We've recently connected with Essential Style For Men(ESM) and have joined their team as a contributing writer. We'll try to live up to our "Style Maverick" title, while bringing the same straight forward and practical style advice we always have.

ESM was created by Mr. Luigi Amante who had a passion for men's clothing but was disgusted with the ubiquitous Ed Hardy t-shirts and wide legged jeans.  ESM is a representation of thoughts and ideas regarding men’s style. The objective is to offer basic, essential ideas for how men should represent themselves to the rest of the world.

We're happy to join the team and contribute to the cause. We'll be posting an article a month at ESM. Here we discuss the difference between fashion and style --trust us there is a difference. Next month we'll share our 10 commandments of high style.

Think you know the difference between fashion and style? Grant Harris gives us his spoken word about the topic. 

Welcome to our first installment of Image Granted – an article series devoted to our resident style expert, Grant Harris. For today’s article, we ask him the difference between fashion and style when it comes to men.

Every day we get asked some fashion related question to which we gladly give an informed answer.

"Is it OK to wear brown and black together?"  "Should my jewelry match my belt buckle?"  "How do I fold a pocket square?"   "What’s the meaning of life?"

OK, the last question has nothing to do with fashion but you get the idea.

However, by far and away one of the most important questions we’ve been asked over the years is “what’s the difference between fashion and style?”

Well, let’s talk about it.

There are many descriptions for fashion as well as style. Some people say fashion is fleeting while style is enduring. Others say fashion is about today and style is about forever. We don’t disagree with these notions. However, this conundrum goes deeper. It’s not just about the season, the runways, the magazines, the menswear hash tags, or even that Tumblr you’ve been following the last three months.

"Um, we'll take the gray one." Our advice - don't just pick anything. Use your sense of style and you can never go wrong.

None of these things are fashion and none of them are style. These things are what we make them—icons. Not icons in the sense of looking up to a role model or super star athlete. Icons of what our culture has led us to believe what fashion or style should be. It’s either flashing lights and skinny models, or bloggers typing away late at night in their own world of tweets and tumbles. In our opinion fashion is what popular culture says we should be wearing, when we should wear it, how we should wear it, how long we should wear it, and oh—where we should wear it.

Did you keep up with that?

Fashion is spoon fed to us by magazines, TV, and movies. It is a prescription for what ails us in other aspects of life. It is an escape from where we are to where we want to be and a drug we are addicted to but can’t afford.

On the other end of the spectrum lies style.

Style is what every man should be aiming for. Style—much like life—can’t be forced. It must be molded, massaged, and guided over time. It matures in its own way regardless of what time of year it is and what is walking down the runway.

Style is an inherent characteristic that lays dormant until a man is mature enough to recognize it, embrace it and follow it. Style marches to its own beat and doesn’t care what others think.

Style is comfort, confidence, and consciousness all in one. Conscious of its own story and disinterested in anyone else’s. Style can be seen, heard, and felt.

The differences between fashion and style are vast and while every man has the right to choose their own path, we hope you choose the stylish one.