Fashion vs. Style — Which Should You Choose?
For some, the idea of personal style heavily depends on the latest fashion trends, so pulling off an oversized sweater in the season of crop tops becomes unacceptable, while rocking clean white sneakers with a pantsuit is fine as long as the runways are nodding in confirmation. For others, however, wearing translucent booties or fanny packs transitions the idea of fashion altogether and it has officially moved into the realm of tasteless. Where do you belong?
The famous Yves Saint Laurent statement goes: “Fashions fade, style is forever.” Sometimes, you can go outside of your well-crafted comfort zone and play with the idea of pencil skirts with sneakers instead of heels. At other times, it pays to know what form of fashionable self-expression cannot survive the modes of the real world as well as the runways. Knowing to tell the difference means being able to build and evolve your own style while at the same time appreciating fashion and recognizing its limitations for your self-expression.
One size doesn’t fit all
Trends have a tendency to be revived and come back to life when you least expect them. The fanny pack is the perfect example of a semi-cringy ‘80s trend that somehow stole the spotlight in 2018, and is still holding to it successfully. Now we’re seeing some of the hottest celebrities rocking this funky belt bag in an effortless manner, and they make us feel as we could pull that off. Now hit the fashion brakes.
The trend of wearing oversized garments is one season’s absolute favorite, while the very next season, you’re encouraged to consider something one size too small. As these finicky trends come and go, your wardrobe is at risk of either being obsolete or extremely popular. You know what never, ever goes out of style? Clothes that fit you just right and that make you feel comfortable.
Quality trumps quantity any time
In a rush to get every single latest piece approved and celebrated by the greatest designer names in the industry, people are overly eager to purchase at least one sample of the new wearables. Most, however, cannot go for the price tag of haute, hand-crafted garments, so they go for the cheap knockoffs instead. Both from a fashionable and stylish perspective, focusing on quantity over quality is always a huge nope.
It’s always best to own a couple of high-quality men's suits that you can rely on for a range of different occasions than to have an entire collection of suits that are tacky, don’t fit, and have loose threads everywhere. Suits, in general, are your go-to piece for classy events, so it makes sense to keep your suits equally sophisticated and well-tailored. Can a navy-blue suit ever go out of style? Not ever.
Look beyond the catwalk
Although most of our styles are created based on what we see on the runways as we’re inspired by the greatest and most notable movements visible today, sometimes the most durable of looks that stand the test of time are the ones worn by less popular celebrities, up-and-coming designers, and activists who are wearing their own beliefs and values in every piece they choose.
While Emma Watson may not be in the spotlight like a Kardashian, an Insta star or a fashion expert, her sustainable ensembles have rocked the world of fashion to its core. Decades from now, when there’s yet another debate on whether or now we should wear oversized or undersized, her take on style with greater good in mind will always resonate with what’s considered beautiful and elegant.
Wear your personality
Could we, or should we all wear beanies so loved and celebrated by Daniel Radcliffe or David Beckham, or try bubblegum-colored spiky hair worn by Pink? The more relevant question you should be asking yourself should actually be: is any of that really you?
In an effort to mimic others and fish for validation, we often neglect our own personal preferences and needs, even when it comes to fashion choices. The world is brimming with options, why not make use of them when there certainly are options that resonate with your character and reflect your own values better? It may take years to develop your sense of style, but being a copycat in line with fashion trends is no replacement for a sense of selfhood. Sure, play with current, retro, and classic fashion looks that feel close to your heart. But make room for changes when it’s time to evolve, and not when the tides of fashion trends dictate a new wave of change.
The journey of discovering yourself through fashion and your own style through fashion is an exciting and diverse one. It leaves plenty of room for change, so being playful is far from forbidden. It’s just important that you remember what your underlying motivation is: to celebrate yourself or to conform to what the runways are insisting upon to be fashionable? The choice is and always will be ultimately your own.