The slipper index

As sales of pyjamas soar, retailers are referring to “the slipper index.”

It’s the time of year when thoughts usually turn to buying a cocktail dress and heels as the party season hits full swing. But this year it seems our priorities are a little different. Rather than splurging on clothes for going out, many of us are spending money on luxurious pieces for staying in. Certainly that’s the message from shop floors and online retailers. …

Wheeler attributed the term “slipper index” to popular UK department store John Lewis, and explained:

The theory is that sales of slippers and pyjamas increase in a downturn. There’s also the cold snap – not only are we going out less, we’re also investing in cosy clothes in a bid to stay toasty. As we’re spending more time on our sofas, we’re willing to spend more on staying-in wear – and splashing out on pieces in luxe fabrics, such as cashmere and silk.

published on: Schott's Vocab

Read also:

Heel heights grow during Recession

Handbag Fashion


Lipstick Effect

Going brow-less

Hemline Index


Made to measure, limited edition, one-off

Made-to-measure: is when an existing garment or pattern is adjusted for you.

A one-off:
describes garments of which only one exists.

A limited edition: describes a garment of which there are more than one but not so many the girl next door will also have one.


The word may have derived from fug boots that were worn by aviators in rural Australia during World War I. The term is believed to be a shortened version of “flying ugg boots.”

The unisex sheepskin and fleece footware called UGG boots, or simply uggs, gained popularity in the 1960s when competitive surfers began wearing them. They were the perfect remedy for cold, numb, wet feet.
Now, everyone seems to be sporting the boots, from Hollywood celebrities and their tween followers to suburban moms. Originally of simple design, Uggs now sport glamorous embellishments such as brass grommets, fringe, and animal skin patterns.

So, what does the word mean?
The history of the term ― and the trademark — are highly disputed. Australia and New Zealand both claim to be the original home of Uggs and in these countries the term “ugg” can be used to market any fleece and sheepskin boot. That is, it is considered a generic term. However, in more than 100 other countries, UGG is a registered trademark.




A deeply pejorative term that may be translated as "bacon Barbie",a young woman dressed to the nines in clothing that's much tootight.

source: Word Wide Words

more on:



On symbolic power of of fashion lingo

Fashion lingo has a property of "written" garment

In his book The Fashion System (1983), Barthes focuses on descriptive texts of women's magazines. He argues that the language here has a property of "written garment"and assumes that the forms of fashion are trasformed in verbal forms. So, the headlines in fashion magazines play a role of written garments and describe the photographs in linguistic forms.

More on: FashionEnglish



Designer handbag

Wiki says the common term was coined in the 1990s with the explosive growth of the handbag market in fashion. Designers vied to produce one bag that would sell hundreds of thousands of units by becoming the bag “of the moment” — a single handbag style that would spread like wildfire in popularity through the intertwined worlds of fashion and celebrity, aided by clever or just plain lucky marketing.

Le it-bag sono le borse ostentate al braccio delle star, perennemente in lista d'attesa nelle boutique e copiatissime sulle bancarelle. Il termine fu copiato negli anni '90con l'esplosiva crescita del mercato delle borse griffate. I designer creano un modello che venderà migliaia di unità diventando la borsa del momento.

Fonte: Englishfor


A blend of “thin” and “inspiration”, the term (sometimes used in its shortened form “thinspo”) refers to apparently healthy messages, images and music inviting people to get thin and fit, but in the end only intended to inspire weight loss.

Blend di thin e inspiration, il termine, spesso abbreviato in thinspo, apparentemente sembra inviare messaggi positivi invitanti al dimagrimento per trovare forma fisica. In realtà, tali messaggi, dove alle parole si associano musica, fotografie e immagini, spingono mentalmente alla pura perdita di peso. Sono molto comuni in rete e soprattutto nei social network, nonché ovviamene diffusi nelle comunità di persone affette da disturbi alimentari quali anoressia e bulimia, alle quali la perdita di peso viene presentata non tanto come malattia, ma piuttosto come una scelta, come uno stile di vita. Vengono anche suggerite idee quali autocontrollo, successo, perfezione e solidarietà. A volte vengono anche proposte immagini di persone fortemente obese per provocare un senso di disgusto nelle persone che cercano fonti di ispirazione, vale a dire un “sostegno nella loro spasmodica ricerca di magrezza”.

Published on:





4D Man

A new “archetypal” 21st-century man.

Commenting in The Guardian on the launch of Bauer Media’s men’s weekly magazine, Gaz7etta, Kevin Braddock wrote:

According to research videos published in July, Bauer had identified a new archetype of 21st-century masculinity: “4D Man.Not some undiscovered anomaly in the space-time continuum, 4D Man is in fact a male between 15 and 40 who is “confident, individual and has varied interests and passions.” A Bauer spokesperson told Media Week that 4D man is “not as tribal as his predecessors, the metrosexual and the lad, where you either were one or you weren’t.” He is also “increasingly interested in culture and is more health-conscious.”

