Difference between Fashion and Style
Key difference: Fashion is what is currently in fashion right now, that is, what is being featured in magazines, on TV and on the fashion runways. Fashion is what is trendy right now. Style, on the other hand, is unique to everyone. This is the person’s own opinion, their own choice in clothes and accessories. Style is something that has been modified and customized on an individual level to suit each person’s own personality and body.
The terms fashion and style are commonly thrown around these days, however many people find it difficult to distinguish between the two. According to Oscar de la Renta, “Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”
In layman’s terms, fashion is what is currently in fashion right now, that is, what is being featured in magazines, on TV and on the fashion runways. Fashion is what is trendy right now. These can be anything clothes, make-up, shoes, accessories, etc, being made popular by fashion houses, model, actors and actresses. Style, on the other hand, is unique to everyone. This is the person’s own opinion, their own choice in clothes and accessories. Style is something that has been modified and customized on an individual level to suit each person’s own personality and body.
Dictionary.com defines ‘fashion’ as:
- A prevailing custom or style of dress, etiquette, socializing, etc.: the latest fashion in dresses.
- Conventional usage in dress, manners, etc., especially of polite society, or conformity to it: the dictates of fashion; to be out of fashion.
- Manner; way; mode: in a warlike fashion.
- The make or form of anything: He liked the fashion of the simple, sturdy furniture.
Dictionary.com defines ‘style’ as:
- A particular kind, sort, or type, as with reference to form, appearance, or character: the baroque style: The style of the house was too austere for their liking.
- A particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode of action or manner of acting: They do these things in a grand style.
- A mode of living, as with respect to expense or display.
- An elegant, fashionable, or luxurious mode of living: to live in style.
- A mode of fashion, as in dress, especially good or approved fashion; elegance; smartness.
- The mode of expressing thought in writing or speaking by selecting and arranging words, considered with respect to clearness, effectiveness, euphony, or the like, that is characteristic of a group, period, person, personality, etc.: to write in the style of Faulkner; a familiar style; a pompous, pedantic style.
- Manner or tone adopted in discourse or conversation: a patronizing style of addressing others.
- A particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode or form of construction or execution in any art or work: Her painting is beginning to show a personal style.
According to Wikipedia, “Fashion is a general term for a popular style or practice, especially in clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup, body piercing or furniture. ‘Fashion’ refers to a distinctive; however, often-habitual trend in a look and dress up of a person, as well as to prevailing styles in behavior. ‘Fashion’ usually is the newest creations made by designers and are bought by only a few number of people; however, often those "fashions" are translated into more established trends.”
Fashion is very versatile. It keeps on changing. Things that are fashionable tend to go out of fashion by next year, or next season, or even next week. A person is only fashionable if they are following the current fashion, a thing hard put to do as fashion is for a limited time only. One must constantly keep changing their wardrobe to keep up with all the current fashions. It doesn’t matter if the trend is ugly, if it doesn’t go with your personality, if it’s not flattering to your body shape, if the color that is in season does not go with you at all, one must conform to it, in order to be considered fashionable.
Style, on the other hand, is considered more permanent and timeless, as it does not need to change. It may only change when the person does, or this style or personality is redefined. Style is not dependent upon clothing; it can be associated with anything that makes you look stylish, be that a unique way of speaking, a unique paring of accessories, a unique way of carrying yourself, etc.
A stylish person wouldn’t necessarily care about what’s in fashion right now. They will be more concerned about what suits their body type better, or their skin tone or hair color, etc. A stylish person tends to show a great ability to balance individuality with conformity, a good grasp of their body’s strengths and weaknesses, and most of all, intelligence and a strong sense of self. However, style can also be considered as an extension of fashion as you can use what is in fashion and incorporate it in your own style giving it an altogether different touch.
In her must-read new book, "Roots of Style", New York designer Isabel Toledo says that, "Fashion is ephemeral. It is the flavor of the day, and useful for refueling your style inspiration when you feel you've run out of gas. Fashion is easy to apply because it's all surface. Fashion may be the most democratic of all the art forms because we all have to go through the ritual of dressing ourselves every day."
According to Toledo, style "is an effective way to carve out your individuality. Style is content . . . common property. It belongs to no one, and to everyone. A person with true style is displaying a fertile and thinking mind. The truth is, we're all born with an inner voice that serves as our personal style guiding light. People with style dress in harmony with their inner, most authentic selves."
There are many people who are fashionable, however they may or may not be stylish. These are the people who follow fashion blindly, without any regard to whether the fashion actually suits them or not. However, there are also a number of people who are stylish, but they are not considered fashionable. This is mainly because while what they are wearing is stylish and shows off their body and personality; what they may be wearing may or may not be currently in fashion.
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