Fashion vs Trends vs Style - How are they different?

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Satin Slip - New Look (ASOS)
 Knit - Uniqlo
Boots - Betts
 Earrings - Colette
 Inspiration - Pam Allier Blog 

Fashion, trends and style, interchangeable terms yet they serve a different purpose with different consequences.

How often have you heard a friend or relative watch a runway show and cleverly point out “nobody would ever wear that outfit”, or “what the hell is that, why would anyone make that?".

Many times I'm sure. But if that's the case, the question that arises is why fashion designers continue to create these pieces, knowing full well that barring the occasional Rihanna or Lady Gaga sighting, these outfits may never be embraced by the masses.

The answer is a simple one: creativity. Let's take the example of Comme des garcons. Her outfits are impractical by all accounts but no one can deny the technical brilliance that goes into creating one of her vision. And while her clothes may not set global fashion trends or be donned by the crowds, they are undoubtedly a work of art. What Comme des garcons's philosophy shows us is that fashion is in no way limited to the wearable. 

There is a notion that strictly following fashion can be unhealthy and erode self-esteem and confidence by showing clothes that don’t always look good on everybody. There is also a view that fashion celebrates unattainable bodies. The latter can certainly be true and requires its own discussion but the former doesn't have to be. 

We are more than content to appreciate a Picasso artwork and be awed by his genius while still accepting that it's not always the most straight-forward or realistic depiction of a subject. In the same vein, fashion can go beyond the wearable and attainable, to excite, inspire and celebrate the artiste. 

The real danger I believe comes not from fashion itself but from trends. Fashion is a fast paced world and in today's Insta-savvy world, even more so. Among this constant fascination with the next big thing, it can be hard to keep up. We have high-street retailers like Zara turning over their inventory on a weekly basis, leaving you with little time and little room to invest in classic, long-lasting pieces. In the outfit above, the satin-slip dress is about as 'on-trend' as it gets but it is accompanied by a simple Uniqlo turtle-neck, a long-time wardrobe staple. There is nothing wrong with chasing trends as it's exciting and fun but investing in it excessively can be draining on your wallet. Though stores like H&M and Topshop have allowed people to access trends on a budget, the pace of today's ever changing list of trends is difficult to keep up with on any budget. 

Someone very rightly said: “Following trends is a monetary preoccupation; cultivating style is a lifelong process.” 

Although trends are great for refreshing your wardrobe, they don't come with a guarantee of making someone stylish. Style is an inherent quality, long lasting which encompasses the fitting of clothes, body posture, mannerism, speech. Everything. Trends will change but only a person who knows what suits them and uses that knowledge to selectively weave new trends into their wardrobe can be called stylish. At the end of the day, it's a lot about personal identity. A stylish person knows all the rules of fashion, not wearing sneakers with a suit, matching socks with trousers, not overdoing on jewellery, yet they are the ones that are able to defy these rules and look amazing while doing it. I guess a good mantra to remember is that style requires confidence which comes with acceptance and celebrating yourself.

Links à la Mode, September 7th
SPONSOR: Amazon's Shopbop AGOLDE, Petersyn Tops, DVF Clothing, Senso, Cafune, Ryan Roche, Corsets, Large Totes, Wrap Dresses, Men's Paterson

You Might Also Like


  1. Thank you for sharing this enlightening post beautiful lady. Although there are popular trends that I enjoy, I tend to stay away from them. My motto is to buy less, choose well and make it last. You look fabulous in this classic slip dress. I love the layering so perfect for transitioning into to the Fall season.


    1. Absolutely agree, I love trends too but its important to not get lost in them :)

  2. This is so eloquently put - I always love your writing x

  3. So true, trends come and go so quickly these days. Looking so pretty here though!

  4. great photos!


  5. I totally agree that style, fashion and trends are all very distinct things and that style definitely doesn't come from following every trend that comes along. Having style is having the eye and the ability to pick and choose certain trends and incorporate them into your existing wardrobe, rather than feeling the need to throw everything out and start over every year or every season, that's when you know you're just chasing trends and don't have anything classic or lasting in there when they look dated so quickly.

  6. This was a really interesting post, I've definitely been one of those to wrinkle my knows at certain runway outfits but thinking of them as art makes a lot of sense!

    Musings & More

  7. I agree. Instagram is wonderful however it breeds more and more fast fashion and trends that come and go.
    In this way I feel more comfortable with beauty trends - because you are more likely to be able to achieve these trends with the products you have rather than going an spending more money on clothes that aren't made well.
    True style lasts a lifetime - which is why it is my policy to spend more on classic pieces I will have for ages.
    I have a burberry wool coat that I bought about 9 years ago and I am still wearing it. It is still chic.
    Set to Glow

  8. I am always about style vs fashion trends. Same thing when it comes to beauty. After all it is worth investing in things that are "you" rather than running after every new trend. Although I do have interest in a thing or two, but always seem to go back to my roots (monochrome, casual, elegant) x

    Naya //

  9. Love your posts as they always make me think, gal. I totally agree that it's impossible to keep up with the overflow of trends atm. For the past few months, I have been really working on maximising my wardrobe staples and avoid hitting the shops as much as possible. Also loved the bit about fashion being a creative art and therefore not always intended for the masses to wear but rather to explore new sartorial techniques, and also to inspire and surprise us ♥ Happy week, dear!

    Saida | She talks Glam

  10. This is such a great post. Thanks for explaining the difference.
    Would you like to follow each other on bloglovin'? Follow me and I'll follow you back.