Noting that this is not “the first to attempt to redefine masculinity in the media age,” Braddock highlighted a number of other terms associated with “the elusive demographic known as ‘men’”:

We’ve read about the urban playboy, the new lad, the soft lad, the metropolitan and the Spurmo (Single Proud Unmarried Man Over Thirty). There was also the himbo, the mIMbo (male instant-messaging boy) and the notion of “mandom” – a kind of girl power for men who use hair gel.

Whether you considered yourself to be more of a “retrosexual” than an “übersexual” (the latter featuring in a 2005 report by advertising agency JWT ominously entitled The Future of Men), or even a “pomosexual,” we were apparently living through a “menaissance” in which we indulged in “manscaping” (ie, shaving and washing). Even straight-as-a-die A-types could enjoy an unashamed “bromance,” which in everyday language is known as a friendship.

source: Shott's Vocab

See also: Watch your Manguage


Handbag Fashion

Each decade has its own mood, when we look back on the fashion trends that defined it.

When we think of the 1980s fashions we remember padded shoulders, bright colours, gold and glitz, Princess Di and Maggie Thatcher! The 1960s were flower power and mini skirts, new freedoms for the young, think Twiggy, Lulu and The Beatles. Go back to the 1950s and women’s fashion themes were drawn from glamorous Hollywood and the stars of the silver screen: Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.

The new Millenium has seen a huge rise in women’s passion for handbags, this time carrying young women along with the enthusiasm too, with designer bags becoming coveted status symbols and handbag collections becoming de rigueur for any woman of style. Big bags, re-emerged as a fashion trend in response to the growing amount of things women need to carry with them today, rushing between work, business and leisure activities with all the technological gadgets they need to lug with them, Macbook or laptop, iphone and iPod.

If you follow the evolution of handbag style, going hand in hand with mainstream fashion, through the twentieth and twenty first centuries, you start to see patterns. As the role of women in society has evolved, the handbag has evolved and adapted to their changing needs.

Dips in the global economy are reflected by more practical, restrained handbag styles, boom periods by expansive extravagance.

Fashion trends do seem inextricably linked to the global economy and a pattern has emerged through the decades of the last century.

A time of recession and financial crisis results in more practical and restrained, classic styling, whereas a boom sets flamboyance free in women’s fashion, for fancy dress fashion trends and elaborately glitzy and whimsical extravagance.

See also:

, must-have

Hemline Index

Heel heights grow during Recession

Source: Gleni

Roar power

Termine coniato dal FinancialTimes, il maculato come antidoto giusto contro il minimalismo.

Fonte: Corriere della Sera 23 ottobre 2010


A blend of "fashion" and "ambassador", was invented for the founder of Jimmy Choo,
Tamara Mellon, who with 31 others has been appointed a business
ambassador by the British Prime Minister David Cameron.


Statement Necklace

A bold and therefore eye-catching piece of jewelry worn to spruce up an outfit. Not-so-subliminal message: I have entered the room!

Source: MyStyle

Bandage Dress

Mummy-inspired dress first created by Hervé Léger in the '80s, then resurrected in 2007 by Max Azria, characterized by elastic strips.

Source: MyStyle


A design consisting of bold swatches of hues that is periodically in fashion though it often appears in horizontal stripes, which everyone knows are a big no-no—they make you look wide!

Source: MyStyle


Not to be confused with "cut it out," though we wish some of these designers would in fact cut it out, when it comes to chopping up fabric to show off patches of skin!

Source: MyStyle

Ditsy Print

Teensy floral patterns conjuring up a sweet, innocent image.

Source: MyStyle


21st-century girdle made from nylon, Lycra and spande

Source: MyStyle


A piece of fabric that is sewn (overlaid) over another part of the boot, simply for decoration.

Source: MyStyle

Sweethheart Neck

A graceful, open yoke, shaped like the top half of a heart.

Source: MyStyle

Diamond Neck

A diamond-shaped cut-out that fastens at the front or back neckline.

Source: MyStyle


A fabric with an alternating solid and sheer design, often in a floral or animal print.

Source: MyStyle

Broomstick Dress

A dress or skirt characterised by numerous pleats and crinkled material.

Source: MyStyle

Bias Cut

The cut diagonally across the grain of a fabric. It is used to create garments that follow the body curves closely.

