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My Love Affair With Leather

madelyn chung

I’ll never forget my first leather jacket.

Well, technically it was suede, but it was lavender in a classic, button-up jean jacket style from Danier. My mom got the same one in a light turquoise hue, and we would proudly wear our matching jackets in true mommy-and-me style. I was probably 11 at the time.

Trips to Danier’s outlet store in Ajax, Ont. were a common occurrence in my family back in the day. We’d go on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, often times with my dad, looking for new pieces to add to our wardrobes. My dad always had to approve of my purchases (at least, if he was paying for them). Having owned a coat store on Spadina back in the early ’90s, he was a stickler for good-quality clothing, often times inspecting my poorly-manufactured tees from La Senza Girl and refusing to allow me to go into the store ever again (he preferred Gap Kids and later Zara, though I think these days, he’d be appalled at the quality of clothing from both stores, to be honest).

My current leather jacket.

Back then, I didn’t want anything black. It was the colour my dad preferred,  along with dark, rich brown hues that just got better with age and wear. I, however, rebelled, opting for a white jacket as my next purchase and, surprise, surprise! Mom got a white one too, but in a different style. I think I ended up getting pen on mine, much to my parents’ dismay.

I guess you could say that’s where my love, or at least appreciation for leather jackets all began. Unfortunately, I quickly outgrew (both physically and mentally) those two jackets, and soon began yearning for classic black leather pieces, partially from my dad’s conditioning, and partially from being scarred from the pen incident.

madelyn chung

I dabbled in a few other leather jackets, many of them faux, especially when I was in university and couldn’t afford a real piece. One particular fave was a pleather piece from Joe Fresh Kids, simply because I like how cropped it appeared on my torso. When I finally had enough money to afford a real leather jacket, I went straight to Danier (old habits die hard), opting for a moto-style looking topper, which, to be perfectly honest, I mostly bought because I wanted a leather jacket for a date I was going on later that evening.

That jacket quickly became the one piece in my closet that gave me the extra boost of confidence when I needed it. It felt like my own personal piece of armour, and made me feel more powerful and instantly more badass the second I would put it on. Though I did spend a lot of money on it, I definitely made up for it with the cost-per-wear. In fact, I wore it so often, the lining got worn out and the leather started ripping.

These days, I’m rocking what I think is the perfect moto jacket from Club Monaco. It has served as my go-to for a first date (I like the fact that it’s a bit intimidating and like to think no guy will f*ck with me when I wear it) and still the piece I wear when I am feeling insecure or blue.

That’s the thing with clothes, or even makeup. Not only are they forms of self-expression, but they have the ability to completely transform you, change your mood, or give you that extra boost of confidence. So I guess you could say my real love affair is with fashion, though my leather jacket is a key character in this romance.

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