'Easy Rider' Design Inspiration and Size Guide!

Revving Up History: The Speed Shops of the 1950s

In the roaring 1950s, America was captivated by the exhilarating world of motor racing and hot rod culture. At the heart of this vibrant scene were the legendary speed shops, hubs of innovation, camaraderie, and fashion. These iconic establishments not only fuelled the dreams of speed enthusiasts but also left an indelible mark on the fashion landscape of the era.

 

The Birth of Speed Shops

Speed shops began to spring up across the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, as the post-war boom ignited a passion for automotive modification and racing. Returning soldiers brought back mechanical skills and a thirst for adrenaline, which found an outlet in the burgeoning car culture. Speed shops provided the perfect environment for these enthusiasts to gather, share ideas, and transform ordinary cars into high-performance machines. These shops were havens for gearheads, offering performance parts, custom builds, and expert advice to those eager to push the limits of their vehicles. From California's bustling streets to the quiet corners of small towns, speed shops became the epicentres of automotive culture.

 

Photo courtesy of LIFE Magazine Archives

The People Behind the Passion

The speed shops were more than just businesses; they were communities. They attracted a diverse crowd, from young hot rodders to seasoned racers, all united by their love for speed. Pioneers like Ed "Isky" Iskenderian, Vic Edelbrock, and Dean Moon were instrumental in shaping the industry. Their shops were places where innovation thrived, and friendships were forged over a shared passion for horsepower.

Fashion in the Fast Lane

The fashion of the 1950s speed shop culture was as dynamic as the cars themselves. Men and women who frequented these shops often embraced a distinctive style that reflected their rebellious spirit and love for all things fast.

For the Guys:

Men in the speed shop scene often sported classic denim jeans, like the 'Fastback' Denim Jeans, paired with leather jackets. The 'Pit Crew' Jacket embodies the rugged, rebellious attitude of the time. White t-shirts, cuffed sleeves, and leather boots completed the look, creating an ensemble that was both functional and effortlessly cool.


For the Gals:

Women in the speed shop scene weren't just spectators; they were active participants, often wrenching on cars and racing alongside the guys. Their fashion mirrored their confidence and boldness. High-waisted jeans, cropped jackets, and form-fitting corsets were popular choices. The 'Easy Rider' Bustle Wiggle Skirt, with its high-waist and ruffle details, combined femininity with a touch of edge. They also embraced bold accessories like scarves and oversized sunglasses, adding a touch of glamour to their rugged style.

Photo courtesy of LIFE Magazine Archives

The Legacy of Speed Shops

The influence of 1950s speed shops extended far beyond their heyday. They laid the groundwork for the modern automotive aftermarket industry and continued to inspire car enthusiasts and fashionistas alike. The culture of customization and the spirit of innovation that defined the speed shops of the 1950s live on in the hearts of those who cherish the golden age of hot rodding.

Speed Shops Today

While the original speed shops may have evolved or given way to larger enterprises, their legacy remains intact. Modern speed shops still celebrate the ingenuity and creativity that characterized their predecessors. They continue to be gathering places for those who appreciate the artistry of automotive modification and the thrill of speed.

In the world of fashion, the styles born from the speed shops of the 1950s continue to influence contemporary trends. The timeless appeal of leather jackets, denim jeans, and vintage-inspired pieces serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of this vibrant era.

So, whether you're a car enthusiast, a fashion lover, or simply someone who appreciates the spirit of innovation, take a moment to remember the speed shops of the 1950s. Their impact on automotive culture and fashion is a thrilling ride through history that still resonates today. 

 

Join the Kittens of Kitten D'Amour as they try on 'Easy Rider' for you! 

 

ADRIENNE KITTEN (BUST 114CM / WAIST 93CM / 119CM / HEIGHT 169CM)

‘Easy Rider’ Crop Vegan Leather Jacket (Black) - Size 14:
Adrienne fell head over heels for the fit of the ‘Easy Rider’ Crop Jacket! She chose a size 14 and found it to be the perfect length for all her high-waisted pieces. What she loved the most was how the jacket’s length beautifully emphasized her waist when worn over the 'Fast Lane' Vegan Leather Corset. It’s stylish, flattering, and just the right touch of edgy!

'Fast Lane' Vegan Leather Corset (Burgundy) - Size 14: 
Va Va Voom! We all love the feel of a corset, and Adrienne Kitten is no exception.  She felt fabulous, loving the soft feel of the fabric.  She found her regular size 14 fit like a dream!

'Easy Rider' Vegan Leather Bustle Wiggle Skirt (Burgundy) - Size 14:
The faux leather wiggle skirts are a must-have! Featuring a beautiful bustle, soft and comfortable material, and a stunning look, Adrienne chose her normal "Wiggle Size" in 14, ensuring a perfect fit for stylish and comfortable wear.  This outfit had her feeling like a million bucks! Adrienne did have a little room in the waist still, so if you're between sizes she doesn't recommend sizing up.

 

Speed Shop 55 'Racing Crew’ Jacket - Size 14:
Adrienne absolutely adored the fit of the ‘Speed Shop Racing Crew’ Jacket! Her regular size 14 was just perfect. She could already picture herself pairing it with her favorite Kitten Denim and the ‘Easy Rider’ Bustle Wiggle Skirt. The cropped length was spot-on for her high-waisted designs, making this jacket a fabulous addition to her wardrobe. Plus, it's not too fitted at the waist, so it's super comfy and easy to wear!

