Category5 is a fabulous online fashion experience dedicated to truth in fashion, shopping, and all things style. Lauren is dedicated to giving women all the tools they need to come away with an insightful, honest, and humorous look at where their style truly resides.
By Lauren Deloach, Editor of Category5
I recently found myself in the middle of a conversation with a celebrity (who shall remain nameless), and in discussion about doing television segments for women the only things that kept coming up were makeovers and giveaways. Makeovers and giveaways. Is that seriously all we have to offer women today? Show them how to take one sad style soul and morph her into a beauty…a feel good story that there is a beauty behind the beast. Meanwhile the millions of women watching will have ZERO clue as to how they are supposed to translate that makeover into their everyday struggle to find their own perfect style. And the giveaways, what is it with giving clothing away and that being an appeasement for helping women find their style? Give a hundred random women with different body shapes and different categories of style one pair of JBrand jeans and somehow they will work for everyone across the board. TAN (That’s A NO)! In the media, when addressing a woman’s need to understand who she is visually, we keep missing the point. Watching someone else get a makeover won’t tell you who you are, neither will getting a random pair of free designer jeans. I’d rather crawl up in a ball with my ears covered in disbelief than have any part of it. So as all this “fluff” is just a distraction to what’s really going on behind a woman’s closet door, let’s cover some of the key style factors that ARE the point, taking fall season into account. Real talk ladies…because you can handle it.
Trends- As we will cover trends in the coming weeks, before you start listening to polka dot this and burgundy that, it’s important to ask yourself why these trends mean anything to you. What is the connection between the fall trends and where you are in finding your own perfect style (i.e. category of style). While the polka dot trend (which FYI is huge for fall) may seem like it will work across the board for all categories of style, this isn’t necessarily true. J.Crew’s burgundy and navy polka dot sweater? Yes, an essential for all Cat1-5 chicks. Kate Spade’s Licorice Polka Dot Patent Leather pumps? Absolutely not (more like Cat4-5)! While these shoes are one of my favorite styles for fall, they are not relevant for every woman, as they are such showstopper shoes that a woman who is just beginning to get her feet wet in the world of style could find them easily intimidating. Remember to question the trends you’re seeing, and ask yourself what they truly mean to you, otherwise you will find yourself like so many women with a closet full of clothes (tags still attached) and an overwhelming sense of feeling like you have nothing to wear. Best rule of thumb to get you going on your fall shopping journey, if you don’t love it, pass on it, no questions asked.
Microwave style- There is a wardrobe epidemic occurring among women age 50 and up, and the first round of blame goes to the designers, followed in a close second by the consumer. What is it with these readymade outfits, or as I call them, “sets.” Suits sold in a pair with elastic waist pants and one button jackets. Cotton crewneck floral tops sold with matching shapeless bottoms. What is going on? Ladies, please do not let anyone tell you that aging means you must begin to settle in the world of style. It’s such a disservice. Nothing good could possibly come from a “microwaved” ensemble, because it takes all the thought work out of the equation for you. Your creativity in mixing and matching your tops and bottoms is gone, and in its place is nothing more than a quitter’s guide to passive style. Refuse to buy anything produced in a set, and challenge the designers to give you better, because no matter your age you most certainly can do better.
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Evolution- As you grow and mature year after year, expect your style to do the same. Don’t we all want to be like a fine wine. While in high school I may have spent my youth in Express, let’s be honest, years later with kids to boot, my style should have evolved to other stores. The best way to ensure your style gets better over time is to really pay attention to the change in clothing seasons. Each season is an opportunity to make a new mark and try something new. As we approach fall, while you may have done lots of scarves and turtlenecks last season, challenge yourself this season to focus on v-neck tops and statement necklaces. If you’ve been living your life in Dansko clogs because they’re comfortable, easy to wear, and “safe”, maybe it’s time to get a bit uncomfortable and shoot for some Kate Spade glitter flats or polka dot converse. Worst case, you’re not in love and you move onto a new trend. But at least you tried, and at least you’re still in the style game. There is truly nothing worse than the one chick rocking a mullet that she’s clearly had since the 80s, who is in total denial that 30 years have passed by and her style never moved an inch.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.