Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds
  • The Fedora Lounge is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Elvis Bike Jacket

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,908
Location
London, UK
Aero list on their website a jacket which looks very similar to their King of The Road model, but with certain variations. This is listed as their "Elvis" model, and is apparently based on one Elvis wore "on his Harley". The jacket:

motorcycling_02_2-large.jpg


I've scoured the web looking for photos of Elvis on a bike, I've even hunted looking for jackets that belonged to Elvis, but not been able to find anything other than a couple of tiny B&W or sepia photos showing Elvis in a jacket which did indeed look very similar to this one. (Any decent, large colour shots of him on a bike featured different jackets - usually posed shots with him in a box jacket or drape.) I'm curious not only to see better photos of the jacket upon which this model Aero is based, but also to see its original colour. Aero don't seem to give any indication, unless by dint of the one they choose to use for their photographic model?

I have promised myself that at some point within the next few years I will treat myself to a fine Aero biker jacket or two.... the King of the Road is probably gonig to be first.... I did want the Brando model, but it's been edged out in my affections by their Indian option.... and, as a respite from all that black leather, an Elvis in some other finish is tempting too.... Is that Aero's cordovan in the picture? What is their cherry like? I'm curious to see photos of the cherry... was that ever available back in the day?
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,373
Location
South of Nashville
I can't imagine that Elvis wore anything other than black, especially during his biker days of the mid to late 50s. In fact, I don't think motorcycle jackets were made in any color other than black back then. If one had a motorcycle jacket, it was black.
 

MrBern

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,469
Location
DeleteStreet, REDACTCity, LockedState
I believe that was the point of his costume in the `68 TV comeback, he hadnt really been in that much leather, so they dressed him head to toe in black leather.
3933466979_931472a93f.jpg


I think the movie in which he wore a more typical motorcycle jacket was Roustabout. Barbara Stanwyk co-starred, but its been a long time since Ive seen it....
1878644225_edcd37a70c.jpg
 

Stearmen

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,202
Jacket

The first item I ever bid on from ebay was the jacket from Roustabout! I was new to ebay, and thought for sure I would be the winner, since I was the high bidder right up to the last couple of hours. Not even close! I am not a big Elvis fan, but that jacket would have been cool to owen.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,908
Location
London, UK
Stearmen said:
The first item I ever bid on from ebay was the jacket from Roustabout! I was new to ebay, and thought for sure I would be the winner, since I was the high bidder right up to the last couple of hours. Not even close! I am not a big Elvis fan, but that jacket would have been cool to owen.

Jinkies, I remember twenty odd years ago a pair of his trousers (and not from any especially well known outfit either) sold for several thousand pounds; I dread to think what a leather jacket would fetch. IMO, there never has been, nor never will be (despite certain pop stars and their inexcusable, shabby attempts to leech off Elvis... King of Pop, indeed!) a global celebrity on that level again. Right place, right time, I guess.... though that phenomenal voice and charisma sure didn't hurt!


Peacoat said:
I can't imagine that Elvis wore anything other than black, especially during his biker days of the mid to late 50s. In fact, I don't think motorcycle jackets were made in any color other than black back then. If one had a motorcycle jacket, it was black.


Possible.... from what I've seen of old Sears catalogues etc, the 'D-pocket' style of jacket that dates, I believe, from the late forties through to the mid-late fifties, was available frequently in both brown and black (I imagine cherry was a later thing). I can picture elvis in both, thoughb if he was going for the 'bad boy' look, black would have been the natural choice. It certainly seems to have been the more popular option in that style, if surviving jackets are anything to go by.

MrBern said:
I believe that was the point of his costume in the `68 TV comeback, he hadnt really been in that much leather, so they dressed him head to toe in black leather.

The version of the story I heard was that the stylist for the '68 Special dressed him head to toe in leather in the mistaken belief that he had indeed worn a lot of leather in the early days - the reality, of course, being different. It did always look to me like the designer had taken inspiration from the Jailhouse Rock prison uniform costume, mistakenly believing it to be leather rather than denim (some sort of fetish prison?? lol ).

I think the movie in which he wore a more typical motorcycle jacket was Roustabout. Barbara Stanwyk co-starred, but its been a long time since Ive seen it....
1878644225_edcd37a70c.jpg

Yeah, he did indeed wear one in that. From the photos though it was what we would regard nowadays as the more typical design - very simliar to Brando's Schott from The Wild One - I wonder whether Brando wasn't at least partially the inspiration for that particular costume. The jacket that Aero are shooting after with this one seems to be something he wore casually, as himself - i.e. from his own wardrobe as opposed to a film or stage costume.

GreyHaas.... that's exactly the photos I've been trying to find! Shame they're not colour, but thank you for posting these - they're much larger and sharper than I could find online. This one is certainly in the stylistic ballpark of the Aero, though with a couple of significant detailing differences. Firstly, there's the breast pocket (on Elvis' left side), which is not present on the Aero model. His also seems to be lacking the coin/ticket pocket on the front of the D pocket. Looking at the second photo, if you look at Elvis' hip area, his jacket also appears to have the handwarmer pockets that are too far back for the wearer, being rather designed to be used by a pillion passenger. I am not sure if Aero's Elvis model has these - their King of the Road certainly does. In fact, the latter - were it to have the shoulder bars (which Elvis seems to have on his - I wonder what those are? Can't be a nod to his military rank in 56...) - is arguably closer to the jacket in this photo. I should shoot Amanda an email and ask whether they have the photos this one was based on.... it is, I suppose, entirely possible that their Elvis jacket is based on something he wore much later....

