How real is ‘Bold Type?’ Style weighs in


“The Bold Type,” a fairly new-to-TV show, will head back to Freeform for its fourth season this month, a bit of soapy drama good news announced earlier this year. The show follows the lives of three New York millennial women working at a fashion magazine called Scarlet. The show was in part inspired by the life of longtime editor, Joanna Coles, who worked for Hearst magazines, including Cosmopolitan, and now serves as executive producer on the show.

The three women: Jane, Kat, and Sutton all have their ups and downs. They came to the magazine as assistants and interns together, and have since moved up, each in their own way.

The characters

Jane is one character we see a lot of. She is a new writer for Scarlet and often questions herself. She frequently goes to Jaqueline Carlyle, the editor in chief, for advice — often for an article, but eventually for her life, too. What is so relatable about her is she tends to second guess herself, even when she doesn’t need to, as many of us do. Despite this, she is very passionate and confident about her work. When she has a story idea, she fights to see it through, and even if Carlyle doesn’t approve, she doesn’t give up until she’s done everything she can to prove herself.

Kat, Jane and Sutton; Photo by Ed Herrara

Kat is a very complex character. As head of social media, she stays on top of current trends and sees herself as “woke.” While she likes to think she is socially conscious, she often finds herself learning things she thought she knew, even about herself. The first season finds her questioning her sexuality as well as her ability to recognize and accept her racial identity.

Sutton is, at first, a confused character. She had been confidently working as an editor’s assistant for years, but had little idea of where she was headed. Growing up, her mother didn’t have the ability to take care of her, so she was determined to be able to take care of herself. Going to school for business was the most obvious and practical route, but Sutton later finds out she has a passion for fashion. And she has a boyfriend, whom for a variety of reasons, she wants to keep on the down low.

The friendship

These three women are all passionate about their work, friendships, and relationships. While Jane navigates her personal life through her writing, Kat explores new parts of herself with the help of new people, and Sutton takes the fashion world by storm through her creativity and hard work.

Photo by Philippe Bosse

The trio, all best friends, take New York City hand in hand. They help each other through struggles, and often help to open one another’s eyes to issues they haven’t seen clearly before. The audience is able to navigate various social issues that are relevant to the current day through this show.

The clothes

So, let’s talk about the fashion. Sutton proves herself to be one of the most stylish Scarlet employees, but she’s not alone on the runway that is the Scarlet office. After watching this show, I found myself gravitating towards clothes that reminded me of Jane’s style with a touch of Sutton. Jane has a very modern style that is somewhat reserved. Sutton, as a fashion assistant, has a much bolder style. She’s often seen in bold colors and patterns. I love to pair a classic Jane outfit with a bolder, Sutton accessory. Kat’s style matches her character in the sense that she’s very experimental in life and in her style. Though she has days when she rocks a blazer, she’s often seen in items that are more organic, but still New York edgy.

How realistic is the show? After spending a year interning for Baltimore Style, I can say this show is not too far off. Of course the office drama is far more prevalent in the show, but when it comes to content, and the relationships among staff it is quite similar. At Style, I’ve formed friendships and made professional connections in a way very reflective of Jane, Kat, and Sutton’s experience at Scarlet.

The air date for season four is Jan. 23, and seasons one to three can be streamed on Hulu.

Victoria Harvey is currently a student at St. John’s University in New York.

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