In 2001, Britney and Justin taught us that true love is best served with a tall glass of matching red carpet denim. There’s few things as rock ‘n roll, versatile, and unabashedly customizable as a classic denim (or leather! or fur!) jacket – or, if you’re Justin Timberlake, a denim-on-denim-on-denim tuxedo. For Modern Girls, a signature jacket is more than just a statement – it’s a story. Even if our personalized jackets didn’t make the 2001 AMAs red carpet (and the scrutinizing gaze of early 2000s fashion blogs), their stories are still worth being told.
Kristen’s Personalized Vintage Jim Beam Denim Jacket
i got this denim jacket in summer 2015 at a vintage store called No Relation in the East Village for $20. yep. twenty. dollars. i instantly knew it would be the best $20 i had ever spent. it was already perfectly worn, showing signs of a long past life. it started a second life with me and it somehow looks better with every wear. it’s become a personal safety blanket; it’s an item i always put on to feel confident and comfortable. i wear it so often around campus that i became known as “the girl in the denim jacket” to other students. the pins and patches reflect my interests, my growth, and my style. i love the concept of personalized denim jackets because no two are the same!
here is a map of my faves:
-led zeppelin patch: i met my friend vanessa at school during my lowest mental point and she instantly brightened my world and became my best friend. i got her into the strokes, and she got me (more) into led zeppelin. we both bought this patch together at a boston flea market.
– Allston Pudding pin: one of my favorite boston music blogs!
-my mom’s pin from the 70s
-the strokes angles pin i got when i first became a fan in 2011
– “i will make it out of this alive” patch by Stay Home Club
-keith haring pin from lacma that i got on my trip to LA last summer
-lazy gravestone pin from boston flea market
Vanessa’s Personalized Leather Jacket
This jacket and I have been through quite a bit together – drunk, long, forgotten, weird nights (some I can’t forget no matter how hard I try!) and yet, the feeling I get every time I wear it never fades away. I bought the leather jacket around five or six years ago before I went to Paris for the first time and ended up painting it in late 2014. I was inspired by mega-babe Sam Urbani in the ICONIC You’re Not Good Enough music video by Blood Orange that debuted the same year (you can watch it here) and grabbed a couple bottles of white acrylic paint and went to work. I am obviously not a professional/didn’t do a very good job, but the cracks in the paint are just a reminder of everything it’s been through.
“Fuck God in the Ass” is a poem written by Ed Sanders in 1967, most prominently known for being featured in his literary venture Fuck You: a Magazine of the Arts – a common breeding ground for New York’s art scene at the time, Andy Warhol et all. I found it at the Velvet Underground exhibit at the Philharmonie de Paris, one of my favorite safe spaces to exist in this world (more on that soon!). I’ve been told it makes people stay away from me so I wear it all the time. “Underground” pin was found somewhere in London, of which I can’t remember, but it reminds me of simple times, simple tunes, the best of being a modern day Libertine, and being free…
Megan’s Personalized Denim Jacket
I bought this oversized Levi’s jacket online (from asos.com, my ever-shrinking wallet’s fast-fashion savior) three years ago, and we’ve been in a wild, Nicholas Sparks-style love affair ever since. She’s been my ride-or-die constant everywhere, from parties, to concerts, to art shows, to class, and she’s run into everyone from Chloe Sevigny (swoon!) to Danny DeVito (double swoon!). Her front is emblazoned with enough buttons to serve as an icebreaker almost anywhere I go (“Dude, nice 9:30 Club pin! Are you from the DC area?”, “Hey, nice Björk pin! What’d you think about Vulnicura?”), which is a warm source of comfort in unfamiliar places. Every time I slip on my jacket, it’s like branding an Ok Cupid profile on my chest. (I’d view this as a vast technological achievement. No need to wear your heart on your sleeve – just wear buttons!)
In true Girl Scout fashion, the back of my denim jacket is candy-coated in a thick layer of patches. Not only do I love the personalization (and sewing practice) that comes hand-in-hand with patches, but I love using my patch purchases to support small businesses and artist. And, like the buttons, they’re an instant convo-starter.
shop my patches at PIN AND OUT (here), METADOPE (here), INNERDECAY (here), and DARLING DISTRACTION (here) (*which is where you can find the Drake Tears patch!*)
Chaia’s Personal-Not-Personalized Faux Fur Coat
(enjoy this pic from the banana republic website because my actual coat is currently in nyc storage—i miss her dearly)
ever since i started dressing myself as an elementary school kid, my fashion philosophy has always been form over function, i.e. aesthetic over everything. while this policy keeps my style consistent, it also left me freezing for most of last fall because i could not find a coat that was both cute and warm enough to survive a nyc winter. that is, until banana republic (a store i have not shopped at, before, or since) blessed me with this coat on sale for less than half of the price, stuffed into a back corner of the SoHo store —my favorite color combination of black and white, oversized motor cut dream.
i went into banana republic in search of a pink bomber jacket in the window and tried on this beauty on a whim, being even more encouraged to buy it when the saleswoman helping me said i was only the second person she had ever even seen try it on. ever since swiping my debit card that fateful day, this coat became my winter’s daily companion, and, paired with the right pair of sunglasses, it magically transformed any combination of clothes i had on under it from an outfit into a certified look. i wore this coat so much that it became something i was known for; it even earned me the fond (i think?) nickname of cruella de vil from my roommates and friends. while not tricked out with cool patches and pins like the choices of my fellow modern girls, this spotted masterpiece is one of my best fashion friends and i cannot wait to unveil her again this winter!
Jeanette’s Personalized Denim Jacket
This was one of those magically right time, right place stories. I found it at the swapmeet (heard this was a local term, so like, a flea market?) & I walked by a small stand with a big pile of jean + denim stuff. I go straight to it & the jacket was there; it was love at first sight. The best part was that it cost me $5 (!!) for an oversized levis denim jacket in great condition (after washing a few times just for safety precaution). I tend to wear this baby as much as I can with as much as I can. The thing I love about denim jackets (as with its sibling the leather jacket) is that I find that they’re the most staple & stylish pieces that can really pull any outfit together for a number of occasions. But, let’s be real, Los Angeles has perpetually warm weather so I do tend to wear it for the aesthetic purposes a lot – but it does come in handy on April 25, because its not too hot, not too cold & all you need is a light jacket.
With its styling, I definitely love the concept of simplicity with flashes of eccentric, which is why I’ve recently decided to start dressing this little baby up with some pins & such. I currently have some inspirational people on there (selena, basquiat, einstein), the strokes + cult records because obvio & probably my fav which is a little heart patch with the correct spelling of my name. Seems vain, but I NEVER find things with my name on it, so I am relishing the find. Also, it serves as a little ice-breaker name tag. Very win-win. However, tbh, I feel like a bit of a commitment-phobe when it comes to decoratives, which is why I lean more towards pins because you can always move them around on different pieces. Patches//permanent pieces are like marriage in my head. Am I willing to commit to this aesthetic for the rest of my life? Do you love this shit? Are you high right now? Are you nervous?… But for now, i just see the back + my jacket as a blank canvas waiting for inspiration to strike. Would like to dedicate this post to my beloved Malcolm x pin that fell off – RIP, lost but never forgotten.
What’s your favorite jacket? Tell us the story of your signature, personalized denim – or leather – or faux fur – or… what other options are there? Cargo? … jacket, in the comments!