What’s the Story Behind Your Favorite Item of Clothing?

How timely that Leandra should bring up Ray-Ban Clubmasters on the one year anniversary of my losing my favorite pair.

It was a sad moment when I realized an hour too late that I’d left them on the seat of a Brooklyn-bound cab. But I was strangely more prepared than devastated as I’d been waiting for quite some time to lose them.

I’d always known that these perfect tortoiseshell sunglasses weren’t really mine to begin with. A year-and-change earlier, my friends from college were visiting and I had just moved to Manhattan. We were single, rowdy and drunk on the idea of being awake at 3 AM in this city that never sleeps. We were also actually drunk, and while trying to hail a cab on the corner of god-knows-where and what-bar-were-we-at, we met a crazy, handsome boy who I will call Chad.

He was a year younger than we were, visiting his friend and staying in Brooklyn. He was from a very small town and had never been to New York before, and the poor guy’s friend ditched him for a girl. He had no keys, no credit card, and no common sense.

My friends were on a mission to set me up with this blonde stranger. I was more concerned with obtaining pizza, but the girls were determined. It took five blocks of a very cramped cab ride for me to realize that my friends actually offered to let this stranger stay at their hotel, that he had agreed, and that I was somehow locked into the plan.

We arrived at the hotel room and hung out for a while. One by one the girls started to head to bed, until I was left with this random STRANGER (who was very good looking but could have been a SERIAL KILLER). We were alone in the living room with one pull-out sofa bed. I told him that if he touched me, looked at me, sneezed on me or breathed near me, he was dead. Then I pulled a giant sweatshirt over my head and fell asleep.

When I woke up, Chad was gone.

After convincing my friends that nothing had happened and then our collective lament on his leaving “without so much as a goodbye,” I tugged at a sheet to begin making the bed.

A quarter fell to the floor.

“Money!” I yelled and picked it up. Then I pulled the whole sheet off and literally ten dollars worth of quarters rained down like I’d won the laundromat championship.

“Maybe Chad is a leprechaun,” my friend wondered.

Then, once the sheets were stripped and the money was collected, I lifted the pillows. There, in the empty space between couch and mattress, was a perfect pair of authentic, tortoiseshell, Ray-Ban Clubmasters.

I claimed them as my own because finders keepers, and because my friends basically made me share a bed with a potential ax-murder. I wore them for years. But because I found them under such strange circumstances, I always felt that at some point and time, they would leave me…just like Chad did, without so much as a goodbye.

And a year ago today, they did.

Now come one come all ye leprechauns and children of the night: what’s the story behind your favorite item of clothing or accessory?

Image shot by Tommy Ton

  • CDJ

    One of my BFFs studied abroad in Florence and brought me home a beautiful pashmina that I probably wore twice a week for the past 5 years. I wasn’t able to study abroad in college due to my stupid major, so THIS WAS ALL I HAD. I obviously lost it this past fall in NYC after a day-boozing extravaganza. I hope the person that has it also has my 3 coats from 2011 I lost in NYC as well.

  • Ava

    That photo is STILL my favorite streetstyle snap/outfit perfection inspiration of all time, years later. Lily Donaldson and Clubmasters for the win.

  • Charis

    I always lose my favourite rings on nights out, that is why I stick to necklaces so that I won’t lose them.


  • heather nicole

    I lose sunglasses like its my job. But when I lost my clubmasters in a Subway (gross), I died a little. I didn’t even eat there I was just using them for their facilities, so I guess they got the better end of that bargain. I feel your pain.

  • Quinn Halman

    My current favourite is my comme des garcon striped long sleeved shirt. I had enough money from a gift card to buy it (yay free clothes) and it goes with so many outfits! I’ve had a great day every time I’ve worn it whether it’s been meeting Leandra herself or eating the greatest nachos known to mankind at the McGill student ghetto

  • Terrance J

    I had a short lived stint with a Marc Ecko car coat that I purchased during my sophomore year in college. Aesthetically speaking, it was a garment that perfectly married the nuances of high fashion and the ilk of street wear. It was, unfortunately, ganked, along with an entire trunk of clothes and a lamp. The fact that I got it thrifted is my only consolation for an otherwise tear-inducing affair.

  • Luisa Santana

    I got myself a Louis Vuitton after I realized how pathetic was my romantic life. Unlike humans, bags can be fit properly into my standars of perfection (and then I found perfection -again- sitting in a bus on my way home, we’re dating).

