With many different fashion styles, it can be challenging to pick one that will match your personality. The kind of style you choose also depends on your location, lifestyle, taste, and budget, as well as the current season or weather. You’ll feel more comfortable and confident when you wear the right style.
Different Fashion Styles - The Ideal Choices
Fashion evolves time and time again, and since it’s a form of art, you can create your own style. But if you want to be more fashion-forward, learning about the most common fashion styles and how to dress up for each style is beneficial.
1. Artsy or Arty
From the name itself, the artsy fashion style embodies art, which is creativity, so it doesn’t usually conform to standards and follow any rules. Meaning, there is a lot of experimentation in clothing and accessory colors and designs.
You can mix and match tops, bottoms, hats, scarves, bags, and other items with bright colors, colorful and/or bold designs, and elaborate prints. You can pick items with unique or weird shapes and silhouettes to slay this style. Handcrafted pieces are also great items to include in your wardrobe.
Ethnic is a non-specific style since it includes pieces of clothing and accessories that represent a certain culture. It might be your own heritage or another's. Some of the most popular ones are tunics, Afghan coats, Mexican peasant tops, kaftans, and Japanese kimonos.
Also known as Boho or Boho chic and a style preferred by free-spirited individuals, this is a combination of alternative, festive, hip, and of course, Bohemian influence. This fashion style started becoming famous between 1960 and 1970.
The main Boho style rule is sticking to anything natural. Thus, clothes and accessories have earthy tones and are made of natural materials, such as rattan, denim, leather, silk, cotton, lace, and turquoise.
Other common things about this style are flower patterns, folk or ethnic elements, unconventional textures and prints, and flowy fabrics. Layering is also typical for the Boho style. Still, you can incorporate bold and attention-grabbing designs and accessories.
With that in mind, Bohemian is a style that is best for the summer but also great for spring when you add scarves, jackets, and vests to your outfit. The clothing pieces that scream Boho are bell-bottom pants, long skirts, and maxi dresses.
4. Business Casual
As the name implies, this is a fashion style that combines casual with business. It is perfect for offices, date nights, night outs with friends or relatives, and non-corporate or informal business meetings and occasions.
If you have no idea how business casual fashion styles look, you can have a businesswear top, such as a blouse or blazer, and then match it with casual bottoms like jeans. You may also do the opposite: a casual top like a t-shirt and sweater and then business bottoms like slacks and tunic or pencil-cut skirts.
For your accessories, any bag, bracelet, earrings, and necklace can work, as long as they’re not too bold like those meant for artsy and bohemian styles.
The classic fashion style exudes comfort, stability, and simple sophistication or elegance that sport clean, straight lines and simple shapes and cuts. Considered timeless and all-season, it is a more polished everyday office look that you can also wear for specific occasions. Common clothing pieces you must include in your wardrobe are pencil skirts, khaki pants, slacks, and blazers.
Preppy or prep fashion style has been adapted from traditional North-Eastern private prep school and Ivy League college uniforms. It also took inspiration from sports, such as horseback riding, tennis, sailing, and polo. Likewise, it's almost similar to the simple, classic style with the addition of bold patterns or prints and colors.
The typical clothes worn by individuals who love this style include polo shirts, crew neck sweaters, henley shirts, button-down oxfords, cardigans, blazers, argyle sweaters, short skirts, khaki pants, straight-cut chinos, socks, and boat shoes. For accessories, the typical ones are pearls and cloth-wrapped headbands.
This style is elegant, classy, and modern. It doesn’t involve vibrant or bright colors as it aims to maintain a neat or tidy look. That is why you must choose monochromatic clothing pieces with stylish and classic designs and black, white, and other neutral colors.
The accessories you choose, though, can have striking standard colors, such as red and yellow. These pieces will add contrast to the overall look. Similarly, for your makeup, stick with the classic colors: red lipsticks, light tan or brown eye makeups, and black or brown eyeliners.
