This is a list of fashion related words that differentiate the fashion talk of the common man from the fashion elite. You can call it the fashion jargon tossed around by the designers and editors who decide the course of fashion.
They use them as part of their everyday conversation.Some of these words are common terms but some were unfamiliar to me, even technical.
If you want to be part of the fashion crowd you have to sprinkle some of them in your conversation or at least know some of them so that you know what they are talking about.
In the meantime, you may want to check out some other categories very much related to fashion
I have skipped these terms in this post, because they are better elaborated elsewhere. But they are also very much related to fashion and you may want to read them after this one is over.
- Sewing terms – glossary of 100+ words used in sewing
- A Glossary of clothes
- A Glossary of Fabric names with explanations
- Textiles – in detail.
- 12 basic dress silhouettes
- 75 different Fabric prints & patterns
- 15 colour combinations for fashion
- 12 Different types of Pants
- 45 Different types of Dresses
- 17 Different types of shorts
- 60+ Different types of necklines
- Different types of collars
- 40+ Different types of sleeves
- Different types of textile fibers
- 10 Different types of fabric printing
- 90 + Different types of cotton fabrics
- Different types of Linen
- Different types of silk
- 12 Different types of denim
- Different types of leather
- Different types of knit fabrics
- Different types of faux leather
- Different types of fabric trims
- Different types of stretchy fabrics
- Different types of transparent fabrics
- 26 Different types of bags
- 17 different types of skirts.
- 60+ Different types of embroidery
- 47 ways to add texture to the fabric
- Different sewing techniques and tutorials
- 10 different waistlines in dresses
- 70+ fabric finishes & treatments
- 25 types of fabric pattern repeats.
- Japanese traditional clothing
- Arabian clothing -10 elements
- What is fashion? 8 types of fashionwear
- 45 world famous fashion designers.
Table of Contents
- Table of Contents
- Acid wash
- Achromatic colours
- Antique style
- Anti Pill
- Army look
- Art deco
- Art Nouveau
- Academic costume
- Accent shades
- Active sportswear
- Advanced colours
- a la mode
- American Style
- Androgynous style
- Apparel manufacturing
- Athletic clothing
- Body clothes
- Balance / symmetry
- Barfly apparel
- Black tie event
- Bib and tucker
- Border print
- Bohemian style of fashion (Boho)
- Business Formal dress code
- Business Casual dress code
- Bulky clothing
- Capsule wardrobe
- Cut of a garment
- Camouflage clothing
- Casual wear
- Channel suit
- Cine mode
- City wear
- Cocktail dress code
- Colour coordination
- Colour blocking
- Country look
- Cool colours
- Contemporary style
- Continental style
- Conservative styles
- Cosmetic colours
- Composite style
- Costume jewelry
- Dandy style
- Design elements
- Earth colors
- Ecclectic style of fashion
- Electric colours
- Elegant dressing style
- Eponymous fashion brand
- Effortless dressing
- Fabric swatches
- Fabric Finishes
- Fashion capitals
- Fashion Cycle
- Fashion Faux Pas
- Fashion Forecast
- Fashion foreward
- Fashion icon
- Fashion Line
- Fashion press
- Fashion show
- Fashion house
- Fashion icon
- Fashion sense
- Fashion police
- Fashion tribe
- Fashion victim
- Fabric Prints
- Face of the fabric
- Fashion Label
- Flat sketches
- Formal clothing ( evening clothes)
- Garcon look
- High stepper
- Hand of a fabric
- Haute Couture
- High Fashion
- Hippie style
- Hot number
- Iridescent colours
- Impact colours
- Jewel tones
- Knock Off
- Lagenlook style ( Layered style)
- Limited edition clothing
- Look Book
- Long line clothing
- Made to measure garments
- Marine style
- Mass produced / Fashion
- Masculine style
- Monotone clothing
- Mood Board
- Off the rack
- Over size
- Pret-a- porter
- Peasant style
- Ready to wear or RTW
- Reversible clothing
- Safari style
- Sanforized clothing
- Sleek style
- Slip on clothes
- Slim fit
- Street wear
- Stonewashed fabric
- Surfer look
- Supportive clothing
- Throwback fashion
- Theme board (mood board)
- Trunk show
- Twin prints
- Upcycled clothing
- Utilitarian clothing
- Warm colours
In fashion accessories refers to items with a useful or decorative purpose used in conjunction with one’s outfit. They complement and enhance the clothes worn. Include Belts & Suspenders, Bridal Veils, Eyewear, Footwear, Gloves & Mittens, Handbags, Handkerchiefs, Headwear, Jewelry, Legwear, Neckwear, Shawls & Wraps, Umbrellas, Watches
Treatment done on fabric to fade the colour with bleach solution. Check out the post on different ways (15) to distress your jeans to look fashionable
This refers to having no colour ; in fashion it means black or white colours.
