Motorcycle clothing has a two-fold existence. The first is, of course, the practical aspect: motorcycle clothes are structured to be durable in all elements such as severe weather conditions and also to provide some protection against lesser injuries such as road rash (the scraping of skin in the event of collision or accident).
This type of clothing is heavy, reinforced and tends to require some type of maintenance or care. Leather is the standard fabric used, since it provides a natural windbreak and layer of insulation and has water resistant qualities. It also requires some maintenance, usually oiling to preserve those qualities and extend its natural life.
The second aspect of motorcycle clothing is fashion. In recent years, motorcycle gear, logos and designs relating to the lifestyle have become very popular even with those who do not ride. Certainly, there is status, whether real or perceived by those who choose these clothes.
Motorcycle clubs and organizations have trademarked their logos and begun producing specific brands and designs that represent their particular club, area and/or ranking. Further artwork such as airbrushed pictures are a major contributor to these types of fashion statements.
Motorcycle manufacturers and racing sponsors have led the forefront of such fashions. A major label in its own right, Harley-Davidson, is the preferred brand name among enthusiasts and its familiar black and orange colors can be found the world over.
It is also a major producer of quality practical clothing and has done much, along with motorcycle racing sponsors, to produce an industry standard of safety and protection provided by the clothes. As such, these items of clothing are on the higher end of merchandise cost, as they are quality controlled, condition tested and durability or protection guaranteed.
Countless magazines and websites are devoted to the motorcycle enthusiast lifestyle and as such are the leading forms of advertisement for the clothing. Authorized motorcycle dealerships have begun devoting larger sections of their stores for the display and stocking of the clothes.