I do most of my writing these days from a café near my apartment. It’s spacious, has lots of sunlight, and most importantly, plays good music at a volume that’s not too loud. The only problem is that, to get there, I have to walk down this small street where a bunch of bikers hang out. Real bikers too – guys and gals in unfashionable jeans and black leather jackets with club patches on the back. At any given moment, a few of them will be looking at someone’s bike, while others will be sitting on benches, seemingly shooting the breeze and observing passersby.
This is all well and fine except for when I wear this. On those days, I walk out of my apartment feeling like a bad ass, strut proudly to the café, and just as I near this group, I hang my head in shame, shuffle my feet, and silently pray “please Mr. Motorcycle Man, don’t ask me what kind of bike I ride.” Then, as soon as I round the corner, my chest puffs up again and I go back to strutting. To the rest of the world, I imagine I look like some kind of Marlon Brando. To these bikers, I’m sure I come off as a strangely shy guy with oddly pristine looking clothes.
Nevertheless, this has become a weekend favorite. The brown cowhide café racer is from last season’s RRL. The zippers are gold colored and the band collar stands up higher than most. I think the details give the jacket a lot of panache. RRL is selling the same model this season, actually, but in a lighter brown. I’ve been debating whether or not to get it, just because I love this one so much.
The jeans are 3sixteen SL-100x, the t-shirt is a plain old Hanes Beefy-T, and the boots are Mister Freedom’s Road Champs. The Road Champs might be the best casual shoes I’ve bought in a while. The toe box is unconstructed, which gives it a nice low profile, and the leather is said to be “painted” brown. That means the flesh side is natural, but the skin side is treated to three coatings – dark brown, chocolate, and olive – which should allow the boots to develop a beautifully rich and complex patina over time. Christophe Loiron, designer and owner of Mister Freedom, once showed what his Road Champs looked like after two years worth of wear. Mine don’t look anywhere near as great, but to my defense, they’ve only just broken in. They actually use to be really stiff and painful, but after two dozen wears, they’ve become quite comfortable.
Except for those brief moments when I have to walk by bikers.