Friday, August 10, 2012

Style vs. Fashion

I'd like to start this entry off with a brief quiz:

Please select how you prefer to hear yourself described:

a. As a stylish guy.
b. As a fashionable guy.

Ah, the age-old question of fashion versus style. The difference is akin to that between a square and a rectangle. While every square is a rectangle but not every rectangle is a square, all stylish men are fashionable but not all fashionable men are stylish.

Fashionability is wearing whatever the people at GQ decide is cool for any given season. For the past few years, this has meant super slim skinny jeans, tiny suits with narrow lapels, one-inch-wide ties, breakless pants that sit low on the waist, or whatever else the Sartorialist seems to enjoy photographing. A lot of what we're going to see for Fall 2012 in men's suiting is the double-breasted suit, but with the bottom two buttons missing. Like many fashion trends, it's an interesting idea on paper but is silly upon execution.

To be fashionable is to be strictly of the moment. To be strictly of the moment is to not be timeless.

Stylish men, on the other hand, understand that looking good is not so much about wearing the latest trends but rather about understanding your body type and complexion and how those relate to the silhouettes and colors that work for you specifically. It's also about the geometrical relationship amongst the garments themselves. They may flex some trendier items into their wardrobes, but only if those items work within the aforementioned parameters. Armed with confidence because they're playing to their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses, they acquire true style not just in their clothing, but in all aspects of their lives, right down to the way they stand. Well-fitting clothes will make you stand up straighter, I swear.

Stylish men are comfortable in their own skin and their clothes are a an extension of that skin.

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