Women’s Biker Fashions – the selection leaves a lot to be desired!

It’s me! The princess of biker blogging.

Below is a picture of one of the only nice fitted button-down shirts I can find from Harley Davidson.  I searched high and low for a shirt like this, and it only took me two years to find something acceptable.  Unfortunately I had to get a large size so it would come close to fitting my chest, so now the waist is not exactly as tailored as I would like it to be.  Thank god it is not pink!  My biggest problem with this shirt is the “boob pockets.”  What woman in her right mind (unless she is flat as a board and needs all the help she can get) wants to wear a shirt with a pocket right in the middle of her boob, with a flap and button no less!!!  What exactly are we supposed to put in those pockets anyway?

Almost perfect, but not quite

A man can go into a Harley Davidson dealership and find clothes for nearly every occasion-from work clothes to a dress shirt and tie.  Women on the other hand don’t have it so easy.  There are two types of clothing available to us–biker whore and functional but fashionless riding gear.  D

Motorcycling is a very important part of my life and my personality.  I would like to be able to express my enthusiasm for the sport even when I am not riding.  My day job as a high school math teacher requires me to dress professionally.  Skulls, daggers, tribal designs, and studded leather are just not appropriate.  I have even seen some totally outlandish designs that might look perfectly at home on a circus performer!  How about a nice cashmere sweater with a small logo?  I am sure that Harley Davidson makes some conservative professional clothing for women, but it is very difficult to find.

Styl’n red shirt?

Alright so motorcycling is a recreational activity, and maybe HD should just stick to providing gear for those who are actually participating in the sport.  Let’s explore my choices for riding gear…tank tops, leather halters, capri pants??–you have got to be kidding me!!  And don’t even get me started on the shoes!  Am I not permitted to ride safely because I am a woman?  Or am I supposed to just sit on the bitch seat wearing a bikini and stiletto heels and endanger myself to a major case of road rash if we should take a spill?

Biker whore chick

Prison break biker chick

Back in the day, women did not generally ride motorcycles.  If they had anything to do with bikes, they were either a hard-core biker chick with more tattoos than teeth or an anorexic model who was nothing more than eye candy in motorcycle ads.  Today women from all walks of life are riding motorcycles.  We have an entirely new role, and motorcycle fashions just haven’t caught up yet.  Functional gear such as helmets and rain suits specifically designed for women are few and far between.  Harley Davidson did once put out a really awesome purple-trimmed reflective ladies’ rainsuit, but it has since been discontinued.  Most are unisex designs with a “womens” tag slapped on them.  They have no style whatsoever and do not fit a woman’s curves properly. 

leather over the shoulder boulder holder

Speaking of curves, how difficult can it be to figure out that women have breasts?  Many tops & jackets simply do not have room for more than a B-cup.  I end up spilling half out of my tops like a street walker or buying a size big enough to fit mondo biker chick!  Women are not all size 3 or size 3X. There never seems to be much selection in-between. I just want my clothes to fit and flatter.

Big mondo biker chick

The most frustrating part of it all is availability.  Each dealership has its own selection of items from the seasonal line.  You just have to travel to every HD store in the world to be able to see everything that is available.  A few stores offer a selection of items for online purchase, but you still have to do quite a bit of e-shopping to find them.  Even the official website www.harleydavidson.com does not display everything that is available, and many of the items shown are listed for in-store purchase only.  When you buy a bike from HD, they give you an inch-thick catalog of every accessory and part known to mankind.  Is there such a catalog for MotorClothes, and where can I get one? D

10 Responses to “Women’s Biker Fashions – the selection leaves a lot to be desired!”

  1. Excellent article Diana!

    You should send copies of this to the power gals at the Motor Company, like Christine Adamavich and Karen Davidson. Women’s needs are being recognized more and more by H-D, but like anything else, it takes time. The Winter 2008 issue of the H-D Enthusiast had an article on Women’s Helmets, featuring a deeper crown and even a pony-tail notch in back.

    I just got the Spring ’08 Motorclothes catalog and at first glance it seemed to have a pretty nice selection of stuff for the ladies. Looking closer though, I’d have to agree that 90% of it would only be worn while riding; conservative it is not. In terms of sizing, I of course have no clue. Not only am I aware of women’s breasts, I applaud them. I’m with you that it isn’t fair that clothes are designed for the B-cup girls. My wife has the same problem. By the time you find something the ‘girls’ are cozy in, the waist is too big.

    If you don’t sew, I’d suggest the old-fashioned tailor. These days, they are hard to find. Most dry cleaners don’t have on-site tailoring any more. But, if you look hard in the Yellow Pages, you may find a good one. I found an old portuguese guy here who’s shop is still back in the 1970’s, wood paneling and all. But, when I need patches sewn on leather or my clothes altered, he does it great, and for short money. If you had someone like that to go to, you could buy shirts to fit your bustline and then just have the waist taken in a bit. Just a suggestion to get you by until they wake up and start making motorclothes for real women!

    Oh, and about those pockets…they aren’t there for you to put stuff in. They’re there for US to rummage around in looking to see if there’s anything in there!

