Fashion versus style

Post by Jackie Norgord

We often use the words fashion and style interchangeably, but these two words really have very different meanings.

Let’s take a look at fashion.

Fashion stems from the energy and creativity of designers who are part of an enormous industry that drives design forward in order to sell couture to an adoring public. Fashion designers spark our imaginations and inspire us to strive to wear new visual looks and textural materials. Fashion does not distinguish between wearer’s age, body type, or hair color. Instead, fashion calls out loudly “You are a canvas to be decorated by my hand.” Fashion is, in essence, wearable art.

Fashion refers to the here and now and pushes us toward the future. It takes ideas from the past, but re envisions the concepts for a new and ever changing audience. Because of this, the lifespan of fashion–a single season–is quite short in the timeline of wearable designs.

Style is quite different.

Style is born out the wearer’s personal sense of adornment. The wearer can take body type, skin and hair coloring, age and fitness levels into consideration when choosing wardrobe items so the whole outfit takes on a very personal look and feel.

Style looks back in time to fuse the fashions from any era in a way that accentuates the wearer’s uniqueness and enhances the wearer’s lifestyle. Style is the art of wearing the fashion of all eras well.

Fashion and style are two sides of the same coin.

Both fashion and style give us ways we can express ourselves. Fashion is personified by the young starlet who would like to get attention at an awards ceremony, while style can be likened to the grand dame of the theater who knows her fame is not dependent upon what she wears. Both are essential to the world of drama, but they each have their own very distinct place.

It is up to each of us to decide where we lie on the fashion-style continuum and lucky for us, it is in the choice itself that the true pleasure of self-expression lies.

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