Natalie Hubbard, Stylist
A WARDROBE ESSENTIAL: THE PERFECT TRANSITIONAL PIECE
by Natalie Hubbard, Stylist
Think of an item of clothing that epitomises “cool” and I bet the first piece that springs to mind is a leather biker jacket. Like washed blue denim or the perfect white tee it forms part of the uniform of effortless cool, and though it dates right the way back to the twenties, it feels just as modern today as ever.
Part of its appeal lies in the poster boys (and girls) of cool who have worn it over the decades and imbued it along the way with their own special brand of rock n roll.
Icons Marlon Brando, James Dean and Steve McQueen in the fifties and sixties gave it that stamp of bad boy rebellion and although there were female mods and tough girls who wore it at this time it wasn’t really until the seventies and eighties that it became the wardrobe statement piece of the ultimate cool girl.
The likes of Debbie Harry and Joan Jett in the seventies and eighties, followed by the supermodels of the nineties through to street style shots of the coolest models and fashion editors today have ensured that when one thinks of effortless style icons, a biker jacket is never far away from our thoughts.
Whether worn with that classic relaxed combo of high waisted denim and white tee a la 90s Kate Moss or paired with smarter tailoring or dresses for a less obvious look as favoured by many a streetstyle star, there is an unspoken insouciance that a biker jacket gives an outfit, unparalleled by any other garment.
In creating their own twist on the biker jacket Sands and Hall have combined the effortless cool associated with such an iconic item with their particular brand of British heritage and luxury. The Harris tweeds give each jacket a tactile quality that means as well as doing the job of a cool biker, it also works as a smart woollen jacket.
In our AW17 shoot we shot both the Braxton Ash and the Pink Harper. The contrast of the two completely different looks I styled these with illustrate how very versatile the pieces are. For the charcoal tones of the Braxton Ash I went for a black silk slip dress with a grey tee underneath and a block heel ankle boot. Although this look has an element of nineties inspiration, it is kept modern and polished through using luxe fabrics and pairing with slicked back hair and red lips.
With the pink and berry tones of the Pink Harper it was perfect for styling with a more minimal tailored look and nude natural make up. The navy of the trousers and nude pastel pink of the turtle neck top are both shades that work incredibly well with this tweed.
In terms of styling, both of these outfits would work just as well in reverse. It is simply a case of adapting the colour tones of your outfit to the individual tweed you have opted for. While nudes, pinks, berries, tans, browns and navies all work well for the Pink Harper, a more monochrome palette is best with Braxton Ash and for the Navy Grace this season’s palette of earthier nude tones like cream, tan, navy and denim tones, and greys.
Essentially the biker jacket is such a versatile piece as a wardrobe staple that it’s proportions work with almost anything. From chunky knits to shirts, slip dresses to wide leg tailored trousers. It even works underneath a longer more tailored coat for extra fashion layering points. Best of all for an everyday option it works effortlessly with the age old uniform of denim, a boxy tee and converse or ankle boot. All of which makes the Sands & Hall tweed biker jacket perfect for a look that says I’m effortlessly cool but grown up enough to give this wardrobe staple a twist of my own.