Although itís not always easy to describe, there is a definite distinction between fashion and style. You can be stylish without following fashion trends and you can follow fashion without having the least bit of style. As Yves Saint Laurent said, ďFashions fade Ė Style is eternalĒ.
Style is about much more than what youíre wearing. You donít need to spend lots of money on clothes, hairstyles and manicures to be stylish. You may look fabulous but it doesnít make you any happier or more popular because itís all just temporary decoration - and itís hard work! And then there are those who have a natural classiness about them even while wearing their oldest jeans and digging in the garden - those who other people canít help being drawn to.
But weíre not just talking about clothing here. Have you noticed that some people just seem to have a knack for decorating a room, initiating a conversation or organising a function, all while looking serene, relaxed and confident? I want to be one of those people.
Real style is more about what we project than what we wear or what we own. We donít need to stand out, to fit in, to have the most or be the best. Iíd rather be admired for my inner attributes and my individual style than for my latest gadget.
My theory is this: Stylish people have learned how to develop their character, to recognise quality and suitability and they have complete faith in their own choices. It doesnít matter one bit what everyone else is believing, doing, wearing or buying Ė people of style believe, do, wear and buy what is right for them. Theyíre not out to impress anyone, copy anyone or to show anyone else up. While style does seem to come naturally to some, I believe we can all acquire style if we are willing to put our heart into it. Itís about attitude, grace and mindfulness, and not following the herd.
Here are some key things to consider about style:
-We should choose clothes because they flatter our shape or are appropriate to the occasion instead of because itís what everyone else is wearing.
-Sometimes itís good to adopt the Ďless is moreí attitude to jewellery and accessories. A single pearl drop can add class that a chunky plastic beaded monstrosity canít.
-We should cultivate a clever sense of humour. Does the witty but rude bumper sticker on our car really reflect what we want it to about us?
-Our conversation should suit the occasion. Have you ever noticed that the loudest person in the room is often the least interesting? Or that complete strangers will not hesitate to disclose intimate details about themselves to you? We want people to be genuinely interested in what we have to say.
-When decorating our homes, instead of just looking at what others have done, we should look also at what works with the layout and the light etc. Our main purchases should be timeless and versatile.
-Do we really want those new Chinese-look bowls, candle holders, ornaments and wall prints that are in every store or would classic white bowls be more versatile? We can add character with colourful serviettes. Thatís stylish.
The same goes for hairstyles, cars, houses and just about everything else. While something may be the latest craze or a particular colour may be the Ďiní thing at the time, we need to consider whether we really like it or just want it, whether it reflects our style or whether weíre just following the crowd and buying into the hype.