A style of the past
Treatment done on fabric to increase the wear resistance, preventing uneven and worn look of fabric surface
A style that resembles an army uniform (military style)
Style incorporating geometric patterns in typical colours of yellow green gold silver and black
Style that incorporates linear and curvilinear designs
Characteristic clothes worn by those studying or teaching in colleges/ universities
This is an emphasis given to something like a colour or trimming or accesory
Bright dark colours like fluorescent colours. These are used as an emphasis rather than as the whole colour of a design.
Refers to things like shoes, hats, jewellery, neckwear, belts, scarfs, gloves, corstes lingerioe boutonnieres that is added to an outfit to make it more fashionable
The process of adding accessory to clothing on display
Clothes worn by the participants in sports events
Garment/design similar to another original design/model but having some characteristic changes
Warm colours like shades of red
a la mode
French term for fashion
A popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration, or behavior.
A sporty easy going casual style of clothing
A style that is neither strongly feminine or masculine
Another word for clothes, clothing and garments
Involves assembling, cutting, finishing, grading, labeling, marketing of garments in an industrial set up
One sided , not balanced
Large dressmaking organization
Clothing worn for athletic activities. Brands like Puma specialize in athletic clothing
Refers to never seen before innovative designs by designers who are original thinkers bringing change to fashion
Balance / symmetry
Having two opposing sides of same dimension
This refers to a made-to-order garment made as per the customer’s characteristic measurements and specifications. Usually said about men’s formal clothes or wedding clothes
Clothing suitable for wearing at cocktail bars
Clothing suitable for beach
The fashionable world
Black tie event
A dress code for evening events and social functions ; involves a tuxedo, tie and formal shoes. For girls this is a long gown.
A store or shop ( usually high end expensive store) selling unique items to a specific set of customers
Bib and tucker
Colloquial term for clothes ( wear one’s finest clothes)
A design that is seen along the border of a fabric
Bohemian style of fashion (Boho)
An unconventional style of dressing that draws inspiration from bohemian and hippie influences. Boho chic is a stylish bohemian fashion with many celebrities and socialities following this trend. Check out
Business Formal dress code
Garments suitable for a formal event – suits for both men and women and tailored dresses for women.
Business Casual dress code
Clothes suitable for a semi-formal event – pants and shirts for men, pencil skirts and blouses for women ; not too casual like jeans or too formal like suits.
Loose fitting clothing
This is a term used for a collection of a few timeless and essential items of clothing . Check out the post on the 18 pieces you should have in your capsule wardrobe
Cut of a garment
Style and shape of a garment and how it hangs on the body
Design with elements of camouflage in it like the print / khaki colour
Informal wear; everyday garments
A platform along which models walk to display clothes in fashion shows.
A prestigious coveted suit for women designed by the Famous french designer Coco Chanel
Stylish / sophisticated
A fashion with origin in the movies
Street clothes with a sophisticated style
Cocktail dress code
This is a party event – a suit for men and party dress for women
Usually held twice a year in spring/summer and fall/ winter
Design incorporating colour theory and colour harmony
A style which is deemed timeless
As per Wikipedia clique is a small close-knit group of people who do not readily allow others to join them.In fashion cliue refers to a group of very fashion consious people who share a common sense of style.
A set of creations of a designer for a particular season.
This is a technique in which large blocks of solid coloured fabric are joined (usually sewn) to form the garment ; placing blocks of different colours side by side this way provides a visually striking effect
This refers to a dyed fabric’s ability to resist fading or colour running when it is washed, exposure to sunlight etc.
