The day after I committed to purchase my first Vespa, I went home and checked out with a large shopping cart full of goodies from Scooter West. Patches, stickers, a string bag, just little stuff, but it was a largely symbolic thing, initiating myself into this culture. Then I did some more serious looking for moto jeans and a good pair of boots. After the fall I took during the test drive, I realized how close I came to the bike really doing some damage to my ankle.

Because I am a girl and I like girly-girl things, I had to find gear that was pretty. I haven’t been in this world terribly long, but long enough to notice that women’s gear tends to be pink, tribal, or a combination of both. I wanted neither. I wanted skinny jeans and boots I could wear on and off the bike. It was a bit of a hunt, but I settled on the Speed & Strength Moto Lisa jeans and boots, purchased from eBay and Amazon, respectively, because they were on closeout.

The jeans had to go right back. I’d read decent reviews of S&S jeans, and a handful that said their sizing is just kind of ridiculous. I found myself agreeing with the latter – I’m not especially curvy, but the fact that these fit in the waist and were super-tight across the hips just made me wonder who exactly they did fit – stick people? It was a shame because they felt nicely constructed and the decorative stitching really gave them a wow factor a lot of the other women’s jeans didn’t have. Still, back they went.

I had better luck with the boots. The Moto Lisa boots are lined in mesh for moisture wicking, but I realized after my first long ride in them that the tag is a bit itchy when worn against the skin. Tall socks next time, or tuck skinny jeans in. Either way, they have great details like engraved buckles and a tapestry print on the elastic gusset, and they are comfortable to walk in. I followed reviewers’ advice and sized down, a size 6 when I tend to need a 6.5, and that was a good call. Wearing them riding pillion for a few hours I was very grateful for the height – almost to my knee at the high point – because they provided great protection from the heat of the pipes. The material is a little bit stiff and they’re obviously not heirloom-quality anything, but for the price they were a heck of a deal.

I’m waiting now on my order from RevZilla with my Bull-it SR4 Flex skinny jeans. These should be the keepers – I ordered a pair after sending back the Moto Lisas, but had to send them back as well for being just a smidge too tight. Buying pants online, moto or otherwise, seems like an exercise in futility sometimes. I don’t mind paying a bit of a premium for good fit and material, but it sure would be nice to have a local place to try things on instead of going through this endless cycle of returns. Still, RevZilla and the eBay people have been tremendous about returns so I won’t complain too loudly. The jeans aren’t 100% necessary, but anything to add a little protection isn’t a bad idea for me. If the more I worry, the less things happen, then surely the more I gear up, the less I’ll end up on the ground and needing it.