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Swag versus style

Style or swag?

Style or swag?

Is it true that swag is for boys and style is for men?

When you put together a fashionable outfit, you are making a choice between style and swag. Style is timeless with a touch of current fashion, while swag is at the cutting edge of streetwear trends.

So, what is the difference between swag and style, and how can you angle your outfits towards the stylish end of the spectrum? How can you pick between swag and style? This dilemma is particularly pertinent at the moment as we are on the heels of the athleisure trend.

You can’t have both

There may be some small area of overlap between swag and style, but they are two entirely different things. Both are quite unquantifiable and go beyond the clothes on your body. Swag channels hip hop style, with 90s influences; whereas style is all about classic cuts, touchable fabrics, and a sleek overall appearance. As well as the garments themselves, you also have to consider attitude. Think of swag as that kid hanging out in the skate park, while style is a man with places to be. Style is the more mature choice, but there is nothing wrong with dressing with swag every now and then.

Style is all about confidence

It’s not all about what you wear- it is how you wear it. Having confidence in yourself is the first step to being classically stylish. Swag, on the other hand, implies a kind of juvenile cockiness.

Confidence begins with good posture. A man in a suit looks powerful and attractive if he is standing tall and is not fiddling with his cufflinks. Conversely, a man wearing a beautiful Italian suit will not look stylish at all if he is not comfortable in his clothes and is hunched over.

You also need to have the right attitude. Swag is overdoing it on the attitude front- this is actually overcompensating for a lack of security in oneself. A man that comes across as classy, on the other hand, has less regard for what others think- he only needs to earn his own respect.

Fitted versus loose

In terms of the clothing you choose, clothes with swag tend to be roomier. Baggy jeans, hooded sweatshirts, and tops with low armholes fit the bill. Clothes with style, however, are tailored to your body shape. Again, this is showing confidence in yourself- if your body is at its best, you will not shy away from fitted styles.

Brands versus quality

Swag is more about showing off- so brands are important. Big logos and brand names make a huge statement. Style is more understated. You may buy designer if you decide it is the right choice for you, but you would not go for something with a big gaudy label- rather, you are buying for the quality and the cut.


Style is certainly the more mature option, but there is no need to always be dressed smartly when sometimes you’d rather have attitude instead. If you find yourself drawn to clothing with hip hop influences, I recommend you build a basic smart casual wardrobe based on classic pieces, but add in some luxe sportswear pieces for days when you feel like channelling swag.

About Natasha Abrahams

Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at:

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