Source: MyStyle


Yama girl

Nickname of the growing number of women who are taking to the hills of Japan wearing short pants or fleece skirts with leggings and designer trekking boots. See also "mountain girl".

read more on: The Global Language Monitor


Cougar lift

Cosmetic surgery performed on a middle-aged woman to enhance her prospects of dating younger men.

source:Word Spy


New additions to fashion dictionary

Key Look: Definitive style of a season.

Mock Croc: Fake or faux crocodile, in any rendition, crocodile is the texture of choice for fall.

Pleather: A hybrid fabrication of plastic + leather.

Kitten Heel: Sculpted, ladylike shoe heel of about 2 inches in height.

Genius: The most sublime perfection. As in, "Helmut's modern sense of simplicity is genius."

Screams: Blatantly sources a dated style. Heard on a television makeover segment, "Kill that thick black hose, it screams early 90's."

Flawless: More beautiful than nature could render, thanks to a good foundation (cosmetic base) and fabulous makeup artist.

source: Focus on Style

Watch you manguage

English has a rich history of so-called ‘man-words’: jocular terms that use man as a prefix or as part of a compound or blend (portmanteau, if you like).

This formula has been very productive in recent years: the Urban Dictionary lists hundreds of man-words and man-phrases, such as man hug, man-girlfriend, man-tourage, and manbroidery. An initial m can be enough to manify a word – as in mandals, a contraction of man-sandals; mirdles, which are girdles for men; and Movember, a November-moustache charity event (though its m comes from moustache rather than man). There’s a related boom in bro-words, like bromance and bro-ordinate.

Man-words tend to be playful, if not downright daft, and they often imply an element of irony and self-deprecation. Man flu, for example, is a common cold whose male sufferer exaggerates the ailment. Many man-phrases serve as one-off gags or niche slang, but others attain quite a high profile. Man fur and mimbo were popularised by Seinfeld; mancation, a vacation for males only, spread swiftly after appearing in the Hollywood comedy The Break-Up; and mancession, an economic recession affecting men in particular, made headlines in the international press.

Some man-words denote commercial products aimed principally at metrosexual men. “Girl stuff, but for guys” is how Mark Peters described these man-brands and mancessories in an article tracing the history and usage of man-words. Nancy Friedman, who admits to “a bit of a mania for man-words”, has written about many of them on her blog Fritinancy. Manbags, manscara and mantyhose are unlikely to appeal to stereotypically manly men, but they point to a clear contemporary trend. What it signifies is open to interpretation – among other things, it might indicate male insecurity or a cultural shift in gender norms.

Handbag dogs

First favoured by Hollywood celebrities who often carry them to "A-list" functions in their handbags, these dogs are now a common sight in the UK as the not-so-rich-and-famous follow suit.

more on: silversurfertoday



Slang for having well-developed musculature, as well as being in a state of undress; a soft, naturally tan leather beloved this season by neo-minimalist designers, i.e.,

Since I started wearing these buff Céline sandals, I feel like I’m getting an extra workout — their wooden platform soles are giving me calves of steel!”

Ergo, you’ve got to be buff to be in the buff.

published on: Tmag - NYTimes


Superlatives coming on strongest are off the hook, which has topped the old ''wow''; uber, as in ''His whip is uber-fast'' (from the German for ''over, super''); and wooka, as in ''That movie is wooka-sweet.''

read more on: NYTimes


Camo is fashion slang, short for ''camouflage,''used to describe outdoorsy wear that blends in with jungle greenery.
On the gripping post-election cover of The New Republic, the editorial cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty drew a crowd of recriminating Democrats blaming John Kerry for every possible campaign error, including ''He shouldn't have worn camo.''

read more on: NYTimes



When two people arrive at the same event wearing almost identical dresses

Doppelganger comes from a German word that translates as "double goer." It originally meant "a ghostly counterpart of a living person."

Source: Merriam Webster


Diastema is the technical term for a gap between the front teeth.

It's said that it is now so much of the moment, as part of a move away from perfection towards a more natural look, that some young models are having dental work to create one.




Blend of "Recession" + "Fashion"

Could this be the next fashion buzzword?

Read the Recession Fashion selection of post and articles on Fashion English

Heel heights grow during Recession

Towering platforms, wedges, and stilettos are becoming more popular than ever.
"We have entered a moment of heightened impracticality in footwear,"
Elizabeth Semmelhack, author of "Heights of Fashion: A History of the Elevated Shoe" told CNN.

"Heel heights noticeably grew during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the oil crisis in the 1970s, and when the dotcom bubble burst in the 2000s."
The heel height in women's shoes has greatly increased in the present day.

Semmelhack believes the height increase demonstrates a need for escapism in hard economic times.

read more on: examiner.com

see also: Recession Fashion



A Chinese term for youths at the vanguard of fashion.