    • Maui Mendoza

      “I got myself a Louis Vuitton after I realized how pathetic was my romantic life.” Yup, been there.

  • Behind the Mirror

    amazing story! Love the randomness of everything that was involved.

  • Back in early 2005, I ordered a gorgeous ankle length button up sweater dress from one of my granny’s catalogs (side note- my grandmother is extremely fashion forward). When it arrived it was a bit too big to be worn as a dress. But, it was perfect as an ankle length cardigan. I loved that sweater…man I really loved that sweater. I wore it during a road trip to Arkansas with my family in Summer of 06. We caught a flat on the way there and ended up sleeping in a hotel. That night I took my cardi off and hung it up in the hotel closet. I got up the next morning, got dressed and left. It wasn’t until a week later while on the way home that I realized I’d left it in the closet. Of course it was too late by then to call the hotel to see if it was still there. I still miss that sweater to this day. I have searched and searched and have never been able to find anything close to it.

    So I’m totally feeling your pain on those sunnies (^_^)

  • I remember buying my first grown-up expensive kohl eyeliner when I was in school a few years ago. And I loved it. I know it seems so trivial and small – kohl but hey I was still in school and it was really cool at that time. So at a a family function where my family from London had flown down for, I packed a few essentials in my cousins purse including a makeup mirror and the precious kohl.
    After that, probably a week after the function got over I walked to my dresser to apply some before I left home and it just wasn’t there. I looked all over for it and it suddenly struck me. It was somewhere in my cousins clutch in London while I was here in Mumbai.


  • gdimu

    My favorite item of clothing is a Simply Vera by Vera Wang purple sweater my grandmother got on sale years ago, she was supposed to give it to a friend as a present, but we thought it was so beautiful that she kept it, but never wore it!! it was buried on a drawer, and it finally became mine when I got my wisdom teeth taken out and my grandmother gave it to me as a get well present, since then the sweater and I are BFF.

  • Alexis

    I once decided to splurge on a tweed red Iro jacket that took 35 hours of my paycheck (shit, I really wish I was kidding because that is a reaaaally long time) but in retrospect, I’m still going to say it was worth it. All 35 hours of it.

  • AlissAMR

    Love the whole idea behind this post!


  • Leatherboots

    On a trip to London a few years ago I had a plan to buy a really nice leather jacket. I went to Selfridges where I met the love of my life-my Acne leather jacket. I tried it on and I knew we were meant to be. It was magic. I nearly had a panic attack buying it, because I’ve never spent that much money on anything before but somehow buying it in another country made it less frightening. I’ve worn that jacket several times a week ever since and I’ll wear it until it disintegrate off my body.

  • Monte Krysto

    I have been living as a student in Madrid for two years, one of the first things I purchased here was a really cool leather bomber jacket. I always wore the jacket, but unfortunately never really thought about how much I enjoyed wearing it. It wasn’t until one evening early this fall when I decided to wear it out that I realized how much it meant to me. I entered a really dingy (but very fun) bar and obviously it was warm, so I decided to display the jacket over my shoulders which worked out fine at first… I ended up talking to really charming British guy and also got quite tipsy. The jacket stayed on my shoulders through numerous bathroom trips, bar trips, physical trips (only minor stumbles, I wasn’t [that] hammered) and conversations. Any whom long story short: I was able to keep the jacket on all through the night in a shit-hole bar, but forgot that I put it next to me in a cab later on when I was on my way home and left it in the cab. I have yet to find a leather bomber that I liked as much as that one.

  • Charisse

    What! Amazing – ode to the loss of Ray Ban Clubmasters. I too lost a pair on public transportation; a train headed to Central station in Sydney, although these weren’t just a finders-keepers item. They were a glorious inheritance from my mom’s closet that were about to be thrown out simply because the metal-framed nose pads were in bad shape. I wasn’t prepared to give up on such a beauty. So I tore them off and bought my own eyepads. I was a good keeper. And yet she was never mine to keep…

  • Tayler

    HAHA. This is the best story. The best. Mostly that he was a leprechaun. Keeping this one for the books.


  • Hillary Puckett

    Like you I have the worst track record when it comes to sunglasses. But last year one of my BFFs sold me probably half her closet, including possibly the most unique sunglasses I’d ever seen. My favorite is this pair of black and white sunglasses because they make such a statement, and I never leave the house without them.