This style is just like the artsy style, as it’s also unique and involves a lot of experimentation, but it is more mysterious and unique. It also quickly catches attention, even from a distance, because of the vibrant, bold colors, bizarre designs, intricate embroideries, patterns, mosaics, and prints. In contrast to the arty style, the exotic fashion style is too uncommon or intriguing for most individuals.
9. Feminine or Girly
This style portrays the traditional expectations of how a woman should dress up and designs, tones, and pieces of clothing that have been considered female-specific in the past. That means pastel colors, bows, laces, florals, ruffles, blouses, skirts, and dresses. It can also include attires that flatter your feminine shape, such as fitted jeans, cinched waistcoats, and a-line dresses.
Flamboyant is among the brightest fashion styles associated with drama that portrays confidence, exuberance, and stylishness. The clothing pieces have intense, vibrant colors and outlandish designs, patterns, and prints. They’re also usually multi-colored, asymmetrical, flouncy, and splashy.
Originated in France, the Garconne style is modern and elegant but simple and has an androgynous silhouette. It’s casual wear perfect for days when you have no idea what to wear. All you have to do is put your jeans on and pair them with a t-shirt or loose-fitting blouse and shiny loafers. You may also combine any rugged menswear that you have with feminine pieces.
12. Geeky or Nerdy
This style portrays the stereotypical impression for nerds or geeks, which is bookish and introverted. As such, it usually includes wearing oversized eyeglasses, loafers, baggy or loose-fitting pants, sleeved long dresses, and midi or long skirts.
13. Girl Next Door
Although not really considered a style, this is known for its simplicity and cuteness. It’s a look that you might have already tried in the past. The style includes clothes that are easy to wear and comfortable, such as jumpers, jeans, cute mini dresses and skirts, and tees. You also only need cool and simple accessories like sneakers, doll shoes, mini backpacks, and sling bags.
Combining morbid and mysterious and with a great influence from gothic music and fiction, this style is synonymous with the black. As such, you usually wear black all over, such as clothes, lipstick, makeup, and shoes, or at least most of your attire is black. However, when you add another color, make sure it’s not something striking.
This fashion style also usually includes tight-fitting bottoms and bold and dark accessories. It is perfect for themed parties or casual events.
Punk fashion is a 1970 and 1980 style that has an edgy, anti-materialistic, and rebellious look. Rock punk’s hallmark is studded and spiked vests, leather jackets, deconstructed blazers, spandex, and ripped fishnet stockings. It can also include bright prints and colors. Think of David Bowie if you want to imagine how the punk rock looks. On the other hand, band t-shirts, shirts with provocative messages, skater skirts, and skinny jeans are typical of the pop-punk style.
Accessories meant to complete punk fashion styles are wrist bands, chains, stud earrings, patches, and safety pins, and black boots. People with this fashion sense also have dyed Mohawk or spike hair and wear heavy black eyeliners.
16. Grunge or Alternative Rock
A style that can suit almost everyone, the grunge originated in the 1980s in Seattle. It is edgy, messy, and comfortable that usually involves a lot of layering or oversize silhouette. If this is the style that you prefer during your off-work days or travels, fill your closet with slogan tees, shirts with band logos or names, flannel shirts, cropped tops, slouchy or oversized sweaters or knits, leather jackets, ripped jeans, leggings, or tights, and disheveled skirts.
17. Hip Hop
As another style with a music genre influence, hip hop fashion came about when fans copied their favorite singers and musicians. It is also among the fashion styles that break trends and make you stand out from the crowd. Your wardrobe would usually include loose jeans, jerseys, bomber jackets, caps, chains, and other bling-bling.
A style that started in the streets of Japan, kawaii is a lovely, feminine yet child-like style with pop culture aesthetics. Since the Japanese term kawaii translates to cute, the pieces of clothing typical to this style have cute designs, such as cartoon characters and pastel colors. Short or mini skirts are also distinctive for this look.
K-pop or Korean pop fashion style started in the late 1800s and was inspired by the South Korean pop music genre. Thus, it is a look that has been copied from South Korean pop artists. If this is the style for you, you can add berets, off-shies, checkered and denim skirts, long socks, and gown-like mini dresses in your closet.
