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By Lauren Deloach, Editor of Category5Style.com
I was recently in a department store shopping women’s contemporary, when I happened upon a sale rack that read 60% off. I immediately began checking out each piece, seeing if there was a magic find mixed in the bunch. I came across a Joie top on sale, marked down the full 60% off as promised, and my heart began to immediately beat faster. I looked over the top, with thoughts running through my mind of what I could wear it with, where I could wear it, and whether or not it could take me through the whole year. I said to myself, wow, this is a great deal…this is a steal! As I made my way to the counter, excited by this seemingly FAB find, one question ran through my mind: “What’s love got to do with it?” What in the world did love have to do with this purchase? Absolutely nothing it turned out! I turned around, put the top back on the sale rack, and left the store. In the entire situation I just laid out, the question of whether or not I truly loved the top never even crossed my mind, as I was so busy listening to my heart pound I completely ignored anything my brain had to say about it.
I like to compare my love affair with style to the hiccups women face when in pursuit of love. The first sign of style love has got to be the “heart beat faster” scenario. You see something that catches your eye, whether it be a designer top marked down for 70% off, or a seemingly beautiful print dress. Your heart begins to beat faster, adrenaline sets in. Here is the trap ladies, you have to get past the adrenaline and turn the logical part of your brain back on. You have to examine the top or dress in question. “Do you truly love the dress itself, or are there other motivating factors driving you to purchase? Does the cut of the dress work for your pear body shape, or was it designed with a ruler in mind? Will the dress take you season to season, year to year, or is it way too trendy?” You must get past the adrenaline and be honest with yourself, or you’ll find yourself in the middle of a one night “style” stand left with nothing but regret (or mortification if you bought something truly hideous!)
Outside of an adrenaline rush, the top two areas you can get caught in a style “love” trap are immediacy and boredom. The immediate need is a tricky one, and if you’re not careful you can find yourself with a closet full of clothes that have zero to do with cohesion and everything to do with a last minute shopping run. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get it! You have to go to a wedding, you have nothing to wear, so off you go. Do you ask yourself who you want to be at this wedding, what type of chick you want to look like? Did you make up your mind not to be just another face in the crowd wearing a black dress to a celebratory event? You have to create a clear vision of exactly what you want to look like, with a refusal to settle for anything less, and then take action. An understanding of what you want to look like will ensure you don’t end up with clothing that doesn’t make sense for who and where you are in your current style. More importantly, it will guarantee that you don’t end up with something you don’t love. Finally, we come to boredom, the style trap no one sees coming. Style boredom is dangerous business, and I highly recommend avoiding it like the plague. It’s a feeling of lifelessness, as if you’re just going through the motions. You’ve settled for a style you don’t love, and spend each day dressing a woman you hardly recognize: you! Having lost your connection with finding pieces that truly move you, and shake you to your core, you buy what you know. You buy the same recycled look each time you shop, because there is a comfort in knowing it will always fit, and never force you to rethink what you’re doing. Yes those elastic waist pants are hideous, but they fit and you’ve come to depend on them. Sounds a lot like love gone bad? Well, that’s the point ladies.
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The connection between love and style is undeniable. It all comes down to having a true sense of love for each piece you purchase. Be logical enough to walk away when it doesn’t fit your style needs, strong enough to hold yourself to a high standard when faced with immediate needs, and courageous enough to always push your style to new places where boredom is never a welcome guest.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.