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The Fashion Glossary – Words and Terms Used By Fashion Experts

by Fashionlady
Fashion Glossary

Fashion Glossary
We’re stepping into a brand new year and as far as the fashion industry is concerned, that means a New Year with new trends, with some very confusing words and terminologies used to describe them. Know the basic fashion lingo to talk your way through any fashion related topics that might come up. Just throwing in one or two of these words will make you look like you’re in the know.

Many of the fashion terms and words used originate in the fashion capital of the world, Paris. This is why many of the fashion terminologies used are in French, from ‘haute couture’ to ‘je ne sais quoi’. Luckily, you don’t have to learn the French language to get to know what these terms means, just simply read this article to know all about the fashion lingo.


Let’s start with something simple. A silhouette refers to the basic outline of a garment. Each dress or outfit, depending on its cut and fabric and how it hugs the frame, will create a silhouette or an outline. For instance, the silhouette of an A-line skirt will be more shapely than that of a winter coat dress.


Source: vector-magz.com


This is a widely used word in the fashion industry. An appliqué simply refers to embroidering or stitching one fabric onto another.

fashion trends

Source: cloudfront.net

Je Ne Sais Quoi

This French phrase literally translates into “I don’t know what”. It is used to describe a woman who is appealing and yet you can’t really describe what it is about her that makes her so appealing. This is the perfect phrase to describe French women. There is something about them that makes them look so stylish, yet you can’t really pinpoint exactly what that something is.


Capsule Collection

A capsule collection refers to an interchangeable collection made up of around ten or so staple items. These items can then be mixed and matched to create many different looks and outfits. The staple items included in the collection usually consist of coats, trousers, blouses and other such wardrobe essentials.

Haute Couture

This is by far the most extensively used fashion term. Although its original meaning has been diluted through the years, Haute couture basically refers to the business of designing and selling clothes to private customers. In short, haute couture is the opposite of ready-to-wear clothing that comes off the racks of an average clothing store.

Bias Cut

When a garment is cut diagonally, you refer to it as a bias cut. This cut was quite popular in the 90s and still makes a comeback now and then in fashion houses as it is quite flattering to the figure.

Bias Cut

Source: searchingforstyle.com

Trompe l’Oeil

Another French term that roughly translated means ‘to fool the eye’. It refers to creating interesting optical illusions through your designs and clothes.

Trompe l Oeil

Source: blogspot.com


This is an adjective that refers to something ‘of or relating to clothing’. It is more often than not used in relation to men’s wear. Used in a sentence: Bryan’s wardrobe is full of stylish and well-tailored suits that are a testament to his impeccable sartorial choices.

While these are some of the basic terminologies that are quite extensively used in the fashion world, there will be a whole new list of words and terms added to the extensive fashion glossary by the end of this year. The world of fashion loves to come up with such complex terms and words to describe even the most minute details. And all we can do is to try to keep up with their constantly expanding vocabulary.

While you are trying to get a hand on the fashion terms, do not forget to go through the article on how to pronounce fashion brands like a pro.

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