Discussing the appeal of iPhones, iPads and the like, in The Global Times, Ding Gang spotlighted the term chaoren:

Chinese use the recently coined term chaoren, referring to those who stand at the front lines of fashion, with new clothes and amazing gadgets. The iPad has been every chaoren’s new toy since it entered the market.

published on Shott's Vocab


You may think that you know what this means but if you've been listing the Esprit jumper you bought last winter on an internet auction as "vintage" then you do not.
Last season's clothes are "used clothes". Vintage implies some kind of pedigree.

published on: NZ Herald News


Ambiguous phrase depending on how you feel about the person.
Telling someone whose style you like, "It's so you" is a compliment. If you don't like their outfit, it means, "I wouldn't wear that if you paid me." If this is too obvious an insult, you could say "unclassifiable" or "unique".

source: NZ Herald News

Vanity sizing

A clever marketing idea that works on the theory that if you feel thinner because you fit into a smaller size then you're more likely to buy.

published on: NZ Herald News

Trickle-up trend

When a fashion trend starts in an area other than fashion, usually at street level - that is, art students and musicians are wearing or doing something and then the fashion industry catches on and presents the look on the runway, for sale.

published on: NZ Herald News


Combination of the words tragic and trashy. A description that's so bad that its almost a compliment.

published on: NZ Herald News


Describes any sort of situation, logo or slogan that would look good on a T-shirt.

source: NZ Herald News


An extremely pointy high heel that is, in fact, so pointy you could stab a pickle with it, if you so desired.

Use it: Pickle-stabbers and pointy toes are so 20th century.

Source: NZ Herald News


A trend with a lot of currency right now. It means that something has a sort of futuristic look, but it's the kind of future that was imagined in the 50s and 60s, as in The Jetsons.

Use it: That shiny, silver bag is so retro. But, oh, it's kind of futuristic and space-age as well.
Wow, that must be the retro-futurism I've been hearing all about.

source: NZ Herald News

On trend

The person, label or item is doing exactly what you expected in terms of fashion trends.

So if lace dresses are popular, they are making or wearing lace dresses. You may wonder why we keep using such phrases if we realise some of them are so annoying. Well, you try coming up with 20 synonyms for fashionable and you'll understand.

Use it: There were some weird bits, but mostly her whole collection was so on trend.

Source: NZ Herald News


A big trend a couple of years ago when people who couldn't sew, knit or draw, took to embroidering, knitting and drawing on their own clothes. This was to set themselves apart from the fashion crowd.

Source: NZ Herald News


A substitute for the much overused word "fashionista". A glamourista is someone who really knows their way around fashion and glamour.

Use it: Oh dear, look at her. With her Chanel bag and her Dior sunglasses she thinks she's such a glamourista.

Source: NZ Herald News


Similar to a makeover, except rather than dolling oneself up, one opts for a simple, no-makeup, no-fuss look. This can be a positive or negative.

Use it: My mother used this pudding bowl and scissors to give my hair a makeunder.

Source: NZ Herald News


Combination of the words glamour and Amazon that is now considered old-fashioned terminology for long-legged, well-paid supermodels who strode the 80s' runways.

Covert couture

The sorts of clothes that cost a lot of money but don't look like they once did. Only the smug owner knows the value and quality of such items.

Source: NZ Herald News


Something that's made especially for you.
Note that there are big differences between bespoke and other similar terms. Bespoke is where it's made for you from scratch.

Source: NZ Herald News


Black: As in "the new black". A lot of fashion-industry types wear black all the time because it's slimming, it's attractive and it's a hell of a lot easier to wear than most of the clothes they see on the runway.
So when something becomes so widespread it rivals the popularity of the colour black, it is referred to as the new black.

Source: NZ Herald News


Aspirational: This is what high fashion is supposed to be. No, you're not supposed to wear the clothes you see in the glossy Italian magazines - at least, not with butterfly wings on while climbing a tree in high-heeled boots. You're just supposed to be inspired by, or aspire to, them.
It's fashion as fantasy: This is also the best excuse ever invented by the fashion industry for the politically incorrect things they do.

Use it: We don't want 14-year-old girls to develop anorexia. Surely they can tell the difference between reality and fantasy. This is high fashion. It's aspirational.

Fashionese shows a great love for blend words

Blend words are words which are formed through the combination of two or more words words such as 'trendbot', where the words 'trend' and 'robot' have been blended together to mean a person who automatically follows the latest trend.

Fashionese is also very fond of abbreviations, particularly fashion to 'fash' (as in fash pack, fash clash and so on) and of acronyms such as YSL (Yves Saint Laurent), MFW (Milan fashion week) and s/s (spring/summer fashion collections).

