Style – Not of taste, but of good quality


  • a mode of fashion, as in dress, especially good or approved fashion; elegance; smartness.
  • the mode of expressing thought in writing or speaking by selecting and arranging words, considered with respect to clearness, effectiveness, euphony, or the like, that is characteristic of a group, period, person, personality, etc.:
    to write in the style of Faulkner; a familiar style; a pompous, pedantic style.
  • those components or features of a literary composition that have to do with the form of expression rather than the content of the thought expressed.


  • the sense of what is fitting, harmonious, or beautiful; the perception and enjoyment of what constitutes excellence in the fine arts, literature, fashion, etc.
  • the sense of what is seemly, polite, tactful, etc., to say or do in a given social situation.



The Classic Oxford Loafer

There is a current trend to confuse taste and style with quality. The best example I can thing of is fashion; what is currently the style in fashion may not be considered a winner in long term fashion stakes. What I might consider good taste would be very different to what you consider good taste, and yet we could probably agree on what is a classic and quality piece.


Image of Gucci Shoes 2017 from Harper’s Bizarre website.

Now, when I think of Gucci I think of high fashion. But not everything Gucci makes can be considered a classic style that will meet with everyone’s taste. See the interesting item of footwear above, from the 2017 line. You couldn’t pay me enough to wear these shoes. And yet, when I think of Gucci shoes, I tend to think of classic loafers and the like.

Gucci oxford loafers.jpg


Writing is the same. There are fads and fashions in writing, and they change over time. But good quality writing never goes out of style. This is why people still read Charles Dickens, James Barrie, Mary Twain, Mary Shelley, Laura Ingalls Wilder, J. R. R. Tolkien, and their ilk, years after their books were published and they have passed away. They didn’t take any notice of what was fashionable and wrote using their own voices.

Doc Martens

My favourite shoe manufacturer, Dr. Martens.

The thing about good quality is that it is well made, and so it lasts. It is important – to any writer – to always be trying to improve the quality of your prose. You might be telling the worlds greatest story, but it will do you no good if your writing is disjointed and impenetrable. You can’t build a castle in the air with uncut stone and mud.

If you are worried that your prose isn’t clear and easy-to-read, I suggest hunting down a few online courses in grammar. There is no shame in wanting to be the very best writer that you can be!

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