This post by the brilliant Erin at Dress-a-Day reminded me of the difference between being fashionable (simply following the trends) and stylish. Clearly, we State of the Fashion Union bloggers all enjoy fashion, or we wouldn't write about it or even think about it so much. But what do fashion and style mean to us? The girls of I am Fashion posted about what fashion means to them, and why it is important, and Counterfeit-Chic, blogged about how much fashion has changed - Now it is more than okay to be a smart woman who loves fashion.
At it's most basic, style can be considered a simple means of expression for an individual, while fashion is part of the culture and a huge industry. Style is unique and personal, and fashion is made up of trends and marketing (really, it is). A great illustration: a fashionable person would wear "formal shorts" with textured tights, wedges, a frilly blouse and a Chloe bag (real or fake). A stylish person might wear each of the these elements (except for the fake bag), but probably not together, and they would only wear them if they fit into their personal style. Some of the most stylish people in fashion history had very narrowly defined wardrobes - Jackie O, Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn.
Fashion and style are not mutually exclusive, however - look to the fabulous Manolo to see how much you can have with fashion, or check out Verbal Croquis and Final Fashion to read about the fashion industry from a stylish insider's perspective. In fact, this is one of the most valuable and interesting things about the State of the Fashion Union - the dialogue about fashion, style, and our perspectives on everything. Thanks to Fashiontribes and AlmostGirl for creating and organizing it!