Café Racing | Fashion Police

By Annette Carrion, Photography by Brian Catterson

The café racer scene is booming, and no one wants to show up at their local Ace Café looking like a poser. Retro gear completes the look, and dressing the part is easier than working on those finicky old bikes. Good-looking, well-preserved vintage gear is not necessarily cheaper than new retro-styled stuff, and it’s definitely not as protective.

Some riders will happily pay big bucks for authentically tattered jackets bearing a vintage label. But old leather jackets often deteriorate; discoloring and drying out due to sun and wind exposure, making them less likely to hold up in a crash. New retro-styled gear oftens incorporate protective armor that the old stuff lacks. That puts it miles ahead in safety while not sacrificing style.

The open-face metal-flake helmet is certainly de rigeur, but nix the antique-store buy and go modern and DOT-approved. Your skull doesn’t know from vintage. Save the old stuff for your office shelf!

Next on your list is a sturdy pair of boots, preferably in brown or black. You want your kicks to say, “I look old, but won’t fall apart if I go down.” Again, look for something that has new-school protection to complement the old-school look. To seal the deal, throw on some leather gauntlet gloves, a pair of goggles or aviators and, if you’re really feeling like a hipster, your tightest skinny jeans. We promise not to judge you. After all, that’s what your buddies at the local Ace Café are for…

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