With all the buzz from the new Klim Altitude Dual Sport suit for ladies, I thought you might find these tips useful while looking at motorcycle gear. Especially if you're a woman... but certainly useful for men too.
Aside from my Shopping Rules, these are just a few other tidbits that I share often with customers and thought you might find interesting as well!
Choosing a Brand
Generally speaking, you will want to go with an American company if you have more of a curvy body type. Or if you have shorter arms/legs, broader shoulders / torso, shorter arms or legs, that the American brands will cater to the average American woman, whom is typically a size 12/14. And for the most part, American brands will offer the most generous fitments with more room in these areas because well, that's where most American women need it.
Conversely, if you are very petite (almost underweight) or very lean/long in the arms, legs and torso then you must go with the European brands. Italians, Germans and Dutch brands dominate the industry with more options if you fall into any of these categories.
These guidelines also apply equally to the men out there too. Long and lean, go Euro. Shorter and more athletic/broad, go American.
Remember, these are general guidelines and certainly exceptions apply to brands such as Rev'it, which actually offer the widest variety of fitments in their collection.
Sizing your Motorcycle Boots
Know your European shoe size. It's pretty much right 99.9% of the time. Go look in your closet right now, find 3 pairs of shoes and see what the European size is. Then see what they say the US size is. I'm betting that the US definitions are all over the place. I've found that you can pretty much associate your casual, European shoe size with any motorcycle boot and you will have a very accurate size to start with. But much like clothing, you will then have to figure out the various fitments between the brands. (And that's where a company like Revzilla comes in to help you sort things out).
When you step into any motorcycle apparel store, or a dealer that stocks gear, their salespeople should be able to steer you to a particular brand that will fit you first, and then your budget, style preferences, etc. If they have no idea how one jacket fits, vs. another, you will probably end up with something that's too big/long/wide/etc. Or worse, something that won't do it's job quite right if you go down. Fit has a direct connection to safety, and that's in the form of your body armor as far as how it's supposed to sit up against your body: snug, so it won't move and slip sideways off of your body! It also has a direct connection to staying warm, and insulating you from the cold. Any extra space or gaps increases the likelihood that you will be cold because now there's cold air swirling around in that bubble on your chest instead of keeping a nice snug seal against your body.
And that's why I'm here, and why companies like Revzilla exist to help you figure this stuff out. It's not easy (especially the first time), it's a major pain in the ass and can be one of the most frustrating things you've ever gone through in your life.
As I come up with more tidbits, I'll try to update this post. That's it for now, stay tuned for a special Gear Q n' A on Moterrific so we can address some of your specific questions when it comes to gear!