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Decoding Fashion Jargon: A Guide to Common Terms and Trends

Fashion can sometimes feel like a language of its own, with a vocabulary that can be difficult to understand. From haute couture to streetwear, there are countless terms and trends that can leave even the most seasoned fashionista feeling confused. In this guide, we'll break down some of the most common fashion jargon and trends, so that you can confidently navigate the world of style.

Haute Couture

One term that you may have heard in the fashion world is "haute couture." This French phrase refers to high-end, custom-made clothing that is designed and created by hand. Haute couture pieces are typically made from the highest quality materials, and are often one-of-a-kind. To be considered haute couture, a designer must be a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris and adhere to strict regulations regarding design, materials, and production.


Athleisure is a trend that has been gaining popularity in recent years. This style combines athletic wear with casual clothing, creating a comfortable yet stylish look. Think of leggings paired with an oversized sweatshirt and sneakers, or joggers worn with a denim jacket and boots. Athleisure is all about looking effortlessly cool while still being comfortable and functional.

Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable fashion is a trend that focuses on reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry. This can include using eco-friendly materials, reducing waste and pollution during production, and creating clothing that is designed to last. Sustainable fashion is becoming increasingly popular as consumers become more aware of the impact that the fashion industry has on the planet. By choosing sustainable fashion options, you can help to reduce your own carbon footprint while still looking stylish.


Streetwear is a style of clothing that originated in urban areas, and is often associated with hip-hop and skate culture. It typically includes items like graphic t-shirts, hoodies, and sneakers, and is known for its bold logos and prints. Streetwear has become increasingly mainstream in recent years, with high-end designers and fashion houses incorporating streetwear elements into their collections.

Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of essential clothing items that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits. The idea is to have a few high-quality, versatile pieces that can be worn in a variety of settings and paired with different accessories. Capsule wardrobes are popular among those who value simplicity and sustainability, as they can help to reduce waste and promote a more minimalist lifestyle.


Monochromatic is a style that involves wearing different shades of the same colour. This can create a cohesive and sophisticated look that is easy to put together. To create a monochromatic outfit, choose a base colour and then select clothing items and accessories in different shades of that colour. You can also add texture and dimension to your outfit by incorporating different fabrics and materials.

Genderless Fashion

Genderless fashion is a trend that challenges traditional gender norms and embraces clothing that is not specifically designed for one gender or the other. It can include items like oversized blazers, boxy t-shirts, and unisex accessories. Genderless fashion is becoming increasingly popular among those who value inclusivity and diversity in fashion, and who reject the idea that clothing should be gendered.

Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is a term used to describe clothing that is designed to be produced quickly and cheaply, often in response to the latest trends. Fast fashion retailers prioritise speed and affordability over quality and sustainability, and often use unethical labor practices and environmentally damaging production methods. The fast fashion trend has been criticised for its negative impact on workers, the environment, and the fashion industry as a whole.


Vintage clothing refers to clothing that is at least 20 years old, and is often prized for its unique style and quality craftsmanship. Vintage clothing can include anything from retro dresses and denim jackets to antique jewellery and accessories. Many people enjoy wearing vintage clothing as a way to express their individuality and stand out from the crowd.


Boho, short for "bohemian," is a style that is often associated with free-spiritedness and a love of nature. It typically includes flowy, loose-fitting clothing items like maxi dresses, peasant blouses, and embroidered jackets. Boho fashion often incorporates natural materials like cotton, linen, and leather, and is known for its earthy colour palette and bold prints.


Preppy is a style that is often associated with Ivy League schools and the East Coast elite. It typically includes clothing items like polo shirts, blazers, and boat shoes, and is known for its clean, classic lines and timeless appeal. Preppy fashion often incorporates bright colours, patterns like stripes and plaids, and high-quality materials like wool and cashmere.


Glam fashion is all about making a statement and embracing your inner diva. It typically includes clothing items like sequinned dresses, fur coats, and platform heels, and is known for its bold, over-the-top style. Glam fashion often incorporates metallics, bright colours, and luxurious fabrics like silk and velvet.


Grunge fashion is a style that emerged in the 1990s and is often associated with alternative rock music and the Pacific Northwest. It typically includes clothing items like ripped jeans, flannel shirts, and combat boots, and is known for its edgy, rebellious vibe. Grunge fashion often incorporates dark colours, distressed fabrics, and layers of clothing.

High Fashion

High fashion, also known as haute couture, refers to clothing that is designed and produced by high-end fashion houses and designers. High fashion pieces are often one-of-a-kind and made from the finest materials, and are typically sold at premium prices. High fashion is often associated with luxury, exclusivity, and sophistication.


Midi is a term used to describe a dress or skirt that falls below the knee and above the ankle. Midi-length clothing items can be dressed up or down, and are a great option for those who want to show a little leg while still maintaining a level of modesty. Midi dresses and skirts come in a variety of styles, from form-fitting to flowy, and can be paired with a variety of shoes and accessories.

Statement Piece

A statement piece is a clothing item or accessory that is designed to stand out and make a statement. Statement pieces can include anything from a bold, colourful scarf to a pair of glittery, high-heeled shoes. When wearing a statement piece, it's important to keep the rest of your outfit relatively simple, so that the statement piece can shine.

Fashion is a constantly evolving industry, with new trends and jargon emerging all the time. By understanding some of the most common terms and trends in fashion, you can stay ahead of the curve and confidently navigate the world of style.

Whether you're into haute couture or streetwear, there's a fashion trend out there for everyone. And, with sustainable fashion becoming increasingly popular, you can look stylish while still doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint.

So, go ahead and embrace your inner fashionista! Whether you're rocking a statement piece or keeping it simple with a capsule wardrobe, there's no wrong way to express your personal style.

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