6 Commonly Misused Fashion Terms You Should Know

Like every other field or profession, fashion has its jargon. Some of them have been misused by laymen, fashion bloggers and magazines alike owing to the fact that they are quite common. To give you an upper edge, this article will enlighten you on six commonly misused fashion terms.

You just may have used one or two wrongly, you never can tell. Reading this will help you out.

Six Commonly Misused Fashion Terms

1. Haute Couture

 If you’ve ever made the mistake of calling any beautiful and expensive dress haute couture, then you’ve been making a mistake.

Haute Couture is a French word for high sewing. It is a common term for high fashion as produced in Paris and imitated in other fashion capitals such as New York, London, and Milan.

For a dress to be deemed ‘haute couture’, the following should constitute its features.

  • It must be tailored to measure for few clients (if not only one client)  in style and size.
  • It is usually of high quality and high price.
  • Regardless of how exclusive a piece is, it isn’t haute couture until the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture says it is so, hence approved by French law.
  • Haute couture houses create a collection every summer and winter season. These collections set the pace for prospective fashion trends within the ready-to-wear collections.
  • Haute couture houses present collections twice a year, comprising at least 35 pieces of day and evening wears.
  • Haute couture fashion shows are usually strictly by invitation.

2. Ready-to-wear

Otherwise known as off-the-rack or pret-a-porter, ready-to-wear is high-quality factory-made fashion. It may not be mass-produced but it is usually available to a wide variety of customers in storefront boutiques, high-end department stores, online boutiques, etc.

Ready-to-wear garments do not need any specification or further preparation. They are designed to be taken off the rack as the name implies. They are usually built with predetermined measurements of which the buyer simply consults the brand’s size chart to be certain they are ordering the right size.

 Ready-to-wear fashion shows are presented one year in advance. For instance, the Winter 2017 collection was presented during 2016 winter. Furthermore, the guest list isn’t usually strictly by invitation. There’s a broader room for the media, celebrities, fashion enthusiasts and fashion bloggers.

Even with this, we know ready-to-wear collections of top designers do cost a fortune. So when they want to create a ‘margin’ by bringing about a low side to their high-end fashion, they create a diffusion line.

3. Fashionista

Many people think anyone who dresses well is a fashionista. Well, the term has been overused more than you can imagine.

A fashionista isn’t just some lady or man who knows how to combine clothes to strike your fancy. A fashionista is always fashion-conscious, creates and promotes trends and exudes great style. Many fashion influencers, editors and designers alike are indeed fashionistas because they are intricately immersed in the fashion industry such that they monitor and, on their own, create trends that many a person would love to follow.

4. Made-to-order

This refers to fashion specifically made according to a client’s predetermined specification. Some ready-to-wear brands these days offer made-to-order purchasing options for their customers. So instead of having a lot of unsold inventory, they simply make a piece when it’s ordered. This helps in reducing overstocking and prevents waste.

5. Made-to-measure

Here, clothes are made according to the customer’s specific measurement. Made-to-measure clothes are made to fit a particular person using a standard-size based pattern. Unlike ready-to-wear, designers in the made-to-measure space don’t use predetermined measurements. The garments are constructed to fit each customer individually by getting their body measurements to customise the pre-existing pattern. Made-to-measure is commonly used for men’s suits.

6. Bespoke

This refers to clothing made according to an individual’s specification. Here, most times, the client goes to the tailor with the style of the garment they have in mind and the look they intend to achieve. Then the tailor takes their exact measurements, taking note of even the most minute details. While made-to-measure is produced to order from an adjusted pattern, bespoke is made from scratch for a specific individual alone while taking cognisance of his style and measurements.

Hope you learnt something new? Drop a comment and let us know other commonly misused fashion terms we left out here.

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Nelly Henshaw

Nelly Henshaw is an Applied Criminology and Sociology Graduate working in Youth Justice Service who equally shares a passion for personal wellbeing and everything to do with Lifestyle such as, Food, Travel, Art, Fashion, Hair and Beauty. She lives in London, UK.

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