Style Versus Fashion. Why the former is Liberating and The Latter Isn’t

If you’ve never marvelled at Kate Winslet’s cream white – pinstripe ensemble, teamed with a crisp white shirt and a collegiate tie in the opening scene of Titanic when she boards the ship of dreams, then your knowledge on style is highly questionable. Society is a very funny phenomenon. It has a tendency of encouraging us to contradict ourselves. When you take the aesthetics of fashion seriously, it gives people the impression that you’re shallow. When you choose to disregard fashion sense. However, people frown upon that too.

While fashion asks “am I matching today? Do these colours and textures go?” Style questions whether what you’re wearing matches how you feel and if you were able to capture the essence of who you are. I didn’t write this to try and convince you that dressing well is insignificant, any more than I wrote to tell you that appearance is trivial. I take how I look quite seriously and for me, the real question lies in whether you’re able to distinguish between fashion and style. And so, before we jump ship to decipher the differentiation – why is it even important? I’ll tell you why.


Style, on the other hand, is the relationship to the internal.


In esssence fashion is concerned with “what’s out there”. “Out there” being the overt garments displayed on mannequins that you can’t help but notice when you’re floating around the mall, trying to figure which stop you’re making next. The – more often than not “over the top” pieces that you see when you glance through traditional fashion focused print monthly magazine. Fashion is what New York, Paris, Milan, Berlin and Tokyo tell you what is fashion. And although being fashionable can be fun, fashion lends itself to trends and the problem with trends is that they die out.

Style, on the other hand, is the relationship to the internal. Style is looking for an item that best expresses who you are, to the public. Style is identity and it is timeless. This takes me back to the example I used earlier regarding what Kate Winslet wore when she was boarding the RMS Titanic.

I saw Titanic for the first time when I was in the first grade. My grandparents and uncle watched it as it premiered at a local cinema house, not far from home, and felt that it warranted a family trip to the movies thereafter. I first saw Rose’s (Kate Winslet) outfit then, at the fragile age of six – and in that moment, it blew me away. Till this day, at 27, the outfit still startles me. I even (secretly and occasionally) watch the opening of the movie just so I get inspired about how phenomenal and bewildering her style is.


I am poster child for simplicity and I choose to advocate it any chance I get.


I often struggle to keep up with what trends and traditional narratives dictate in so far as fashion is concerned. I am poster child for simplicity and I choose to advocate it any chance I get. I love fashion, I’m not going to pretend that I’m not bothered by it but I believe that the trick is to remain true to who you are by lending from (not imitating) fashion trends as opposed to running with them.

The reason I dub style significant is because of the power of something called: nonverbal communication, something arguably far more prevailing than having to verbally say something. And for me, the very first form of communication you have with people you will interact with on a typical day is the way that you are dressed. How is that not significant?

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