If someone asks you what the difference is between FASHION and STYLE, your immediate thought might be that there is not one – and that, dear reader, is NOT the case at all!
Here is a great definition that clearly explains the difference, adapted from the internationally acclaimed Rani St. Pucchi, award-winning bridal fashion designer (who can forget Phoebe’s fabulous wedding dress in Friends?) Success Trainer and Image Consultant to over 20,000 women, including celebrities and renowned style icons:
“FASHION is what is being currently being offered and worn by most at a specific moment in time. It is a fad, a trend that does not last for very long. When you follow fashion, you are basically in comparison mode, wanting to look and be seen like everyone else. It can be exhausting (and quite a drain on your pocket) trying to keep up with all the offerings every season.
STYLE in contrast, is unique and very personal, and often has little or nothing to do with fashion. Rather, it is an indication of your persona. Your personal style may be more about comfort than fashion, but when you cultivate it, you develop the innate capability to be charismatic and confident, to be the type of woman that everyone is drawn towards: you actually become interesting, as well as attractive!”
The best part is, you may already have begun developing your own style, but because no-one has pointed it out to you, you still haven’t really picked up on it, and learnt how to use it to your advantage!
Let us see if any of these styles strike a chord with you:
TAILORED TO SUIT: YOU LOVE… to wear classic jackets and matching trousers or skirts, adding color and contrast with the tops you wear underneath.
MONOCHROMATIC MAGIC: YOU LOVE… to build different outfit around shades and tones of a single base color; you may just have one, or several favorites that you build on.
GO BOHO: YOU LOVE… feeling comfortable in free-flowing, easy-wearing Bohemian kaftans and soft, printed hippy dresses, and complete your look with matching accessories.
BLACK & WHITE WITH A TOUCH OF BRIGHT: YOU LOVE… the practicality of a of a wardrobe in two style staples, which you then
offset with quirky flashes of color.
COLOR BLOCKING: YOU LOVE… the clean, bold lines and contrasts of Yves Saint Laurent’s 1940s style masterpiece, inspired by Belgian artist Mondrian.
VINTAGE GLAMOR: YOU LOVE… the eternal mystique of yesterday’s fashion, and you are always looking out for garments that are at least 20 years old.
THE LAYERED LOOK: YOU LOVE… the seasonal flexibility of layering: floaty in summer, draping in winter, unstructured styling which is always kind to the body.
If you just saw the way you love to dress, the next step is to start OWNING that style – and the easiest way to do this is …
ACCESSORIZE, ACCESSORIZE, ACCESSORIZE!
Don’t keep your pearls and precious pieces for special occasions only – wear them every day, with everything!
With so much good quality costume jewelry out there today, there is no excuse for not having a good selection to add pizazz (or even VOOMA!) to every outfit.
In summer, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour has stuck to the same Manolo Blahnik nude strappy sandal since 1994, and in winter she wears classic knee-high leather boots with a stacked heel, in various colors: why not take a tip from this legendary style icon, and opt for collecting just a couple of styles you really love.
You could also choose for always wearing shoes that complement your outfit in some way, either with color, style or even as a contrast.
Find a ‘neutral’ bag you love, and stick with it till it falls apart, or change your bag as often as you change your outfit – there are no style rules here!
You may be a BIG BAG or tote fan; you might prefer cross-body satchel styles or clutch purses – and they are all good. STYLE TIP: think twice about back-pack style bags: besides the fact that they look better on girls than ‘grown-ups’, they also really mess up the way your clothes drape round your body.
Let your lips do the talking: add power to your pout with a signature slash of red lipstick, a smoochy smudge of pearlized lip gloss, or a neutral shade in a creamy matt formula. STYLE TIP: never ‘clash’ your lips with your blusher: this is so important that some cosmetic houses now make a lip & cheek color-in-one.
Your nails are also a great ‘canvas’ for developing your unique style, through color or even nail art – but do not get too cutesy or ornate with this.
If your eye area is still relatively unlined, and you have a VERY steady hand, you could practice perfecting a dramatic eyeliner wing that works for your eye shape. STYLE TIP: the older you are, the subtler and lighter-colored your wings should be.
Be warned, they don’t suit everyone – but if you are lucky enough to have a hat face, let it go to your head gloriously! Headscarves, hair ribbons and fascinators also work. STYLE TIP: never ever, ever wear a baseball cap backwards - we do not even have to tell you why!
Stop being depressed about your eyesight failing as you age, rather think of it as a ‘spectacular’ style advantage – and drop the one ‘goes-with-everything’ pair of glasses in favour of a fabulous range of designer frames that make your style POP!
STYLE IS ALL ABOUT THE ABILITY TO DREAM IT UP AND TONE IT DOWN AT THE SAME TIME: LESS IS ALWAYS MORE:
ACCESSORIES? Think LESS Christmas tree, MORE classy elegance.
COSMETICS? Think LESS Clown face, MORE clean and fresh.
We hope you have found this article useful – have fun finding your own unique style, and remember, in the words of Yves Saint Laurent,
“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”