Surprisingly, I have'nt yet found an Elvis site with much detail about his leather jackets at all... the hunt continues!
 

havocpaul

One of the Regulars
Messages
223
Location
London, England
I remember looking through a friend's Graceland colour guide book and there was a display of Elvis's bike and his black leather jacket similar to the Aero style, definitely black not brown.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,908
Location
London, UK
havocpaul said:
I remember looking through a friend's Graceland colour guide book and there was a display of Elvis's bike and his black leather jacket similar to the Aero style, definitely black not brown.

Cool, thanks! :)
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,373
Location
South of Nashville
Edward: The "bars" appearing in the photo you attached in your initial post have nothing to do with military rank. They are too far apart to be Captain bars, which is the only rank that would have two parallel bars on the epaulets.

And Elvis would not have worn his rank on his epaulets. His highest rank was Sgt. E-5, which is an NCO. Back then, NCOs and enlisted wore their rank--stripes--only on the sleeves, not on the epaulets. Things have changed a bit in the intervening 50 years, but back then, only officers wore their rank on the epaulets.

Nor would Elvis have pretended to be an officer when he was an NCO in real life. That just wasn't Elvis.

And when I say (in an earlier post) that if one had a motorcycle jacket, it was black, it doesn't mean they weren't made in brown, or any other color, but that no biker, especially Elvis, would have worn a motorcycle jacket in any color other than black. That is all the bikers wore. I wasn't very old back then, but I well remember how they dressed--only black. That was the period when I had motorcycle fever, and I paid attention to the details.

It may have been different in the UK, but I doubt it. There were some differences, such as the Cafe Racer, but we basically were all cut from the same cloth.

I would be interested to know what Amanda has to say about the ornamentation on the epaulets.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,908
Location
London, UK
Thanks for that information. Maybe they were just some sort of ornamentation, a la the Schott One Star(?). I must email Amanda about it, yes - I have started to wonder whether their Elvis model is based on a jacket he wore later in life, given that the one in the photos above, as I've said already, looks to my eye closer to their King of the Road model. I'm now leaning more towards a black King of the Road with the shoulder tabs on it. I definitely would also add in the extra top left breast pocket, and possibly jettison the 'coin pocket' on the front of the D pocket. Is it only my eyesight, or am I right that Elvis' jacket in that photo doesn't have one?
 

GreyHaas

New in Town
Messages
20
Location
Baltimore, MD
I'm guessing the bars were just Elvis' way of decorating his jacket. Brando had those star pins in The Wild One and Elvis was definitely influenced by the film.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,908
Location
London, UK
GreyHaas said:
I'm guessing the bars were just Elvis' way of decorating his jacket. Brando had those star pins in The Wild One and Elvis was definitely influenced by the film.

Yes, that makes sense.
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,827
Location
China
Or that the bars came with the jacket as manufacturers like Beck and Buco have been doing since the 40s?
BucoJ22page-net-11.jpg
20121128170843c4d.jpg
 
Last edited:

Michael Leigh

New in Town
Messages
2
Aero list on their website a jacket which looks very similar to their King of The Road model, but with certain variations. This is listed as their "Elvis" model, and is apparently based on one Elvis wore "on his Harley". The jacket:

motorcycling_02_2-large.jpg


I've scoured the web looking for photos of Elvis on a bike, I've even hunted looking for jackets that belonged to Elvis, but not been able to find anything other than a couple of tiny B&W or sepia photos showing Elvis in a jacket which did indeed look very similar to this one. (Any decent, large colour shots of him on a bike featured different jackets - usually posed shots with him in a box jacket or drape.) I'm curious not only to see better photos of the jacket upon which this model Aero is based, but also to see its original colour. Aero don't seem to give any indication, unless by dint of the one they choose to use for their photographic model?

I have promised myself that at some point within the next few years I will treat myself to a fine Aero biker jacket or two.... the King of the Road is probably gonig to be first.... I did want the Brando model, but it's been edged out in my affections by their Indian option.... and, as a respite from all that black leather, an Elvis in some other finish is tempting too.... Is that Aero's cordovan in the picture? What is their cherry like? I'm curious to see photos of the cherry... was that ever available back in the day?

Are you sure it's not a Schott Perfecto jacket? Marlon Brando wore one in the Wild One, James Dean wore one, and the Ramones and Bruce Springsteen wore Schott Jackets.....been around since 1913.....the best you can get!
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,908
Location
London, UK
Doubt it's Schott, though they did do a D pocket Perfecto at a time. Elvis wore a standard 618 in Roustabout, of course, but as to his personal jacket, the Bucos look closest to me.
 

ace12

New in Town
Messages
42
Location
Tokyo & Hong Kong
The photo which GreyHaas has posted above looks to me it's a 3rd edition cycle champ by the Harley Davidson from the 40-50s. I have an exact replica by the Japanese Real McCoy, although it's not an accurate reproduction but it's the closest in the market.



The other jacket worn by the king... however with its unusual long zipper along the forearm, could it be a Durable instead of a perfecto?
 

Forum statistics

Threads
107,937
Messages
3,050,547
Members
53,230
Latest member
cbwillpower
Top