CYNIC STYLE FILES

If you’ve been following this column, you might have noticed that the Style Files has a rather laid-back attitude toward fashion.  This is because we believe in style — not fashion. What’s the difference, you ask? We believe that fashion often includes anorexic models, elitism and heavy price tags. Style, on the other hand, is more about how clothes reflect you as a person — your own personal flair. We’ve all seen the girl with the Louis Vuitton purse, Gucci sunglasses and Juicy Couture tracksuit with matching Coach sneakers.Been there, done that. In contrast, we’ve also seen someone walk down Main Street who we had to stop and stare at.They were wearing something we had never seen before – and they were rocking it!Spending thousands of dollars on a little black dress seems almost silly when you can findgreat options at less expensive stores like Forever 21. When you buy a designer piece, you’re really spending money on a name or an image, not necessarily a quality item. You don’t need to kill yourself — or your wallet — to try to keep up with the Vuittons. Don’t feel pressured to shop at certain stores. Go explore different kinds of stores, and don’t be afraid to try something new. See what you like. Don’t be scared to mix and match. You’d be surprised with the crazy, but cute, combinations you can come up with. Making your own flair sets you apart, putting you in a whole new, non-Vuitton league.People like to argue that the higher the price, the higher the quality. While this may be true in some cases, it definitely isn’t most of the time. A couple years ago, designer Tory Burch made these über-popular flats that had cool medallion-like decorations on the toes — you’ve probably seen the many similar styles that followed. At the time, the flats cost about $200. Good quality, right? Soon many women were complaining about easily detached soles and ripped linings. Don’t get us wrong, the Style Files loves the occasional designer item – a pair of Gucci heels or a Prada dress – but because of the way they look, not the brand name.The point is plain and simple:  labels don’t matter. Having style is not dependent on a brand name, just creativity. Wear designer clothes if you want and if that’s what makes you happy. But let yourself shine through your clothing — that is the core of style.If you like what you’re wearing, then sport it! Don’t be afraid to flaunt your own vogue just because everyone else dresses differently.  As Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion fades, but style remains forever.”