  2. Ditto Girl! I get pretty frustrated sometimes, when I try to buy H-D Motorclothes to fit as well! I get the feeling I’m not tall enough, not skinny enough, and as for the Boobs, well the more they fall out, the better I guess! I would like a simple denim long sleeve with a small logo. I know they’re out there, I just haven’t found one. I got a couple of real nice turtle necks last fall that were modest enough to wear in a somewhat professional manner. I work in a dental office and I have to wear respectable clothing every day, like you do at school. Maybe we should start a movement to get more choices for real every day clothes, for women! I thought your article was right on, and I’ll let you know if I come across any good information on this subject. Lady R

  3. Great article Diana. Oh and I won’t disagree with what Lady R said about the boobs falling out. Being somewhat corpulant myself, I can understand being hard to fit. Granted that’s not the same problem that you ladies are dealing with. From what I understand about motorclothes it really depends on what the dealership buys. I have a very close friend who is the manager of the motorclothes department at the local dealership. I’ll see if I can find out some info and pass it along to ya ma’am.

    Ride Safe


  4. Joker – I agree, H-D has been making a concerted effort to appeal to the ladies lately…but they still have along way to go! I submitted this article to my HOG chapter director for inclusion in our monthly newsletter. She wants to submit it to the regional people for possible inclusion in HogTales! Thanks for the tips on the tailor. They are definitely hard to find these days though!

    LadyR – I am a firm believer in “if you’ve got it, flaunt it!” If I could wear a tank top and jeans every day of my life, i would be a very happy woman. And Jay would be pretty happy too! (But cleavage just doesn’t bode well for work–where I spend the vast majority of my waking hours).

    Ronman – What you were saying about the dealerships is exactly what the problem is! I know that there is a vast assortment of items out there, but only a small handful are available at each dealer. So you would have to travel the world in order to be able to see the full selection! If the buyer at your local dealership doesn’t have the same tastes as you, then you are screwed.

    Keep the comments coming! Thank you all for visiting this site. Come back soon, we have four more articles ready to post!!! 🙂

  5. I’m doing a follow-up post on the MBI awards thing. If they’re going to do awards then it should reward manufacturers who actually try to help the everyday rider, male OR female. If you don’t mind, I’d like to put a link to this post there as an illustration of what’s still lacking and should be addressed.

  6. Dan – By all means…help yourself! (Yippee–I’m famous!!!) Thanks for the props! :”>
    I was just on your site Musings of an Intrepid Commuter reading about how you got your nickname. Great story 🙂

  7. Excellent. You know that I have noticed that since more women are riding, I mean really riding, the womens riding clothes are starting be designed for function and protection. The more women that take riding seriously, the more options they will have. You are taking the power!…not like you ladies don’t have it anyway. Keep on, but …can we keep the sexy leather vest and stuff under the jacket for after the ride? Pretty Please? Lol, Im still laughing about the biker whore statement. yech, nothing nastier. Most have a bad case of E.S.E…Extreme Self Esteem.

  8. Diana,
    I couldn’t agree with you more! I am not your typical skinny biker chick but I am not your big big girl either. I am the one that is in between with large boobs and it is hard to find motorclothing that fits right in either the top or midsection for me. All I want is a comfortable style and nothing too gaudy or whorish” either. I am a professional as well and would like to dress that part but still be dedicated to what I love about being a biker. I would like to see more demin things for women and not so much of the large logo but smaller versions of the logo. I would love to see more sweaters for women and even a fun terry hoodie. I am a young 45 yrs old and don’t mind telling my age because after all it is only a number. The tee shirts that are made for those skinny girls that hug the body so tight, yeah I dream of the day that I can wear something like that but I still want to be able to look good, feel good and wear what they are wearing without having to squeeze my big boobs into something that feels like a vise! So here’s to you Diana….great article. Live hard and ride free!
    Chris M

  9. Dave,
    I figure men have been riding motorcycles seriously since their invention a century ago, and their fashions and gear have had that much time to develop into what is available today. The woman biker has only been a serious consideration for a decade or two. Hopefully it won’t take 80 more years for their clothing to play catch-up! And yes, we can definitely keep some of the sexy stuff…but not so much for public display as for private use!
    I definitely agree about the small logo. Perhaps a turtleneck with a small “HD” on the neck, I’ve got lots of suggestions. I saw a button-down shirt not that long ago that was nicely fitted (I didn’t try it on to see if it would fit over by boobs, but it looked nice on the hanger). I thought “wow, this is perfect!” until I turned it around. Gotta admit the full-back tribal design in glitter and sequins was pretty, and amazingly almost understated in its presentation…but it was still too much for wearing to my job. Motorclothes have been taking huge strides in the right direction lately, but they still have a ways to go.
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! We are constantly updating the website with interesting and informative articles. Hope to see you back soon.

  10. […] same sentiment is what motivated me last March to write the post “Women’s Biker Fashions.”  I also submitted the article for First State HOG’s newsletter, which was then […]

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment