If I could be said to have a signature piece in my wardrobe, it would definitely be my cropped motorcycle jacket, an item I reach for so often that I simply refer to it as “my leather.”
A quick perusal of my tagged photos on Facebook turns up more pictures of me in my leather than not. Clearly, I love this thing.
Full disclosure: my leather is not actually leather. It’s a leatherette motorcycle jacket from H&M Divided — not very punk rock, but I don’t care. I got it on sale for $19.99 about four years ago. It was the only one on the rack, it was my size, and it is perfect in every way. (I like to think it was fate.) I’ve come close to losing it a few times and every time I do I have heart palpitations. Without my leather I’d be lost.
A standby leather motorcycle jacket is nothing original, especially if you hang around with people who have punk in their past, but what I appreciate about people and their leathers is how they get personalized over the years with studs and paint and patches and pins. Personally, mine is dripping with flair, and it makes me laugh because most of the buttons and shit on my leather are pretty silly. From afar it might look like anyone’s pinned-up leather jacket, but when you get close up it’s totally completely me.
A guide to my leather in ten easy steps:
1. Cunt Sparrer badge. Nothing wrong with a little self-promotion. I guess it’s kind of lame to wear your own band’s pin but I’m proud of my band and I’ma sport it.
2. Cramps pin. One of my favorite bands of all time and like the only pin on my leather that would actually be at home on anyone else’s.
3. Vintage Slayer “War Eagle” tack pin. My friend Katy stole this from a metalhead ex-boyfriend she had long ago and gave it to me as a gift (attached to a sick ’80s dress) a couple of years ago. It’s heavy duty and badass and people try to steal it from me all the time. Back off and get your own, dudes.
4. “Too Much Politics” button. I got this at Paxton Gate in San Francisco (a seriously fucking rad shop) when I was up there with the band earlier this year. I love the little dude in his coffin because this is basically how I feel whenever people start going off on political tirades.
5. “Fuck Harry Nemer Week” political badge. I found this at the Cypress College swapmeet along with a handful of other weird treasures. Who is Harry Nemer and why was there a whole week dedicated to telling him to fuck off? I Googled him, but nothing comes up. This is such a weird little piece of history that I will never understand, but it’s an awesome fabric-covered pin and people always want to talk about it. I wish I knew what it was all about.
6. All Of Me lenticular pin. OK THIS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST THINGS I OWN. I got it at the same swapmeet table where I found the “Fuck Harry Nemer Week” pin and when I saw it I pretty much lost my fucking shit. All Of Me starring Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin is one of my favorite movies and when I found this pin I had just watched it a couple of days before. When it’s turned one way it shows Steve Martin’s face and it says “Why Not Take…” and when you turn it the other way it’s Lily Tomlin and it says “All Of Me.” SO CUTE. It always confuses people. A few months ago when I was on tour with the band my drummer Jen turned to me and said “Dude, that pin is weird. Sometimes that chick looks like Steve Martin.”
7. JonBenet Baphomet pin. People always think I am creepy because of this pin but I don’t care. It marries two of my weirder obsessions — the occult and freaky child pageants. It was made by Less Than Zero, a really sick Etsy shop based out of Sacto.
8. FabuLisa pin. This is my friend Lisa Nguyen, a seriously incredible and vibrant woman who passed away far too soon last winter. She had the greatest style of anyone I’ve ever met in my life and I love having this little piece of her with me every day.
9. Black Fag pin. Black Fag is an “Absolutely Fabulous” Black Flag tribute band that Cunt Sparrer plays with a lot. They are fucking amazing and hilarious and I am desperately in love with all of them.
10. Red sunglasses. A band of cute boys gave us these at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas. What else do you need?
In summary, I love you, leather. Never leave me.