I have a somewhat shady history with vests. In the 7th grade—the height of the grunge era!—I sewed a vest from farm animal fabric and proudly sported it to school. As you might imagine, a homemade garment printed with pigs and chickens didn't go over so well amongst my Nirvana-loving peers. Since then I've avoided waistcoats completely. I assumed I was scarred for life.
So I was surprised when I recently started feeling the vest urge again. This time around, however, I decided to take a tougher route with a leather biker vest. It's loaded with enough hardware (zippers and snaps galore!) to offset my previous fashion infractions. Yet the leather itself is butter-soft, perfect for all seasons and comfy enough to throw over anything.
In this case I fancied it up a little with a knit dress, but I've also been pairing it with jeans and tees, and layering it over an army jacket. Wouldn't you know it, this new vest is healing those old junior high sartorial wounds. It's made me realize that if I'm cool enough for this piece now, I was just as badass back then when I flaunted 90's style in the face with farm animal couture. Rebel, rebel!