The biker culture has given us such an iconic item as a leather jacket. Strictly speaking, bikers were not the inventors of this wardrobe item, they simply took something they knew from their military life, tweaked it, and popular culture gasped in admiration. Did you know that bikers made a lot of discoveries or, rather, modifications, that had a major impact on today’s fashion?
Once again, bikers weren’t the ones who came up with a concept of a chain that holds a wallet in place. Even in ancient times, people tied pouches of money to a belt or sash, and cowboys used items practically identical to modern chains. However, no one before the riders managed to make wallet chains ubiquitous. All bikers had to do was to find a convenient way to attach a chain to their belt and wallet. And they found it.
Wallet chains were so practical, and most importantly, cool-looking, that soon they made other subcultures pay attention. Rockers, punks, and Goths noticed the enormous potential of metal chains to propel their statement style. For them, a chain was no longer a wallet guard; it became a badass accessory with a purely aesthetical function. After conquering the rock scene, wallet chains made a transition to other genres of music. In the 1990s, everyone who sang, played instruments, and rapped wore this jiggling accessory.
Today, chains practically lost their status of a mainstream ornament. Despite this, bikers’ penchant for heavy and loud means to secure a wallet didn’t go anywhere. You still can see a chain hanging around their thighs with a wallet attached to one of its ends. By the way, you shouldn’t think that wallet chains are a set of metal links connected to each other. Besides items made of steel, brass, and even silver, riders wholeheartedly enjoy leather and hemp chains, albeit they resemble rather a cord or a braid.
Surely enough, leather wallets existed long before biker culture rose to fame. However, those wallets have been carried in breast pockets or in purses. Putting them into a pants’ pocket sounded reckless and risky. Nonetheless, bikers opted for this option. They just added a wallet chain for security. But they couldn’t pull it off without introducing a slight modification to a wallet itself. They couldn’t just bound a billfold with a chain or puncture leather to put a chain through. The former option would just look nasty and the latter is simply damaging for a wallet’s integrity. Thankfully, bikers had an idea to pierce a wallet’s folding area and finish it with a grommet. At the same time, they decreased the size of a chain clasp that is intended to go through this grommet. Their solution turned out to be elegant, reliable, and tear-proof for wallet materials.
Although we must give credit to the ingenuity of two-wheeler riders, we cannot ignore the aesthetic aspect of their wallets. Anything their creative hand touches turns into a work of art, and billfolds weren’t an exception. Their exteriors carry beloved biker symbols including mean machines with flames bursting from under the wheels, Grim Reapers, Native American symbols, eagles, Celtic motifs, and much more. These designs are skillfully carved into leather or embedded as an appliqué. Getting your hands on such an artistic leather accessory is going to add a badass appeal to your everyday life. Long story short, there are plenty of reasons to get a biker wallet whether you’d like to secure your essentials while riding or complete your style with a dashing accessory.
Today, rock style jewelry, as shown on RockerRing.com, continues commanding attention but it is nowhere near as shocking as it was decades ago. And it is not due to skulls losing their mojo but because our society became more open-minded. A-listers, fashion influencers, musicians regardless of their genres, and casual fashionistas use intimidating symbols to draw attention to their personas. But it was not always so. Until the mid-20th century, skulls could only be seen on military uniforms or military vehicles.
A battlefield was the place where bikers met this symbol. Back then, they did not call themselves bikers, they were just soldiers partaking in the battles of the Second World War. Upon returning home, the veterans set about putting together hobby clubs consisting of like-minded motorcycle riders. Besides riding, the thing they had in common was love for symbols that were supposed to instill terror and outrage. The skull was the king of these symbols. Skulls started to appear on decals, clothing, tattoos, motorcycle club colors, and when bikers came across Mexican rings, they acquired death symbolism as well.
Subcultures akin to bikers in spirit welcomed the frightening images with open arms. Similar to wallet chains, skull jewelry has found many admirers among rockers, and they passed on skull mania to popular culture. By the way, the skull is not the only symbol that owes its popularity to bikers. The riders of mean machines introduced us to Iron Crosses and Flying Eyeballs.