Gear: The Belstaff Trialmaster is a Fashion Icon

The Belstaff Trialmaster is a Fashion Icon

By Petrolicious Productions
June 11, 2014

This year marks Belstaff’s ninetieth anniversary and if you’re unfamiliar with their legendary jackets, then allow us to educate you. Resuming production after World War II ended, Belstaff once more began producing its full range but also released new designs such as the iconic wax-cotton Trialmaster 4-pocket jacket in 1948.

The Trialmaster was manufactured to endure weather conditions in the UK during the Scottish Six Days Trial. To do so, it was designed with three revolutionary details: pivotal armholes allowing better forward rotation, pre-curved sleeves for improved fit and comfort during riding and a waterproof lining. Crafted to capture a uniquely British essence, the Trialmaster recalls days on the English countryside and rugged glamour. Accordingly, this celebrated jacket has become synonymous with the brand today; known for its durability and style, to this day the Trialmaster projects must-have appeal.

But just how renowned is it? Its legend grew larger still in 1973 when Mr. Steve McQueen cancelled a date with his girlfriend, the gorgeous Ali MacGraw, so that he could stay home and wax his Belstaff jacket. And by the end of the decade, Belstaff registered the Trialmaster, their most popular design, for trademark with the Intellectual Property Office. The Trialmaster continues to grow in popularity with bikers, who have come to trust Belstaff’s function-meets-style workmanship and becomes as much a part of the biking scene as bikes themselves.

In order to pay tribute to their storied history Belstaff will be celebrating with limited edition commemorative product launches including a commemorative Union Jack Trialmaster jacket for both men and women. Belstaff has designed the limited edition waxed cotton Trialmaster with a faded Union Flag print on the back of the jacket.

The commemorative Union Jack Trialmaster is sewn from cotton sourced from a historic British mill and features the more relaxed silhouette and simplified lines of the Trialmaster of the 1950s. The jacket, produced in a very limited run, will be available exclusively at, Belstaff flagship store locations globally and select wholesale partners. Each garment is individually hand finished.

Not only is Belstaff celebrating their birthday with special limited edition commemorative jackets, but they’ve also assembled 90 Years of Speed & Style, a limited edition retrospective coffee table book that chronicles the brand’s history beginning in 1924. The content details Belstaff’s history from foundation to modern day and features some of the more famous folks to have been outfitted by Belstaff over the years including Amelia Earhart, T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), Gracie Fields, Steve McQueen, Kate Moss, Ewan McGregor, David Beckham, Brad Pitt and George Clooney all wearing Belstaff as well as works by legendary photographers including Steven Meisel, Craig McDean and Peter Lindbergh. This book will be displayed in flagship store locations globally, in Belstaff showrooms and select partners but sadly will not be available for sale. You can however, enjoy more of the photos here.

To check out the jacket, click here.

Photography courtesy of Belstaff

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9 years ago

It is the emperor’s new clothes. These things used to stink and cover everything in sticky wax. They were worn by those who would probably faint if they knew they were now a fashion icon! 😀

9 years ago

I just looked at the Belstaff website. $895 for a cotton waxed windbreaker, as much as $2700 for their leather jackets. That is completely nuts.

Bertram Wooster
Bertram Wooster
9 years ago

Yeah, it’s a classic, but I remember when they cost a lot less than a clean, used motorcycle! Also: McQueen dating Ali McGraw in 1963? Better check that one.