The jacket with the power of transformation

We all have that one piece of clothing in our wardrobe that we could never part with. For me, that’s a leather jacket.

You can never have too many jackets – every fashionista knows that. I can justify having all 15 of them in my wardrobe. Every single one of them has a purpose, from the casual denim to the furry winter pieces. But one of them has always been more important than the rest: my leather jacket.

When I was 12, I was in Tesco with my mam and nanna when I walked past a gorgeous leather jacket handing on the rack. It was amazing. It had a detachable faux fur collar, a belt looped around the waist and silver metal adorning it. I fell in love with it instantly.

GCSE results day with my jacket

At that age, leather jackets – or leather anything really – seemed very grown up and edgy, so I wasn’t sure if I could get away with wearing one. My main outerwear consisted of the same two waterproof jackets: a deep purple Trespass coat that might well be the most unflattering thing I have ever worn and a cheap coat with the typical fur around the hood. The girl with the shy personality, messy eyebrows and a haircut that did not suit me never imagined herself wearing such an outfit.

My friend’s birthday celebrations with my signature piece in 2017

I was used to the same generic clothing that I did not feel special in. I’d try and add a piece of jewellery or a hair accessory to spruce things up, but nothing worked. And that was frustrating. Absolutely nothing I wore gave me a huge confidence boost – until this jacket.

Trying it on was a dream. As soon as I put one arm in, I knew that I wanted it. Seeing my excitement, my nanna and grandad bought it for me as a Christmas present. As this was still a couple of months away, I had a while to wait and as a child, this was an eternity. I was beyond eager for Christmas day to arrive. Typically, when the day finally arrived, it was right at the bottom of the sack, but as they say, you save the best until last. As soon as I tore the wrapping paper off, I immediately swapped the jacket that I had worn that day for my perfect new one. Although it was slightly oversized, I didn’t care. I would grow into it and would be able to wear it for several years, which is exactly what I’ve done.

Earlier this year in Durham

I wore it to go to the shop, mini trips around the UK, my post-GCSE celebration with my friends, nights out. It works with everything. I could even call it my lucky jacket; I wore it to my job interview in ironically the same shop I bought it in and was given the job on the same day. The clothing really has come full circle.

Of course, like any teenage girl I loved to sometimes imagine that I’m the main character while wearing it. You can’t wear a leather jacket without being reminded of the iconic Grease scene where Sandy has her transformation – after all, the jacket is the one that I want. Aside from feeling like a movie character, the jacket is just confidence boosting. The shy girl vanished; a self-assured one took over. Paired with sharp eyeliner and a sleek ponytail, I feel unstoppable.

It’s never been just a jacket, it’s my fashion personality.


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