society | October 15, 2012

Stylish People Can Be Comfortable Too: Kate Bolick, Wall Street Journal

"We've long accepted that high style presumes a certain level of suffering," Kate Bolick says, "as if feeling good were the antithesis of fashion, something to be indulged in private, when nobody was looking (e.g., sweatpants)." Writing in a new Wall Street Journal article, Bolick, who also penned the Atlantic article, "All the Single Ladies," argues that the stigma is changing. Function and comfort no longer need be trumped by aesthetics and style. Instead, they can co-exist—and that shift is more revolutionary than one would first think.

"There's something undeniably progressive about this demand for comfort, along the lines of the flappers tossing their corsets or the women's libbers burning their bras," Bolick writes. And it's not only fashion that is seeing this transformation into the comfort zone, as she argues that everything from vehicles to living spaces are becoming more focused on coziness. Bolick wrote about the new-found dedication to comfort in her much talked about Atlantic article, where she argued that more women are single and live alone than ever before—and that they're comfortable enough in their own skin to be choosing that lifestyle. It's no longer taboo for women to choose to delay or forgo the traditional societal norms of marriage and child-rearing—similar to how it's no longer a fashion faux pas to sport your sneakers in places other than the gym. 

The idea that women are "doing it for themselves," so to speak, sparked a conversation that is still buzzing even a year after Bolick's article went to print. It was such an interesting concept that CBS will be airing a sitcom based on Bolick's article, about a thirty-something woman whose idea of success doesn't include being married with kids in a house in the suburbs. Bolick's breakthrough work has earned numerous media appearances, and she is highly requested on the speaking circuit. Whether on stage, or on the page, Bolick shares her insights on what it means to be a woman in today's brave, new, comfortable world.

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innovation | October 14, 2012