Yeah, material objects don’t matter, but some of them hold magical powers. TRANSFORMATIVE powers. Sometimes a leather jacket or a particular record album sharpens a moment in time to a brilliant point that cuts you a portal to a new self. In this new recurring feature, people tell us about the objects that did that for them.
Can’t Stop Wearing: Meredith, singer and guitarist in SHOPPERS
I am hopelessly obsessed with my all-time favorite article of clothing: my motorcycle jacket. I found it five years ago at an indoor flea market, the type where people rent 10×10 squares of cement floor and fill them to the ceiling with old crap from their garage to sell on consignment. There weren’t any mirrors around, so I had to decide whether or not to buy it just based on how it felt. One of the back seams is split completely open, most of the zippers are separated from the leather, and the taupe canvas lining has disintegrated into shreds, so when I put things in the front pockets they slowly float around to the back of the jacket (which is weird and disconcerting when my cell phone is on vibrate). I legitimately wear it every single day.
Can’t Stop Wearing: Judy, dancer/student
I am totally obsessed with this tartan schoolgirl skirt that I got at the thrift store around the corner from my house in Bushwick! Even though I was raised Irish Catholic I never got to wear the ridiculous uniforms my other friends in private school got to wear, so this skirt is kind of a nod to my childhood fantasies. When I first bought it, it was much longer, so of course I had to chop it to Cher Horowitz length (anything longer and I would have looked like a nun!). I love it wear it with the vintage Harley Davidson/Elvis tank top, vintage red Justin boots that I got a Metropolis in the East Village, and some cat-eye liner—it makes me feel like a bad girl in a John Waters flick!
Can’t Stop Listening: Janai-Chanelle, customer-service rep
I watched Bye Bye Birdie last year, and I developed the biggest crush on it. Just one viewing and I knew that I had found the love of my cinematic dreams. Like, I full-on swooned over Ann-Margret and Dick Van Dyke, the songs (especially the opening sequence with Ann-Margret singing the title tune), the hip-swinging, the clothes, the Technicolor film on which it was shot, just EVERYTHING about it!
Bye Bye Birdie takes place in the 1950s in the fictional town of Sweet Apple, Ohio, but it’s still relevant, especially when it comes to teendom. Sure, no one who’s going steady nowadays is getting “pinned,” but teens still go through puberty (uh, last I heard), kiss, break up, gab away on the telephone (or text away on their cells), feel like their parents don’t understand them, and get picked to appear on live TV where their celebrity crush serenades them before attempting to go to first base. (OK, maybe not that last part.) ♦
If you have a clothing item or other object with Special Powers in your life, send a picture of you & it and a description of your relationship to Leeann, and write Can’t Stop in the subject line, OK?