Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is both a mouthful and a spectacular eyeful. The second I saw Margot Robbie draped in a clear motorcycle jacket with colorful ribbon fringe, I knew I had to have it. There were some initial delusions of grandeur about crafting one, especially when I discovered the costume designer lives in my neighborhood and was willing to share patterns and tips around Halloween 2020.
Luckily, DC knew what the people wanted and released an official version available at select costume purveyors. But this is not a costume to me — it’s a uniform and the best $60 I’ve spent in a year.
Hair tie not included — This iconic statement piece slides especially well into my generally neutral wardrobe, so I expect to get a lot of use out of it. The sleeves are actually a mesh material, so all the layers of fringe, some of which are plastic, don’t make your arms boil when wearing it indoors. It’s a thoughtful touch that offsets the heat-trapping nature of the bodice.
Fresh out of the package, she sheds, but only a little. Since then, the various iridescent ribbons and strips of caution tape have stayed put. Even if I lose more strips over time, they’re densely packed enough that I can expect years of use without losing the overall effect.
I’d even be happy cutting off the arms for a clear motorcycle vest down the line. The polyurethane manages to mimic the rigidity and comfort balance of leather while offering a peek at the underlying 'fit.
There’s another version of this jacket made of actual fabric strips with a slightly more moto-accurate design. Unfortunately, the strips are obnoxiously curly, it’s more expensive, and the clear section gets mysteriously cloudy almost immediately.
Evoking a true Harley Quinn ethos, Spirit Halloween's version says "Number one: no one is like me."
The beauty of excess — As recently revealed, I conscientiously crafted a mostly black and white wardrobe a few years ago. That doesn't mean I don't have fun with neon pink dresses or blue leather jackets or just layering prints on prints. As one data bro would put it, I've successfully maximized compatibility while leaving room for my weakness — eye-popping color.
When there isn't a pan pizza (the pandemic, for those of you not on TikTok) happening outside, I generally enjoy lulling those who see me on a regular basis into a false sense of chic, muted comfort, and then upending their expectations. The average person might be terrified of wearing this Harley Quinn jacket outside the context of Halloween or a costume party, but then, the average person is unjustly terrified by the power of a statement piece.
Of course, something like this requires a bit of confidence. As my mother — an iconic '80s fashionista and flirtee of a young Robert DeNiro — often said to teenage me "it's not the clothes, it's you in the clothes." This instilled in me the ethos that as long as you have a basic understanding of complementary colors and enough belief in yourself, you can get away with high-drama fashion at any budget level. So what are you waiting for?