The Great Debate: Style v. Fashion

People say to me all the time, “You always look so good; you’re such a fashionista.” I’m meant to take this is a compliment, but I find myself biting my tongue to stop from exclaiming, “but I’m not even fashionable!”

Because I’m definitely not. I am not held hostage to the latest trends, ‘it’ brands or logos. My clothing is eminently practical and, dare I say it? Inexpensive.

What I have is personal style. I understand the instantaneous communication remit clothing has, and I’m aware that how I present myself is saying something about me. I take care to dress for the day, including what I’m doing, who I might meet, and what my clothes are saying about me. And above all, I dress to suit my body type, enhance my coloring and communicate my personality. I wear things that make me look good. Why would you want to do anything else?

Fashion is fun and fashion can be frivolous. Style, however, is an outer manifestation of YOU.

I’ll give you that I’m more interested in style because I like ‘fashion’. It’s a tactile thing. But more importantly, as a communicator, I’m hyper aware of the messages clothing choices send.

Over the years I have thoroughly enjoyed both the BBC and the American version of the television show ‘What Not to Wear’.  Although presented differently, the premise was the same: dressing for the body/life you have leads to greater confidence and greater self-worth. And therefore to greater success and happiness. Simple really. And yet, too many women, especially young women, fall victim to ‘fashion’.

A plea from me to you. Find what works for you. Get help if you need to! Add your own special touches and voila, you’re well on your way to style and success. I’m happy to help you out as a friend (and yes, even I need help sometimes, thank you Denise Stringer and Nancy Combs.) Here are some ladies who do this sort of thing for a living:

Jennifer Mary at Apple and Pear Wardrobe Design – she’s great at working with stay at home moms and moms newly back to work.

Cyndy Porter Style & Photography – with an executive focus, Cyndy will help you dress the part to play the part.

Now, go. Develop your own style. And let me know what you discover!