So I just returned from a quick shopping trip. For those who don't know me yet, a "quick shopping trip" is really an adventure in or around retailers that lasts less than 3 hours.
While I was out searching for the next best things, I started to think to myself: "if people knew the difference between style and fashion, our stores would offer completely different selections."
Example 1 - MetroPark. If you've never been to a MetroPark store before, you might need to reference their website to know exactly what I mean. I've never seen more trucker hats, studded belt buckles, or multicolored fabrics amassed in one store. Now I'm sure it was fashionable at one time to plaster yourself with Ed Hardy's name and a plethora of rhinestones and beads, but those times are long gone.
However awful the trends here may be, I did find a fantastic lambskin bi-fold Diesel wallet in the clearance area for $14.99. Maybe stores that attract people without style or good fashion sense is a good thing for those of us who do - that way we can buy great things on sale that others simply overlook.
Example 2 - Anthropologie. Now normally I wouldn't promote something that tries too hard. While Anthropologie is indeed a corporately controlled chain of stores found in nearly every larger city's premier shopping plaza, the store does a fantastic job at providing a "boutique" shopping experience designed for the style-maven. Here, you'll find a friendly staff who are fashion conscious AND exude serious style. Soft fabrics, vintage inspired designs, and "antiqued" accessories seem haphazardly displayed in the most gentle of ways. Quaint seating areas with homegoods, deliciously scented candles and soaps, and thoughtful gifts are scattered throughout. Each item seems unique, enriching, and fabulous.
Selections at Anthropologie aren't exactly inexpensive, and it may be easy to overdo the "bohemian/vintage" look, so limit yourself to wearing 1-2 items at a time if you're unsure of yourself. Too much of a good thing isn't always a good thing.
Fashion to me is all about time. A unitard, sweatband, and giant florescent pink hoop earrings instantly take you back to 1981 and Olivia Newton John belting out "Physical".
Style to me is all about your attitude, decisions, and vantage point. Giant, round black sunglasses will always evoke a little bit of Jackie Kennedy.
So the next time you're ready to go shopping. Stop and think first. Are you looking for something fun and exciting for the mean time, or are you looking for that classic piece to enhance your every day?