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23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you

I think I have good taste and style. Taste can be about a specific thing. Style is about more than one element—it is more of a painted canvas, an environment, or perhaps simply a feeling. It takes more creativity to have style. I believe there is such a thing as good taste and bad taste. Good style and bad style. There are many kinds of good taste and good style but there is definitely a demarcation on what is good and bad. Then, of course, there is no style and no taste…

Yes, I do. I make a lot of my own clothes (I used to be a seamstress) and know what looks good on my body type. The artwork I make involves a lot of costuming from the 30s through the 60s, and I would say that those eras define taste and style. Style is more of the time where as taste is more timeless. If you have good taste, I imagine someone that knows what cuts fit their body and what size their body actually is (instead of trying to squeeze into something or wearing clothes that are too baggy). Style can exist without taste. My friend Molly is 6 feet tall, wears the shortest hot pink tulle skirts and t-shirts with striped leggings and bangles often with outrageously dyed hair. Her style is out of control, but I love it. I would never say she had "taste," but I do think of her as having "style."

Bohemian chic. I never learned to shop from my mother, who used to sew some of our clothes, and otherwise bought things at thrift stores. I inherited from her a feeling that money should be spent on more important things, and that people who cared about their wardrobes overmuch were vain. Then I went through a terrible break-up in my mid-twenties and part of my grieving was to watch marathons of “What Not to Wear” on TLC. If you’re not familiar with that show, there are a pair of hosts named Stacey and Clint who take a woman who dresses terribly, teach her some rules about how to shop for her body after breaking her down by talking trash about her terrible clothes, and then give her $5,000 to buy a new wardrobe in NYC. They also get a hair and makeup makeover. But the rules portion was really enlightening for me. There was a science to shopping well, and shopping smart for clothes that looked expensive, even if they weren’t. And, they always pointed out, to women who often thought they were invisible or that clothes didn’t matter, that going to work was an event, life was an event, and nobody is invisible. In one episode, Stacey shouted, “Color, pattern, texture, shine!” over and over again like a drill sergeant. I still think of that sometimes, as a mantra for writing and for dressing.

Who wants 'taste'?

I think I have taste, which, to me, means I have standards that make me look presentable and put-together. I'd like to have more style. That would require a lot more effort and resources.

Honestly, I don't really think I do. I'm pretty clueless about what looks good on me or other people, and I get it wrong all the time. I guess I associate those words primarily with someone who “knows what they're doing”. They're able to inhabit their own identity, their likes and dislikes, as well as other people's judgements and expectations, with endless joy and confidence, and just juggle all the rules + a marvellous sense of being the creator of your own life, being able to be whatever whatever you want + a pleasure in existing in this world and having this world's particular tools and resources available to them - which I don't have at ALL. Seriously. Gosh, that's the opposite of how I am.

Yes, I do think I have taste and style. They are always developing and firmly attached at the same time. What I find beautiful now I will still find beautiful in ten years, just as I’m still fond of the things I liked ten years ago. Yet I wouldn’t necessarily wear them now. I do also believe that the things I choose because they fit my taste and style, the things that I love, will last a lot longer than the stuff I buy because they’re in fashion or because I can’t find anything that fits me better.

I have, and want to have, more style than taste. Taste is execrable: about fulfilling others’ expectations, dutifully filling in a blank. Most of those arguments with my Southern family revolved around battles between style and taste.

I think everyone has both, people just have different tastes and styles. Taste to me is what you like, whereas style is how you use that taste, and I don't think they can exist without each other.

Yes, but I could probably use a better sense of style discretion. Taste is when you recognize what you like and what you dislike. Taste offers a sense of pleasure or aesthetic value given to an object, and style has more to do with how something suits a particular person.

Taste is a thoughtful, curated, cohesive judgment about how things should be.
Style comes from within and is completely out of our control.
Everyone has style, not everyone has taste.

