What is Style?

So the basis of my financial woes and my new-found resolution has all stemmed from not really understanding that there is a difference between ‘Style’ and ‘Fashion’.

My aim this year, as it has been for many years, is to develop my style. For a long time I always interchanged that word with the word “Fashion” thinking that they were describing the same thing. I spent time buying various items every season, keeping on trend, thinking that, that was how to build your style until I found out that it both is and it isn’t.

Over the past year, in my bid to be more financially savvy, which started last year, I have been looking more into style and fashion and how I can approach it from a different perspective. Although I was learning new things I wasn’t putting them into practice, hence the mountain of shoes I acquired. In my bid to be more strict with myself this year, I aim to put what I have learnt through reading various blogs, articles and other great books into practice. 

The first thing I did was look at fashion a bit more closely. I have found that although style and fashion work together, they are in fact two entirely different things. Understanding the difference between the two can help you to decide which you want to focus on more and help you if you want to become more financially savvy. 

So in this post and the next I want share with you what I’ve learnt and hopefully it will help:

Style Vs Fashion

The words “Style” and “Fashion” are often used interchangeably but in reality they shouldn’t be. This is because style and fashion are two completely different things.

Style is defined as:  “A particular procedure by which something is done; a manner or way”

It is a manner or way of being and doing and is an outward expression of who you are. Style is the way you choose to do something – the way you choose to express yourself. This can be through your clothes, your interior décor choices, your travel destinations, your food preferences, the books you read, they way you interact with people and the relationships you have. Style through your clothing is just one aspect of your manner or way of being and a portable, obvious expression of your personality.  Some people take time to carefully craft and develop their style, whilst others just “go with the flow” and may not recognise they have one. True style permeates through all aspects of an individual’s life, showing the world their individuality, creativity and uniqueness or lack there of.

Style is not about impressing other people, it’s not about fashion or about wealth; it’s about how you live your life with what you can have…Hooman Majd.

Fashion on the other hand is defined as:

  • a popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration, or behaviour:
  • a manner of doing something:
  • or to make into a particular form

Although fashion is also a way of doing something it is much more restricted. Instead of expressing individuality, keeping up with fashion means joining with the masses and in some ways conforming to a particular expression created by another person. In terms of the industry it has become a fast-moving world where something is created by somebody else season to season, the designs are copied and fed to the mass population. This can be in clothes, beauty, hairstyles and even. We can be overwhelmed as we try to buy every new thing that comes out so that we are “on trend” with what is popular.

When we all buy the newest items we think we are being stylish but the reality is the people we notice the most and who are revered the most in this industry are those who are great purveyors of style and not fashion. Style transcends fashion in that it doesn’t have to be in line with what is popular at the time. It stands on its own. Fashion can be overwhelming and sometimes overrated – instead of expressing individuality (which we think we are doing) we end up looking just like everyone else.

Having said this about fashion, it is not a bad thing. If we understand it and know how to use it to our advantage it is a very exciting industry to be a part of and have an interest in. Being aware of what is in fashion firstly helps us to see and appreciate the work and creativity of a designer. Secondly it is the place from which we can get pieces or inspiration to add to, freshen up or add a twist to our signature style. However, in order for this to happen we must understand and appreciate the difference between the two.

ralph lauren

So what makes someone stylish?

When we look at style icons, their style invades or did invade all aspects of their life. People like Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O and Marylin Monroe are known for their style – the way they dressed, talked, walked and even socialised with people whilst people like Rihanna and Lady Gaga are known for being Fashion icons – ever changing it up and wearing the latest thing, sparking a new trend.

Fashion loving people help sell clothes and are excited by the change. Style loving people help release creativity  but are still usually classic in some way – there is a core thread/theme running through.

Have a look at these blogs:

Style blogs:




Fashion blogs:




You will notice that the fashion blogs include a lot about what you can buy now and what is in season and whilst the styles blogs are mainly about how an outfit is put together and some other aspects of their life. Having said this, the fashion bloggers will and do also show their style through the way in which they combine the latest trend pieces with other items and each create something different with the same piece.  This is how style and fashion go hand in hand (but are not the same!).

Fashion changes, style lasts forever.

Next >> How can I find my signature style?


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