I am not especially interested in fashion but I am interested in style. There is a difference. Fashion is about the latest trends. Trends unfortunately have an ever-decreasing cycle. So people who are trendy or fashionable are forever trying to keep up with ‘the latest season’s trends.’
If fashion is about the latest trends then it is also about following the crowd. Sometimes the crowd is pretty daft. Can somebody explain to me why it is fashionable to wear trousers loose on the waist, so that bums hang out and pants are on display? I find myself having to resist the urge to say ‘Bro, I have no desire to see your pants. Pull up your trousers, man!’
Personally, I don’t get skinny jeans, however they are worn. Nonetheless, wearing them 6 inches below the hips has got to be one of the daftest trends out there. While I’m having a bit of a rant, I should say that I don’t get skinny ties, or skinny jacket lapels either.
Style in contrast is not so much about following the trends or the crowd. Sometimes it is about saying no to whatever the latest trend happens to be and going for something a little more classic. It is as much about how attire is worn as it is about what attire is worn. It is about appreciating craftsmanship and tailoring, patterns and textures, shapes, contours and lines. It’s not being afraid to add a dash of colour, whether with a pocket-handkerchief or cufflinks. It’s about appreciating beauty and purity of design. This is one of the reasons I covet an iPad. It is such a beautiful thing I want to stroke it (whilst saying in my best Gollum impression ‘My precious…’).
Style is about learning what works for you; it is to appreciate that your attire has greater capacity than merely to cover your nakedness. Style is not a neurotic and constant fretting about your appearance. Nor is it the other extreme of not caring at all. Rather, style enables the development of sufficient self-confidence that having looked in the mirror whilst getting dressed you need not look again. Perhaps one of the best things about style is that is has the capacity to brighten up not only your day, but also that of those with whom you come into contact.
Fashion may be purchased. Style must be cultivated.