I think I have my own taste and style. Taste to me means having an eye or an appreciation for the form of a thing, the way it falls, the lines and the colours, the effects it has, either positive or negative. Everyone has different tastes which makes the world a diverse and wonderful place and I certainly have my own. In terms of style, although not everyone would think I'm stylish (which is different from having a style) I definitely hold my own. I have a style I call Clown Chic and I enjoy bright colours, strong lines and bold patterns. The more whimsical the better. To me having a style all your own helps you distinguish yourself visually in the world, stand out like a piece of art on a blank wall. Although, some people's style would be to blend with the wall and that's just as interesting and says just as much about the person as anything else.

I’m modest in most areas, but I believe I have great taste. That means that when I tell you your outfit is amazing, you can take those words to the bank. My style means less to me than my taste, because taste extends towards everything I do, every curated facet of my life.

I think I have taste and style, but often my budget does not match up with the cost of these things. To me, taste is a refinement and style equals flare.

Well, sure, everyone has an individual taste, and style is subjective. Taste is what you prefer, and style is how it looks to you.

Maybe that's not very fashion-y of me, but I think that's what the words mean, at their essence. What's more important is knowing what you like, independent of what other people think.

I think I do. To me, "taste" or "style" is just thinking about what you're adorning yourself with. Putting some thought into it. Choosing how you present yourself. It's perfectly fine if you don't, if you just throw on whatever somebody got for you or whatever is most conveniently available in your size. But I wouldn't call that having taste or style.

It's only important if it's important to you. I know people without taste or style who seem to lead full and happy lives!

Taste is imposed by others and is a social agreement. It's a convention. I like to think I'm not influenced by 'good taste' but dream on, I am. I don't want to look like a kook. I affect, most of the time, a trim tailored look, sort of 'conventional bohemian' whom you'd trust to watch your bike while you whip into the convenience store. But you'd know I'm not a tax lawyer.

I do not think that I believe in a universal definition for tastefulness or tastlessness. There are things I like and things I do not like, and these things do seem to fall into some sort of cohesive me-ishness, even if I do not know what qualifies as falling into that category and what does not in any sort of objective way.

Not totally. I am never sure what is trendy and stylish, but I do dress in a "normal" way. Tastefully. I think being tasteful is more important than stylish -- I think there are a lot of blurred lines these days. People dress more to be stylish or provocative versus appropriate for the situation/moment.

I have both. I was raised with taste and I have my own style. I am not always confident in it, especially at this moment, at 41, the first time I feel older than 23. I feel that I need to refine my style to suit who I am now. I am more pulled together than I was then. Style means that I can change these things. Taste is just present.

Taste would be Chanel picking out the 7 neckalaces that were all amazing, and style would be saying “ok now take one off”. (referencing that chanel quote about taking 1 item of jewelry off before leaving the house.)

I think I have both taste and style (but doesn't everyone?). It depends on the situation which one is more important. During fashion week: style. Attending a funeral: taste.

Taste seems pretty specific: good or bad, either you have it or you don’t (presentable vs. inappropriate). Style is very personal; it’s not about throwing items on, but how they work together and the touches you add to it to make it your own: accessories, the way you cuff your sleeves, pop your collar, etc. I think even if you don’t agree with/like someone’s aesthetic or you would never wear it yourself, I think it can be generally agreed upon when someone has style vs. taste.

I definitely have style. I know how to have taste but it doesn't interest me. I think if you come from money and want to hang with a very moneyed crowd, it's best to have taste.

I’m not sure that I have either! I have my own taste, I suppose. I don’t know that it’s good taste, or that there is such a thing as objectively good or bad taste. I think I have a style, in that if you look at what I wear, you can see a pattern or some consistency of styles, colors, etc. But I don’t know that I have style in general – I don’t think I have a great eye, and I certainly can’t match outfits together. I never know how to match a skirt and top, or shirt and sweater. I think some people just have a good eye for pairing colors or patterns or types of material; maybe that comes with time and practice. But I just sort of respond to what I find aesthetically pleasing.

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