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Think of Sandy’s new style persona at the end of Grease, or Patrick Swayze’s character Johnny in Dirty Dancing. Hell, even aviator-wearing Tom Cruise in Top Gun is a decent example. They all have one sartorial similarity that’s meant to illustrate their pure and effortless level of coolness. It’s the leather jacket. The vibe we peg on it fits, though. The fabric, by nature, is tough, durable, gets better in age, and is protective to the point that motorcycle riders might just trust in it to help shield their falls. And when you find the right one, it has the ability to make everything in your closet look instantaneously cooler.

It’s something I witnessed first hand, and why I will always agree when it makes any running list of “What a Woman Should Own,” right there next to a blazer and a white V-neck. And because this is InStyle, I’m going to tell you about mine. If you’ve watched our Editor-in-Chief’s Dirty Laundry series, you know we have a sweet spot for the impact an article of clothing can make on your life. This leather jacket? It’s moved mountains for my self confidence, and it’s been the finishing touch on more outfits than I can count. It’s the chicest security blanket I own.

I discovered it—my black perforated RD Style faux leather jacket—when I was an assistant. I was covering an event, and after going through the stations, I was told I could pick one special item to take home. Right out of collegeand living in New York City, I could have cried.

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My eyes immediately fixated on the texture of the jacket, its gold zippers, and its flexible, folded lapels. I felt a connection, and I love those rare moments. I’ve had it with the city of New York, friends I can now call my soul sisters, and even a pair of ‘70s-inspired culottes that mimic what Hillary Clinton wore back in the day. After I tried it on, I remember a fellow event-goer telling me she questioned it but loved it when she saw it on me. It’s Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants-esque, for sure. At first glance, while you can admit it’s cute, it doesn’t give you the same level of shock that a new Chanel collection does. It’s another story when its hung on your shoulders.

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