What is the difference between fashion and style?
“Fashion changes, style remains.” (Coco Chanel).
Clients and readers who are searching for their unique individual look ask the following question: “If I dress fashionably and follow the latest novelties and trends, does it mean that I will have the unique style that distinguishes me from the surrounding people?” Every woman is unique and wants to emphasize her individuality through clothing as well. There are more and more such questions, and today I want to discuss these two concepts such as style and fashion with you. What is the difference between fashion and style? What is the difference between these two concepts? Why were they given to us, so different, so dissimilar, but often used together?
Let’s first get acquainted with these two terms.
Fashion is changeable, impermanent. But it is a kind of live impulse for novelty, for exploration, and creativity. The fashion meaning is a change of looks and forms. Even if they are temporary, they dominate in a certain period. The phrase: to dress according to fashion (in French, la mode) arose in the 17th century when French court fashion became a standard for Europe. The exact time of fashion’s appearance historians have not established, and different countries continue to argue about where the term fashion itself was born. Most people still have a firm opinion about France.
They say that the success of any fashion designer depends on his ability to detect the social mood. The mood of society, its dreams, ideals, and desires in a particular period dictates fashion. Do you remember the success of Christian Dior’s fashion house after the war? Because society was hungry for beauty and femininity. And Dior caught this mood. Many factors dictate fashion, such as the ideals of the female body and standards of beauty. Clothes that emphasize these ideals become fashionable, and people wear them en masse, and clothes become popular. So if a woman’s thinness is in fashion, then tight clothing becomes fashionable. If feminine curves are in demand, then popular designs are different. The morality of society also dictates fashion styles. Ultimately, fashion is a kind of mirror reflecting the interests of society.
A desire to imitate someone authoritative and to have a place in society, in which people classify us by what clothes we wear dictates fashion. Fashion is a business, no matter how cynical it may seem. Demand creates supply, as in any business enterprise. But that is not what determines a fashion. Fashion shows the constant human desire to develop and seek new things. It is difficult for a person to live in the modern world without novelty and creativity.
Some sociologists and philosophers, such as Georg Zimmel, studied fashion in terms of a social phenomenon. In particular, Zimmel believed that the phenomenon of fashion was a human desire to avoid social inequality. For example, in primitive society, there was no fashion as we know it today, and the level of segregation of people into upper and lower classes was minimal. Later, only members of the elite class had the right to wear fashionable clothes. No one had the legal right to imitate them. For example, jewels and furs were in fashion, and merchants had the funds to purchase such items, but they had no right to wear them. Only nobles and priests wore these things. Later these prohibitions were abolished, and the lower classes followed fashion to match the elite. Zimmel believed it was after removing prohibitions that the upper class had continuously come up with new fashions to stand out from the crowd. That was the scientific point of view.
Fashion repeats itself and comes back decades later. The ‘language’ of fashion can be mastered and learned by exploring fashion trends and seasonal collections, reading magazines, watching the work of fashion designers. Fashion helps to develop your taste, to experiment, and to find what suits you. With the help of fashion, you can develop a sense of beauty, and already perfected taste will help to determine your style.
It’s no secret that style is a little more complicated. What is style? First, style is a conscious choice. And to make an independent choice is often more difficult than to follow the mass fashion. Style is a way to choose what is consonant with an inner state and worldview among many options. The style reflects how we see ourselves. Style is a perception of ourselves, and it relates not only to our clothes but also to our behavior, reactions, lifestyle. Being stylish is fashionable at all times.
If fashion expresses someone else’s worldview, then style is a way of self-expression, a personal signature, and a personal touch of character. Style is your way of telling the world about yourself through your clothes, manners, behavior. Your style is something that distinguishes you from another person. It is a skillful and accurate emphasizing of uniqueness. Style is a self-perception and expression of individuality through external appearance. No wonder why people say that fashion is in the clothes, and style is in the person who wears it.
Style is composed of so many factors. It is essential to take your personality traits as the basis of style to make it look harmonious. Clothes, manners, lifestyle, age, personal tastes, and other things determine the style.
Style is much more stable than fashion. A person changes throughout life, but much less rapidly than fashion trends change.
The word style (from Latin: stilus, stylus, and Greek: stylos) came from the name of a writing instrument, some pointed rod of wood, bone, or metal, which was used for writing on birch bark or wax board in ancient times. The exact dictionary explanation of the notion of style is: “Style is a historically established, relatively stable community of features of the looks system, tools and techniques of artistic expression, because of the unity of the ideological content of art. This community manifests itself simultaneously in all forms of art (architecture, literature, painting, and others), clothes, objects of labor and household, and originates from the economic, political and psychological life of society.”
To find your style means to find harmony between the inner and outer world, expressing it through clothing and other things. What helps to find your unique style?
The first thing is to study yourself, listening to your inner world, ideals, character. Fashion can complement your style, make it more versatile.
Style is usually dictated by personal taste, character, age, social character, nationality, lifestyle, religious affiliation, individual characteristics, social status. A person who creates an image is mainly guided by how a person presents oneself properly (as a profession, connections, etc.). And style comes from inside. However, style does not play the last role in creating an image.
The meaning of the word image (translated as “image, character, picture”) is consistent with its translation. The image is a shell, a picture that helps to create the desired impression about a person and make a reputation for that person. Style is not a game, not an attempt to imitate someone or produce an opinion of oneself. It is the acceptance of yourself, your uniqueness, and self-expression in the external image.
The style has its own implicit rules, beacons, guidelines which help us see with the inner and outer feeling, whether there is aesthetic unity in your appearance, which is expressed in a common idea and style:
- Whether the proportions in the image are appropriate or not.
- Whether the constituent parts of the image fit together or not.
- Whether the outfit, hairstyle, accessories, and makeup match the time and place.
- Whether there is a sense of proportion in the image, or there is not.
The style has information about the person – check with your inner self: Is that what you want to express?
I’m not sure who this quote belongs to, but it seems very accurate to me regarding today’s topic:
Fashion is the matter. Style is the soul.
Fashion is clothes. Style is character.
Fashion is a form. Style is content.
Fashion comes from the outside. Style is born within.
Fashion restricts. Style liberates.
Fashion shocks. Style inspires.
Fashion is for sale. Style is priceless.
Fashion replicates. Style is unique.
Fashion balances. Style makes it stand out.
Fashion is mindless. Style is intellectual.
Fashion changes. Style grows.
Fashion is self-critical. Style is arrogant.
Fashion is subjugation. Style is domination.
Fashion is literal. Style is original.
Fashion is declarative. Style is suggestive.
Fashion is serious. Style is ironic.
Fashion is safe. Style is daring.
Fashion is temporary. Style is forever.
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