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Defining Types of Fashion Styles You Need to Know About

Fashion is one field that seems to be evolving by the minute. Trends change all the time, so it takes a bit of diligence to stay up to date with everything that is “in” right now.  

 Needless to say that there are almost as many fashion styles as there are stars in the sky. Some are red dwarfs, others are white dwarfs and then there are the bright supergiants that light up the night sky and can be seen from Earth with ease. 

Stellar classifications aside, we have a more serious question for our most dedicated fashionistas: With everything changing and evolving here in the fashion world, as there are many clothing and accessories to have in mind.

Perhaps a few answers to this question have already popped into your mind, but in this article, we will list our picks for the staple fashion styles with which you can never go wrong.

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The artsy style of dressing is so diverse that it can be anything you desire. This style is all about freedom of expression and it doesn’t follow strict rules (unlike when we talk about business later in the article).

Here you can combine pieces from different styles, cultures or even create your own clothes. Artsy is all about making a statement and expressing your authentic self without fear of judgment. 

It can combine traditional clothing items with more colorful and whacky additions. There are absolutely no rules when rocking this style, except maybe to stay true to yourself and let your creativity go wild.

Bohemian style 

Also known as “boho”, this style is heavily inspired by the hippie culture and borrows clothing pieces from the 1960s. 

Today you can find it flourishing at big festivals, such as Coachella, where it seems to be the unofficial dress code. This style mainly consists of earthy tones and natural fabrics, combined with stylish and simple accessories. 

The boho style is associated with freedom, which is why flowing maxi dresses, suede, large brimmed hats, and long skirts are an integral part of this style. 

Even if this style may seem plain and too natural, don’t shy away from experimenting with prints, colors, and accessories.

Boho is a style concerned with the source clothing, albeit not the only one, and aims to consist of pieces from sustainable brands. Levi’s, Stella McCarthy and People Tree are just some of the brands that offer ethical and sustainable clothing. 

Boho fashion style

Vintage style 

The vintage style pays homage to the way people dressed back in the 1920s. Even if it was popular 100 years ago, modern-day fashionistas still use plenty of vintage essentials for inspiration. Pieces like printed silk scarves, corsets, vests, collared shirts, loafers, and granny glasses can be incorporated into nearly any wardrobe for that retro vibe. 

The vintage fashion style is very versatile and many clothing shops specialize in it particularly. Retro clothing can be very expensive as well (do you have any idea how much a flapper dress can cost?) as it has been picked up by famous fashion designers, which has led to its appearance in haute couture. One brand that comes to mind is Gucci – can you also sense the retro inspiration in some of their looks?

Vintage outfit


The casual style is what you would wear while walking your dog, going to the movies, or staying in on a lazy Sunday. It is a very versatile style, as it allows for plenty of clothes combinations, such as jeans, leggings, T-shirts, hoodies, sneakers, flats, oversized jumpers, and so on. 

There are some branches to the casual style, such as streetwear and sporty styles. The preppy and chic styles could also be considered casual by some. Truth be told, the casual style is among the most rapidly evolving styles, which is why it’s essential for any fashionista to stay ahead of fashion trends, as they can change by the hour.  

Sporty Style 

Also known as “athleisure”, this style uses classic pieces associated with athletic wear, such as hoodies, leggings, tank tops, running sneakers, sports bras, and bike shorts, and takes them out to the streets.

The clothes that build this style are made from light, breathable and stretchy fabrics, which simply feels wonderful on the skin. 

Brands that come to mind when talking about sporty style are Nike, Adidas, Puma, Fila, Under Armour, and so on.

This style type is becoming increasingly popular in both the Western and Eastern parts of the world, which is completely understandable. It can be stylish, without sacrificing comfort, which is why you can find many celebrities ‘sporting’ this style. 

Sportsy sneakers girl


Streetwear first became popular in the 90s and it takes inspiration from the hip-hop and skater subcultures. 

Typical clothing pieces of this style are logo T-shirts, crop tops, hoodies, baggy pants, and expensive sneakers. 

Nowadays fans of this fashion style like getting their hands on limited edition designer pieces, such as sneakers, hats, hoodies, and so on. Experts can even call streetwear style as it is today the holy grail of modern urban fashion. Its followers are called hypebeasts and they are willing to do almost anything to get to those limited edition goodies.

Streetwear fashion


The preppy style hails from uniforms typically worn at private schools and Ivy League colleges. It encompasses typical clothing from upper-class sports such as polo, tennis, horseback riding, golf, and sailing. Think of it as the style where prep school students and country clubbers meet. 

People who dress preppy wear polo shirts, boat shoes, Oxford shirts and shoes, blazers, pearls, cardigans, and khaki pants. Common and popular accessories are cloth headbands and clean, expensive glasses. 

Even if it seems impossible for mere mortals like us to pull off, this look can be cheap to achieve – if you shop in the right places.

Preppy look

Chic Style

While some might say that the chic style doesn’t fit into the “casual” category, we beg to differ. We perceive chic as your simple, clean, everyday outfit, which can be worn to do the groceries without a problem. After all, it’s not unusual to see it as a street style – we can thank Angelina Jolie and Victoria Beckham for popularizing it. 

The chic wardrobe essentials include old classics, such as a little black dress and/or a little white dress, as well as clothes mostly in the white/black/neutral colors. Don’t be mistaken, chic doesn’t mean lack of color – it is simply saved for making a bold statement through lipstick or accessories (bag, shoes, belt, earrings). 

Chic girls can be unpredictable, favoring minimalistic jewelry on some days, and asymmetrical, Avant-garde fits the others. 

