My Moto Jacket Trend Fail

I like to think I know myself. Know my style. But apparently I really don’t know it as well as I thought I did.

I’ll explain.

Early last year, I was seduced by all those fabulous street style photos of ladies wearing moto jackets with prim pencil skirts, and flowing, pleated maxis. The biker chick meets modern chic trend was just too good, and I wanted in on it.

I thought, a black leather jacket is perfect for me!

I’m a leather-lover, and black leather, both faux and real, exist in abundance in my closet. I have skirts and dresses, boots galore, gloves, bags, and one fox collar-trimmed leather blazer. So I thought a black leather motorcycle jacket (when I procured the perfect one), would become a beloved, well-worn piece. Something I’d reach for over and over.

I started looking for the perfect moto jacket, which proved to be a feat: most have silver hardware. And I wanted gold. Of course. 

Eventually, the right jacket at the right price point materialized. I didn’t want to spend a lot, but I didn’t want faux leather either. I know from experience that faux leather jackets are insufferably hot, so it had to be leather, and under $200. Eventually I found a lovely specimen, and ‘Grammed it, because that’s what you do:


Since I found the jacket in summer last year, it sat in my closet for months, waiting patiently for cooler weather and the chance to come out and play. Finally, in September, there was a morning that was cool enough to wear it. I wore it to the car dealership for about 30 minutes, and then it spent the rest of the morning in my bag:


The jacket hadn’t failed me…yet…but the weather had. So back in the closet she went until fall properly arrived, and I threw the jacket on with skinnies and popped out for cocktails with my husband. And I (very curiously) centered my whole look around the jacket for a photo shoot last fall.

And that was the last time I ever wore Ms. Moto.

Apparently I’m not a trend victim. I just prefer a coat.

So what happened? How, at this age, could I have been so off-the-mark with Ms. Moto? The jacket is lovely and soft, the hardware substantial and perfectly golden. As a teen I wore a cut-off, black leather jacket that had safety pins running up one sleeve, dozens of them that I had painstakingly fastened on myself. There are studs and spikes aplenty in my jewelry box. I am no stranger to edgy or punk.

But months have passed, and I never reach for Ms. Moto, preferring instead one of my many knee-length coats, or one of my wooly vests. The only thing I can surmise is that I am a coat person. There is something about a coat that is very serious and polished. Formidable. Long coats—and even mid-length toppers—feel alternately like a shield and a cocoon. They are almost a literal security blanket, and truly, there is nothing more statement-making than quality coat, with strong, clean lines and a long silhouette.

But, when I don’t need that much length or warmth, I go for a black blazer or a vest every single time.

moto-jacket3Not happy.

So that look I thought I could pull off, prim pencil skirt with the unexpected moto jacket? In theory, it fit my style perfectly. In reality, the jacket didn’t match my current style and lifestyle. I dare say I’ve outgrown it. Who knew?

If you’re interested in adopting Ms. Moto, she’s on Poshmark now. She needs a home!

Have you ever felt so certain about a particular piece of clothing, but ended up being totally wrong about it?


  1. All the time! It’s so unfortunate… Yet I can strongly state that the leather moto jacket fits perfectly into my style. And hope that I never grow out of it.

    Kiley Schroeder

  2. I can’t believe you are writing this! I would have guessed you and a moto would make quite a pair! But that just goes to show you that no one’s fashion fits perfectly in a box.

    Personally I love my moto (alas, Singapore’s climate means it has hung in my closet since I left Atlanta last March!). But there are other pieces where I’ve had this same experience. I have a Ella Moss dress with a sort of abstract aqua, grey and white pattern (favorite colors of mine). The dress is light and has a racer back top and slightly mullet skirt. On the hanger I love it. Love it. I would even argue that it looks great on. However I rarely actually grab it from my closet – even though Sunday brunch is a regular event around here and it pairs perfectly with a pair of wedges. I am not sure what the issue is and I am still hanging onto it for a bit, with hopes that I will overcome whatever the obstacle and will embrace it for all of its loveliness….

