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liz pic 1

Packing my favorite grey leather motorcycle jacket for my recent weekend ride got me thinking about this iconic jacket style. I purchased my current version in Italy in 2012. It was a little pricy but I have absolutely no regrets. To get that same jacket in the US, I would have probably paid three times as much. And the quality of the leather is like “butta”. I have another black version, a little less fitted, with a fur liner, that I have taken on all of my motorcycle trips and it has withstood wind, cold, sand, dirt, rain, and hail.

So, where did what me call the motorcycle or moto style jacket originate? Well, in 1929, brothers Irving and Jack Schott, the sons of Russian immigrants, created the first biker jacket, which they called the Perfecto. initially made for utility purposes, it quickly came to stand for all things cool, rebellious, and edgy. The company, Schott, NYC is still in existence today making some pretty cool versions of the classic jacket.

Try to imagine James Dean, Marlon Brando or Fonzie without the leather motorcycle jacket. Not possible.

Then try to imagine what you would wear in place of your leather motorcycle jacket whether you want to dress up or dress down an outfit and stay warm. It can even be worn over formal wear. In fact, I can’t think of an occasion when I would not wear one.

 

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Vintage Bonwit Teller Jacket (front)

Okay, I have a confession to make. My favorite shopping place lately is not exactly a retail store per say. It is what is called a “thrift store”. Locally, we have two Goodwill locations that I frequent. This is the key to finding bargains and selection is to go often. I found out recently they now have an online shopping site too – www.shopgoodwill.com

I have recently scored some really unique clothing/accessories for myself. I even found a cool vintage leather and suede purse for my son’s girlfriend. She is into vintage fashion, especially the mod style of dress that was popular in the 60’s which I think this purse will fit in well with.

I found a great vintage jacket for me as well. It appears to be a wool and is fitted with three quarter length sleeves. It does not have a tag with materials or care instructions but it does have the original “Bonwit Teller”  label as well as an “Oscar Beverly Hills” label,  which I guess is the designer.   Bonwit Teller & Co. was a department store  in New York City founded by Paul Bonwit in 1895 at Sixth Avenue and 18th Street. In 1897 Edmund D. Teller was admitted to the partnership and the store moved to 23rd Street, East of Sixth Avenue. Bonwit specialized in high-end women’s apparel.  The store was relocated many times and ownership changed hands. Eventually, other locations were opened.  It eventually closed in 1990.

Another intersting tidbit;  artist Andy Warhol designed window displays for Bonwit Teller.

Bonwit Teller

Bonwit Teller ad from Vogue 1963

Vintage Bonwit Teller Jacket (back)