Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Do you think there's a difference between style and fashion?  Or are they interchangeable?

I find myself mulling over this one quite a bit.  While the two are in no means mutually exclusive, I do think that they are very different.  When someone asks if I consider BCC a "style blog" or a "fashion blog," I immediately answer, "style blog."  And even though I'm so certain that I am one and not the other, I'm still trying to find the clear distinction between the two.  So far, this is what I'm thinking:

From the very beginning, this blog's mission was (and still is) to prove that real women in real towns with real budgets and real lives can look great no matter what.  It is not and never was about the labels or the price.    It's always been about doing something extraordinary with something rather ordinary.  I think that's where I find myself writing a "style blog" and not a "fashion blog."

While I don't subscribe to any particular designer's collections every season, I do occasionally turn to the runways and editorial fashion mags for a good dose of inspiration.  I find it more and more helpful when it comes to pushing my own boundaries.  At the same time, those runways and editorials seem so inaccessible to me.  Not only can I not afford designer labels and top shelf retail, but I would feel like a fraud.  It's just not me.  Anyone can put on an amazing designer or expensive piece and look fashionable.  But does is that the same as being stylish?

I've always felt that fashion comes from the outside - it's the influence, the spark - and style comes from the inside - the ability, the eye.  Similarly, I've always viewed fashion as something that is presented to me, and style is what I do with it.  Style is making it my own ... or you making it your own.  You know that feeling when you get dressed in the morning and love your outfit and feel like the best version of yourself?  Even if everyone else hates it, and you love it - it's your style.  It's kind of like intelligence in a way - some people have a natural tendency towards it, and others have to work harder to obtain it - but in the end, no one else can take it away.

Maybe I'm being unfair by assuming that fashion has to mean expensive.  Maybe money can buy style.  I'm curious - what do you think?


  1. Hey Kyla!

    I think that you MUST have a sense of style to pick the best items but it is much more easy to do so when you can afford the items u choose. Sometimes i have great outfit ideas that i cannot fulfil beacase of budget problems.

    I think that your blog is AWESOME and u are sweet and a great fashion inspiration :)!!!
    Luba, your loyal reader from ISRAEL.

  2. I have always been a fan of the quote "Fashion fades, style is eternal" - Yves St. Laurent

    I've been struggling with this too, because as a new blogger, I feel like people aren't interested in my clothes because I didn't pay a lot of money for them. But your blog is proof that you can have excellent taste and fashion sense and not spend a lot of money.

    I think you're correct that money can buy "fashion" but I think style is something that comes from within and has to be cultivated. There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from high fashion and making it your own. That is style, to me.

    Meh. Two cents. Sorry if that turned into a book. Haha!

  3. Style transcends fashion. While fashion is the current, the trendy, the "NOW", style is timeless. For those of us who are not independently wealthy/have to work for a living, cultivating a sense of style is ultimately more sustainable than chasing fickle fashion trends. True, we CAN look to the latest fashions for inspiration, but the basics of dressing well do not change. If we can pack our wardrobes full of classic pieces, they can last a long time (with a few updates to keep things fresh and exciting).

  4. I agree with you completely. I've even come up with a little motto that says..."Thou Style Shall Never Be Sacrificed".

    Fashion is for the hooty tooty snobs (lol)....I have do too.

  5. Of course there is a difference, you can be stylish andnot being wearing the trend of the moment.


  6. I feel the same way. I feel that fashion is a more general term that includes clothes and styling but style is personal. I often feel out of the loop with runways and designers and new collections but like you said, I feel they are inaccessible, impractical, and inapplicable to me and who I am. I don't want to ever drop some thousands of dollars for one item. I can make do with what I find in consignment and thrift stores!

  7. Great big ditto! I completely agree with your assesment is that style is the more personal view of it all. Style is putting yourself together in a way that represents your own personality and the things you like. Fashion is more what other people deem to be the trend this year. Not to say that fashion can't produce style or that one's style can't be fashionable. I do see there being a difference though and they can be seperate or related depending on what you want your style to be.

