style or fashion

theory — Danielle on February 23, 2007 at 6:43 pm

Tricia at Bits and Bobbins has set the stage for the fashion vs style definition smackdown in the wake of a barely bloggable new fashion season.

Some of her points I like but her list is heavily biased towards the positivity of style versus the negative aspects of fashion. In my mind the two words are too closely linked and broad to have a singular positive/negative value.

It got me thinking how fashion and style are both temporal things. Here’s my thoughts –

Style follows the story of an individual life.

Fashion reveals a society’s aspirations and anxieties.

Style shows the world who you think you are.

Fashion is how time dresses itself.

I liked one of the comments on Tricia’s post-

Helen Says:
When I was growing up, my mother used to say:

“Fashion is what you’re offered. Style is what you choose.”

Fashion. Style.  What do you think?

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    5 Comments »

    1. I wish I was more stylish, but honestly, I think I walk the tight-rope.

      Comment by Rebecca — February 23 2007 @ 6:59 pm
    2. oh yeah, i’m definitely biased in that discussion. i readily admit it! :) it’s what came right out of my head at the moment. but like i said in the post, it’s not so cut and dry, and not so black and white. i am still working on my feelings on the whole matter, still trying to work out where i stand and where i fit in. i figured i’d get others in on the discourse.

      i think i’m really just sick of seeing posts around the net about shows with little commentary, and other bloggers who just slavishly follow “trends”.

      fashion has it’s positive aspects for sure, the industry is not all “bad”, and there are a TON of creative folks in the business. but it is a business, and the idea is to make money, correct? i totally understand that, but business sometimes cramps creativity and innovation, and sometimes business practices have an impact on people and the environment. and i can’t not say anything about it.

      i suppose i am wishing for more folks to think for themselves and not feel pressured to keep up with something if it’s a.) bad for them, or b.) doesn’t suit them, just because they want to be considered chic. to look at things on a personal level, and listen to one’s inner voice.

      Comment by tricia — February 23 2007 @ 7:55 pm
    3. I must say I’m biased towards style, because like Tricia, I think I dress better than my era. ;)

      Style is more interesting than Fashion because Leaders are more interesting than Followers.

      A Designer may lead a trend, but by the time it has found its way to the masses, it has often been poorly imitated in the most shallowest of senses and the initial vision has been lost. It is the loss of vision that annoys me the most.

      Maybe if I saw people wearing real Designer-wear instead of poor Z-Mart iterations, I’d hate fashion less.

      Fashion is there to be farmed for the pretty, but not taken at face value.

      Comment by Nadia Lewis — February 24 2007 @ 1:57 am
    4. Tricia – hey it’s cool I like a nice provoking post =)

      I have to say to both you and Nadia though – the chances that more people will show the level of Style Intelligence Quotiont (SIQ) that you two do… well it ain’t ever going to happen and it’s neither a good thing or a bad thing just another unstylish fact.

      Most people are happy to accept whatever is offered commercially in terms of clothing because they just don’t want to think about clothing as much as we do. Some probably have other interests through which they self-express. Like it or not, even being a trend-maven is a personal style to someone, and says something about who they are.

      Though I can understand where you both are coming from, the mediocrity of the majority is the big reason why you two are as special as you are.

      As for the rotten aspects of the fashion industry, of course I agree that it is important to spread the word as far as making better choices as business and consumers. Unfortunately how to do that is not always clear… but it’s still important to try to do the right thing.

      As for business cramping creativity – just because something is creative doesn’t make it effective, or useful, or even good. And you can’t eat it. So no matter what, it’s the market that determines when creativity is needed.

      As for hating fashion, Nadia, you are talking to the fashion contrarian. I am fascinated by it and yet for myself I am building the leanest possible wardrobe of jeans and organic cotton t-shirts. I could never spend the amount of time working on my outfits or making clothes that you and Tricia do – it’s just not my style these days. I think of myself as neither stylish or fashionable (my SIQ is low), yet I love reading about it, blogging about it, admiring it, analyzing it, and I even love hating it.

      Comment by Danielle — February 24 2007 @ 3:02 pm
    5. I love helen’s definition of style and fashion. I enjoy fashion from an outsider’s perspective… sort of like art. some i like, some i think is crap. but i dont really think of style as art or crap… for me, style is about feeling like i’ve aligned my tastes with my lifestyle… ie, i may like giant works of art, but i have a tiny place, so i would never be able to fit them through the door… likewise, im like “wow, marc jacobs! wow, chanel!” while my life requires neither glamour nor drama, so my style is so understated that it almost doesnt exist.

      ugh, im rambling. but great posts, y’all.

      Comment by Joi (stereoette) — February 28 2007 @ 12:36 am

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