A Timeless Classic, Terminator Biker Jacket
When it comes to leather jackets, the biker jacket from Terminator 2 is iconic. It’s rugged in a way that looks right at home in the city. Pockets, zippers, and a heavy belt buckle make it clear that you, a humble man in a leather jacket, have things to do and stuff to carry—you may not know when or where, but those pockets will come in handy.
That said, not all of us can accessorize with a sawed-off shotgun and ammo belt. And that’s okay. The Terminator’s leather is a classic for a reason, but how can I take this jacket out of the movie and onto the street?
You’d be surprised how flexible the Terminator biker jacket is. This style covers all types of casual. A day on the town? Check. Lookin’ fly overseas? Check. A hot second date? Check. Barbecues? Yes. Biking on a long highway? Naturally. The jacket makes it easy. With this jacket, you'll feel like the rugged, cool, mysterious man you've always wanted to be.
Here are three main looks for your motorcycle chic: city cruiser, punk, and greaser.
What do you need for these looks?
- Terminator 2 Arnold Schwarzenegger Leather Jacket.
- Shirt. Tee shirt, henley tee, or button down.
- Pants. Rugged and simple.
- Shoes. Boots, tennis shoes, or dress shoes can all be fair game.
- Accessories. Let your imagination go wild.
See? Simple as putting on an outfit.
Step One: The Jacket Itself
This is the classic and the Arnold ideal. A leather jacket in black never goes out of style. Black leather, distressed or not, can be worn with any color, and will still look as cool, if not cooler, a decade from when you buy it. This is perfect for any style.
Browns and Neutrals
If black isn’t your thing. Browns and neutrals, such as tan or rusty or even natural greens (like Basicallo Green). Grey falls into this category too. These colors are extremely flexible, and give a less hardened appearance than black. This choice is good for the city cruiser look, or even a more imaginative take on the greaser.
Fortune favors the bold. Saint Laurent’s menswear collection for Spring 2019 features bold red and light pink. Alexander McQueen’s Fall 2018 show showed off bright red as well, as well as bold plaids and even oversized flower motifs. Bottega Veneta ups the ante, adding splashes of bright yellow, dusty purple, and rich orange. Gone are the days of only black and grey for men. Color is great for a metropolitan feel, or, with the right mix of other elements, a modern punk vibe.
Okay, so you're ready to rock the Terminator 2 style. What do you wear it with?
Step Two: The Shirt
Let’s start with the basics. You need to wear something under your jacket, and your duds have to look good both with the jacket on and if you need to take it off.
The key to pulling off the biker jacket is balance.
• The look Arnold pulls off is a clear throw-back to the greaser days of Marlon Brando. For this look, you have a couple of options, but stick to basics. Plain white or black tees are perfect; a bold stripe pattern can work for variety. A henley tee is workable too.
• For a city look, try pairing a bright accent with the classic neutral or black jacket. A red henley with a grey motorcycle jacket, for example, will really pop, making you look confident and suave as hell.
• A clean-lines, no-frills button down can pair with a greaser vibe (in black or white) or a city one (in other colors).
• To get a crunchier vibe, like a more rugged metropolitan man or a punk edge, try going greyscale. A distressed tank top or tee, like this one is good.
Step Three: The pants
This jacket is rugged, and lends itself to rugged, simple pants. Jeans, or other canvas pants, have been a perfect paring since the beginning.
• Classic blue is the original greaser look.
• Straight leg is good for an older look, or a more rugged idea.
• Skinny jeans are ideal for a more modern punk or city ensemble.
Step Four: Accessories
If you choose a more classic color for your jacket, accessories will make your outfit pop. Let’s just look at a couple options for dependable flair.
The Terminator himself may not rock a hat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. The right hat can take an outfit from run-of-the-mill to iconic in a flash, but you have to be careful. The wrong hat just looks goofy. For the modern city-guy or punk, a beanie is a staple, especially in cold weather. That said, for a classier vibe, try a peaked-cap. This is the Marlon Brando standard. A flat cap works, too.
Remember, the key is to create a cohesive look. Don't mix a ratty tee with a perfect, brand-new beanie, or vice versa.
Given the number of buckles on the Terminator 2 jacket, a belt is certainly optional. But if you decide to belt it, I'd recommend something simple with a metal buckle that matches the silver of the Terminator's buttons and zippers.
Weather dependent items, like scarves and fingerless gloves, or aviator shades, make a good addition to any of these looks. With a more subdued outfit palette (say, black jacket, grey jeans, black and white striped tee), try using socks to add a pop of color or a fun pattern. Watches, stud earrings, and chains all look good with the Terminator, too. Just make sure not to go overboard, or you'll end up looking like a whacked-out disco ball.
Step Five: Shoes
Think of your shoes as a way to confirm the tone of your outfit.
• Boots are a good call. Combat boots, like Arnolds or a lace-up pair like Dr. Martins, are right if you want to go in for a rough or punk vibe. For the punk look, you'll want to tuck skinny jeans into your boots. For the rough look, straight leg pants should fall naturally over the top of the boot. Clean combat boots, chelsea boots, or even dress boots (worn with pants cuffed a couple inches above the top of the boot) are good for a city look.
• Tennis shoes are a straightforward addition to a city look. Try a converse-style shoe, either in an understated or a statement color, depending on how eye-catching you want to be.
• Dress shoes are also an interesting call for a city look. Try a simple oxford or monk strap with cuffed pants for a put-together street-style look.
That's a Wrap.
Now you've got all the guidance you need to wear the Terminator 2 Biker Jacket with style from head to toe. Remember, be bold, keep it balanced, let the naturally interesting jacket do the work for you and you'll never be disappointed by this piece.
To be perfectly honest, I think leather jackets are one of the most versatile and long-lasting style purchases a man can make. This jacket, especially, has a great balance of classic 50s vibes and modern manliness. I’ve worn my dark grey leather jacket for drinks with friends and on cold city walks in almost every season. It's dependable, comfortable, and can set the stage for a head-turning outfit. I'm sure you'll find the same to be true.
Did this tutorial help you? If so, share it! And if you’ve got a tip for wearing a Terminator jacket with flair, leave it in the comments.