Harley-Davidson Rebuilds Its Clothing Line For A Younger Attitude

Plaid shirts are back in fashion since quite a few years (at least 5). Their casual look evoking an authentic and rebel attitude of the past has been adopted by many in the industry, especially the youngest among us. Of course, Harley-Davidson noticed and is now proposing a new line of clothing reflecting a younger attitude, “with an understated style that looks washed, worn and comfortable right off the rack.” (words of Karen Davidson, Harley-Davidson General Merchandise Creative Director) This Plaid Shirt belongs to the HD “New Black Label Collection” available starting in February at most Harley-Davidson dealerships. A shirt cut narrow through the chest, shaped at the sides and slimmer to the hip for a casual streetwear look.

31 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Rebuilds Its Clothing Line For A Younger Attitude”

  1. 1 Kirk Perry Feb 2nd, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Plaid works. The flaps on the pockets don’t. Better with a button-through pocket where a man can keep a pen or pencil as he hammers out a living 5 days a week. Try that with a flap. A (busy) wild man would end up ripping the flap off, tearing the shirt, but improving the look.
    It seems that beginning in 2008, every manufacturer in the world was mandated to create men’s shirt’s with flaps over the top pockets. Why is that?
    The short sleeves should drop a bit more and end just before the elbow.
    Trust me. If not, then visit 4 or 5 of the state and federal prisons in California (we have between 50 and 100). That’s where men are allowed to hack clothing to fit their utility. And, I believe that Utility in everything is King in a man’s world.

  2. 2 colemanfu Feb 2nd, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Plad? I must be under a rock cause last time plad was in was early 90’s Seattle rock, grung music and Nirvana? Next HD bell bottoms and tie dye?

  3. 3 Brother T. Feb 2nd, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I agree on the button through pocket, but I’m not sure I want to take my fashion tips from guys doing felony time…

  4. 4 Kirk Perry Feb 2nd, 2011 at 11:45 am

    You might be be taking fashion tips from one right now “T”. 🙂
    I will do the world a favor.
    I will give Karen Davidson a pair of prototype size 33 “Utility Shorts”, because I don’t see any other way to break through to the public.
    Dickies® will make them for Harley-Davidson®, but you have to act now. Dicikies® has two items in inventory that can be modified (and still have a “gathered” (pucker) bottom seam).
    Or, Harley-Davidson can “go it alone” for another season, but nothing has changed with Harley-Davidson® clothing in 2 years, so it’s still going to be “over trademark embellished”, black leather and chrome because it’s all they know.
    Do you want the public to stop pigeon-holing us? Wake up. We’ll knock the public on it’s collective butt.

  5. 5 Dylan Feb 2nd, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Looks great! I would rock one! I am the target market so works for me.

  6. 6 1550tc Feb 2nd, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I don’t mind buying some of the Willie g one, as it’s well designed….But most of these 3 buck old navy/ harley shirts for what they charge makes no sense to me

  7. 7 Cantrell Feb 2nd, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Flaps on top pockets is from the old military fatiques.


  8. 8 Ed Feb 2nd, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Cool shirt. But (here it comes …) is it “proudly made in China” , just like most of the rest of the “Motorclothes” lineup? If so (probably so), I’ll pass … I just can’t get myself to ride a H-D with a commie shirt on.

    Shouldn’t H-D concentrate on making motorcycles anyway? Maybe also a “discrete” line of QUALITY accessories to go along the well-made bikes?

    I know, I know, let me get back in the garage …

  9. 9 Jed Feb 2nd, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    “The apparel company that also sells some bikes” is how the Motor Co. is known. I personally wouldn’t have a problem with that if they went back to their roots. Has anyone seen Rin Tanaka’s new book on H-D style? It’s gorgeous. Sure, riders want clothes that are somewhat modern and protective and not antique costumes. But why not bring back some of those iconic styles – modernized just a bit without the bar and shield logo everywhere? Jackets haven’t changed too much in the last century, neither have sweaters or boots. If you want state-of-the-art apparel, go to Dainese. If you want cool clothes for cruisers or customs, do NOT go to Harley. Milwaukee has lost its way in just about every way. It’s a damn shame because they have all the ingredients to become great again if they wanted.

  10. 10 zyon Feb 2nd, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I was at my prime in the 90’s… this isn’t the plad we were wearing at the time. If I saw someone riding in this I’d just have to laugh to myself.

  11. 11 A 1 CYCLES Feb 2nd, 2011 at 3:53 pm


  12. 12 Neo Dutch Feb 2nd, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Less fashion, more bikes.

  13. 13 Scott R Feb 2nd, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I like the shirt, don’t care for the logo on the neck. Hey Cyril, do you know if Tommy Hilfiger is gonna release a bike?

  14. 14 Eric Maurer Feb 2nd, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    aimed at the younger market huh? Does the younger market have 65 bucks for a shirt?

  15. 15 chopperfreak29 Feb 2nd, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    As a member of the target market (30y/o) I have to say it’s kind of insulting when any company just regurgitates whatever fad is popular and labels it “rebellious”. Is it rebellious to dress like every other person out there? No not really. Just another bandwagon for Harley to jump on waaaayy too late. I was reading another site that had an article on the launch of the new Blackline from Harley and how the article’s author met the bike’s lead designer and just “had” to nickname him Jesse James Jr. because he was all dressed up like Jesse. Then went on to thoroughly lick the bottom of the MoCo and the designer. Just another fad jumped on too late. Who else can get away with that sort of clueless marketing and still manage to sell anything or get any respect???

