Whenever I’m sending my mom pictures of some groovy pair of boots or coat I’ve got my eye on, she breaks my heart by saying, “Oh, I had a pair of those,” or “You know I had a coat just like that.” This always strikes me for one of two reasons: first, I definitely have decade-schizophrenia; and second, my mom had damn good style.
She’s not the only one, though. There’s this jacket my dad had that by now has legend-like status. It was a soft, nubbly leather bomber jacket, lined in shearling. I remember seeing, smelling, and touching this jacket when it was hanging in his closet. I wish I had my own, but I mostly wish I had his. It has since seen its final day, like my mom’s boots and coats.
So when I was perusing a site with some Alexander McQueen stuff— a favorite of mine— I saw this jacket that was like dad’s jacket reincarnated. The next best thing to having the original.
I wish I could have had the original, which I think went with my brother to college and was later stolen from him. But he was onto something in taking it in the first place.
I think that you can always tell when someone is wearing something that is really special to them. How many times have you asked someone, “I love that necklace, where did you get it?” and it ends up being something an aunt gave them that she bought ages ago from a wheelie cart in a foreign country. She’s beaming with this thing around her neck, and it ends up being less about what she’s wearing, and more about how she projects her individuality that draws you in. This is that intangible thing about women I love that I wrote about previously.
Many years ago, I was extremely nervous about meeting a certain guy out on the town with some friends. I called on an old friend when I was getting myself dressed— my Eat Fish t-shirt. It has frayed edges and I’ve been wearing some color variation of the same shirt since I was 8. They have served me well many times: fishing on boats, in the beating hot sunshine of the Keys, or scaling rocky beaches on Block Island. I pulled it on with some flip flops and a pair of khaki shorts. It was like taking out an insurance policy on the date.
Everyone in the crowd wore cute dresses or heels, but I’ve never felt more comfortable in my life.
Wear what you love. It looks good on you.