Monday, May 11, 2009

Do You Know Your Fashion Lingo?

French descriptive terms every man should know to avoid those completely avoidable fashion fallacies.

Haute couture
Haute couture is a French term that describes high fashion. If an item is characterized as "haute couture," it means that it's custom-made. Haute couture connotes exclusivity, and one-of-a-kind clothes made from the finest quality materials that usually cost more than $10,000. You know, the kind of threads celebrities wear to upscale events like awards shows and movie premieres.

Prt--porter is French for ready-to-wear, and is used to describe high-end designer wear. However, unlike haute couture, prt--porter clothing isn't one of a kind. Prt--porter clothing is pricey and you'll find it off the rack at high-end department stores and boutiques. Examples of popular prt--porter designers include Jean-Paul Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci (FYI: these designers also have haute couture collections).

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
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.

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.

The term old-school is used to describe a fashion item that has a retro, vintage or classic look. A lot of old-school athletic wear (i.e. from the '70s and '80s) such as sneakers, tracksuits and T-shirts have been making a comeback.


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