It has been noted that at least 65% of us buy an item just because it is fashionable.
Style (or dress sense) means being aware of 'fashion' but having the knowledge & understanding about you and your clothes to select clothes that ensure you are the essential component and not what you are wearing. Your outfit (which includes your accessories) should be a natural extension of you and not the dominant (or most noticeable) feature.
Try the following out in the street! Who has true 'dress sense' and when do you notice the clothing (or accessories) before you notice the person?
Every one of us can have style or dress sense; it is independent of age, culture and budget ... The common factor is that it needs knowledge, thinking about and planning for. Unlike being fashionable having 'dress sense' implies being CONSISTENTLY well dressed.
Try listing people you know who have 'dress sense' famous and friends - try and note just what it is that makes them have dress sense.
Did you include these features of having dress sense:
Understand own body & how colour, shape and style work for it
Clothes & accessories fit the person and are fit ( suitable) for the occasion
Make up & hair work for the person & the occasion
Versatile but not necessarily huge wardrobe
Looks after clothes -eg padded hangers
Person is happy and relaxed
Some clothes have lasted for years
Plans outfits in advance
Spends time & thought on the accessories
Encouraging and persuading you to follow fashion will contribute to the profits of shops. It is difficult to avoid feeling you are always FOLLOWING. It is far better to have dress sense and your own style.
As Yves Saint Laurent noted ’Fashion Fades, style is eternal’