Fashion Terminology 101


Thursday_style Fashionable readers, I know it can be hard to get it right — not just what you wear, but also what you say. Let this list set the record straight and transform your repertoire from fashion newbie to stylish expert.

Haute couture: French for “high sewing.” One of a kind garments made by fashion houses, often sewn by hand, or made to order. In other words, not Juicy Couture.

Ready to wear: All that good stuff at fashion week. It’s expensive, but not as expensive as haute couture.

Neutral: Colors that can be worn with almost any other hue. Examples: black, white, grey, ivory, tan, and navy. Leopard print, the GREATEST print to ever exist, can fall into this category, trust me.

Tacky: Showing poor taste. Examples: anything zebra print, too many sequins, long acrylic fingernails, pleather, sandals with socks (looking at you athletic boys!), Ugg Boots, Crocs…the list goes on.

Vain: Showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, or caring too much about your appearance. In other words, focus less on your tan, thigh gap, or ability to walk in heels — but first, how about you stop taking those selfies.

Make it work: An expression which means find a solution to the problem, no matter what. The best expression in the English language, made famous by Tim Gunn on Project Runway, can be used in a variety of situations — and it’s a phrase to live by.

Business casual: Less traditional and less formal attire than a suit or dress wear, but still professional. This is not an excuse to dress like a hoochie mama to the office, however, so button up that damn blouse. It requires no sandals, and dark wash denim only. Proceed with caution.

Leggings: Tight-fitting stretch pants that should not be worn unless you are a dancer. If worn, they should NOT be sheer or worn without a shirt that covers the bum. Note: some denim-legging hybrid is now commonly referred to as jeggings; these are simply very, very skinny jeans.

Ombre: A hair trend that makes hair appear to become lighter, or fade in darkness towards the end. The trend started because supermodels refused to color their roots, and it should have been let go years ago. Warning: This is the trend future generations will cringe about (think big 80s hair).

Vintage: Clothing from another era that must be AT LEAST 10 years old to qualify as vintage. In other words, not the T-shirt you’ve washed too many times and now looks destroyed.

The Fashion Bible: Not Vogue. Ladies, there are so many other fantastic fashion publications out there, and it’s time to broaden your horizons. (Cough, Jerk’s Gawk feature FTW, cough.)

LWD: An abbreviation for Little White Dress, and yes, this can be worn past Labor Day.

Moisture wicking: Fabrics that absorb moisture as you sweat, aka the key to a happy workout and the greatest gift from the fitness fashion gods. No more icky sweat stains. See Nordstrom for best selection.

P.S. If you ever want to work for Anna Wintour, don’t use the word JOURNEY.

StyleJessica MatternComment