- April 1, 2019
- By Chris Surowiec
- Photos by Zahra Schooley
Fashion vs. Style
Exploring the two concepts in men’s fashion.
Which should we aim for: fashion or style?
It might not be a question most men ask themselves. Some don't even know the difference, which is no big deal. Frankly, fashion and style are quite different from each other, despite their correlation.
Let's not talk about which one you should choose right now. We will get to that. First, let's learn the difference between the two terms.
Style is how you feel and how you want to project yourself.
The dictionary definition of fashion is “a popular trend, especially in styles of dress and ornament.”
Fashion leans more along the lines of trendy items, or things you may see on the runway, for example. This art form is a way for designers to be bold and remain creative, allowing them to make a name for themselves through the outfits they try to bolster.
Due to the fact that fashion follows trends, it can’t last forever. As time fades by, the trends might go along with it, leaving remnants of old pieces that may never be worn again, or maybe they will be worn once in a blue moon.
Some may argue that style wouldn’t be what it is today without fashion. This is true. Without fashion, there wouldn’t be a foundation for a style to be built on. And due to the constantly changing fashion trends, style makes some changes as well. For example, T-shirts previously worn only with urban attire can now be paired with classic menswear, and track pants formerly assigned to athleisure have evolved to the urban fashion scene. It’s all a matter of how you wear it. Hence, personal style.
Many of today’s trends consist of nuances from several decades of clothing. Trends don’t ever go away completely; on the contrary, they come back little by little as time goes on, for better or for worse. An example of “better” are the striped sweaters and ripped jeans from the nineties, and leather jackets from the fifties. For worse… I’ll leave that for you to decide.
Fashion, to me, is less personal. Fashion is dictated by what everyone collectively decides to wear or bring back into trend and season.
The dictionary definition for style is “a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.” But this definition doesn’t do it justice. I feel it’s missing something, maybe a more personal touch. Being fashionable isn’t all that practical to me, unlike style.
Style isn’t just what’s on the outside. It’s what’s on the inside, too, and that is of utmost importance. If you don’t convey a certain level of confidence or demand a certain level of respect, what’s the point in really trying to look good, or in spending a lot of money to look your best?
Style is easier to approach than fashion is. Style is how you feel and how you want to project yourself. Finding your personal style is a process, but ends up being one of the best things you can do for yourself. Fashion is something you have to copy, from the hat to the shoes, in order to pull off the trend. Style, you choose. Plain and simple.
I leave you with this: focus on style. With style comes confidence. With confidence comes the chance for success. And with whatever success looks like to you, ultimately comes happiness. In the end, that’s what we all are really searching for.