WIW: styling the moto with jeans from the men's department

Thanks to the enablement of YLF I'm now the proud owner of a black leather moto jacket. I've resisted this style in the past because every time I've tried one on without fail they've made me look like I should be riding a motorcycle. 

I was hoping to avoid it with this one, but so far the end result has been the same. I really do look like I've just stepped off a Harley. Still, it's a classic look so I've decided to embrace it. I've layered it over an ultralight down jacket from Uniqlo for a bit of extra insulation in the cold, adding some bulk to emphasise the effect.

The jeans are from the small menswear collection that Isabel Marant did for H&M a couple of years ago. I figure if I'm going to wear so-called boyfriend jeans they should be actual menswear, and these fit as well as any jeans I've owned, fuelling a suspicion that when Ms M was designing for the boys she had half an eye on the girls as well. 

And another look with men's denim, this time oversized Levis with a belt by Ann Demeulemeester and a pair of vintage Docs, softened up with my Ma's cropped mohair sweater. I wore this last evening for drinks with a friend. Amsterdam's a very casual city, and this is a very casual bar, so I tend to dress down when I go there. Even so, I can't resist making a bit of a statement. 

By way of a footnote (pun intended) I'm limping around on a broken toe, so everything I wear right now begins and ends with whichever big boots I decide to put on. So, lots of menswear but no great hardship. 

What do you think? Too mannish? As ever, your thoughts and feedback are appreciated. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • replied 6 years ago

    The jacket looks great! The jeans are fab too with that amazing pattern on them. I have more of a preference for your look in #2 where we get to see your fab hair and it suits my sensibilities more as I'm not one for more masculine styling, so the cap just tips it over the edge for me. Love the mohair cropped sweater in the second outfit and I rather like the baggy look of the Levis. Love the fact that we get to see the belt and seeing the sliver of under-top adds structure nicely.

  • Tania replied 6 years ago

    I think outfit 2 works very well...not mannish at all, to my eye.  Then again, I'm wearing something vaguely similar (boyfriend jeans, docs, and a blue cashmere sweater), with probably less flair than you (and I mean that in a good way)! 

    I love the jeans in the first.  I'm struggling a bit with the moto, especially zipped, but I still don't have enough experience to offer suggestions on different styling.  I also might be influenced by my recent moto buy/try phase where I'm struggling with how to authentically wear them myself.  I don't think you look mannish at all, as the jeans seem to fit well. 

  • Laurel replied 6 years ago

    I want to look JUST LIKE YOU LOOK IN #2~~~  Smashing!  Which Levi's style are the jeans?  Perfection.

  • Sara L. replied 6 years ago

    I love your jeans and moto jacket look!  I don't think you look like you just stepped off a Harley - you look way too stylish.  My husband's siblings and their significant others all ride Harleys and they tend to dress very plainly.

  • AM replied 6 years ago

    I love both outfits. But #1 is my fav. It looks sleek and hip (not like you just jumped of the real moto). Your legs look they go on forever! Lucky you. The jacket zipped/buttoned is so chic! Love, love it.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Wow, #2 is brilliant on you! I love the jeans with that pattern. The colours work so well with your hair. I also like the jacket on you and don't think it is too mannish. But I do have an androgynous streak, so take that for what it is worth. I confess I still don't have a moto jacket for exactly the reasons you describe. I do have a white leather jacket that has elements of moto styling, but the white makes it more feminine feeling. I haven't been able to figure out how to wear the classic one and still feel like myself. But I do love the style. 

    Love your second outfit, too -- so cozy. The belt adds just the right fizz. 

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    DianeG, Tania, thanks for the constructive feedback. I'm still on the fence on the best way to approach this jacket, but I'm determined to keep it because it's Just Too Nice. I'm going to have to make it work. 

    I think it might be a mistake to style it with all black. I have the feeling I'd like a strong contrast or a pop of colour. Also thinking it's going to come into its own in spring when I can pair it with more lightweight colourful pieces.

    DianeG, sorry to read about the problems you're having right now. Hope you're feeling better soon!

    Laurel, that's very sweet of you :) The jeans were a thrifted gamble which paid off. I think they're some species of selvedge 501. They're three sizes larger than my regular 31, and I stitched a couple of darts in the back to make them fit. I like them a lot.

    Sara L, AM, Suz, thanks for saying so! I'm glad you think it's working, it encourages me to persevere. Suz, nice to know I'm not the only one who feels that way! I also have a high tolerance for the mannish look, but I don't want to look like I'm in drag. 

    And to anyone else who cares to comment, I'd love some more suggestions on styling this baby!

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    Poor thing with the broken toe. 6 weeks, and you'll be fine again. (I have broken quite a few in my day). 

    I love the new moto. It's a classic and looks killer. I love the way you styled it too. Nice quilted down underneath. And your shorter 'do is fabulous. It's a stunning bright and lively red pop when you wear black - which can look dull and lifeless to my eye. Very effective and well executed. 

    (Thanks for the very kind words on Anna's thread about YLF - after a pint at the pub and all).

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    I love it!  I would never know that you had a broken toe.  The jeans fit you great and your sweater is gorgeous.  Love it all.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Thanks Angie, Stylefan.

    Angie, I know what you mean about too much black. It's good to liven it up with variety in texture and contrast, but that only goes so far. I notice I'm getting bogged down lately with gloomy colours, so perhaps I need to introduce some brights. And thanks for noticing the new 'do. 

    The toe is not too bad, but I'm looking forward to trying this jacket with a skirt when I'm able to wear heels again. ;)

  • trekkiegirl replied 6 years ago

    I really like the first look,I definitely do not like the second. Just my opinion of course. What I like about the first is that it highlights your slenderness and long frame, and the second one seems to be completely obscuring that. But then I'm one who prefers to accent my physical features and dislikes clothing styled in a way contrary to that... And I'm repeating myself a lot lol
    I think my style is so different from yours that my input might not be of any use to you. But, for what it's worth,I do really like the first outfit, and it doesn't come across as "biker" at all.

  • jackiec replied 6 years ago

    Love it. You have such a great eye. I really appreciate your WIWs. Wow.

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    I love the second look as is. I like the first one too, including the hat, but want more skin at the neckline if that makes sense. Too bad about the toe, but it is not cramping your style one bit.

  • Runcarla replied 6 years ago

    Would I ever love to play in your closet! Love the shape of the sweater and the deep colour with your hair.

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    I like both outfits! Love your new jacket and how you're wearing it. And the cropped sweater in 2 is awesome on you--it's such a great shape. The way you've paired it with the jeans and statement belt is genius. The first outfit does look pretty masculine, but you wear it so well. You look at ease in this style, not like you're wearing a costume. Hope that makes sense.
    Sorry to hear about your toe! I wish you a speedy recovery! You could wear your stompy boots with a skirt, couldn't you?

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Thanks for your candid feedback, ladies!

    tr3kkie9rl: thanks. Opinions are what I'm here for and it's refreshing that you're able to express yours so frankly. I've said here before that this loose-fitting denim look is fashion Marmite - you either love it or you hate it. But as Mr Edge pointed out to me, it's better to be Marmite than blancmange :P

    shevia: interesting point about the open neckline. I'll have to consider that. 

    Firecracker: it's funny you should say that. I was thinking that while I do feel very comfortable in both of these looks, they're perhaps not my nicest looking. How weird is that?

    And jackiec, Runcarla: thanks for the boost! I still feel a bit weird to be posting this stuff on the Internet (see the thread about WIW etiquette), but the feedback is so useful and it's nice to know people enjoy looking!

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