Fashionese may sound quite like English, but be careful, there are a number of false friends to trip up the unsuspecting fashion speak novice.

Watch out for 'very' (used to mean 'in the style of', rather than 'extremely'), 'nudes' (a natural skin toned colour palette rather than naked people), 'vanilla' (bland and boring rather than the flavouring) and 'beige' (again meaning dull or uninteresting rather than light brown coloured)

Source: Speak Fashionese

French words in Fashionese

Fashion is a global business and its language is full of words and expressions from all over the world; but just like Paris has a special place in the heart of every fashionista, so too does its language.
Some French words and expressions are used correctly such as 'avec' and 'c'est magnifique' but more often than not English expressions are translated literally and consequently incorrectly such as 'très maintenant' (which is a literal, but grammatically incorrect, translation of 'very now' as in 'very trendy right now').
Some words are not only mistranslated but are also mispronounced such as 'haute' which is pronounced as 'hot' in Fashionese rather than 'oat' as in French, and used describe something fashionable as opposed to its original meaning, 'high', in French.

Source: Speak Fashionese


Using support for breast cancer research to market products, particularly products that cause cancer.

Pinkwashing is a blend of pink, the color associated with breast cancer research, and whitewashing, "concealing flaws."

"An unflattering term coined by activists for pink products by companies that say they're helping fight breast cancer but are linked to practices that contribute to factors researchers say cause rising rates of the disease."
—Gabrielle Giroday, Think before you pink, Winnipeg Free Press, June 4, 2008

Published on: Word Spy



After the hipper-than-thou East London area, Hoxton has now become shorthand for its own particular breed of art-school edgy, particular if worn by a borderline anorexic boychild with asymmetric hair.

The difficulty with Hoxton dressing is that, like some kind of quasi-philosophical theory, as soon as something becomes thought of as “Hoxton”, it will immediately stop being worn in Hoxton. Thus most of the time, you’re locating Hoxton style in Camden and Chiswick. As a general rule, once you’re spotting Hoxton in Fulham it no longer qualifies for the term.

See also: Shoreditch.

published on: shinystyle


Impressive, decorative, but not strictly necessary.

All you need to know here is that you will never wear anything described as “conceptual”. You might put it on your coffee table, hang it on your wall or mistake it for a child’s novelty plaything, but you will never wear it. Usually the preserve of a crop of Japanese designers including Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons and Junya Watanabe, conceptual design is what the uninitiated think of when they think of catwalk fashion. Puffer jackets the size of bouncy castles, dresses made from Perspex, hats with trees growing out of them.

published on: shinystyle


Some of you might have been bought up in the mistaken belief that matching clothes was a good thing. Not so, we’re afraid. The fash pack use this as a derogatory term for anything overly co-ordinated, in colour, print or theme.

published on: shinystyle


As a general rule, notwithstanding Vera Wang, the fashion industry doesn’t persecute single women to nearly the same extent as other institutions (TV, film, elderly aunts). But every so often even the staunchly autonomous world of style has a moment of weakness and makes us feel crap for being uncoupled. “Boyfriend” style is one of those moments. Used to make baggy, manly clothes sound appealing, the concept on boyfriend blazers, trousers etc is based on the idea that you might have borrowed them from a man’s wardrobe. What it overlooks, of course, is that if you actually borrowed said items from your boyfriend’s wardrobe, they would be too big on the shoulders, too tight on the hips and smell of feet.

published on: shinystyle

Sit back

A cover-all term for the dressing down of attention-seeking garments.

If you buy a glitzy embellished jacket, for example, you could sit it back with a white vest and some denim cut-offs. Sitting back is a crucial element of modern dressing, allowing you to wear things that wouldn’t look out of place in Danny La Rue’s wardrobe without looking as if you’ve tried too hard. Or at all.

published on: shinystyle


(to) channel - a verb used to describe an item of clothing or an accessory with reference to the influence of the style of an icon, era or designer oversized or outsized - Fashionese for 'big'

There are several reasons that fashion folk use the word channelling so much. One is because it is, to all intents and purposes, another way of saying “copying” that sounds far more admirable and far less like primary school. Another is because it makes getting dressed sound like a form of superhuman act, like channelling the force of some radioactive crystals through our fingertips in order to create a rip in the space-time continuum. It makes it sound important, and fashion folk like feeling important.

source: shinystyle


BIJ stands for Big In Japan, which in turn is shorthand for your outfit getting you stopped in the street so that arty Japanese tourists can take your photo. It’s one of the best mood enhancers you can get for free. But beware, being BIJ doesn’t necessarily mean B-everywhere-else – you could just be the photo they tag as their friends on Facebook as a joke.

published on: shinystyle


A localised sub-trend, usually one that is only big for a couple of months, or within certain geographical perimeters.

