Fashion & Shopping

Hello, Moto

May 10, 2023

Get ready to rev your wardrobe up this season: the moto jacket is shaping up to be one of the hottest outerwear trends of spring. “This is one of my favourite trends happening right now,” says Randa Salloum, owner of Vancouver-based second-hand boutique Collective Will. “I’m seeing an uptick in shoppers looking for moto jackets.”

She says the resurgence of the topper can be broken down into two categories: street style and fashion forward. The latter, she explains, is “all about the worn-in leather,” while the former is “leather or fabric that showcases original patches or brand markings.” Either way, building on the classic motorcycle style with its cropped length, slanted zippers and snap collar, this season’s top designs take even more inspiration from motocross. “It’s not the motorcycle jacket, but the motor-sport jackets,” Salloum explains. “[They’re] vintage, black or brown, and oversized.”

Valérie Blackburn, fashion communications co-ordinator at Montreal-headquartered retailer Simons, agrees: the moto mania that seems to be taking over the fashion world has much to do with the overall increase in popularity of racing sports. “The increase in popularity of racing in popular culture has definitely been a key driver of this design aesthetic and trend resurgence,” she says. “On top of that, we’re noticing a mixture of futuristic details with Y2K nostalgia shapes rise in popularity.”

While vintage styles are decidedly borrowed from the boys, featuring oversized fits such as those favoured in the early days of this moto moment by the likes of Hailey Bieber and Rihanna, new styles aim to modernize the style with streamlined details.

“The moto jacket first arrived as a masculine classic cut with significant snap and buckle details. And, over the years, we’ve seen so many iterations of it evolve, with more feminine design approaches [when it comes to everything from] cut and collar style to playful and daring colour choices to adjusted fits and more,” Seda Rafilovich, the designer behind new Canadian luxury outerwear brand Séda, says. “More recently, oversized and exaggerated shoulders have seen a return to the forefront, while also offering shearling moto styles to diversify [for various] climates.”

In fact, the brand launched with its own take on the moto style—the Séda Mercury jacket ($850)—which features a “feminine cut” and oversized collar made from an Italian vegan-leather metallic material. “Very few outerwear pieces have the same versatility as the moto-style jacket, which I think is its most important element,” Rafilovich says. “It compliments every shape and figure, and can be styled to accentuate everybody’s fashion preferences. You can style it with delicate florals, cosy knits and everything in-between to create a look that is uniquely yours. It’s truly a piece that, when designed and made well, can elevate any look.”

Blackburn recommends pairing a moto jacket with a maxi denim skirt or bootcut jeans for a perfectly updated take on the Y2K trend this spring. “You could also add a large metallic buckle bet to complete the moto look.”

Not sold on wearing this trend during the warmer months of spring and summer? Adding a moto jacket to your wardrobe now would still be justified, as insiders say the emphasis on the cool, clean-lined styles will continue throughout the year. According to Blackburn, “The moto and racing trend has been popular for the last couple of months and only continues to rise. We anticipate this will continue into fall with the trend staying consistently popular.”

In other words, it’s the perfect outerwear piece to invest in as the time-tested style is sure to become a much-worn topper for years to come. “Good things never go out of style, and the moto jacket is no exception,” Rafilovich confirms. “Moto jackets are one of the classic silhouettes of outerwear, and they have always been associated with youthfulness, authenticity and independence.” —Aleesha Harris


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