrarily, on just such an occasion only the finest authentic wears will do and that is why the sleek and impactful essence of this pair of moto-isnpired black jeans is a must, seeing as they are ideal for both on and off road adventures and city nightlife itself.
Inspired by classic military style, this luxuriously hand waxed calf leather pair — Belstaff’s iconic water repellent Trailmaster boot (introduced in the ‘50s) — comes with a standard issue all-terrain ready (chunkier then usual) rubber sole (with underlaid toe cap and lug-style grip) that is stitched as one with both the upper and lining before being finished off with an ever so welcome (near) slip-on structure that is afforded its easy wearing nature courtesy of a back ankle zip and adjustable side buckles. A mouthful to be sure, but also a sound investment worthy footwear staple (if truth be told) that not only holds their own when styled alongside your Roadmaster jacket but that will go with just about everything in your wardrobe (from spring through fall) as well.
Moving on, what we arrive upon next is a classic adventurers bag in which you can pack all your daily essentials in with room to spare. Durable and handsomely hand-crafted, a properly kitted canvas adventurer bag — lined with all the bare essentials and rations that one will need — will not only help sustain your survival needs for the duration of the entire journey (dopp kit, lip balm, travel journal, wallet, etc.) but will also carry all those "not-so essential" essentials like a camera or even small keepsake trinkets collected along the excursion (it is also spacious enough for packing a laptop, solar chargers or even picnic ready perishables within).
That said, and with the long-haul (weekend road trip or longer) in mind, there is nothing that stands as a venerable symbol of the well traveled gent with a great sense of style as much as a post-apocalyptic, survival ready tightly woven canvas bag that is properly accentuated by the finest leather fastenings and metal closures that actively coalesce into what is a handsomely robust and captivating appearance purposefully designed to withstand the needs of even the most daring (and demanding) or adventurers at heart.
Belstaff’s (now sold out) Colonial collection bespeaks of just such a bag as each is made from a thick, hardy canvas (with reinforced bottom) and fashioned with travel-friendly features such as a removable (and adjustable) shoulder strap and an almost overwhelming amount of inner and outer pockets laying at the ready to carry whatever it is you desire or see fit in lugging around.
With that in mind, one of the smartest things you can introduce to the look is a cotton paisley bandanna that you can put to proper use as a sort of protective neckerchief that works to deter and deflect (from your otherwise exposed neck) any oncoming nuisances that may accost you: from flying insects through dry sandy gusts that will sap the moisture (and health) from your skin.
Beyond that, consider adding to the equation a pair of traditional military aviators (that will protect your eyes from both harmful UV rays and the variable elements alike) alongside an understated, all-black stainless steel-cased, leather banded analog watch (water and scratch resistant) to round out the look.
Motorcycle half helmet | Deerskin Leather Driving Gloves | Scotch & Soda Wool Checked Scarf | Leica D-Lux Camera | Burberry Checked Dopp Kit | Buckler's Chapped Lip Remedy | Scotch & Soda Cable Crewneck Pullover | Leather Travel Journal
Alas, the capsule has now come full circle and all that is left would be in properly sporting the entire look with the same sort of decisive nonchalance and characteristic rakish charm that the icons of the style — those such as Messrs McQueen and Beckham — have worn them before you.
Understated in its stylish essentialism and refined in its (unexpected?) rugged elegance, this look is truly a stylized pleasure for the eyes and a timelessly cultured feast for the sartorial soul.
It is an experience where nights seamlessly blend into days, an ages-old (yet continually refreshing) concept whose accompanying wardrobe is tastefully defined by its functional comfort, rich fabrications, luxurious essentialism, and structural simplicity.