Sometimes micro trends will grown into fully-fledged macro trends; sometimes they will disappear as quickly as they came (leaving you with a cupboard full of animal ear headbands and nowhere to wear them). Recent micro trends include Doc Martens, letterman jackets and top knot hairdos.

published on: shinystyle

Global Traveller Chic

Global Traveller Chic is all about trippy colours and the kind of scraps of fabrics from Bangkok night markets that first-year university students think make fabulously chic wall-hangings.
The pseudo-ethnic hippy nonsense that even Jade Jagger tossed into the trash some years ago has come back to haunt us. If you see a girl a girl in acid yellow and a trustafarian bobbly hat, you're looking at GTC.

Published on The Guardian

Candyfloss, butter chocolate, mint

Respectively, pink, yellow, brown and green.

It should come as no great surprise that the language of fashion is very descriptive, since fashion itself is all about image and appearance. A good example of the highly descriptive nature of Fashionese is the use of colour words - red, green, blue and orange just don't cut it in Fashionese - think raspberry, kelp, cerulean and cape gooseberry instead.

But with such a plethora of descriptive terms at one's disposal - snow-white/ivory/virginal/pearl and so on - knowing which one to use presents a dilemma.
So it's quite right that fashionese should have a similarly hopeful intention, even if in this case it's the hypothetical aspiration of the speaker to one day allow herself to eat the cited foodstuff (butter? Chocolate? Dream on, girlfriend), whereas blueberries are totally permissible superfoods and therefore aren't quite as thrillingly dangerous to mention. Going back to Prada, it is all about, as one far inferior newspaper put it with admirable eloquence, "deliberately alienating colours", which means orange, green and grey, which means "very tricky to wear".


Nu Tec

This can be summed up as "fabrics that look a bit funny", such as strangely shiny coats and dresses at Lanvin and bobbled fur and leather at Prada.

See also "burnt", "blistered", "puckered" and "bubbled", none of which, it has to be said, are adjectives one generally sees in a fashion context, but it's always nice to give all words their moment in the sun. And also "bleeding", which refers to colours blending into one another. The more medically slanted "bleeding" is more acceptable than the more common description of "tie-dyed" because hippies are tres passe these days - very 2004/5 as part of the hastily forgotten boho era.

Published on The Guardian

Very Edie

Think head scarves, frumpish skirts, slightly skewed makeup.
Alternatives for those who don't fancy looking like an S&M mistress from Torture Garden or a batty prematurely aged housewife are "preppy" (anything with a blazer) or "skater style" (not an encouragement to dress like Christian Slater in the seminal 1989 film Gleaming the Cube, but the more Torvill and Dean-inspired ice-skater look, which should pretty much begin and end with fake fur-lined mid-calf boots, which are not, under pain of death, to be referred to as "booties".
That term should be reserved for slightly kinky, ie totally impossible to walk in, ankle boots.

Published on The Guardian

Body con

Clothes that fit tighter than a body wrap. Derives from "body conscious", and seeing as though eating is almost impossible in this look, you will indeed be very conscious of your body.

See also "tailored" (not baggy), or its antonym "unstructured" (baggy); "strong" (exaggerated shoulders, scary shoes, heavy accessories. Not to be confused with actual human strength that might require physical bulking up. Any increase in size should be done purely sartorially, so, whoa, Nelly, put down that protein shake).

Published on The Guardian


Neologism used by fashion writer Erika Kawalek, for Vogue and Isaac’s Style Book (Isaac Mizrahi’s fashion magazine).
A yet-but is a hedge, a caveat, used when describing some discrete article of fashion: a dress, a shoe, a bag — whatever needs three lines of text to anchor the large picture, or a few words to fill out the caption: “boho yet elegant,” “futuristic yet primeval.”
The yet-but is a quirk of fashion writing that has gotten less attention than it should.

Published on: Boston Globe


Blend of „nail“ and „-phile“: Lover of or enthusiast for nail painting.

Nail polish as the new recession cosmetics staple.

When a recession hits, we can usually count on two things: hemlines will hit the floor and women will stock up on lipstick. But during the recent global economic crisis, skirt lengths remained resolutely short and a new beauty product was crowned queen of the cosmetics counter.

Nail polish sales grew by a remarkable 14.3% in the U.S. in 2009, and were the only beauty category to experience double-digit growth, according to market research firm Kline and Company. Sales of lipstick and lip gloss, meanwhile, dropped by 5.3%, leading industry experts to believe that women have embraced nail polish as the new recession cosmetics staple.
So what’s made the ladies switch from lips to tips?