A rustic look ; wearing tweeds
These are colours in the blue family
A current look
This refers to the European style of clothing
Traditional dressing style
Colours that relates to makeup/cosmetics used
Dress style that is universal rather than localised
Garments based a theme or a story
This is a french term for male designers. The female designer is a couturiere
A fashion which becomes extremely popular for a short period
A combination of distinct styles; simple and refined; cool and feminine; feminine and flirtatious ; funky and fun.
This is jewelry made to complement a particular fashionable garment/collection ; usually inexpensive than real jewellery
Style of clothing which is Out of fashion (no longer fashionable)
A modestly priced line of garments made by an haute couture designer
Process in which fabric is artificially aged or worn
The way a fabric falls/hangs on a body
Drop tail style
This refers to clothing with the back having more length than the front.
This is a term related to mens clothing – indicating a flamboyant self-absorbant style of dressing
Clothing that has never been worn, often from previous season.
In fashion, this refers to Color, Shape, line, texture, balance, harmony, proportion, pattern etc which are very important in designing well-liked clothes
Colours in the brown family
Ecclectic style of fashion
This is a fashion style composed of elements drawn from various sources;A mix of various styles
Elegant dressing style
A sophisticated graceful style
An outfit ( totally) that is coordinated and harmonious
Eponymous fashion brand
When a designer decides to name a brand his own name ie creator gives his own name to his brand. eg LOUIS VUITTON
Native or traditional
Style that is fascinating and evoking the look of a foriegn land
The addition of decorative details or features
A set of clothes that give out a look of unity and coordination
A person who thinks up ideas for making extremely characteristic garments
A presentation of clothes
This refers to a style which is high end but looks effortless.
Small pieces of fabric used as a sample
This refers to the application of certain resins/chemicals or making the fabric undergo some processes so that its functional or aethetic appeal is enhanced.
A short lived fashion ; the popuarity fades pretty fast after a burst.
Refers to high fashion cities like Paris, New york, Los Angels, London, Tokyo, Berlin, Barcelona
This refers to the rise rule and decline of a style
Fashion Faux Pas
A misstep made in fashion like a wrong choice of clothing
A prediction as to the fashions / styles/ trends that will be popular in the coming future
A person who is ahead and knowledgeable of fashion trends
Some one who is very popular for his/her fashion style that every one looks up to him/her.
All of the clothing a fashion designer produces for a specific category
Those reporting the fashion events / shows / displays etc
Displaying Formal collection of fashion styles by designers to merchandisers/ customers
A company involved in fashion design
A devoted follower of fashion
A term used to refer to someone or something that has become popular for being extremely fashionable
Knowledge of how to dress fashionably.
An imaginary police force that ensures that people dress according to fashion.
A group of people who share a common sense of dressing style / fad/ fashion
A person who slavishly follows current fashion.
These are many prominent patterns which are very popular like animal prints african prints . check out the post on the 55 popular fabric patterns you will usually find
Face of the fabric
The outer surface of the fabric ( also refers to facing)
A collection of expensive clothes belonging to a particular upcoming designer
Military combat apparel.
Technical sketch of a design as if it were laying flat- the details include stitching techniques etc. Also called flats.You can make this by hand or with software like illustrator.
Fabric printed with floral patterns
Formal clothing ( evening clothes)
An occasion dressing style ;Long evening gown for females and suits / tuxedos for men
Undergarment worn to smooth a figure
Garconne; A boyish fashion worn by women ; also called flapper look
Shades of the same colour
A messy style of dressy seen in people who follow or like grunge music
Sewing notions like buttons zippers etc; also refers to a men’s clothing shop
A colloquial term for a person who is very aware or conscious of fashion and how he/ she looks.
Hand of a fabric
The feel of the fabric
Expensive, fashionable clothes produced by leading exclusive fashion houses. It means the finest dress making in French language; simply termed as couture.
The designing, making, and marketing of expensive, fashionable exclusive clothes ( as opposed to mass-market clothing); haute couture
A fashion style characterized by long hair, jeans etc
In the fashion world, a fashion house is a name used for a company dealing in fashion.
