Stronger Together: Debunking the Biggest Myth About Working in Fashion

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The Biggest Myth About Working in Fashion

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As someone who grew up watching romantic comedies about women working in media, I definitely had some preconceived notions about the industry, specifically in the fashion department. On one hand, it seemed so glamorous and fun — full of fashion shows, photo shoots, and quick trips to Paris. On the other, I assumed a bit of that on-screen drama and competitiveness would play out in real life. Would I be stuck with a demanding boss? Would my job consist of grabbing coffee and trying to avoid mean girls? 

10-plus years later, I can assure you that, while still iconic, those movies got it all wrong.

As a Senior Fashion Editor at InStyle, my job is neither glamorous nor drama-filled. Sure, I attend fashion shows, style photo shoots, and recently did take a quick trip to Paris, but my day-to-day schedule mostly consists of writing and editing stories at my desk (or sometimes, at home, while wearing sweats). And, although I can’t say I’ve never encountered competitiveness during my career, I have found that most women who work in this industry really do root for the success of others, and are there to offer thoughtful advice or talk you out of a bad day. I’ve actually met some of my best friends and most trusted mentors at the office.

The ‘evil editor-in-chief’ is also something that I’ve found to be a total myth. I can’t even think of a manager I’ve had who hasn’t been approachable, willing to offer constructive feedback, and given me shoutouts during team meetings. My current boss is someone who I especially look up to. She’s a talented writer and editor, but also smart and quick-thinking. She’s also given me invaluable notes during our one-on-one meetings. Sometimes it’s guidance, like answering questions about problems I’ve encountered or telling me to be more authoritative during group presentations. Other times, she simply assures me that I’m on the right track and am good at my job — which in turn does wonders for my self-confidence.

Street Style Pic of Sam Sutton Wearing White Knee High Boots, a Skirt and Red Crossbody Bag

Szymon Brzoska

I have often joked that I sometimes feel like the main character at the beginning of the movie, pre-makeover montage. I’ve experienced my share of not-so-cute moments, like fully tripping in front of crowds at events or struggling to push racks of clothes into an elevator. But sometimes, it really is about faking it until you make it. In rooms full of powerful people and celebrities, when it’s easy to let my inner monologue and self-doubt take over, I’ve pushed myself to strike up conversations. I’ve gained new pals to grab dinner with, snagged important quotes for articles, and made memories to last a lifetime by simply gaining the courage to say hello.

There’s also a reason I fell in love with this industry in the first place. Fashion and beauty are great ways to give yourself a confidence boost. Stepping out in an outfit I love, curling my hair, or using a spray of Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl Eau de Parfum before I leave the house often gives me a sense of security and makes me feel more like me, inspiring me to take on anything.

High Heel Shaped Bottle of Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau De Parfum
Carolina Herrera's Good Girl Eau De Parfum.

Carolina Herrera

The alluring scent is made up of sensual jasmine and the seductive tonka bean, and it’s something I’ve been wearing since 2017. That signature smell has seen me through three whole jobs, so a small whiff — or even seeing that fancy, stiletto-shaped bottle (which, yes, I use as décor) — is the perfect reminder of just how far I’ve come and reminds me to keep going.

Like any job, working in fashion has been a mix of fun and hard work, and not every moment is noteworthy. However, I’m glad the rom-coms got it wrong — especially when it comes to the people. Bosses root for you, and those you assume would be snooty are probably feeling just as awkward as you are. Yes, this industry is full of powerful women, but they support other women and remind them to believe in themselves. The true story might not be worthy of a feature film but, well, maybe it should be.

Give yourself a confidence boost with an empowering fragrance from Carolina Herrera.