Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! Where I am, the sun is shining and there’s only a few clouds in the sky- which bodes wonderfully for this afternoon’s planned cookout at my mom’s house with some of my family. There might also be a trip to the beach afterwards to see some fireworks, but I’ll see where the day takes me.
To celebrate July 4th, I wanted to show everyone this vest, which belonged to my father in the 1960s. It’s one of my most treasured pieces, not only because it was my dad’s, but because even after all these years it’s still in perfect condition. Created by the Great Northern Leather & Tea Co. (which I believe has since closed down. I did a search for the name and for the NYC address printed on the tag with no results), this fringed leather & suede Americana-inspired vest was so coveted by my father that he hitchhiked to New Hampshire to purchase it when he was in his teens.
While both of my parents were the epitome of flower children in that era- my father, who thankfully wasn’t drafted into the Vietnam War, who went to Woodstock and would tell me about waking up to Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”, and who had his fair share of bumping elbows with musicians who would later become rock n’ roll icons while he hitchhiked around the country getting into trouble with his friends (my favorite story that I used to make him tell over and over was the time Jimmy Page came into a bar my father was in after a show in NYC. Jimmy had his guitar on his back, and while he was making his way over to a corner of the bar to have a seat with Robert Plant and some groupies, he accidentally cracked my father in the back of the head with his guitar. My dad proceeded to call him a “fucking douchebag”, only to have Jimmy apologize profusely and buy him a couple of beers as a peace offering,)- my father had the same free spirit that I see in myself. He & I were/are so, so, similar.
The vest is pretty heavy on me (and my dad was a beanpole when he was younger. I don’t know how he wore this thing everyday), so I paired it with some denim shorts and a thin black tank top underneath. I wore a couple of bead bracelets I’ve collected over the years, and for my hair, to keep up with the hippie-chic look I was going for, I wore a headband designed to look like a crown of daisies.
I kept my makeup simple- just some mascara and a little blush, but I couldn’t resist adding a pop of red to my lips to match the fringed part of the vest.
Apart from inheriting my father’s free spirit, it seems I’ve also inherited his fashion sense, as well. I love this thing.