Women typically stick to pinks and reds for their lipsticks, whereas for nail colours, the sky’s the limit,” posits Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive VP and artistic director of OPI.

Doug Atkinson, Canadian spokesperson for mass market nail brand Sally Hansen, believes that nail polish allows for more freedom and creative expression than other cosmetics. “There’s a more casual attitude toward nails than lips,” he says. “People are more conservative with their faces than they are with their nails, and they’re looking for ways to express themselves in a manner that’s still business-appropriate. You see crazy pedicures in the office and it’s totally acceptable — no one’s going to get pulled aside for a bright pink polish.”

Read more: National Post


Michelle Obama and Stock Market Fashion

October 18, 2010, 5:19 pm


In the Economix blog, our colleague Catherine Rampell writes that Michelle Obama’s public fashion choices can boost the stock price of the companies making her clothes: “That is the conclusion of an analysis by David Yermack, of the Stern School of Business at New York University, published by The Harvard Business Review. Ms. Obama wears an outfit, and in (oftentimes correct) anticipation that her get-up will become the latest New Thing, the company that makes those clothes gets a healthy boost in its stock price.”


Lindsay Lohan Stock Index

A stock index comprised of companies associated with actress Lindsay Lohan. Investors might correlate the popularity of Lohan with increased sales surrounding her related products. Firms involved with Lohan endorsements, advertising or movies are included in the index.

published on: Investopedia

Lipstick Effect

Lipstick Effect: A theory that states that during periods of recession or economic downturn, consumers will avoid purchases of luxury items and seek material solace in smaller indulgences, such as a premium lipstick.

This is the reasons why during recessions consumers want to still treat themselves but cannot afford luxury items. Therefore, they often settle for dining out and going to a movie or just buying a new designer lipstick!

You can read more on Investoedia:)

Geek chic

Geek chic refers to the embracing of stereotypically unpopular "geek" characteristics such as glasses, comic books, and computer/video games.

"Are you a real geek? Are you proud of being a geekette? You can be cute (or sexy), yet embrace your geekyness by dressing in Geek Chick Style".

published on: wikihow

Going brow-less

Models and stylists are now bleaching or shaving eyebrows on purpose.
According to makeup artist Pat McGrath -- who gives eerily similar quotes to both the Times and the Guardian -- it's all about the recession: "The current economic troubles open people up to be more daring and willing to don cutting-edge looks." The Guardian follows up on McGrath's comment with a reachy-feeling question: "At a time when advertising is suffering, is eyebrowlessness just a more extreme way for a brand to sell its products?" asks the article's author, Emma Sibbles. Interestingly, in its own attempt to pin the trend on the recession, the Times floats precisely the opposite query: "Could no eyebrows be a reflection of economic downturn? Can one be too poor to have them? Having no eyebrows is certainly a way to express oneself without buying a product

see also: Hemline Index

published on: Salon

Hemline Index

The Hemline Index is a theory presented by economist George Taylor in 1926.
Recent research suggests it is valid. The theory suggests that hemlines on women's dresses rise along with stock prices. In good economies, we get such results as miniskirts (as seen in the 1960s), or in poor economic times, as shown by the 1929 Wall Street Crash, hems can drop almost overnight. Desmond Morris revisited the theory in his book The Naked Ape and the theory was also the topic of a question on the BBC Panel Show QI in 2010.


Il termine Gypset composto da gypsy + jet set ed è stato coniato da Julia Chaplin, giornalista del New Yorker. Sul suo sito web gypset.com descrive i Gypset come un gruppo emergente di artisti, musicisti, stilisti, surfisti e bon vivants, che conducono una vita semi-nomade e non convenzionale.

Julia Chaplin ha anche scritto un libro su questo nuovo stile di vita intitolato GYPSET STYLE ed edito da Assouline.

pubblicato su: in-dies

vedi anche: Fashion's new favourite buzzword: gypset



leggings (= trousers worn by women that stretch and fit very closely to their legs) that look similar to jeans
'Dozens of students were kicked out of class on the first day of term – for wearing jeggings. Furious parents have condemned Samuel Ward College in Haverhill, Suffolk, for its "draconian" ban on the fashion item. Jeggings are denim-style leggings made popular by celebs including Paris Hilton and Fearne Cotton.'

Published on The Sun 9th September 2010

more on macmillandictionary.com/buzzword


Fashion forward

Ahead of the trend, anticipating new/upcoming fashion trends.

