“Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever.” – Ralph Lauren

Many designers have been quoted on the differences between fashion and style, but in this fast-fashion world we live in, do we really understand the difference?

Fashion is defined as a trend that is popular during a particular time. It can change from year to year and season to season, making it an art form that is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with. Fashion is the connection, through clothing, to the outside world. It is more external than internal, which means fashion is more about the garment and less about the person.

On the other hand, style is unique to each individual and is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Style is an indication of your persona. It is the way you express yourself through clothing and an internal connection to your thoughts, feelings, and identity. Inversely, style is more about the person and less about the garment.

So, does this mean one is better than the other? Not at all! We need fashion to expose us to different silhouettes, colors, fits and ideas. Fashion is the ever-changing inspiration that allows us to define our personal style through experimentation. Without fashion, and constantly trying different things, how would we be able to cultivate our own unique style and confirm our likes and dislikes?

Regardless of whether you are a fashion fanatic or strictly focused on your own personal style, I think we can all agree that both are important. Clothing is one of the most common, fun ways to express ourselves and connect to the world and those around us. Fashion and style matter to the economy, to society, and to each of us personally. More obviously than anything else, what we wear tells the story of who we are or who we want to be and reflects how we see the world and how we want the world to see us.