Boma Benjy Iwuoha

Fashion is commonly defined as a popular way of dressing during a particular time or among a particular group of people. I guess we could say this means that there should be a particular time, place or occasion for a particular dressing. For instance, you are charged with interviewing three candidates for a top management position, at a Fortune 500 company and they walked into the venue dressed like this:


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You’re most likely going to ask figure 2 if she got the address right. She may very well be the most qualified candidate and her clothes may be the most expensive. Yet the question goes to her; “Are you sure you’re in the right place?” She’s got a pink bow tie, a lot of furs, and a dressy white pantsuit. Anyone would assume she was performing at a gala. However, if they were headed to the Grammys, the question is likely to go to figure 1. Why is that? She’s definitely dressed nicely, but for a corporate environment.

You may be wondering, why not figure 3? She’s also dressed to blend into a corporate setting, strangely; No one is likely to stop her, because she’s dressed to blend perfectly into any of the two scenes. Here’s the difference; she’s dressed in style and not a particular fashion.

Style is simply a particular way in which something is done, created, or performed. Though they are often used interchangeably, fashion and style are two words with distinctively different meanings. It’s no wonder, the famous French fashion designer Coco Chanel once said; “Fashion changes, but style endures.” The lady in figure 3 is neither dressed in a fashion for the corporate scene, nor that of the Grammy scene yet she blends into both. Why? She’s created a style that admits her into both scenes’.

It gets to a point in a lady’s life when she has to agree with the American writer Gore Vidal who wrote; “Style is knowing who you are, and what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” At that point, you stop going with the trend and dare to be different, create a style that you’re comfortable in, and own it. Bearing in mind that fashion is often reinvented and recycled, keeping up with the reinventions can be exhausting. When you own your style, you define who you are. So stop spending all your money on those trendy spring collections that are bound to go out of season in a few months. Stop letting the newfashion dictate your whole wardrobe every season.

After all, in the words of the famous Irish playwright Oscar Wilde “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months”, and Yves Saint-Laurent did say that Fashions fade, style is eternal.”

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