While I was perusing the twitter-sphere one night, one tweet caught my eye. This is really no different from any other night except this tweet made me think for more than the usual ten seconds a tweet is on my mind. The tweet came from a local tweeter of fire, @drelynhunt, and it read:
Fashion exists because there needs to be high-end clothing. It’s cool to look at the big names in high-end fashion like Balenciaga and Givenchy because it gives you a sense of where the top is when you talk about fashion. But, it doesn’t really impact your style all too much. Kid Cudi made a song about Balmain jeans, and yes, it would be dope to rock a pair. But, does the fact the Cudi made that song really want to make me save up for a month to be able to afford one pair. Hell no. It’s the same thing with Kanye West’s GQ magazine spread. All of Kanye’s outfits were fly as fuck, but I don’t really need any of the shit he had on to convince myself that I’m leaving the house fly as fuck in what I have on. Understanding and acknowledging elegant clothing will make you sartorially savvy, but neglecting the notion that you need that same clothing for the sake of your own style will do wonders for you. Fashion may be lauded in any, or, maybe every, occasion, but it still doesn’t govern one’s personal style.The first thing you need to look into when exploring ‘fashion v. style’ is the fact that style and fashion can be separate entities, but they also need each other in order to function well. Addressing the tweet above, it is common knowledge that athletes can tend to be hypebeasts for high fashion because, of course, they have the money to afford it. I always thought some athletes looked very uncomfortable in their outfits when they are seen arriving to games or out on the red carpet of whatever award show their attending.
For example, look at Russell Westbrook on the red carpet at the ESPY’s. There is no doubt that all of his clothes are very expensive, and there is also no doubt that his gear is what’s hot in some place right now. But, I don’t care how eccentric Russ has dressed in the past, there is no way he has said ‘this is me right here’ to the outfit he has on right now. While the clothes he has on may be trendy right now, they really lend nothing to the authenticity of his ‘fit.
Example number two with Kevin Durant is seemingly way too easy. One look at Kevin Durant here, and one can easily see that he is not comfortable in his outfit right now. His threads are dope and aesthetically pleasing, but that doesn’t change the fact that he looks swagger-less. How can someone who has the latest fashion still be swagger-less? Because fashion is absolutely nothing without a sense of style. And style is something that is organic and can’t be bought.
Don’t get me wrong, fashion is still necessary to everyone out there because fashion dictates what is popular or ‘in.’ Clothing brands usually drop new fall or summer lines in anticipation of what the new fashion is. And, for those of us who have style out there, we cop that new t-shirt or five-panel or whatever it may be. Not because we need to have that new fashion trend, but because we want to cop that new fire to add to our already established style. This is unlike our swagger-less counter-parts who cop a pair of leather joggers because ‘Ye ranted about them and cop a Versace button-up because Migos told them that they should. Those of us with style are not changing our swag to match that of model in a new lookbook, we are adding a piece to our wardrobe to enhance our style. And that’s an essential part in understanding both fashion and style; they need each other to work, but they are still very much separate entities.
Style, unlike fashion, is exclusive to just one individual. The comfort an individual has is just one important part of style. If you are comfortable in your outfit, you have an average sense of style already. The other pertinent piece to style is confidence. If you’re looking in the mirror before you go out for the night, and you tell yourself that your ‘fit is “on a hundred thousand trillion,” you probably have a good sense of style. But, the last piece is the shit that makes you a trailblazer of style: understanding that fashionable shit can really make the outfit. We all know that dope kicks or that crisp tee from a new drop can really push your ‘fit to GAWD-levels, and that is completely okay. If grabbing that new-new from wherever you please makes you leave the house with Kanye’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” stuck in your head, you probably still have a great sense of personal style. That doesn’t always mean your jeans have to cost $100. I could have on a shirt that I bought from Wal-Mart, and still feel like I’m the fucking man when I leave the crib (I will convince myself that my outfit is fire in the midst of the naysayers). And that’s probably the greatest thing about style. Nobody can take it away from you. Fashion will pass you by when one trend is replaced by another, but your sense of style remains eternal.