Sunglasses are also an important attribute, whether or not it is sunny outside. No matter what chic might mean to you, there is something that goes without a doubt – a chic girl always seems powerful and gives off a sense of impeccable fashion sense.

And if you’re looking to support fellow females in the fashion industry, Able as a brand that “works to ensure respect and fair wages for women at all stages of the production journey”.

Chic style outfit


Even if nowadays business is largely conducted in our pajamas, in pre-COVID times there was an entire fashion style built around office looks. All jokes aside, we are sure everyone can remember what the business style looked like. It is a polished everyday style that features pieces such as blazers, pencil skirts, and collar shirts among others. 

The color palette is traditionally black and white, though there are many alternatives to this rule. This look is associated with office attire and the more professional you make yourself look, the more you fit in it. 

Formal Office 

Formal office style is the responsible big sister in the business fashion style. It comes particularly handy when you need to pick clothes for important meetings or conferences. 

Formal office style is distinguishable by the strict and preset code it needs to follow. This often includes formal dark suit and tie for men and formal dress, trousers, shirts, or skirts for women. This style gives off serious “boss bitch” vibes but can get boring after a while if you strictly abide by it. So, if you’re looking to mix things up, Baum Und Pferdgarten are “transforming the office uniform” in an ethical and sustainable way.

Keep in mind that with great power comes great responsibility, so it is very likely that people will take you very seriously if you regularly rock the formal office style.

Formal suit women

Business Casual 

Business casual is less strict than a formal office and knows how to have fun. It is a style that is less concerned with head-turning and doing things by the book, and more with staying comfortable, without sacrificing office authority. Think of it as the day-to-day office attire you can easily go for. Khakis, blazers (or sports jackets), flowy blouses, skirts, and slacks are a typical sight when one thinks about business casual. Here at IFB, we think this term will slightly change after everyone goes back to the office in post-COVID times – maybe slippers will become acceptable too? This remains to be seen.

Business casual outfit


Subculture fashion has been around ever since the 60s. Nowadays the term is used when a niche group becomes so influential that it begins to dictate fashion trends. 

A common misconception is that subcultures need to have a certain agenda on their mind to exist. Whether that be making a statement or voicing out concerns about social issues, this is not the case.

Alternative fashion needs to exist for the sake of existing, to stand out from the mainstream, and let its members create their own meaning, without pushing it on them. 

Here are some of the most influential subculture fashion styles from old and modern times:


The grunge style encompasses the grunge subculture that hailed from Seattle in the ‘80s and 90s. As journalist Cathy Horyn said in her review of the collection that got Marc Jacobs fired

“Grunge is anathema to fashion. Rarely has slovenliness looked so self-conscious, or commanded so high a price” 

The tell-tale signs of the grunge dressing style are plaid, oversized knits, ripped denim, combat boots, and spiky, seemingly unkempt hair. Pair it with safety needles, plenty of metal and unusual, creative jewelry, and there you have it. 

And even though it might seem like a hot mess for the ordinary spectator, grunge does own up to its fashionable status, regardless. This has been acknowledged by higher powers as well, as Cathy Horyn has retracted her statement, 10 years later and Marc Jocobs replicated his collection in 2018. This goes to show that Grunge never dies 

Grunge fashion style


Punk is all about the style that punk rockers rocked in the 70s and 80s. It is the fashion of rebels and hotheads. Piercings. Tattoos. Metal spikes and dangerous-looking accessories. 

These are just some of the details that make punk, punk. Other more prominent pieces of clothing from this style are the leather jacket, ripped fishnet stockings, skinny jeans, and chunky boots. 

Punk is not afraid to stand behind a provocative message, cause a riot and use unusual accessories along the way. Safety pins, patches, band logos, and colorful hairs are a consistent theme in the punk style. If you include black eyeliner, as well as a mohawk or spiked hair, then you are ready to be initiated. 

Can you think of any fashion designer that is aligned with the punk philosophy of clothing? That’s right, Vivienne Westwood is one of the more influential people, responsible for introducing punk into mainstream culture. 

Punk look woman


Black! Black! Black! If you had to pick one fashion style defined by this color, there is only one that is bound to come to your mind first. 

Some say that the goth style has emerged at the same time as punk did back in the 80s. It is a clothing style of visual wonder, defined by dark clothes, edgy makeup, and questionable accessories.

It’s worth mentioning that goth fashion has several different subgenres, such as traditional goth, romantic goth, pastel goth, gothic lolita, and so on. 

Each of them has a distinct feature that separates them from the rest, however, there are some shared similarities between them. Gothic fashion loves its platform boots, lace, and velvet, fishnets, highlighted hair, and accessories such as umbrellas, chokers, and Victorian hats. Big goth style icons are Morticia Addams from the Addams Family, David Bowie, Bettie Page, and Dave Vanian.

Gothic fashion outfit

In Conclusion…

All of these styles have shaped the way we view fashion, but they aren’t restrictive at all. Truth be told, brands have become very flexible regarding the image that is typically associated with them. In part, this is due to COVID-19 and the enforced lockdowns, which restricts the outfits we are wearing. Most of us spend entire days in our pajamas and no one has the intention to buy a $4,000 nightgown when they don’t have a place to wear it. 

Furthermore, the increased interest in street fashion has shifted the spotlight away from any other glamorous style. Influenced by pop culture, celebrities, and social media, more and more people opt for casual wear. Keep in mind that our newfound taste for comfy clothes doesn’t eliminate the stylishness as apparent in high fashion as well – just think about the newest collaboration between North Face and Gucci, which set the fashion world on fire.

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  1. Kris

    Your list are spot on! I normally go back and forth between casual and gothic look. and sometimes business.