According to Britannica, fashion is best defined simply as the style or styles of clothing and accessories worn at any given time by groups of people.
Fashion sense means having an instinct for how clothes look when worn together and how those clothes can make an outfit that both looks good and expresses something about you. Fashion sense is not about knowing any sort of formula or the absolute and only correct way to dress, but it is about knowing what suits you and fits you. The way you dress expresses who you are and in essence, contributes to your identity.
Shiona Turini, freelance stylist and consultant declares: Fashion is about storytelling through clothing; it’s about the stories behind them and the ones you create around them. It’s a cultural influence, backstory or intellectual touchpoint that you can trace back to what you’re wearing. We use it to escape the mundane, to embrace and celebrate tradition. It’s about a sense of history and pride and it embodies a greater sense of purpose than just a garment tossed on to cover bodies.
Fashion sense can be an inherent trait for some, an inherited skill for others, and an acquired learning for many. Fashion consciousness is not about adopting per se what you see or what goes on around you. It is about selectively identifying what enhances your personality and what strengthens your demeanor. Being fashionable does not mean you have to buy the best items or purchase only branded pieces, but it’s knowing what suits you and acquiring what is suitable for you. Fashion sense is not about conformity to the existing trend but an alignment of the inward and the outward to give a pleasing overall effect that impacts quietly.
For a Christian and a follower of Christ, fashion sensibility does not mean adhering just to the latest trends of clothing and makeup, but it involves an adorning that reflects the nature of Christ.
Apostle Peter well articulates this when he advises the women: Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
His advice is not confined to women alone but to the men too: In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered (1 Peter 3:3-7 NLT). Even though these passages seem to indicate the conduct of married folks, yet it is clear, that for a disciple of Christ the inward should be commiserate with the outward.
Jesus Christ’s warning about elevating the outward show over the inward condition should sensitize anyone to the standards expected: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (Matt 23:27-28 NIV).
He balances this instruction with another to the crowds that followed Him about on when, how, where and why you should strive to keep up appearances: “When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don’t make a production out of it. It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won’t make you a saint. If you ‘go into training’ inwardly, act normal outwardly. Shampoo and comb your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face. God doesn’t require attention-getting devices. He won’t overlook what you are doing; he’ll reward you well (Matt 6:16-18 MSG).
The message is clear – a Christian’s inward orientation should add depth and character to their outward manifestation, but it is also important that their physical appearance should serve to conceal and dignify their inward sacrifices. Image is indeed important, especially when involved in the disciplines of faith, but it should augment and aid the internal rather than mask or cover up lack of reality.
Fashion acumen, thus, is not just about wearing costly dress or using brand items or being decked excessively. It is about garbing yourself in a way that unconsciously uplifts and upholds you to hold your own wherever you are. The right dress and accessories, not necessarily the costliest, will always polish and project you in a way that will make others take a second look or go wow. Real fashion sense will help you make a statement without meaning to or striving for, but naturally, in a matter-of-fact manner, especially when it is bolstered by a good sense and decent nature!
Fashion trends should not camouflage or inflate value, but fashion sensibility should serve to add value to deportment and dignity to comportment!
It is important to be a fashion trendsetter, not only in clothes, but also in conduct and conversation!
More importantly, as the expert pointed out, what is the story you are hoping to tell through your fashion statement?
What is the history and tradition you are seeking to illustrate through your fashion taste?
Finally, what is the sense of purpose you are modelling through your fashionable look?
Do find the answer to these and you then will be the epitome of class and couture!