What really is style?

What really is style?

I always feel that if you’re gonna be uncomfortable and unhappy in something, just because you think it’s in or it’s chic, I would advise you to be happy rather than well-dressed. It’s better to be happy.” – Iris Apfel

In my lecture on Thursday we discussed people who have influenced fashion. People like Coco Chanel, an extremely elegant lady, and Iris Apfel, an eccentric fashion icon, were mentioned. With so many conflicting idols in the fashion world, and so many different opinions on what is ‘stylish’ it made me question what ‘style’ really is. Is it what Vogue tells us it is? It it what features predominantly on the catwalks? Or is it what we see in street style photos? There’s so many different ways to describe what style really is, and I want to get to the bottom of it. 

When I think of my personal style icons I think of Rihanna. My Pinterest boards show I like how insta models such as Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid dress. I follow countless Instragram accounts dedicated to showing outfits on celebrities that I drool over. But when I stop to think about it, is it them I find stylish, or their stylists? Because I’ll be honest, I don’t even know who their stylists are. We live in the digital age, where fashion inspiration is a google search away, yet it’s never been harder to pinpoint who is actually stylish.

Back way back when trends were more daring. It went from long skirts to short ones, ultra feminine outfit to as androgynous as possible. Fashion was a way of expressing yourself. Nowadays new trends are harder to come about. I feel like most of my looks are recycled trends from the 90’s, and I often look at photos from the 80’s and think they look modern now. There’s arguably nothing revolutionary left to do with fashion, which renders ‘style’ somewhat pointless.

Nowadays we’ve all become carbon copies of one another. We see what everyone else is wearing and follow in their footsteps. Even within my fashion course, girls and boys that are probably confident they are stylish and dress different to everyone else, all look the same, even if they don’t look like people on different courses. Even I’m guilty of it! My fashion choices, though ultimately coming down to what I genuinely like, always start by looking at what everyone else is wearing. But is there anything wrong with that?

Throwback to when every single girl wore skinny jeans and Adidas Superstars

I’m not the first person to have some musings on fashion, countless icons in the fashion world have their opinions on the matter too. “You either know fashion or you don’t.” says the always cynical Anna Wintour. In a more positive outlook Gianni Versace (a man I greatly admire), was quoted saying “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.” The difference in opinions, between two of fashions most famous names, shows how different the meaning of style is to different people.

Sure, a little bit more individuality won’t hurt, but if I see Kendall Jenner wearing a top I like, and see a similar item for £10 on Missguided, why shouldn’t I buy it? But perhaps instead of listening to the magazines, and what they think is trending in fashion this week, we should all just start wearing whatever we think looks good on us personally. Whether that’s a 1920’s-esque flapper dress, or a pair of Adidas Superstars. Style, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It’s subjective. And there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, I always think the most stylish person in the room is the one wearing whatever they want, and not caring about what anyone else thinks. And you can quote me on that.

Until next time,

Beth x

Images sourced from neonmfg, pinterest, fashionista.com, and Daily Mail

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