  3. I am also really surprised because I think you look awesome withe the moto and definitely not grown out but I also think that it’s really great from you not to wear it only for a fashions sake.
    I do love my biker jacket I bought a few months ago and luckily here in Barcelona weather is almost perfect because even in wintertime, combined with a thick scarf, it’s absolutely wearable.

  4. I love the leather on that jacket. I too am looking for a great leather moto jacket especially the ones with the rippling on the shoulders and or forearms, those I love the most. I just have so much ideas for them!

  5. The moto jacket is gorgeous, but it’s a bit too trendy for me so I didn’t buy one (although believe me, I looked). And same as you, I reach for a sweater or blazer or a plain black leather jacket if it’s chilly.

    Good luck with the sale .. someone will snatch that beauty up in no time.


  6. The moto jacket look awesome with gold zipper. Still suitable for any age and those have superbike, Me and my hubby have it and wear when we out together with bike.

  7. The problem with motos on my frame is that there are little ones for little girls — as in aged eight or nine. There are larger ones, but they start at a size that is already too big for me. There’s nothing in between! So if I want a moto, I have to get plastic surgery to expand my shoulders outward. No thanks. 🙂

    1. You know, they really aren’t all that anyway! I see so many more coats…trenchcoats, pea coats, cocoon coats, etc., that I like so much better than a moto.

  8. It’s a great jacket and I would’ve said it was your style too. But I’m with you, a coat wins out every time. I don’t think I could pull off a moto jacket anyway. I love that you’ve dealt with this jacket, decided it’s not for you, and have already moved on by getting the jacket out of your closet. Wow! A lesser mortal would have it hanging there making her feel guilty every time she glanced at it. You’re so honest with yourself. And fast! XO, Jill

    1. Hi Jill, yeah, I’m a total coat person! And I am fast, you are right. The jacket has since been sold, and the funds are going toward my future Neverfull GM!

  9. I would have totally thought you could pull that jacket off with amazing finesse. It’s always amazing to me how we can know our style and still there are just some things that don’t work even if it fits the ‘fashion personality’ we have in our heads. – Katy

  10. I’m so surprised the moto didn’t work out for you! I bought a very simple black leather version from the Gap and I live in it when the weather is right. Although I love the gold touches, I wonder if the bling plus trendy shape of the moto jacket is making it harder to wear than a simpler one would be?

  11. Is this the post that you was inspired by my personality one? It’s interesting how sometimes in our minds we think we need a certain piece that would fit in with our style perfectly. But then when you get it, you find it just doesn’t quite work out how you imagined.

    I tend to find that a lot when I’m trying things on in the stores. I’ll see it and then immediately start to think about all the outfits I could create with said piece. But as soon as I get it into the fitting room and try it on I realise it just didn’t look at all how I imagined. Sad times!

  12. Oh dear V how I hear you! I’ve regularly done this and though I have improved I still trip up. My closet is full of stuff bought for other people’s lifestyles/climates/hemispheres rather than my own! It’s that element of fantasy in fashion that mischievously leaves a little banana split on our path when we’re out shopping or something. Remember I once mentioned I’d been lusting after a gold studded leather biker jacket by Zara (you know the one, I know you do!). Well I caved in and bought it and guess what – it’s still hanging there with the label on it, for much the same reason as you’ve described here. There are about three days in England when the weather is right for it, otherwise I’m in a coat or a warm jacket.

    1. OMG, I almost bought that same jacket! IT would have met the same demise, probably faster with all those studs. But it just looked so good, didn’t it?

      PS: My moto has already found a new home. Maybe yours needs one too!

  13. In theory I love the moto jackets and shorter coats. However, they just don’t FEEL right! They look so good on everyone else. I love the style. But it just doesn’t work and it gets me so mad every time. Instead I will continue to love them from afar.
    I seem to suffer with this often. Thinking something will look great because it just suits my personality….then I try it on and it’s a DUD. It’s aggravating. LOL

  14. I’m so surprised, but it’s great that you didn’t try to hold onto it. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m listing things on Poshmark after I helped a friend out by listing some of her things for her. I have things just hanging that someone may want, and it feels so good to have room in the closet. Can’t wait to see you with the Neverfull! I know you won’t have any regrets about that!

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