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The Difference Between Style and Fashion

Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent once said that “Fashion fades, style is eternal.” Even though style and fashion are very different, men all over the world use these terms interchangeably. Our Philadelphia men’s suit experts and image consultants here at Henry A. Davidsen would like to clear the air and offer their thoughts on these two loaded terms.

What is Style?

Style can be defined in many ways, but speaking broadly, to be stylish is to be yourself. Truly stylish men are able to express their personalities, tastes, and deference to occasion through their clothes, grooming, communication, and overall presence. We at Henry A. Davidsen use the word “image” to encompass these things, which, when optimized together, form the je ne sais quois of style.

Style is unique, and your overall persona. Style is less technical than fashion, and in turn, it’s more personal. A man’s style is not directly affected by trends in magazines. Instead, the stylish man will look at trends and put his own personal, unique spin on it.

For more concrete tips on dressing stylishly, we suggest you check out our post on the three pillars of style.

What is Fashion?

The word “fashion” denotes adherence to that which is of the moment, not that which looks best on you as an individual.

An important observation is that we refer to the apparel industry as the “fashion” industry, not the “style” industry. Fashion is, at its core, a business model. To continue making money and keep companies afloat, fashions must necessarily change every few years so that people are encouraged to buy the newest things.

If there was ever a reason to explore custom clothing, not having to deal with fashion trends ever again is it.

Fashion is what everyone else is doing and wearing at any particular moment in time, a fad or trend that lasts for a brief period. There are no “staple” or timeless pieces in fashion. Think about all the trends that people gave into over the past year. Do you see them wearing the same things the following season? Probably not. In fact, a phrase coined “fast fashion” has been a hot topic in environmental movements. Criticisms of fast fashion include its negative environmental impact, water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste. In one report, they concluded that the average American throws away approximately 80 pounds of used clothing per year!

Style Vs. Fashion

  • Fashion can be fleeting. Style is timeless.
  • Fashion comes out when you know others are looking. Style is always there.
  • Men of style break rules, men of fashion follow designers and trends.
  • Style is individuality and investments, fashion is trends and short-lived pieces.

Henry A. Davidsen offers the finest in custom tailored suits in Philadelphia, casual wear, accessories and image consulting for professionals. We are devoted to assisting men in developing their own personal styles by identifying colors, fit, and designs that complement profession, body type, and lifestyle. Give us a call today at 215-310-0219 to learn more about to book an appointment with one of our image consultants!

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