Why is Style So Important?

Style vs Fashion

In 2013, this is fashion.

We seem to confuse the terms “fashion” and “style.”  At its best, fashion is art, but on the whole, it is transient.  Style, on the other hand, is timeless.  There are very fashionable people who have no discernible style, whereas every truly stylish person I’ve ever known mostly ignored fashion.  Before Kate Moss was snapped rocking her skinny jeans, they were deeply unfashionable. Suddenly everyone wanted them, and 10 years later we still do.  Style is about confidence and knowing what looks good on you regardless of what’s fashionable at any given time.

This photo is from 1979. The style is timeless.

Following fashion requires a level of discipline and commitment which I simply don’t have

Every fashion “expert” I’ve ever heard has said that I should avoid making impulse buys, that I should plan ahead, keep a list, and think carefully before any purchase.  I say do the opposite!  Whenever I’ve had to shop for something I NEEDED, I’ve come home exhausted, miserable, and either empty-handed or with something I’m not very happy about having purchased.  On the other hand, the things I’ve bought emotionally, on impulse, and purely out of love are my favorite things.  How do I do that without ending up with a closet of random mismatched nonsense?  The key is KNOWING YOUR OWN, UNIQUE PERSONAL STYLE.  Shop for fun, shop on impulse… but know your style first, so you can do it with confidence.  But that’s not the only reason it’s important to have a unique personal style.

Zandra Rhodes has always done her own thing.

So, why IS style so important?

Your personal style should be a reflection of your soul and of your heart.  Your body will change over time.  Certain types of clothing will become inappropriate or unflattering.  Fashions will come and go.  Your own taste will evolve, BUT WHO YOU ARE remains the same.  That inner spirit needs to be expressed regardless of age, size, or budget.  Your soul does not care that you’ve gained lots of weight and no longer look like you did when you were 20.  Change is inevitable in all things, including you.  Why on Earth would you punish yourself for being human?  Are you less interesting, less funny, or less spirited because you gained 50lbs or developed wrinkles?  Do you think that people are going to look at you in your shapeless, baggy, worn out, colorless clothes and think “oh, she’s definitely doing the right thing. Only perfect-bodied people should dress well”?  Do you think that wearing black will make you blend into the background and avoid judgment?  WHY DON’T YOU THINK YOU DESERVE TO BE NOTICED?  Why don’t you stand up to the world and say “Here I am! I’m bubbly / funny / clever / creative!”  When you look at other women, don’t you notice the ones who aren’t trying, or are trying not to be noticed?  Would YOU look at a larger woman in a classy red dress and judge her badly?  Or would you instead admire her confidence and want to meet her?

She looks like the life of the party!

Stop apologizing for yourself!

I’ve spent at least 25 years in frustration listening to women make excuses or apologize for themselves, and I simply couldn’t bear it any longer.  I want to encourage you to embrace yourself in all your quirky, imperfect splendor.  Your “inadequacies” make you infinitely more interesting than any supermodel.

I have a plan… really!

But there’s more to this whole thing than just verbal encouragement.  I actually have a specific, step-by-step plan, a little bite to go with my bark.  I’m delighted and humbled by the progress made by the few who’ve tried it so far, and I can’t wait to see how far this can go.  I hope you’ll join me for the ride.


on “Why is Style So Important?
2 Comments on “Why is Style So Important?
  1. Great post! Exactly what I needed to hear as I prepare to shake up my own wardrobe to reflect MY style :)

    Hope you don’t mind that I’ve linked this for a new blog I’ve only just started :)

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