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The Difference Between Fashion and Personal Style

First and foremost, if you’re reading that title and feeling a little puzzled, then here’s a definition to keep things clear:

Fashion is changeable. It’s focused on trends, new styles, the items that appear at fashion week and then trickle down into stores. It’s of-the-moment, the now, who wore what and who wore it best. By its very nature, it is not dependent on the needs and wants of the individual – it’s all about the masses celebrating the same stylish changes.

Personal style is something different entirely. It’s the style you cultivate for yourself and – most importantly – it doesn’t move with fashion. Sure, you can add and change things if you find something on trend that you particularly love, but your key looks at the same. You know you love your big 50s skirts, your Welden handbags, your nipped waists, your aviator sunglasses or your blanket scarves – and no fashion whim is going to deter you from them.

They are in the same sphere – and there’s a strong Venn diagram between the two – but fashion and style are different from one another. Knowing which you want to cultivate and create your wardrobe around makes life easier – and you more stylish for it.

Fashion Fans – The In-The-Moment Woman

If you want to follow trends, then your wardrobe (and life) should be…


  • Everchanging. Nothing should last for long in your wardrobe, given how much fashion shifts and moves through the season. It doesn’t matter if your budget is designer or thrifty, but the same shifts should apply naturally. When an item falls out of style, generally, you will fall out of love with it in a natural way.
  • Evolving. If you want to follow the moment, then don’t wear the same outfit twice. That’s not to say you can’t wear the same clothes twice, but try not to pair garments together so frequently they begin to resemble a uniform.
  • Interesting. There should always be something different to look at or try; it’s about evolution and progress.


Personal Style Pursuers – Built For You

Your wardrobe should be more centered around these principles.


  • Evergreen. Items should be used, remixed, used again and upcycled if necessary. You should know what works for you and when you own it, then it becomes a part of you.
  • For you. The center of your fashion world is not what is adorning the spread of glossy magazines; it’s what you know works for you, your body and your tastes. It takes a lot of confidence to be able to wear something that others might dismiss as out-of-season, but that’s the point of focusing on personal style. If you can pull it off (and you can with the right mindset!), then you can convince people anything you choose to wear is the height of style: your style.
  • Built-to-last. There’s no harm in a few cheap-and-amusing accessories or a simple summer dress, but much of your wardrobe should be sourced from garments that will last you. It’s better to have one dress you know you’ll wear forever than three that will show their age in six months time.

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Azanah Khadduri

Wednesday 1st of March 2017

Very interesting! The distinction totally makes sense, but I never thought about it before.

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