Lagenlook is among the most famous fashion styles in Europe that involve the layering of multiple clothing pieces. The clothes worn on top of one another have unique shapes and can have either similar or different colors.
As the name implies, loungewear is a style comprising clothes that you usually wear while lounging or relaxing on your couch or bed during the day. That includes sleep pants, leggings, sweatpants, harem pants, jumpsuits, cardigans, and sweatshirts. It is one of the styles that scream comfort. However, people also wear these clothes while walking in the park, day out with friends, and grocery shopping.
The military-style is one of the easiest to identify and makes you stand out in a crowd. It is consists of highly functional and comfortable clothes with patched and large pockets. Typical garments for this style are camouflage or khaki cargo pants and shorts, coats, jackets, and warm parkas. Some also include wide belts.
The rock or rocker fashion style takes inspiration from heavy metal rock bands and can also be a combination of metal, alternative, gothic, punk rock, R&B, and country music. It is edgy, glamorous, chic, and modern.
That said, rock-styled individuals wear smaller-sized clothes instead of baggy ones. They also wear motorcycle or biker leather jackets with patches, metal studs, pin badges, or Esso gas man trinkets, vintage tees or tees with rock band logos, names, or pictures, and ripped denim.
The number one misconception about this fashion style is that you should wear clothes that reveal too much skin. Although that is somewhat true, this style is for women who want to flaunt their best assets, whether they show skin or not.
Besides mini-skirts, shorts, tubes, spaghetti straps, low necklines, and the like, you can also wear tight tops and bottoms, striped blazers, and bodycon or pair cropped tops with high-waisted jeans or bottoms to show off your curves. For shoes, high heels are perfect choices, but you can also consider those with striking colors such as hot pink and canary yellow.
Sporty is among the fashion styles gaining popularity because of the comfort wearers feel even when they wear such an outfit all day long. Aptly named, the clothes worn are typically meant for playing sports, jogging, running, and exercising, so they’re breathable and mostly stretchable.
People who sport this style wear jerseys, tank tops, hoodies, oversize sweatshirts, polo, tennis shirts, shorts, leggings, joggers, and yoga pants. To top off the style, they put their hair up into a pony and wear sneakers. Most of the time, the clothing pieces are mostly activewear brands such as Adidas, Nike, and Under Armour.
Many cultures, most especially skater, punk, and hip-hop, heavily influence the streetwear style. It became most famous in the 1990s. The articles of clothing included in this casual fashion style are hoodies, tees with logos, cropped tops, and baggy pants, plus sneakers and caps.
This simple, comfortable, modern style involves items that are not too feminine in nature but pieces that are more masculine or neutral. Examples are buttoned-up tops, baggy t-shirts, graphic tees, collared shirts, oversized blazers, slushy cardigans, suits, men-style trousers, loose-fitting jeans, Oxfords, and trousers.
This style is the most non-standard because it changes and evolves constantly and depends on the current season. It is for individuals who wear what’s latest in the fashion industry. Although this is convenient since there are no frills and dramas and you only have to know what’s current, it’s not economically efficient because you have to update your wardrobe all the time.
Also known as retrospective or retro, vintage mimics the style of the previous centuries, especially from the 1920s to 1970s. If this is the style you prefer, it’s best to purchase clothes in vintage stores, thrift shops, and resale stores. Still, you can wear newly manufactured clothes with vintage styles, such as circle skirts, flapper dresses, wide-leg trousers, petticoats, and pinup clothing.
30. Wild West
This is a style that is cowboy and country in nature, making it highly unique and distinct. It includes cowboy hats, cowboy or classic-style boots, cowboy shirts or polos, bootcut jeans, and creative types of belts.
Fashion Styles - In Conclusion
Surely, there are still plenty of fashion styles; in fact, you can even create your style and become a trendsetter. That’s because fashion is very subjective. You also can’t stick to one style since there are times when you need to wear something casual or follow specific dress codes. Just make sure that you always choose a style that won't restrict your movements because you're not comfortable or happy with it.