Fashion vs. Style

As Alexander Wang once said, “Anyone can get dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress in their days off that are the most intriguing.”  This quote inspires me in many ways.  It inspires me to dress “better” on a daily basis, and to dress more true to my self and my sense of personal style.  But this quote also brings up the question, what is the difference between fashion and style?
The Marriam-Webster dictionary’s definition of ‘fashion’ is “a popular way of dressing during a particular time or among a popular group of people.”  Seems simple enough.  Fashion is what designers produce for us, four times a year, at their shows.  It is the trends the stores and media present, and what the shoppers/readers consume.  But as Yves Saint Laurent once said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”  So if fashion is external and fleeting, what is style?
Style is internal.  It is who you are as an individual.  Many people can follow a fashion trend.  Style is more personal.  With style, there is no herd to follow.  Rachel Zoe said, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”  In a world where first impressions are important, one must know what image they are portraying to the world.  Style is not only the clothes we wear, but how we carry ourselves.  A pet peeve of mine is when people wear pajama pants out in public.  This shows defeat.  If you are going out of your home….put some pants on.  Please.  Dressing for success will not only have you looking good, it will have you feeling good.  And by success, I mean an outfit true to you.  If you are self-confident and embrace your own sense of style, you will radiate beauty.  But how does one begin to understand, build, and maintain their style?  I have a few tips to help you with just that!
First, assess your wardrobe and then downsize.  How many items in your closet do you actually wear?  Do you stand in the middle of your closet, frustrated because you have “nothing to wear?”  Do you try on multiple outfits and then end up leaving the house in your original outfit?  If so, you need to revamp your wardrobe!  I always find it hard to do this.  Being a shopper, and the daughter of a mother who loves to hoard (sorry Mom!), I never want to get rid of anything.  The common thoughts of What if I need that one day?, What if that comes back in style? and But I used to love that!, pop into my head.  Because of that, I have made a rule to follow when downsizing my closet.  I ask myself, have I worn this in the last year?  If not, toss it.  At times I need to be ruthless.  Favorite shirt from when you were a teen?  Toss it.  That favorite trend you were really into two years ago (mine was skulls)?  Toss it.  You’ve evolved past it!  Remember, it is better to have five amazing pieces in your closet, than twenty-five mediocre ones.
Once you have pulled all the old, it’s time to focus on the key items.  This will not only help you discard other unwanted and unworn clothing/accessories, but it will also help you see what you actually do need to shop for.  You might not have noticed that you were missing an essential wardrobe item, such as black heels, because all the clutter.  I listed a few essentials for the working woman in my previous post, 9 Things Every Nanny Needs in Her Closet for the Fall.  Of course, there are other key items that a woman will need in life. It is all dependent on your life style, daily routine, and personal views.
Now that you have cleansed your closet, it is time to start building on to it!  This is the fun part!  Keep in mind that you should shop strategically, not aimlessly. Look for pieces that you identify with, but are also versatile.  I like to think of possible outfits while shopping.  I also like to think of my fashion inspirations, and favorite style icons, and take from there.  However, it is important, when buying clothes, to buy the correct size!!  I cannot stress this enough!  Do not buy things that you “want to fit into.”  Buy clothes that fit you now.  Trust me, you will look and feel better.  Once you have the basics, you can start to add additional pieces and accessories to complete your looks.

Remember, don’t follow the herd.  Once you gain self-confidence you’ll be able to fully embrace your own style.  As Coco Chanel once said, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”  Focus less on fashion trends and more on your sense of style, and how you carry yourself.  Your fashion sense may have people liking the way you look, but your style is what will keep people intrigued.

Have a great rest of the week!  Thank you for stopping by, Cute Teachings!

xo, Jennifer

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