Style, being one of the more personal endeavors in today's world, is not affected by materialistic and financial barriers, at least in theory.
It is something that can be enjoyed from afar, or it can take form as a compulsive, all consuming obsession. It is one of the noble endeavors of humanity to redesign and improve the world, and manifests itself as one of the healthier thought processes.
Style is not for the lazy, because to achieve one's own personal style involves continuous reinvention and cannot be started and stopped sporadically.
True style is not created by money, it is born from the open and creative minds that can see the uniqueness in all aspects of existence. As such, a person understanding style laughs at the stupidity in paying $100 for an item, that with a bit of time and effort, in addition to patience, can be found for $20.
Unfortunately, an item that is of distinct quality in construction and design, and that is new, is often reserved for the moneyed class. Quality and style should never have to deal in monetary terms, instead, they should be reserved for people who admire style with their hearts and not the thickness between the money clip.
In an ever-growing consumption society, more and more people are competing for less and less resources, driving the prices up on most everything. To keep the prices up, manufacturers constantly try to "invent" new styles to spur consumer-buying orgies. But what's offered as the latest style rarely is.
Style is ageless, unlike fashion which works in a cycle, coming back approximately every 20 years, during which it's considered silly in the off seasons. I need only point to the 60's hippy look today, embraced mostly by those born after 1970, to illustrate this phenomenon.
Style is not always appreciated, and most often, misunderstood. These two factors make the journey of finding one's own personal style such a courageous venture, one that serves to either discourage or reinforce one's personal convictions.
The term "Style" is used much too casually. Many styles are merely fashion, fashions designed to fade away. Many people follow fashion , not because they like it, but in order to conform to the latest fads, to best insure that they won't get thrown out of the "in group".
There is such a difference between style and fashion. Style is born from within, the outward expression of the uniqueness of you. Fashions are merely orders passed down to the masses by the fashion dictators, many of whom rarely wear the clothes they force off on others. I could go on forever delineating between style and fashion, but this should sum it up;
If you get up in the morning and say "I think today I'll dress Hip-Hop.", then you are a fashion victim. If, on the other hand, you get up in the morning and put on your baggy pants, t-shirt and cap, and set out upon your day, that's style.
If you buy something just to impress others, the transparency will soon show through, for others are impressed by styles that are genuine. Think of it like this; Style is like underwear, you wear your own.
As Lao Tzu once said "By not prizing goods hard to get, you will cause the people to cease from robbing and stealing." By not hoarding precious items we, as humanity, open a door to a whole new world of alternatives, where all styles can coexist in peace and freedom. Join us there!