Thursday, March 5, 2009

Weekday update #39: The Sista' and the Traveling Leather Jacket

This morning, my last minute husband informed me that we'd be meeting some "big time interior design" clients of his for dinner. Whatever that means, they sounded like very interesting and artsy people. So at the last minute, I had to put together something that would take me from the office to dinner and not look too boring. Luckily, the weather has warmed up to a spring-like 65 degrees. Yeah! That opened the door to those sleeveless dresses I have been waiting to wear. This particular one has a shiny black silk bodice with a large bow, which is connected to the chiffon skirt that looks like a separate piece. Being a fairly lazy dresser, I am all for two-in-one constructions. Fearing being cold in the office and looking too simple, I decided that an extra layer would be a good idea and, what do you know, this lace vest was hanging right next to the dress. Just the right size to fit snugly over the dress and let the bow come through the collar. Another serendipity moment? I think so.

Upon C's suggestion, I decided to tell the real story behind this jacket. Enjoy!...

I bought this jacket in 1997 for $60. I remember it well, as this jacket has been with me through some good and bad times. Back then, there was a vintage boutique in my neighborhood called "The Dressing Room." I loved to walk past the shop just to see their display windows. The woman who owned the shop did a lovely job of making what was once considered old, look so new. While attempting to view her display window, there was this damn ladder in the background impeding my view, thus forcing me to go inside to have a better look around. The ladder belonged to the handy-man that was fixing a busted shelf over the register. After squeezing around his poorly positioned ladder, I accidentally knocked down a leather jacket. I reached to retrieve it and while putting it on the hanger, noticed it was really awesome looking. I walked over to the wall mirror and tried it on. As soon as I placed my left arm inside, I knew it was too small. But not by much. I was going to try it on anyway, all the while praying that the handy-man didn't see me fighting to squeeze my fat arse in and out of this damn jacket! Once I was free, I walked it to the counter where a pretty brunette (the store's co-owner) rang me up and told me that I had gotten myself one fine piece!

I took it home and ran into the house to show my husband my find. While trying to explain why I bought the jacket, he barked, "you mean to tell me you spent $60 on that old arse jacket?! You can't even fit it, you're too fat. I could have used that money at the Falcons game! You do stupid sh&! sometimes." Let's back up shall we...

I've read and seen countless stories regarding domestic abuse. Countless. But no one ever told me about the horrors of emotional abuse. Not ever. In 1996, I married an emotionally & mentally abusive man. That relationship damn near took the life out of me. I will spare you the details as they are not necessary to my point, which I will get to in a moment, I promise. Now, moving back to that conversation with the EX, I said, "Whatever, you have no idea what you're taking about. I will wear this jacket, one day..."

Fast forward if you will to 2001. I am officially 275 lbs. lighter (250 of those lbs. being HIS!) and headed to the local coffee shop one brisk Sunday morning decked out in my $60 vintage leather jacket, and looking lovely as hell if you ask me! ^_^ While ordering a biscotti and a coffee, a beautiful blonde (clutching a stroller containing her doppelganger) taps me on my shoulder and says, "excuse me, but did you buy that jacket at The Dressing Room?" I was stunned. "Yes I did, but that was some years ago." I said. "Oh, about 5 or so." She said, while directing her eyes toward the stroller. "You see, that was my jacket and I absolutely loved it. I didn't want to get rid of it, but after I had her, I knew I would never get back down, so I put it in the shop. Me and a friend owned that shop together, but I sold out a few years ago. I'm glad to see it went to a good home, you wear it well." "Thanks!!!" I said, and went about my day. Still relishing in the fact that my dumb-bum ex husband didn't know what the hell he was talking about.

This is the last time I'll have you scroll forward the tape, I promise! But wind on forward to 2004. My current bf and I (already 2 years into our relationship, mind you) were headed out to a Harry Connick, Jr. concert. On that moderately chilly night, I donned my trusty leather jacket. As I walked into the living room, my bf says, "HEY! I know that jacket." I'm like, "no you don't, I got this thing years ago, long before I met you." "That jacket was in my ex-girlfriend's shop, The Dressing Room." I couldn't believe it. He did know this jacket. He went on to say, "how did you get it, cause I was there when this homely, older black lady bought it. It was kinda funny, cause she didn't know I was watching her from my ladder trying to squeeze into it!" "That was YOU on that ladder, you've got to be kidding me! I'll have you know, that 'so-called' homely, older black lady was ME, dufus!" He cocked his head to the side, looked me up and down and said, "wow." Then, after another short pause, "WOW!"

(vintage leather jacket; Brooks Bros. button down; Lulu Guinness studded scarf; Victoria's Secret - Body by Victoria pants; Michael Kors pumps)


  1. That is the best darn story I've heard in a very very long time! Good for you! And like I said this morning, you look awesome in it!

  2. Hi there-what a story, thats totally awesome!! You look gorgeous in this jacket my dear!

  3. Cathy I adore the one piece that you wore for work and unto your hubby's event. Very chic honey!
    Gigi what an amazing journey this jacket has had with you. It was meant to be yours. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with its lows and highs. You are an amazing woman with a beautiful soul.
    The jacket looks fabulous honey.
    big hug,

  4. Thanks Sharon and Marian. I was a little worried about sharing this story, but you're right about life having highs and lows. It's so what makes us who we are. Better yet, who we can become!

  5. First of all, congratulations on being able to celebrate spring. I woke up to accumulated snow this morning.

    Gigi, that is the craziest, most amazing clothing story I've heard in just about forever! Cheers to ending bad relationships and becoming more awesome!

    I have been searching for a leather jacket for years. I have never found anything quite right. This story proves to me that such a special piece is out there and worth the wait.

  6. What an amazing story!! And a gorgeous jacket ;)