A style which sells very fast at that time
A fake or copy ; usually used for describing fur and jewellery
Imitating the colors of the rainbow
A colur used in a fashion design for an impact
A design that is a copy of a more expensive clothing
Lagenlook style ( Layered style)
This is a style in which different garments are layered over each other, in different lengths
Limited edition clothing
A collection of styles shown to a producer in a given season
A reference guide used by people connected with fashion detailing garment styles price, colour, fabric details etc related to a line.
A book with all the photographs of a model, photographer, style, stylist, or images representing the full clothing line of a designer. It is meant as a catalogue for marketing to be presented to the buyers.
Long line clothing
Clothing meant for tall people
Garments worn around the house
Made to measure garments
This refers to the use of preexisting template patterns and then making the garments out of them after adjusting to the measurements of the customer
A style that looks like the clothing of sailors
Mass produced / Fashion
Styles/ fashion that is widely accepted and hence made in large quantities
This refers to women’s clothing made to look like men’s ( also called mannish)
A fashion which is mixture, combination of things, elements or trends
A simple understated look; a fashion consisting of simple styles and plain colours.
Clothes of a single colour
A physical or digital collage of design ideas used by fashion designers to consolidate their collections or get ideas. Will have details of an idea, drawings or photos, fabric swatches etc.
A design used in a pattern/ print / embroidery etc ; usually found recurring
This is a trial garment made to test a pattern ; it is originally made in the fabric muslin cotton
Off the rack
Another name for ready to wear mass-produced clothing in standard sizes that is made in a large number and is readily available in retail stores.
This refers to the style in which color graduates from light to dark
Garments which are of a much looser fit.
Refers to anything that is No longer fashionable; out of date fashion.(pronounced pasei) This is deemed an insult in fashionable circles
Style which represents flamboyance or confidence
A template used as a guide to make a garment.
Refers to ready to wear clothes
A style which is reminiscent of the country women folk with embroidered blouses and long skirts
Refers to a style of dressing that emphasises ones power. The word was coined in the 1970s and it meant a smart tailored dressing meant to impress.Now represents clothes that men and women wear to workplaces and meetings to make them look powerful.
A collegiate look; for boys polo shirts, chinos and navy blazers
Resort wear (Cruise wear)
This is line of clothing meant as holiday or travel collection; it is meant for a relaxed living for the affluent people ; clothes meant for the poolside life
Ready to wear or RTW
This is the term for factory made clothing in standardized sizes
Garments that can be used on both sides
The kind of clothing that resemble clothes worn during hunting
A garment made to be shown to the retailers/merchandisers
Outline or shape of a design or garment
The finished edge of the fabric ( on opposite sides of the lengthwise fabric)
A shrink control process used on fabric
The style which gives a slender slim streamlined look
Slip on clothes
The type of clothes which are worn without any fastenings / just slip on through the head
Clothing made to fit close to the body.
This is a type of basic pattern that is used as the building block for all other patternmaking without any ease or design elements ( craftsy.com)
A casual style of clothing meant for a relaxed look but can be used in a casual business setting too. American style dressing
This is basically clothes meant for the streets – skater friendly garments. It is a broad difficult to define fashion and may mean simply urban fashion.
A fabric faded through a specific process
A carefree dressing style sported by surfers on beaches
Anything related to Tailoring, clothes, or style of dress.;Of or pertaining to tailors and their trade (www.dictionary.com); it is also used in relation to the uality of a dress
Clothes that are bought separately and cover only part of the body but can be mixed and matched to create combinations.Eg: pants and shirts
This refers to clothing that gives support ; eg. muscular support for sports, support for bust, support for legs with ailments like varicose vein
Making of made to measure/custom made garments
Fashion belonging to the past
Theme board (mood board)
A board with fashion drawings, sketches, swatches used to create a mood about a product.
A general direction in which something is developing or changing ( oxford dictionary)
An adjective used to describe someone who is very fashionable or stylish
Display of a designers colletion in a store
Two prints that share the same colour combination in one garment
This is creative reuse of old clothes by changing certain design elements.
Functional clothing rather than decorative eg: a Raincoat protecting from rain
Clothing inspired from a previous era
Red, yellow and orange and in between colours in the colour wheel
Full name – Women’s Wear Daily a magazine considered to be the bible of fashion
In the fabric, fibers that run the width of the fabric.
Reference : The Magic of Fashion: Ritual, Commodity, Glamour
By Brian Moeran