Dress How You Want to Be Addressed: Fashion vs. Style

Fashion and style are two words that magazines and celebrities use interchangeably. However, these two seemingly similar concepts are actually quite different. With the rise of Instagram #OOTDs to style blogs, it’s time we understand the difference between following a fashion fad or trend and embracing a signature style that will reflect the best version of you. Read on to learn how you can choose style over fashion and dress how you want to be addressed.

What is fashion?

Fashion is dynamic and always shifting. From summer’s mirrored sunglasses to autumn experimental takes on brown and orange hues, to oversized watches and tapered skirts, anything that’s considered fashionable or trendy today might not considered so in the next year, a few months from now, or as early as tomorrow. There are fashion items, such as little black dresses and gold jewelry, that almost never goes out of trend, but at the pace that clothing fads are going, it’s almost impossible to keep up with what’s in and what’s not.

Fashion style 1

What is style?

Style, on the other hand, is not about what we see on Vogue or some other fashion publication, which mostly feature the latest clothing and accessories worn by models on the runways of Paris or the prominent elite at galas and events. It’s hard to qualify style and is surrounded by a bit of mystique. The catch is that whether a person has style or not, it is immediately recognizable by the people around him or her.

Style is a characteristic manner of expression—the convergence of an individual’s overall appearance, individual personality, and wardrobe selection that makes them stand out. Some say, “you either have it or you don’t,” but style is definitely something that can be learned and developed.

What are the key differences of fashion and style?

Blogger Jill Chivers, whose advocacy is to help people create a healthier relationship with shopping and have more style, discussed two key differences between fashion and style:

Fashion is more external and style more internal. Fashion is concerned with what’s in the magazines and store displays, which leads to comparing what’s out there to what you’re currently wearing. On the other hand, style is more about one’s sense of self and personal identity, a matching between your innate characteristics and how that reflects in your physical appearance, particularly your clothing.

Fashion distracts, style connects. Ms. Chivers said that going with this definition makes it easy to see how different the two concepts are. As she put it, “Fashion takes our attention away from ourselves, style brings our attention directly to ourselves.”

How do I start developing my own style?

A great way to start your style journey is by creating a personal style board. Think about your innate beauty and unique personality. Consider who your selected role models are, whose persona and style you look up to. Then, grab visuals from places like Pinterest and Lookbook and start experimenting on looks that is genuinely you.

As the iconic Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion fades, style endures.” If you’re ready to go beyond fashion, develop your signature style, and promote the best version of you, look no further. Radiance Image Consultancy helps many individuals and corporate groups to assess and identify their unique style. To know what is the best style fit for you, contact us today.