Style vs Fashion
I've been obsessed with fashion since I was a teenager, fueled by a genuine passion for clothing. Fortunate enough to have cultivated a career that aligns with my love, Dish boutique has been my (ad)venture for over two decades. Throughout these years, I've accumulated extensive knowledge and focus on wardrobe selection and self-styling. Recently, when working with clients, I have heard, “I don't feel like I have style.” The struggle with feeling “stylish” is real and I think it's valuable to start looking at this from a new perspective.
For me style has really been about my own personal journey marked by distinct influences. I can remember my first fashion icons, Lisa Bonet, Madonna, and Janet Jackson. And growing up in the 70's and 80's really shaped my foundation of style. Menswear, vibrant splashes of color, denim, and a stylish sneaker are still relevant pieces in my current wardrobe. More importantly, I try to stick to wearing pieces I love and that make me feel beautiful and empowered. Inspiration and intention are key for me when getting dressed. I have a collection of post-its in my closet, capturing outfits I adore and combinations I want to experiment with. More current inspirations for me like, Jenna Lyons and Tracee Ellis Ross, can help me hone in my own skills and take chances with my wardrobe.
Now its true, we cant all be like Tracee Ellis Ross, but we can use her as inspiration. What is so contagious about Tracee and her style is the vibe she exudes, her enthusiasm, her joy in getting dressed; that's what make her so inspirational!
STyle, let's break it down
To me, style is the purest form of self-expression. It's the way we convey how we feel and showcase our individual character through clothing. Style is a gesture or even seen as a revolutionary act. It serves as a medium through which we reveal ourselves, telling the world who we are. As we make daily choices in expressing our personality, it forces us to examine how we perceive ourselves in the world, especially when it comes to putting together outfits.
It should be said that Fashion and Style are very different. Fashion tends to thrive on people’s uncertainties, anxieties, and their fear of scarcity. It can manipulate us with what to wear and how to look. Style is not about trends, brand names, or fast fashion but rather about how we feel and operate in our clothing – a reflection of how we see and treat ourselves. That is why Style and Fashion are so different. In its best practice, Fashion can be a guide or invitation to curating our own style. But it is up to us to be intune with ourselves, our bodies, and to use that sense to build the wardrobe we desire and love. Taking this time to understand our preferences, embracing our bodies as they are, and recognizing our role in creating an aesthetic that reflects our inner selves are crucial steps to understanding our personal style. And because style is an extension of our personality and a powerful tool of expression, intention setting is integral.
Intention is a powerful tool because it shifts the focus away from external validation. Think about how you want to feel today. If you want to kill it at work then maybe a power suit/blazer is your choice. If you have a day to relax, let your outfit mirror that intention, cozy and comfy. This process calls us to be connected to who we are or who we aspire to be. And remember, style doesn't stem from expensive clothing or name brands; it emanates from how we piece things together and the emotions we bring into it. You have to tap into your own preferences and desires and find a vision that resonates for you.
Why is it important to define your style?
If you have a defined style, you have a blueprint for shopping. You can move past things that look fun but aren’t your style. You have solid knowledge about what you want to add to your wardrobe, so that your not aimlessly shopping. You can easily edit your closet, letting go without regret of anything that’s not your style, or that doesn't fit your body.
Here are some tips that work for me when I want to reconnect with my inner stylist:
Seek Inspiration: Use tools like Pinterest to explore various looks. Start pinning styles you like, even if you wouldn't normally wear them. This helps identify patterns in color, style, and preferred brands that resonate with you. You can also look to family and friends who's style you admire.
Assess Your Wardrobe: Take a critical look at your current wardrobe. Clear out items that no longer serve you. A cluttered closet can lead to anxiety and confusion when dressing up.
Self Expression: Consider how you want to show up in the world. What you wear has power, so focus on what appeals to and inspires you. This self-reflection can guide your style choices.
Identify Wardrobe Staples: Recognize the pieces in your closet that make you feel great. What is your go to outfit that makes you feel seen or brings you joy? These items can serve as a solid foundation to build upon.
Go out and explore: Visit stores and try things on. This offers an excellent opportunity to discern your preferences and dislikes. It's worth noting the importance of small shops in this process—they function as valuable sounding boards for us to explore our options, providing not only a diverse array of choices but also valuable advice.
If you are looking for support with uncovering your style or just a refresh with your closet, we got you covered. Here is the link to our services, its a great way to start off the New Year.