  8. I completely agree with everything you have said in this post. hands down.

    I own one or two true DESIGNER items and that is because I got them from consignment stores or as gifts. I think style is someone's unique spin on what is considered in "fashion" at the moment- like you said.

  9. i think of style as a sense of personal expression whereas fashion is decided upon by the masses.
    sure, the two can, and often DO collide -- sometimes the results are amazing, sometimes less so.

    i think people can be totally stylish without being the least bit fashionable.

    that said, i do tend to use the terms interchangeably, even though i dont really THINK of them that way.

  10. I think that fashion is something that is added to style. I believe that you're either born with the natural ability to be able to see what looks wonderful together, or you're not. By no mean is that to say that style cannot be a learned trade. I just think that to some, it is much more natural.

    I am completely behind YSL with the whole "fashions fade, style is eternal" thing. Fashion will also come and go, therefore I think style is the ability to put those fashions into play in a way that works for your age, budge, life, ect.

    Whew that was long. On another note, I gain much (much much MUCH) more inspiration from other fashion/style blogger than I do from runways. I like seeing the "real" thing.

  11. This is a very important post and I think you bring up interesting points. There is a huge difference between style and fashion. Style I think is something you grow into. Style is a great combination of expressing who you are and who you aim to be. I think obtaining great style develops and has its stages; just like our own personal development. I've personally run the gamet when it comes to personal style and while now I'm at a stage in my life in which I can afford to buy something that is slightly higher in price; it doesn't mean that I dedicate my entire wardrobe to a specific designer or that I still don't want the biggest bang for my buck. The truth is that I've also never like the idea of having anyone dictate style to women and for a long time; my style was a reaction against all that. I think what you do here is fabulous and it's appropriate for your life. I believe that if anything - that should be the main point for everyone reading these style blogs...One has to figure out what is appropriate for them given their age, their station in life, where they're aiming to go, and what it is they want to positively express about themselves via their wardrobe:)

  12. Great post! I too struggle a lot with fashion vs. style. I think you summed it up perfectly.

    Though I don't think fashion HAS to mean expensive, I also don't think money can buy style. Whoa - that's a bit of a mind trip.

    Anyway...good job. :)

  13. I agree with all your points. The issue of style vs fashion is something I think a lot about.

    In my opinion fashion is something linked to the fashion industry. It is expensive, elite, and unattainable for the average person.

    Style is an individual's personal way of presenting and expressing theirselves to the world. Money can be helpful in creating style, but it is by no means necessary. Honestly, at times money can defeat style, because it becomes very easy to simply buy all the pieces off the mannequin without mixing them with your own personality. Style is about dressing in a way that fits with who you are. That's why I too, consider my blog a style blog.

  14. i totally agree with you. anyone can spend hundreds of dollars on the latest couture or trends and look "fashionable" as in "in style," but that does not mean they have any personal sense of style!

  15. I have a hard time making the distinction between style and fashion also. I think styles are much more individual, as you're stating. Over the knee socks, for example, are a big part of fashion right now. But whatever your personal style - goth, preppy, street, eclectic - they can be worn and worn well.

    I'm not sure that money is in any way part of the equation. But it's very, very hard to make a statement like that because obviously the world runs on money. Everything ultimately comes down to who has it and who doesn't. But I have seen people who shop in thrift stores look equally as fabulous as celebs on the red carpet...sooo...yeah, I'm hitting a wall here. It's a lot to think about!

  16. I completely agree that style is something that comes from the inside. Fashion to me is what you have to work with... the pieces that allow you to have style.

    Fashion is the look that's already been created, style is the way you individualize that look.

  17. Oh my gosh there's been so much debate over this topic!!
    I always think of Yves Saint Laurent "Fashions fade, style is eternal"
    I really agree with that. Fashions change season to season, but if you have style you always look good. Not saying people don't look great who manage to fit the current fashions into their style, but I definitely think that style and fashion are too different things.
    I honestly agree with you that style is intrinsic to you, and fashion is more of an external influence.

  18. I've been working on a simila rpost, editing and rediting it over and over for the last few months. Yes I think there is a big difference between fashion and style, I feel the same that I am a style blog. Fashion costs money, and I feel style you can't buy. Great thoughts.

