As I troll around the internet studying the topic of fashion a little more deeply, I am struck by the number of people who follow fashion as opposed to style.
What is the difference?
The difference is, I think, a combination of elegance, quality and time.
Just by casual inspection, as a fashion outsider, I can see that fashion items — the current “must have” outfits — are trying a little bit too hard to be cool; too many things are going on at the same time, too many things look cheap and gimmicky, and although they may look interesting today, they will fade rapidly into history.
Style, on the other hand, seems to happen in a very natural, organic way, without seeming to be forced. Everything works together in a delicate, soft, simple blend, without tricks or flashy, crowd-pleasing details. If you look at an Armani suit from a 15-20 year-old Vogue, it would still look incredibly up-to-date today.
I am not the first or the most famous to note this:-
“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
Yves Saint Laurent
Fashion seems to feed on fads, things with (literally) a short shelf life, whereas style has a timeless quality that seems to work forever. And I mean quality in both the quantitative, Western, measurement sense, and quality in the Eastern, qualitative, intuitive sense — you can measure and feel the qualities of the garment.
To avoid becoming an expensive fashion victim, then, the choice is clear: stick closely to designs and designers who have reached similar conclusions, and who make clothes that exist above fashion, in the domain of elegance.
“The difference between style and fashion is quality.”