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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Style and the Single Girl

An Open Letter to Cathy Lee;

There was a time, and there are photographs to prove it, when I thought that a great outfit was a pair of farmer overalls with a college t-shirt over it. Everything was purchased in XXL or not at all. A time when eyeliner made me flinch so bad, you once called 911 thinking it was a seizure. A time when I thought that bleach blond looked good with my eyebrows and roots did not need to be attended to.

And then, after six months of friendship, you put me into the Cathy Lee Style Protection Program. It was you who took me to the Clinique counter on a Saturday and begged the woman, “She’s 22, she has interviews, please teach her how to put on foundation.”

You gently steered me away from a baggy, gray, black ocean into the world of green, red, and purple. You let me hid in the dressing room while you bring everything the store has to offer to my door. You give each item an honest thumbs-up or thumbs-down..

It is because of your Style Boot Camp, that I now know where a skirt should hit me to be flattering. That I can wear a va-va-voom bra under a va-va-voom shirt and not have to hide it all under a sweatshirt. Because of you, I have the “ass” skirt.

After years of encouragement and style management, I now sometimes even surprise you. You almost fainted the first time you saw me put on eyeliner on the train. And another time I showed up and you said, “Was I with you when you bought that? I wasn’t? Well done—it is fantastic!”

If there is one thing I’ve learned from Cathy Lee, it is that you should try on everything. You might be surprised how good your ass looks in that skirt. So thank you Cathy and thank you to all the girlfriends who tell the truth in the dressing room.

Stylishly yours,


P.S. Are you sure that overalls won’t be in this season?

Originally published in October 2006,

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