Speed Shop 55 'Pit Crew’ Vegan Leather Jacket - Size 14:
If you're after a jacket with a bit more length, Adrienne is all about the Speed Shop 'Pit Crew’ Vegan Leather Jacket! She picked a size 14 and it was just right. She felt like a retro race car driver in this edgy, fabulous design! It’s the perfect blend of style and attitude!

 

KAY KITTEN (BUST: 79CM / WAIST: 65.5CM / HIP: 91CM / HEIGHT: 172CM) 

 

'Speed Shop 55' Baseball Jacket - XS:

WOW, this jacket is WARM! It is perfect for Australian winter nights to keep you nice and snug. Since the jacket is unisex, it definitely has an oversized fit, which Kay absolutely adores. Kay suggests going with your usual size or sizing down if you prefer a tighter, more snug fit. After sending a photo of herself wearing this versatile jacket to her boyfriend, he’s definitely hinted at “borrowing” it… She knows that if she buys this jacket, she will never see it again.

'Easy Rider' Crop Vegan Leather Jacket (Black) - Size 6:

Just like the burgundy, this jacket fits like a dream. She also sized up for this design for that looser fit, and lower crop. Kay loves the detailing of the white piping contrasting with the black leather in this jacket design. She feels SO. COOL. The embroidered ‘SpeedShop’ logo on the front adds that extra level of vintage detail.

 

Speed Shop 55 'Racing Crew' Jacket Size 4:

Kay went with her usual size in this design. This jacket made Kay feel like she was part of an F1 crew. She loved all the embroidery on the front, sides, and back of the jacket, feeling that it added that little extra touch of special detail. She notes the mesh lining inside the jacket, which provides airflow, making it versatile for all four seasons!

 

'Easy Rider' Crop Vegan Leather Jacket (Burgundy) - Size 6:

Kay has sized up from her usual size for this design! Not because a size 4 would’ve been too small—actually, it would’ve been a perfect fit. Kay just prefers a looser, more oversized fit for her jackets. She liked the length of the crop on the size 6 more as well, finding the size 4 a little too cropped for her liking. She loved the color of the burgundy, more muted and raspberry-toned in the shade, but very bright and vibrant when it catches the sun. She states that the jacket feels amazing; it’s very soft and buttery to the touch, while also being fully lined!

 

 

MANDIE KITTEN (BUST 100CM / WAIST 80CM / HIPS 108CM / HEIGHT: 168 CM)

‘Fast Lane’ Vegan Leather Corset (Burgundy) – Size 10:
Mandie found this Corset to fit just like our previous Corset Designs and recommends sticking with your normal corset size. Mandie is looking fabulous in a size 10!

D’Amour Birdsnest Skirt – Size 10:
Mandie found this Skirt to be spot-on true to size, wearing a size 10. She mentions there’s no stretch to the fabric waistband, so if you’re between sizes, be sure to size up!

Speed Shop 55 ‘Pit Crew’ Vegan Leather Jacket - Size 10:
Mandie absolutely loved the length and contrast coloring of the ‘Pit Crew’ jacket! She wore her regular size 10 and can’t wait to pair it with her Kitten Denim!

‘Easy Rider’ Crop Vegan Leather Jacket (Black) - Size 10:
Mandie loved the size 10 in this design—it was perfect for layering! The beautiful vegan leather is so soft, making the jacket super comfy to wear.

‘Easy Rider’ Bustle Wiggle Skirt (Burgundy) – Size 12:
Mandie, with her curvy hips, wore her regular “wiggle size” 12 in this Wiggle Skirt. The vegan leather feels so gorgeous and soft, and she especially adored the bustle on the back—it completes the design perfectly!

 

KERRYN KITTEN (BUST: 95CM / WAIST: 80CM / HIP: 108CM / HEIGHT: 168CM)

‘Speed Shop Racing Crew’ Jacket - Size 10:
Kerryn feels way too cool for school in the Racing Crew Jacket! She loves all the motor racing vibes and is just deciding which motorbike she needs to buy to match! Kerryn is rocking her usual size 10 in this photo, finding it allows her room for layering. If she wasn’t planning on lots of layers, she'd go for the 8, which also fits perfectly!

‘Easy Rider’ Crop Vegan Leather Jacket (Burgundy) - Size 10:
Oh, this jacket is a dream! Kerryn adores the black piping and embroidery and has mentally paired it with so many pieces in her wardrobe! The vegan leather is so soft and lovely to wear. Kerryn is wearing a size 10, loving that this gives her room for layering!

‘Easy Rider’ Bustle Wiggle Skirt (Black) – Size 12:
Oh My Goodness. Kittens, if you want to feel like a rebellious 50s gal, then this is the skirt for you! The bustle, the sleek black vegan leather, the wiggle when she walks—this one is going straight to the wardrobe, Kittens! Kerryn wore her regular “wiggle” size, which is a 12, but notes that if you’re firmly between sizes, you might consider sizing down.

 

‘Easy Rider’ Crop Vegan Leather Jacket (Black) - Size 10:
What’s better than one ‘Easy Rider’ Crop Jacket? Well, it’s two!  And Kerryn couldn’t pass up this little number in sleek and sexy black! The fit is the same as the burgundy, and Kerryn is convinced it will work with everything!

 

 

 


4 comments


  • b;new

    i love this collection


  • Dani

    Just love love love this collection, looks gorgeous on everyone!


  • Brad

    I think all the Kittens look gorgeous in the new release speed shop jackets. Especially Kerryn Kitten wearing the new white Jacket.


  • Jane Arkinstall

    I thought I’d resist this collection but after seeing how stunning it looked on these fabulous kittens, I admit I’ll have to buy something!! Gorgeous designs!!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.