The Piece That Started It All

In December of 2016, fashion was relatively new to me. My daily wear consisted mostly of black jeans, Vans, and thrifted sweatshirts. Eventually, I did decide that a trucker jacket would be pretty cool. As far as I was concerned (or really knew), Levi’s was the only denim brand, so that’s what I looked for. I was looking on Grailed because I was a poor high school kid and I wanted to save money, this one was $40, one of the cheapest on the site at the time. I bought it pretty quickly. I did not know how special it would prove to be.

Specifically, this piece is from a Spring 2011 capsule collection done in collaboration with Opening Ceremony, the third coming together of the two brands. This collection is best known for an anorak Chris Brown was papped wearing. The jacket is made in the USA of Japanese Chambray, with Opening Ceremony branding on the tag and buttons. It’s very boxy, with a width nearly akin to a medium but a cropped length of about 20 inches. It looks great worn over a sweatshirt to balance out the boxy fit on my diminutive frame. It was already well worn when I bought it with beautiful fades, a soft feel, and corners faded near white from wear and slightly threadbare.

But what is most special about this piece is not what it is, but what it represents. It was my first “real” purchase, my first dive into buying pieces used, my first foray into Americana, and my first experience with clothing that truly had character. Through it, I discovered my love for classic Americana/Workwear pieces, without it I would have likely never discovered my obsession with Japan’s Wacko Maria. Further, it influenced my love of punk/indie subculture and its fashion which helped to grow my musical interests and in turn further my sense of style. In February 2019, I added to it its only adornment, a pin for the band Gumming, who you should definitely check out.

I don’t really wear the jacket as much as I used to, in many cases it has been replaced by the aforementioned Wacko Maria. But, I would never sell this piece for any price. It’s affordable enough and hardwearing enough that it is one of the pieces in my wardrobe I can really easily throw on and live my life. And besides, it has had a huge influence on who I am, at least in terms of fashion, and that it a debt that I can never repay. I say that as if the jacket is a person, lord knows I love it as if it was.

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