After watching To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, I wanted to dress and look like Lara Jean Covey Song (damn, her name is long) because I thought she had amazing style and I wanted to look just as stellar but when I started window shopping it dawned on me, “I am not Lara Jean Covey Song, I am Anussya Jayasimhan and I have my own style, signature and sense of fashion that is mine and mine only”. Not a Twitter thread but an IGNITE article.
With Instagrammers, bloggers, fashion icons and the queen of them all: Pinterest! “Personal Style” has never been more important in self-identification and consciousness of style today. And honestly, that can be confusing for some or a lot of us today because we’re constantly observing, absorbing energies and inspiration from other people and platforms that can consciously or subconsciously influence us. Making us question: What is my style? Do I love my style? My fashion sense? The way I feel in my own skin and clothes above that? The way I look in the mirror, before I leave the room?
It’s one of the biggest struggles not only young adults face but children, teenagers and adults face from the second they begin to identify themselves and defining everything that orbits around them especially style: Appreciation of Self Style. Take UNMC for instance, we see so many students, lecturers and workers here in university who portray different aspects of style and individuality through clothing. Though often there is a stigma whereby those who dress well seen as Fashionable rather than Stylish. And that’s exactly what this article is going to address today. Being Stylish over Fashionable and appreciating that trait only you have!
Style vs Fashion
In the midst of everything the biggest confusion and misunderstand that emerges is Fashion is Style which clearly is not TRUE. A famous quote from Yves Saint Laurent:
“Fashion fades, style is eternal.”
Fashion is a revolving door of clothing, accessories and wear that changes from time to time quickly because of trends. Trends do not define one’s style. Nope. Trends are seasonal, just like obsession with Salted Egg or Hojicha right now, trends caters to one’s style for a certain period of time but it does not stay glued to the individuality or uniqueness. 17 years old and I cut my curls off into a pixie cut just to look like Lily Collins. And everyone one else who looked badass in it. That pixie cut did not stay.
Yup. I did that. And I’m sure a lot of you reading thus far definitely have experiences just like mine (maybe not as crazy as the sudden haircut but similar).
Style is long lasting. It is something that is build upon based on liking, experience, upbringing influences, body type and shape and culture. The list is never ending. To make it easier: Fashion is almost like a hook up whereas Style is the love of your life. Fashion is an exterior attachment whereas style is the latter. Fashion can be political and social for example, high fashion revolves around branded names and can be only worn by a certain group of society whereas style is something that can be owned by everyone no matter the cha-ching and bling. My boyfriend owns Crocs and it gives him character and a unique sense of style despite my daily urge to throw them into our lakes! But that’s him and his style and fashion has nothing to do with that!
My Style? Your Style?
Is our sense of style really ours? How do we know or own it?
Our first introduction to style are our parents. Personally, my mother’s and her sisters’ styles have influenced me in the way I dress today. It’s something very rooted in me. And I’m sure there is a foundation in everyone else that is an imprint of our parent’s style because they are the first people who dress us up in what they believe that we’ll look best in based the reflection of their style.
Later, it is the influence of media. Television, (maybe youtube for the current generation), magazines and more. My first memory for a branded dress was when my mother brought me to a Chinese saloon, sat me on a vintage looking worn out chair with a seat on it to get my hair cut. She had me staring at a vibrant looking page of runway looks. A bright fuschia dress caught my attention. Since then, I used to yearn going to the saloon just to get another dose of fashion through the magazine. Style does not have to be FASHIONABLE. They do not equate to each other. Explanation: A simple tee and jeans can be seen as stylish if worn properly despite it only being a pair of JEANS and a TEE. However something fashionable would be something that is trendy or appealing to the world of fashion is not ordinary.
Based on experience and society, a lot of people struggle with the acceptance of their self-style. For instance, myself and the Lara Jean example. I never use to believe that I was capable of being stylish. Hence, my desire to leech off fictional character styles (which is not wrong, just not me). And honestly, the trivialisation of style can be brutal to the self because style is almost liquid like. It takes the form of the vessel. It is something inert and internal in each one of us that shouldn’t be traded for something you are not. It’s easy to drown or get drawn in something you wish you could be or dress in but that would not be who are.
So, if you’re unsure what you style is, look back at your closet. Notice the colours, the texture of cloth, the kind of collars you are comfortable with or the cutting of jeans you like. Notice the function of your clothing. Are they formal? Do they look casual? Do they cater to your day to day lifestyle or do they cross beyond beyond that? Or else, have a Pinterest account? Start searching and make a board. Notice the pattern in what you are attracted too! Just like your type and taste in people, your closet reflects your taste in your wardrobe style! You might discover you have a thing for something you never thought you’d be attracted too (wink).
Personally, I think this article by Jill Chivers is great in the realisation of the style, self and fashion. It is simple, direct and understandable in explanation of the difference in style and fashion.
Written by Anussya Jayasimhan