By revealing his 'secret' to a few fashion-forward people and allowing them do the legwork, he created a textbook viral-marketing campaign."
(The Onion, Volume 24 Issue 29 article entitle "Divorced Branding Exec Generates Buzz Before Getting Back Out There")

Interested in fashion and wearing things that will soon become very fashionable
clothes for fashion-forward teenagers

More modern than things that are fashionable now
fashion-forward jeans

read more on: Dictionary Cambridge


Cinderella moment

When you put something on that makes you feel comfortable, confident and beautiful.

From: "We interview Tricia Harris from Fashionese"

Dictionary of fashion buzzwords

Faux pas: A faux pas is a blunder that can occur in social settings, as well as in fashion. In other words, it's an error in (style) judgment that should be avoided at all cost. Common fashion faux pas include wearing white socks with dark trousers and wearing sunglasses indoors.

Glitterati: is a term used to describe a crowd of attractive people who tend to be well-dressed, usually referred to as the elite.

Trs chic: means very fashionable; it's usually used to describe a specific item, like a suit, for example, or as a compliment for a place or an event.

Pice de rsistance: In food lingo, plat de rsistance means main dish. In fashion, pice de rsistance is used to describe an important item, whether it's a must-have item of the season or an item that stands out from an ensemble.

Du jour: If it's an item du jour , that means it's ultra trendy.

Pass: The term pass is used to describe something that was once in style (see du jour ), but no longer is; basically, it's a thing of the past.

published on : uk.askmen


The Debeham fashion dictionary

High-street department store Debenhams is launching the online reference guide to help staff and customers through the retail maze of treggings, shackets, whorts and mandles.

[Blouse/Skirt] all in one blouse and skirt combo.

Cardigown: [Cardigan/Dressing Gown]Cardigan, usually long and belted like a cardigan.

Coatigan: [Coat /Cardigan] Cardigan with a coat appearance.

Jardigan: [Jacket/Cardigan] a thick jacket like cardigan that requires no coat on top.

Jeggings: [Jean/Leggings] Leggings with jean like qualities.

Jombats: [Jegging/Combats] tight combats of jegging quality.

Mace Mackets: [Male Lace] [Mac/Jacket] a cross between a mac and a jacket.

Mandles: [Man – Sandals] sandals for men.

Mankinis: [Male/Bikini skimpy swimwear for men championed by Borat.

Meggings: [Male Leggings] very tight jersey trousers for men.

Mubes: [Maxi Tube Dress] Shacket [Shirt/Jacket] Jacket of shirt like appearance.

Shacket: (Shirt/Jacket) Jacket with shirt-like appearance.

Shoots: (Shoe/Boots) Not quite a shoe nor a boot but something in between.

Skorts: (Skirt/Short) Shorts with the look of a skirt i.e. culottes

Skousers: [Skirt/Trousers] trousers with an attached skirt.

Tankini: [Tank/Bikini] cross between a bikini and a tank top for a more modest swim option.

Tregging: [Trouser/Legging] Leggings of trouser like appearance.

Watchlet: [Watch/Bracelet] a bracelet which includes a time telling decorative element.

Whorts: [Winter shorts] thick, often wool based shorts, normally worn with tights in winter.



Fashion-world initialisms.

Discussing fashion’s penchant for abbreviation, Hadley Freeman commented in The Guardian on the latest additions to the style lexicon:

OTK:over the knee, generally applied to boots but can also be used for hemlines
VPL: is well known but there is now also VBL (visible bra line) and VBS (visible bra strap) and then the particularly marvellous TFFF (too fat for fashion.)

published on: Schott's Vocab

House DNA

The fundamental design characteristics of a (fashion) brand.

Reporting on Paris Fashion Week for Agence France-Presse, Sarah Shard noted:

At the just-ended Paris ready-to-wear collections, the buzz word was “house DNA,” or what makes a label distinctive.

The chief buyer for the Paris department store Printemps, Aymeric de Beco, said he had been struck by the “insistence at all the shows on the house’s genetic code.”

“I think that’s also what the consumers are looking for, to go back to the basics of a brand.”

published on: Schott's Vocab


"Fierce" heading the list of banned fashion words

A compliment, meaning you look aggressively attractive, sexy and cool

Many blogger opine about the difficulties of writing about fashion: “You have no idea how hard it is to write about fashion! It’s hell! Not only are the terms just as seasonal as the clothes we don’t want anymore at the end of the summer, but new trends, materials, and cuts appear every three days and demand their rights: to be named!"

To this end, there is a list of banned fashion words from a fashion mag, Velour.

The fashion no-no list includes: “trendy,” “fashionista,” “must have,” “vintage/retro,” “celeb,” “style icon”, “frock star” and “uber”.

Fashion editors and stylists have conducted a very quick and informal poll for the fashion words they’d most like to put on moratorium.

Everyone would like to see “fierce” die a swift death.

Published on: Fashionista