Fashion vs. Style: Solving the Problem

How does your style make an impact on your life, demeanor, and well-being? Fashion is the clothing you love to admire — the garments that fill your closet. Style, on the other hand, is how you use fashion to make your big impact on the world and create your image, which is your personal calling card. Your image can affect your confidence, mood and attitude, and has the power to impact every area of your life to help you thrive.

Let’s uncover the problems that women can face when it comes to developing, maintaining and understanding their own fashion and style — and tips to use your clothing to stand out. I caught up with Leslie Gutstein, a renowned personal stylist, on the heels of launching Atarie magazine, a consumer lifestyle magazine focused on “connecting inner and outer health and beauty.” Gutstein believes that style is a mindset, and is on a mission to help women holistically use style to fuel their best selves and know their self-worth.

Gutstein shared her perspective on fashion versus style, how shoppers can develop their personal style and why learning the difference matters today.

In a world where trends dominate fashion choices, why is important to understand fashion vs. style?

Society’s perception of what “ideal beauty” means is constantly changing, and fashion trends are dictated to us when we see the clothing and makeup trends that are sashaying down the runway at the season’s latest fashion show.

However, the problem is not with the latest trends being forced upon us — it is the unrealistic sense of perfectionism that is hindering our personal style development. This perfectionist attitude can be interpreted as the societal idea of what the ideal woman should look and dress like, which can lead to thoughts of “I’ll never be good enough” or “I’ll never be beautiful enough.”

What problem are you aiming to solve through styling?

We live in a world of social media filters and faux pictures of realities at runway shows. We can get lost in a facade of perfectionism that is unattainable, and the fashion we see on the runways may not necessarily align with who we are.

Why does personal style matter?

It is our job to use style as a tool so that we can get to know ourselves on a deeper level. To combat these impractical ideals of what society holds to be true regarding fashion, we must define what true beauty means to us. We need to understand who we are at our core so that we can understand what makes us unique from others and become comfortable with using the talents with which we were innately born.

What advice can you share for women who wish to develop their personal style?

Get to know your body. When you buy the exact same pieces that you see someone else wearing, you may not be taking your own body shape into account. Be aware of the cuts that look best on you — knowing what looks good on your body type will also help you to stay consistent with your style and develop your signature look.

Write it down. Start from the inside out, not the outside in. It is important to describe with words who you are and what your style is. I provide my customers with 25 style words to identify their style persona. The list is available in Atarie magazine and on our website for women on a quest to find their signature look.

Articulate your perception of how you show up in the world. Visualize the way you desire to express yourself and your style, and begin to dress the part. It becomes more and more natural over time.

Create a vision. Choose inspirational photos and aesthetic pieces to guide you to your goals. Find colors, textures and prints that stand out, and take different aspects of these photos to make them your own.

What are fun style tips women can use today?

Plan all of your outfits for the week. Mindfulness of fashion and style is like being mindful of the foot you eat: It will help you focus on style that makes you feel fabulous — and forget the stress!

In warmer climates — like Florida where we live — it’s natural to wear light and breathable clothing made of cotton. You always have to be comfortable.

A jacket always gives an outfit structure.

Did you know that long necklaces make you appear taller? Always accessorize your outfits with chic pieces like hats, belts and jewelry. Jewelry should also fit your body type, drawing the focal point to your face.

Check out Leslie Gutstein of Atarie Style Consulting to find your style at and follow along for tips at @atariestyleconsulting on Instagram. Follow for more with Platt at