Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hello Moto

Leather and Lace Moto Jacket (INC, Macy's); Pants (Joseph Ribkoff, The Secret Ingredient)
My Freshman year of high school, I was selected to take my science project to a Purdue University Science Fair. To be honest, I don't remember much about the experiment itself, except to say that it involved about 50 smelly, bacteria-laden petri dishes of agar that I let linger in an upstairs closet long after the assignment was over and grades were in, much to my mom's dismay and frustration.

What I do remember about the science fair, however, is wearing my dad's studded, black leather motorcycle jacket with a slim black pencil skirt and a cognac colored sweater that matched my hair. The jacket was ridiculously big on me, and I kept it on for my interview with the judges despite the fact that the exhibition hall was incredibly hot. I didn't win anything, but I felt like a grown up, sophisticated tough girl in that jacket - who ever said girls can't be smart and cool at the same time?! (Looking back and remembering the enormity of that jacket, not to mention my super-sized permed hair and stiff as a board "mall bangs," I now realize I was not nearly as cool as I thought I was). 
I paired the sheer lace jacket with a pale, flesh-colored tank here, but I also like it with a pop of color underneath for an entirely different look.
I'm guessing my dad felt pretty cool in that jacket, too. But he wore it while riding his Honda Goldwing, and it probably looked a little more apropos on him than it did on a 15 year old girl at a science fair. I have a lot of memories of that Goldwing my dad was so proud of. We had more than a few adventures on it, the earliest of which was a grade school father-daughter date night to my very first concert (a Kenny Rogers, Dottie West, and Oakridge Boys concert at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute). I think taking the bike was my favorite part of the excursion (or possibly the McDonald's fish sandwiches we ate for dinner).

Our longest motorcycle trip was to visit my great aunt Carol and uncle Jim for a long weekend at their cottage on Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee (nearly 800 miles round trip). I didn't have a moto jacket of my own at the time, though, and when it poured down rain most of the way home, a big black Hefty bag and duct tape bought at a truck stop along the route (sort of) saved the day. Of course, there is absolutely nothing about the sheer, leather and lace version of a moto jacket that I own today that would protect me from even the mildest elements, but it still makes me feel like a tough girl, so who cares! 
Leopard print, calf-hair ankle boots (Talbots); Clutch (Ann Taylor)
I don't know what ever became of my dad's old jacket. When he passed away 10 years ago, he had transitioned from a Goldwing to a Harley and upgraded to a soft black lambskin coat. I never learned to drive a bike myself (though I did manage to crash my Yamaha Razz scooter and a friend's moped more than once in my reckless youth), so I let the Harley go to his dear friend Ken Toney and the buttery soft leather jacket I gave to my Uncle Gary. I know they both honor his memory and share his love of the open road.  
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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