- On the fitted, less unisex/androgynous side.
- Like the "not gear" look, but prefer white or lighter for visibility. But I'd consider darker.
- Would like to top out at $200. Less is always better. It's my first jacket; it doesn't have to be my only. But one jacket that does a good job with a layer or two under or over would be great.
I prefer a more fitted jacket. For example, I was able to try on the Dainese Air-Frame. The women riders in the store assured me that the 38 (or was it 40?) was the size I needed ("that's how it fits me, too," each said). And it might have been the best size for the elbow armor, but, wow--just way too snug across the bust. The next size up was fine, but they thought the armor in the elbows moved a bit too much. So maybe the Dainese brand just isn't for me (5'4", about 110, but C-D bust). I do like the shape of the Alice (based on the video), but it doesn't look like the bust would fit any different. Same thing with the Ignition 2. Really like the look (on the RevZilla vid and based on your blog), don't really want to spend that much, especially because I question the fit.
The Alpinestars seem to give me a bit more room in the bust. Most of their jackets are way to branded for me, though.
I've looked at photos/descriptions/videos/reviews of a million jackets. And have been able to try on a few.
I just stumbled upon the Fieldsheer 3.0. Difficult to tell about fit without seeing it on someone. One reviewer said it was a potato sack.
And I do like the look of the Spidi Netix in white. But I'm not sure, without buying the thermal liner, it will be enough to carry me into the fall/winter/spring in San Diego.
Keep in mind that at your weight and size, your choices are very very limited. If you're 110, and a C/D bust, then you technically are a 40 (they dont offer 38 really) but because your bust is larger than your overall size, you may have to go up to a 42 to accommodate your bust. also, remember that all of the Dainese jackets are shorter across the front on purpose. so make sure that you are checking that fit in riding position, NOT standing or front of the mirror. They're all designed to be more comfortable with arms forward and out, reaching for your handlebars. It's definitely doesn't feel normal, compared to shopping for casual clothes. I think for you, it's partly getting used to this new kind of clothing and adjusting to a fit that's more ideal for riding position. However, that being said I can definitely understand the bust still being too tight because generally speaking, Dainese jackets do not have a very generous fit in the bust if you're larger there proportionally to the rest of your body.
And going up in size for the bust means a looser fit everywhere else. Unfortunately your proportions are backwards for gear manufacturers. You'll have to increase your budget quite a bit as well, $200 for something that fits you is almost impossible except for the Dainese Air Flux at $199. If you can wear a sports bra, I highly recommend doing so for riding because it'll reduce your bust size a bit to help the jackets fit more comfortably. European manufacturers are the *only* ones who make size 0s because American woman are an average size 10-12.
Do not go with the Ignition 2, even a 34 won't work for you. It's a very VERY boxy cut. If you want to keep the fit for the shoulders/elbows/arms, then you'll need to size down to 34 Revit or 40. I think you may fit a Revit Xena; I know it doesn't fit your aesthetic but you will have to give up one or more of your requirements to get something that actually fits you and will protect you. Unless you start lifting weights and increasing your muscle mass :)
The Revit Indigo is multi layered, a removable waterproof and removable thermal liner. Since it's multi season, you're paying more than $200. It's a fantastic jacket, and will work mostly year round except in extreme heat or cold temps.
Another option, although bust may be too snug in a 38: http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/alpinestars-womens-vika-leather-jacket-2012
You could do 40 in this one, since it runs really narrow. It would probably fit your bust better but still have a slender, fitted cut. http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/alpinestars-womens-vika-leather-jacket (this is the 2014 version of the vika, thus more $)
As far as the Spidi Netix, it's strictly summer so you'll need some sort of windblocker or thermal layer inside to keep you warm through the winter. If you had something like a North Face Windproof Jacket underneath, I could see that working in San Diego. But anything with mesh will allow a lot of wind to go through. I would recommend Spidi's liner, they work really well.