Life and Style

Last Friday I wrote about how the many facets of my life and personality cause the large range of looks in my day-to-day clothing choices.  And I got to thinking about fashion and style.  And my style.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know what my personal style is.  I don’t know if that means I haven’t developed one yet or if I just can’t pin it down into words.  I think the former, but my friend chaiamwoman/Athenista made this comment:
“really, I think it’s still your same *style* just a different version or level of it?? Hmm… you can definitely put this into words better than I.”

I don’t know, chai, I’m having trouble putting this into words myself.

And I don’t know why this bothers me, but it does.  Clearly I like words, and there’s something about putting names to things, it’s the controlling wordsmith in me that wants to control my style by putting it into words, I guess.
I’m new at this.  I used to put most of my effort into what clothes I bought, not how I put them together.  But now I put equal effort into both.  Because once I began to read style/fashion blogs I thought “well, maybe if I worked at this, I’d like my clothes more.” And I do!  But, like I said, I’m new at this, and, unlike many bloggers in this arena I don’t follow the major players in the fashion industry… unless Project Runway counts.  And I’m not a visual artist, which I’ve found that many style bloggers have some sort of personal investment in the visual art world… whether it be photography, painting, print-making, or even designing their own clothes/accessories (not technically a visual art, but not far from it).  All of that to say… I’m new at this and I sometimes feel unqualified.  Unqualified to define my personal style much less post pictures documenting it.

Just my term, “Fashion Friday” shows me how new I am at this.  When I first posted about it and my admiration for “fashion bloggers”, S from academichic commented referring to herself as a style blogger. and I immediately felt like I’d made a faux pas- not that S made me feel this way, she was super sweet to even comment, I’m just hyper aware of preferred terms (for instance, please never refer to a performance I’m in as a “recital” you go to see your 3-year-old cousin’s dance recital, I’m 23, I dance in performances/shows/concerts… anything but recital).  S clarified her preference of the term “style blogger”:

“I believe the reason so many of us prefer the term style blogger over fashion blogger is because we perceive the first to be more about expressing individuality and creativity rather than just following the masses.”

And while I see what S means, I don’t necessarily go by that definition in my own life and perceptions.  To me, fashion refers to clothes.  You can have good fashion, bad fashion, in fashion, out of fashion, mom fashion, work fashion… to me your fashion is just what you’re wearing (not to be confused with the word fashionable, which is definitely concerned with a judgment on whether something is “in fashion”).  Style, on the other hand, is how you’re wearing it. 

So, based on my definition, A fashion blogger would cover all things fashion… clothes in general, but also the designing of clothes, and who is designing them.

A style blogger would cover how to wear the fashion… their own, or what’s out amongst the masses.
In analogy world, style is to fashion as Rachel Zoe is to Ralph Lauren, ha!
I blog about my life, and my style is in my life, thus, it’s represented.  However, I do wonder if I’ll follow my friend chai and separate out my style blogging into a separate arena… but for now this works for me.

And now that I’ve been doing this for a month or so, I feel kind of amiss by the whole “Fashion Friday” label, since I agree with S in terms of what I’m blogging- style, not  fashion.

But I love alliteration as structure, thus, Fashion Friday…  
And then I feel bad about even taking an entire post to discuss this differentiation… but then I read something like this over at Already Pretty (Sal saw it first here), and I feel better.
“People think that fashion is all frivolity and done by people who can’t do proper jobs … but Issie understood that it is very, very serious business in terms of civilization and culture. It’s the one piece of culture that every single person in the world participates in. Not everybody reads poetry or listens to music, but every single person in the world gets up in the morning and puts on something, and whether you like it or not, that’s a statement about who you are.”
~Adrian Gill, writing about Isabella Blow
So those are my thoughts on the ongoing style vs. fashion debate, but I’m still trying to define my personal style?  Worth my time, or should I move on?
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2 thoughts on “Life and Style

  1. In my humble opinion, you have a great personal style that does not have to be specifically defined…you can call it whatever you want, but it is your own and that's all that matters. I've never considered the difference between “fashion” and “style” before, but I think you can call your posts whateve you want. (I agree that “Fashion Friday” sounds better than “Style Friday”) 🙂

  2. Hey, great post! First of, I agree that Fashion Friday just has a great ring to it 😉 And while I opted for the word “style”, I think a word is just a word, it's an arbitrary signifier for what you want it to represent. Often, in academic papers, we're encouraged to use whatever term we prefer as long as we define from the onset how we're using it and what we're using it to mean – just as you've done so eloquently in this post.

    And great outfits, by the way! S.

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