The significance of style

Being fashionable is seen as one of the most honourable titles a person could hold. What is often overlooked, however, is the value of being stylish. Without personal style there would be no variation, no personality and no individuality to outfits.

Some of the most enviable people in the spotlight are known for their style. Alexa Chung and Sienna Miller are renowned for their dress sense, but they are both more stylish than fashionable.


There's a lot more to appearance than following trends. Photo: Tara Bethune-Leamen

Stylishness, though it may be overshadowed by fashion in the media, deserves some recognition. Chantelle Znideric makes a living out of valuing style. As an award winning personal stylist, she says: “It’s more important to be stylish instead of fashionable, it says more about you as a person. Anyone can be fashionable but it’s much harder to be seen as having a stylish image.”

Chantelle says that people who are stylish have their own unique ‘thing going on’. “They tend to have a self-assured confidence that gives them a certain attitude or edge, regardless of their size or age,” she said.

After beginning a successful blog, TopStylista.com in 2006, 31-year-old Chantelle set up a personal styling business, TopStylista Image Consultancy. She has also developed an online personal styling website iStylista, providing styling advice for the masses.

Judging by Chantelle’s experiences with clients, it seems that most of us do aspire to have our own distinct look. “Every client of mine desires to be stylish over fashionable and this doesn’t usually depend on his or her age either,” she said.

The crucial flaw in high fashion dressing, she said, is clear. “[It] just doesn’t work for every day people… it’s not practical and can be a waste of money in the longer term,” Chantelle said.

But stylishness doesn’t come easy to everyone. It can be difficult to create a strong image. There is no one to copy, as there is for die-hard fashion followers, and the image that you present also makes a statement about who you are.

Chantelle believes there are steps to take to develop a distinct look: “There are a number of key elements to having a great personal style. That includes choosing clothes that reflect your personality, wearing styles that compliment your body shape, drawing attention to your best bits, and feeling comfortable in every outfit.”

She also recommends that people should “experiment with how you put together different outfits by dressing for you and no one else. Address every part of your image such as glasses, grooming and your hairstyle, all will make a huge impact on your overall style.”

So although it may be cast aside when designer collections hit the runways, stylishness should not be overlooked or seen as inferior. It makes a statement, and does so without requiring a size zero silhouette or thousands of pounds to splash.

The two are made to go together but, as Yves Saint Laurent is famously quoted, “Fashion fades, style is eternal”.

iStylista are offering The Linc readers a free style guide by going to http://www.istylista.com/thelinc and selecting the Style Goddess style guide worth £30.

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