Goodbye Big Red, Hello Black Leather

A classic leather jacket is a versatile wardrobe piece that can be worn year round.

If you follow my blog, you may know that when my husband and I married, we each brought two sons to our family. We struggled for a couple of years with transporting them around together in one vehicle because we didn’t own one big enough for six people. Then we found “Big Red.”

She was so tall that I could stand upright inside of it. She also had mood lighting in the back, a television and video game system, and a bench that unfolded into a bed. The kids loved it. I was mortified. But we bought this van and for the next seven years, she took us to beaches, skiing in the mountains, football and soccer games, track meets, through blizzards, on driving lessons with our teens, and up and down the East Coast to visit family and friends.

But as our kids grew, we outgrew Big Red. While she was reliable, she was also old. Her air conditioning worked intermittently. Her paint was chipping. And her brakes were beginning to go. So on Monday, we traded her in for a Ford Explorer. Although we were excited to finally have a newer vehicle, I would be lying if I said that we weren’t sad to hand over the keys to the dealer. That van had shepherded us through the early years of our kids’ lives with steadfastness, dedication and plain old grit. She took everything we threw at her (literally and figuratively) and kept on driving. We’ll never have another vehicle like her.

This striped maxi dress is a modern combines a classic pattern with a comfortable fit and updated feminine shape. Stripes With a Twist

Okay, now onto today’s outfit. I wore this striped dress from Talbots to celebrate my parents’ 50th anniversary a few weeks ago (I love stripes. Here’s one striped outfit and here’s another one). This dress is made of cotton, modal and spandex, and feels like a knit jersey material, much like a thick t-shirt. It is extremely comfortable. The top is fitted and the maxi skirt flows slightly away from the body. Talbots says that strategically placed stripes on the dress have a slimming effect. I felt pretty good in it, even after eating a large meal with my family!

As you can see, the look above is great for summer. With my simple sandals, this outfit is casual, comfortable and cool. By the way, Talbots still has this dress available online and it’s on sale! Please note that I do receive a commission if you click and/or purchase an item through my affiliate links.

A classic leather jacket is a versatile wardrobe piece that can be worn year round.

Classic Leather

For cooler weather, I’m adding my leather jacket from Wilsons Leather. This jacket was a gift from my husband, but I’ve always had a leather jacket in my closet. I consider it to be a wardrobe stable because it can dress up an outfit or go completely casual with jeans and a t-shirt. It can be worn year round and only gets better with age. Plus, to me, leather exudes calmness, confidence and adventure. How can you go wrong with that combination?

A classic leather jacket is a versatile wardrobe piece that can be worn year round.

I’ve had this leather jacket for a few years and it’s getting to the point where it’s comfortably worn in and fits like a glove. Here are some other options if you’re interested in a leather jacket (please note I make a commission if you click and/or purchase an item through my affiliate links).

A classic leather jacket is a versatile wardrobe piece that can be worn year round.To make this outfit even more appropriate for cool weather, I changed into my tall black leather boots. These are old, but here’s a similar pair on Amazon (I receive a small commission if you click and/or purchase items on my affiliate links). My boots, combined with the jacket, will keep me warm into late fall. Add a scarf and/or a cardigan, and I may even be able to wear this into December.

Tall black leather boots are a wardrobe staple that add warmth and style to any outfit.

A multi color bag adds a vibrant pop of color to a black and white outfit.

Color Cues

For my jewelry, I took my cues from my red bag to determine what pieces to add. My bag is old but here’s a multicolor one from Kohls that is cute (please note that I get a commission if you click and/or purchase items through my affiliate links). Click on the “Red Poppy” version.

Since this is a predominantly black and white outfit, I wanted to add more color. There are turquoise spots of color in the purse so I brought in my turquoise jewelry (also old) to match the purse and to add more color to the whole outfit.

Turquoise jewelry adds a nice pop of color against a black and white outfit.

This is one of those outfits that you can wear now and wear later. Adding a leather jacket (or a cardigan) will help carry your summer clothes into fall and maybe even later, depending on the weight of the material and your other accessories. This is also a great way to get more value out of your clothes.

A classic leather jacket is a versatile wardrobe piece that can be worn year round.

I read somewhere that a classic leather jacket hints of the journey on an open road. I once knew a red van that did the same thing.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and have a wonderful day!

Sharing this post with Samantha at Be sure to visit her blog for fun and inspiring style!

4 thoughts on “Goodbye Big Red, Hello Black Leather”

  1. Love this post.🙌 Beautiful & lasting memories of a once owned “Red Van” 😘
    PS: Info on your outfit was fantastic, mixing the stripes, leather, colors of the purse, then picking up the aqua color for the jewelry.
    Enjoy reading your posts.

  2. I love this look Cathy!
    How cool….especially those sliders.
    I had a similar dress a year or so ago and gave it away because I was struggling to make it feel like me.
    I wish I’d seen this post before handing it on to a friend….. :oP
    Great styling, and thank you so much for sharing my (fixed, thanks to your) link up button.

    1. Thank you, Samantha! I’m having a hard time packing away my summer dresses (and sandals) just yet because I can take so many of them into fall with my leather jacket, cardigan or light coat. I love your blog and am happy to share it with others for great style inspiration!


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