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Call Me Cute One More Time

I know I’m not the only one in this.  If you are or have worked in retail, marketing or editorial, your lips are pursing from the thought.

“Cute” is thrown around so loosely nowadays to describe fashions and styles, it comes off as an insult rather than a compliment.  And It’s cute that you think it’s cute that you think I’m cute. 

Cute is reserved for our Abercrombie Polos and Juicy Couture tracksuits.  Cute easily describes your attempt to shift from ghetto fabulous to label lover.  Cute is how we used to dress because we were still in the process of finding our personal style.  Cute is how we were seen before we found our edge.

Don’t get me wrong, specific looks can most definitely earn the category of cute.  Ruffles, frills, and flowers will always scream how cute you look.  And it’s okay to look dainty some days, and edgy on others.  It’s also okay if your personal style is cookie-cutter cute, girlish, or romantic.  And let the record show, I am not cute shaming.

Certain colors are indubitably cute.  Baby Pink, Powder Blue, Sunflower Yellow, and even White will place you in such a category, no matter how you style it.  Sundresses, A-line skirts, pleated pants and capris of any are: cute, feminine, and ladylike.

So why is it a reflex when we find ourselves saying something is cute in fashion?  I’ll admit it still happens to me.  Maybe it was your first compliment received and it stuck.  You were playing dress up and your mother couldn’t stop saying how cute or adorable you were as you tripped in her slingback heels.  It was programmed in you.  From that moment on, you started to think you were cute and sought out to build your clothing to reflect your cuteness.  Cute things with all the sparkles and glitter.  You chose ballet before soft-ball and Hanson before Wu-Tang.  You described every boy you were attracted to as: cute.  Because we didn’t use handsome, suave, or gorgeous yet.

So now, fast forward decades of relationships, shopping trips, jobs, and interviews in no specific order.  Like word vomit, it sometimes comes up.  You open up to Instagram and start to comment on a photo.  You’re in a store and your friend picks up a blouse perfect for her or you.  And you say that’s so c—

Colorful, cheerful, chic, darling, on-trend, opulent, superb, fancy, posh, stylish, wowzers,!

School Yourself:

Fashion Buzzwords: Glamour Magazine

13 Words That Mean Something Different To Fashion People: Refinery29

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