Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fashion vs Style

Fashion fades; only style remains the same. ~ Coco Chanel

I love fashion. I love to look at it, dissect it, read about it - and shop for it.

Fashion is defined as:
A prevailing custom or style of dress, etiquette, socializing, etc.; or the
Conventional usage in dress, manners, etc., especially of polite society, or conformity to it.
I not only enjoy fashion - I think it's important to keep up with it, in every part of life. It's not just about the runway - it's about life. You should know what people are wearing, how they're speaking, what latest technology they're using. You need to know - to keep up, and to relate.

Fashion changes. Style is something different.
A mode of fashion, as in dress, especially good or approved fashion; elegance, smartness.
If you want to have style, you need to know what's "in" fashion at the moment. But, more importantly, you need to have a sense of who you are - and how to use fashion to present that person to the world. You need to know the latest trends, so that you know which to follow - and which to ignore.

The other day on twitter, I debated the current fashion choice that supports wearing white after Labor Day. The "rule," as it was taught to me, is nothing below the waist - white shoes (which means purses, too), pants, skirts, etc. are strictly for Memorial Day to Labor Day.

I never thought to ask why. My grandmother taught me about white - she also taught me to say please and thank you, respect my elders, to love chocolate, and to write letters to Santa. I saw no reason to question those things, either.

Current fashion says that rule is out-dated. But current fashion also says we all need to be wearing plaid, belted raincoats this season, and skinny jeans. Those won't work for me, either. Besides, almost everything has its season or occasion  - floral patterns, open-toed shoes, wool skirts, boots, leather, organza, velvet, a white dress at a wedding... You get the idea.

I wouldn't wear anything that was outdated, faded, unflattering or out of season. Even though fashion says I could get away with wearing a pair of white shoes today - I won't. Why?

It's just not my style.


  1. While I would typically agree with you, I have a pair of winter white heavy pants that I LOVE pairing with a red top during the winter. (When they fit my ass that is...)

    But white shoes are out.

  2. While the winter-white answer is a gray area for me (pun intended), a purist would tell you those pants are fine, if they're a true "winter-white" - like an eggshell color. Not bright white. Bonus if they're a heavier fabric.