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Urban dictionary describes the term “Ride or Die” to mean; the people in your life who are there through thick and thin. They will do whatever it takes to make it through with you. The ones that will stick through till the end.
When I speak of “Ride or Die”, I’m not speaking of a person. I’m speaking of clothing! But just like your best friend, we all have that one or two articles of clothing that we just cant live without. Those few pieces that you will wear no matter how run down,”dogged” or distressed that they get. That piece that speaks to you, that’s too comfortable to give up, and ages as they say, like fine wine.
If you have been keeping track of my articles, you know I love my lists. So I have compiled my top three, all time favorite, “Ride or Die” pieces, in no particular order. First up, the Classic Leather Jacket. As I always tell my customers, a good leather jacket is about the only article of clothing you can consider an investment. I know all my economist, and investment broker friends want to shoot me right now, but please just give me a pass on this one. Quality leather is extremely durable, (especially when well taken care of), can stand the test of time and retains its cool factor no matter how distressed it gets. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be a good leather jacket.
Honorable Mention: Leather boots/shoes. Fellas get a good pair of leather boots or shoes and your are set for life, if you take care of them. A quality pair of shoes will last forever and you can always replace the sole in order breathe new life into them.
Tip: If you invest your hard earned, or easily earned money for that matter, in to a fine leather or suede piece. Take an extra couple of dollars and buy a treatment kit. Treat your leather well and it will do the same for you.
Next is another classic, Denim! Denim jeans be exact. Hard to believe they weren’t super popular till after the 50’s. I know people were kicking themselves thinking “what took so long?” after they realized how comfortable and practical they are. I have read multiple articles and seen videos of people who never wash their jeans (not recommending that) but their denim jeans still stand up like a champ. Again, another very durable fabric that comes in pretty much any color you can think of, and above all else will last forever. I still have jeans from college, with holes and all, and I still wear them. In fact denim weathers the storm so well that companies sell brand new denim jeans that are already distressed, worn and torn to perfection, that speaks volumes for this “Ride or Die” contender.
Tip: If you prefer to keep your denim looking and feeling like new, do not machine wash or dry them. (Denim does shrink and fade) Take them to the cleaners if it fits into your budget. If dark or dyed jeans start to fade, feel free to dye them yourself. Fabric dye is easy, inexpensive and a great way to pick your old denim back up and/or give them a new look.
Last, but certainly not least on my list is, (drum roll please) a good pair of Chuck Taylor All Stars aka “Chucks”, aka “Chuck Taylor’s”. This shoe is the definition of what we call in my circle, “an O.G classic” meaning they go way back in the world of cool and absolutely will never die. Whether you prefer high top or low top Chuck Taylor’s, the thick rubber sole and canvas design makes them tenacious, long lasting and very tough. Converse All Stars are definitely “Ride or Die”, in fact I like my chucks better when they are worn and nicely broken in but I also try to keep a fairly new pair in my arsenal as well. Made popular in the twenties and still popular today, “Chucks” are a staple in any piece, very inexpensive, and are a great way to bring a pop of color to your outfit.
Tip: Be creative when wearing chucks. They come in a variety of colors and styles so you can wear them with virtually anything. From patent leather chucks worn with a tuxedo at a wedding, to the original canvas chucks worn with a pair of khaki chinos rolled up, a button down shirt, some colorful socks or barefoot at your next summer or spring event. You can’t go wrong with this shoe.
These are just a few of my favorite pieces. Keep in mind though, any piece can be a “Ride or Die”. It’s all about your preference and personal style. Be creative and choose wisely. Try new things, discover new favorites. With the right care your “Ride or Die” will last forever. What’s your “Ride or Die”? No really, I would love to know. Put it in the comment sections.
As always Be Bold, Be Elegant, Be You.
Photo Cred: Jozi Lookbook