  19. In my opinion, fashion is how it came to be, the whole process to create the clothes. Style is how you make it your own.

    but they go hand in hand. Most of the clothing you buy wouldn't be around if it weren't for the runways.

  20. I agree completely. Fashion is what presented to you, and how you work it is style. Money can't buy you style and particular fashions won't look good on everybody. Fashion is fleeting, style is forever.

  21. Well, I suppose money can buy a great stylist and if you have lots of money, no taste and want to look good, a stylist is a worthwhile investment. Does that mean you are buying style or a stylist?
    Anywho, tangent... I appreciate your voice in the blogging world because you are real, with a real budget and you wake up every morning and put something good together. It's easy to ohhh and ahhh over an expensive item (that can very well be beautiful) but if you can put together a good look on a budget, at least you know that your style has to do with your instinct not your just wallet.

  22. I agree too, I think style is an indivdual thing, and fashion is different again!
    Great post :-)

  23. I love this post. I recently started a style blog and have been feeling that since i'm not super high fashion that I don't really have a voice in the blog world. But you are so right! To me it's about style, not fashion. I think that fashion definitely inspires my style but does not define it. Sometimes fashion is so out there it's just not practical, especially for normal, real people. At the end of the day I think that I would rather have style than be fashionable. Thanks for the words, very encouraging.

  24. I totally agree with everything you said. I feel like style is a personal thing, tailored (pardon the pun) to the individual. it's about picking things out that say something about your personality. it doesn't necessarily have to be "fashionable". fashion is more of an item thing...a piece of clothing can be fashion but can only have style when a person, well, styles it!

    for what it's worth, I think you said it way better, haha. I really like what you said about one coming from the outside and one from the inside.

  25. Great post! Along the same lines as your last statement, I had a professor once who always looked unkept and rather messy. I couldn't BELIEVE it when she said she mostly shopped at Brooks Brothers. So, no, after hearing where she buys her clothes, I don't believe that money buys style.

  26. This is such a great topic because I guess I associate style with being a personal preference where as fashion relates more so to the items. Not sure if that made total sense, but for example I would say that an item was fashionable, whereas I wouldn't use "style" in the same context.

    To me style is a personal preference and exudes ones uniqueness. Whereas fashion to me implies the items used to help develop ones style.

  27. Wow, some great debate here. I think I agree with you about the difference. Fashion is fleeting and changes on the whims of designers and is replicated by the fast stores like F21, H&M. But an individual spin that can be hard to replicate.
    I love your blog --- I really appreciate your take on real woman, small town, small budget style. It's pretty inspirational.

    - JoAnn, Sidewalk Chalk

  28. This is exactly why this is one of my favourite blogs!
    I agree with what you are saying 100%

  29. I think you are correct to say that fashion, as per a definition, is something presented to us. But with the influx of fashion/style blogging these days, I truly believe those lines are being blurred and that everyday people like you and me are able to create "fashion" and present it to others. Annie.

  30. To me style is something that you are born. A natural flair and the knowledge of what looks good and what suits you and your body.

    Fashion is something that is dictated to us by those in the know (who are they? And who says that they are in the know??)to make us by their products. Fashion also changes very rapidly where as style is a constant.

    Just my opinion on the matter!

  31. I search and recently came across your blog and have been reading along. It was wonderful blog.


  32. I think of it this way: Fashion is an industry, style is how a person interacts with that industry. There so many factors that mediate that interaction.

    Some are social, some economic, some geographic. There are practical considerations such as climate. And then there are resources. And that means not just money it means time. And as women I think most of us make a conscious decision of how much time, money and attention we want to devote to the act of presentation. Because, really you could spend unlimited time and money on clothes makeup treatments etc....

    To me the most stylish people are the ones who manage to say something about themselves in the way they put themselves together. They take pleasure in what they are wearing but are not hampered by it.

  33. you're very comes from the outside but style comes from the is like a tool that you use which fashion ideas best represents you as a person it serves as your voice dictating which works and which doesn't when it comes to picking out clothes..