Lucky Charms

•4 minute read•By Susan Chan•


People have the strangest habits when it comes to luck. Some collect crystals or own rabbit’s feet, and others avoid walking under ladders or renting flats in buildings with 13th floors.

Clothes, as it happens, can also have a role our day-to-day superstition. Regardless of gender, we all have items we’re loath to part with, notwithstanding holes and stains. We latch on to certain treasures because they seem to impart swagger and sometimes even tip fortune in our favor.

For the boys, it’s those Metallica T-shirts hanging on by a thread. If not concert T-shirts, perhaps it’s boots, scuffed up in all the right spots, lending a little flair to each step.

We ladies don garments and accessories we believe accentuate our best parts, especially when Lady Luck (or a particular fella) is wanted. Pick your poison – earrings to frame the face, halter fronts revealing bare backs, scoop-necks showcasing décolletage, mini dresses and skirts exposing legs, heels that raise the bum – anything to feel good and boost confidence.

Don’t we look good if we feel good?

Owning up to your lucky charms is fun when you design for a living. Personally, I love flourishes such as owl-like glasses (think of Jenna Lyons, the famous originator), Prada’s raised loafers that accentuate male ankles, Steven Alan twist placket shirts, or even a tailored-to-fit graphic tee under a sharply cut blazer.

My particular lucky charm isn’t the guitar bracelets or the bandana’s I’ve been known to mix into my look, nor is it the latest Marni bauble or Celine bangle. It’s actually a little boy’s electric blue zip hoodie purchased in a California pharmacy’s clothing bin. I was with my sister at the time, in search for crisps, and happened to rummage through a bin advertising steals.

Hoodie group photo

Natty hoodie in a sea of black.

There’s absolutely no logic to why I love it. Maybe it’s because, unlike most off-the-rack purchases, it fits my tiny stature. When I wear it, enough compliments get thrown my way to justify such a ho-hum purchase, not that it needs justification— it was the price of a New York coffee.

It’s possible the vibrant shade allows me to take things less seriously. It’s also very possible that I’m not taken seriously when I wear it, but I don’t really care because I’m. Feeling. Awesome!

I usually wear it with a white shirt and denim maxi skirt ensemble, which can easily be dressed up by adding a skull-and-crossbones bowtie during design presentations or dressed down with a V-neck and rolled-up Levis.

My love for this hoodie means I very rarely wash it— I’d rather maintain its color than put it through a laundry cycle with all of my less important clothes.

Despite such intentions, it started to become quite natty. I once left it on a table at work, and a former boss mistook it for a vintage garment, cackled at its sorry state and pronounced it garbage. After safely extracting it from the conversation (diplomatically of course), I now de-pill and clean it carefully every season.

Have I gotten lucky in it? Well, I’m not telling. All I’ll divulge is I’ve enjoyed good times with charming company.

Such prized items have a way of shaping our identity. We don’t really need them, but, in their own unique way, they enhance our lives.

What’s your lucky charm?

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