  16. 16 Warrior Poet Feb 2nd, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    A shirt cut narrow through the chest?

    I guess that works if you have a narrow chest.

    Kirk, nothing wrong with the flap-they can still be made with a small opening to allow for the working stiff’s pen. US Army BDUs were designed this way. Of course, you weren’t authorized to put a pen or pencil through it, just a radiac meter. You know, just in case you get nuked and want to know how long you have before your hair starts falling out.

    Even so, plaid is what my dad wore. I wouldn’t send these to Haiti. They’d probably send them back.

  17. 17 Kirk Perry Feb 2nd, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Some of the “pieces” of HD® Inc. are stuck in “perpetual motion” that keep, and will keep, turning out the same “off the target” merchandise year after year – It’s the exactly same with some of our repop Taiwan Big Twin parts. It’s not Taiwan or China is the USA “cheap, shortsighted, price-point driven, mfgr. who jobs-out work to be made and won;t pay the extra money to Taiwan to do it to USA standards. Taiwan can make it anyway you want, if you pay for it.
    The reason for mfgr./customer “failure to communicate” in both cases – is because “it all just got to be too big”.
    There is no way to police all areas of a company’s products, because it involves too many people who all need to make decisions before one item can be produced. Unions and who and whatever.
    This creates a “twisted axis” as the “idea” passes thought all of these people and gets changed, to where it’s not even representative of the original idea.
    So of “this” is unstoppable.
    The “Clothing” industry can change x-times quicker than the “footware” industry. “Shoe people” can go into clothing successfully, but “clothing people” cannot transition into shoes easily at all. It has to do with sizing differences between the two.
    Those are the reasons and that is an example.
    God save China. They will invent a method of “scrubbing the atmosphere” as soon as they can figure out a way to market it.
    Breathe deep ……… now exhale. Nice air here in the 50’s. Sweet air. Thank you China. 🙂

  18. 18 Woody Feb 2nd, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Very sad.

  19. 19 olddude Feb 3rd, 2011 at 8:17 am


  20. 20 Wiz Feb 3rd, 2011 at 8:21 am

    The button down flap is fer ridin’ so yer smokes don’t wind up on the highway. They ain’t made for the office, Hell, I ain’t made fer the office either! How about a big, beer belly cut? There are more of them than the tight chest option. Wiz

  21. 21 Gas Man Feb 3rd, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Honestly, for a topic like this… guys should have to state their age. We all know that once a man reaches a certain age, they could give 2 poops about fashion. Some never do regardless of age. Some its all function over form. Neither is right or better.

    I don’t typically like plaid but I would wear it. I didn’t like 3/4 helmets but I found they work well on the non windshield bikes and now are completely in fashion. Heck more over, heavy bass boat flake is back in style for paint on helmets and tins.

    times change, you either roll with it or stand on the side and complaign about it. Your call.

    31yrs old for the record.

  22. 22 Woody Feb 3rd, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I’m 55. The fact that Harley considers this worthy of a press release shows they are lost, but making excellent time. Put a skull on the pockets and call it a day. I remember when a “new XL” was a bike, but now it’s just a shirt size.

  23. 23 mark Feb 3rd, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Once again I am reminded of why I flipped my patch years ago. Help out a bro in need and buy used bikes and independant shops to fix and customize your ride when needed. Corp needs to go…..they are in the wrong direction and it does not look like they are ever going to “get it”.

  24. 24 1550tc Feb 3rd, 2011 at 4:37 pm


    do you know if Tommy Hilfiger is gonna release a bike?

    they should, the pecker touchers are a great demo to target a product to……first 2 stores should be in san fran or key west…….then hire that cop dude and the village people to do the tv adds 🙂

    GASMAN……..your right about change……..some guys today do not know the difference between an i pad and and a maxi pad

  25. 25 Kirk Perry Feb 4th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Currently it’s black and khaki. Real khaki is only available at Bill’s in PA. $100 bucks a pair for the M-1 or M-2 (Milt. spec.). Better for you if you live in an Army town. Cheap thrifts on good khaki’s.
    And drk. blue, Lt. blue, Lt. green, chambray shirts, button-through pockets (pencil slot’s ok), long and short sleeves with the short sleeves reaching the top of the elbow pit, but not dropped so far that the sleeve gets creased.
    So, take that and see what you can do with it.
    And scribe Harley-Davidson with thread the same color as the shirt, or one small shade different. Try the esoteric advertising approach. The “Find Waldo the Logo” approach.

  26. 26 Taco Feb 5th, 2011 at 3:21 am

    Now you can be as bad ass as that rest of those guys. This is so easy.

  27. 27 Chief Waldo Feb 7th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Can you get it in all black?

  28. 28 Old Pat Feb 8th, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I thought they made motorcycles. Did I miss sumpin’?

  29. 29 Poppymann Feb 8th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    What the motor company doesn’t realize is that anyone who would buy a plaid shirt like this, would buy the Dickies version that is free of the embellishments and trademarks.
    Let’s put it this way. The one guy who showed up on the Twine Ball Run on his bagger with his doo rag in his HD drag was teased mercilessly. The target demographic for this shirt won’t buy it. If you remove all the Harley crap and put a button pocket, you might actually sell it. Otherwise, just cede the market to Dickies and all the small guys.

  30. 30 amband Jan 9th, 2012 at 7:24 am


    Stay out of the clothes business and let people find their own fashion to fit, as in the mods

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