Personally, I'd argue to the (well-merited) point of it being an enriching (and cultured) experience like none other that affords you the time to truly unwind -- and to take account of your life and reassess as need be -- in what is a completely solitary (if you desire) and unique manner. Contrarily, maybe you just desire a change or have been dead set for far too long on expanding your travel horizons beyond the prototypical plane, train, and automobile trident of modern travel? Or, and bear with me, perhaps you simply have fallen in love with its timeless stylings or (to a further extent) have always harboured a deeply-seeded desire to follow in the venerable footsteps of some of history's most memorable icons of (moto-inspired) style — Messrs such as Steve McQueen, David Beckham, T.E. Lawrence, or even Che Guevara —in undertaking a life defining, one-of-a-kind excursion to some far off hinterland with an itinerary that is simply of your own making (unadulterated by the will of others); trips such as traipsing through the Amazon jungle, trekking across continents, or even cutting a path through the desolate terrain of an ancient landscape like the Saharan desert immediately come to mind.
Whatever peculiar wanderlust or travel siren calls out your name, answering to its call upon a two-wheeler whilst bringing some authentic sartorial credence and timeless European heritage moto flare (and its carefree attitude) to your wardrobe (whether you head out on adventure or not), is truly something a gent will never regret.
As a creative whole, the pieces curated for the ensemble (and collection) above reflect upon what has come to be regarded as a subdued masterclass in simple, layered transitional styling. In that vein, it is a merited form of casual dress that will never falter in a sartorial or functional manner and a look that you can bank on year-in-year-out with reassuring comfort and without any further question.
Simple yet refined, hardy yet polished, the heritage sporting resplendence of the moto look is one that flatters the physique of most every man and is a style that many take great pleasure in wearing for good reason.
And with that in mind, and for good measure, I felt compelled to share a catchy tune in which you can ride off into the sunset to…
There is a endearing pull and masculine charm to hitting the open road (asphalt, dirt, grass…) for a motorcycle-inspired getaway that has captivity held the collective imaginations of adventurous gentleman at the ready for a near century; an enduring appeal that, when broken down, ultimately speaks to our baser masculine desires and (bygone?) rugged primality.
As such, it is an excursion that, at its core, allows a gent to shrink from the world at his own accord to revel in solitude whilst thoroughly enjoying a truly one-of-a-kind sensory vacation of personal enlightenment and self-discovery. In that regard, it must be noted that it is indeed
From its iconically synonymous waxed utility jackets through its rugged leather boots, the moto look that is tied to the open road is one that has undeniably left an impressionable mark on what many perceive as being the timeless merits of investment worthy permanent styling. Not to be mistaken for a simple trend or passing fashion, its parameters consist of a venerable oasis of traditional wares that bespeak of a man who knows what he wants, understands the fundamentals of lasting quality, and lives a life driven by calculated intent — pieces that serve an explicit purpose and that the more beat up they get, the better they look.
Or in other words: timeless heirloom quality wardrobing essentials.
So, what this alludes to is that whether you intend on taking a traditional soul finding, solitary journey best experienced without a schedule (a la Che Guevara), a life-defining sojourn through an ancient locale (Lawrence of Arabia style), a weekend getaway to the unexplored countryside of the city you call home, or just have the intent on hitting the local metropolitan watering spot this evening, then this look will see you through it all without a misstep or blip. And that, gents, is the magic behind it.
It is universal in both its appeal and transitional functionality.
On that note, and if you fancy yourself of the ilk who simply wants to channel the look without venturing out into the unknown on your own, then rest assured in knowing that it will look just as smashing (and come in just as handy on rainy days) whether worn on a casual date night or whilst running weekend errands as it does situated atop a classic Triumph Bonneville.
With all things said and done, and from the urban explorer through the motorcycle enthusiast and modern road warrior, the heritage moto look is commanding, powerful, and poignantly characterized by its ruggedly refined masculinity, wide universal appeal, and versatile escapist spirit: a look that proves that functional simplicity can indeed be masculine and charmingly stylish if carried out with considered panache (and styled with the right pieces in the proper manner).
Travel well gents!
~ OUTLAWS (Belstaff 2015) ~
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