The quote “knowledge is power” applies to fashion, too. You don’t have to be a scholar to look fashionable, but the more you know about the fashion terminologies, the better you get a grip on your style. Because we believe ‘fashion’ is an expression that should be communicated with appearance and words. Here, we have picked 15 fashion terms that all men should know about.
Let’s dig into it one by one.
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15 Fashion Terminologies That All Men Should Know :
1. Prêt-à-porter :
Ready to wear or Prêt-à-porter often abbreviated as RTW, “off-the-rack” or “off-the-peg”( in casual use). This is a term usually used for factory-made clothing that is sold in finished condition and in standardized sizes. In the fashion industry, ready-to-wear clothing is mass-produced without having any significant alteration. In order to keep the sizes and fits the same for most people, standard patterns, factory equipment, and faster construction techniques are used to keep the costs low, compared to a custom-sewn version of the same item.
2. Haute Couture :
Haute translates literally to “high” and Couture translates from French as “dressmaking”, sewing, or needlework. Haute couture is the term for high-end fashion that is constructed by hand from start to finish. Haute couture garments are made from high-quality, expensive, often unusual fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced sewers.
Haute couture garments are always made for individual clients, tailored specifically for the wearer’s measurements and body. Today in modern France, haute couture is a protected name that may not be used by any firm that doesn’t meet certain well-defined standards.
3. Avant-Garde :
This French word avant-garde is used for people or work that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox with respect to art, culture, or society. Across every creative field, from the fine arts to music, there is invariably an avant-garde movement, and Fashion is no different.
However, the use of this term avant-garde is slightly misleading. It literally means, “ahead of the guard”; but, in the context of the arts, it doesn’t imply being ahead of trends. In fact, to be considered avant-garde is to exist outside of the established norms and confines of a discipline. Avant-garde designers are not ahead of trends—they’re immune to them.
4. Atelier :
Atelier refers to a private workshop or studio of a professional artist, where a principal master and a number of assistants, students, and apprentices can work together producing pieces of fine art or visual art released under the master’s name or supervision. Let’s not forget this is essential among fashion terms that all men should know about.
5. Bespoke :
Bespoke is derived from the verb bespeak, meaning to “speak for something”. However, in Fashion its contemporary usage as an adjective that has changed from describing first tailor-made suits and shoes, and later, anything commissioned to a particular specification (altered or tailored to the customs, tastes, or usage of an individual buyer), and finally to a general marketing and branding concept implying exclusivity and limited runs.
6. Black Tie :
The Black tie is a semi-formal Western dress code for evening events. This dress code is often referred to as the dinner suit or dinner jacket. The suit is a black, midnight blue, or white two or three-piece suit, distinguished by satin or grosgrain lapels and similar stripes along the outseam of the trousers. It is usually worn with a white dress shirt with standing or turndown collar, cufflinks, black bow tie, a waistcoat or a cummerbund, and black patent leather dress shoes.
7. White Tie :
The White tie is called a full evening dress or a dress suit, which is the most formal in the traditional evening western dress codes. It consists of a black dress coat with tails worn over a white shirt, Piqué waistcoat, and a white bow tie worn around a standing wingtip collar. High-waisted black trousers and patent leather oxford or optionally court shoes perfectly complete the outfit. Sometimes accessories like a top hat, white gloves, a white scarf, a pocket watch, and a boutonnière add some extra points to it.
8. Silhouette :
A Silhouette is basically a dark shape or an outline of something. In fashion terminology, it is the outline of an outfit. It is a commonly used term among fashion terms that all men should know about. A few popularly known silhouettes are Straight, regular, asymmetrical, etc. When you wear the right silhouette based on your body type, it can work pretty well for your body frame.
9. Ensemble :
Yet another Fashion term borrowed from the French is Ensemble, it is essentially something where all parts are counted together. The French word, ensemble is a common term used by couturiers and Fashion designers. It’s not unusual if you might have heard or read it before. In simple words, Ensemble is a term that is referred to as an entire outfit as a whole, which also includes accessories, jewelry, etc. It is one of the most popular fashion terms that all men should know about.
10. High Street Fashion :
When we say High street Fashion, it comes from the UK. It is different from couture, and as the term suggests, it literally means clothes picked from the UK high street or a main street in any city. These are mostly brands that mass-produce clothes that are more affordable. High street fashion is used on a day to day basis in Britain, they are mostly ready-to-wear and switch every season.
11. Faux :
The next among fashion terms that all men should know about, is “Faux”. Yet another term that comes from the French. It translates to fake, or imitation. Like Faux Fur or Faux Diamonds, mean it’s an imitation of the real one.
12. Fad :
A Fad is a trend that has short-lived popularity. They are trends that gain sudden and quick-spreading popularity. As opposed to classic trends that are always in Fashion, Fads come and go but never stay. It is another important term among fashion terms that all men should know about. These Fad fashion trends are always romanticized momentarily, but in reality, they don’t last the test of time.
13. Dapper :
A dapper look essentially means a neat and trim appearance. It is a commonly used term among the various fashion terms that all men should know about. Among other discussed fashion terms, A “dapper” is typically used in conversation with men. It appeals to their dressing and appearance. It’s also a term that describes the manners of a gentleman.
14. Vogue :
Most men would be familiar with the term “vogue”. It essentially means the prevailing Fashion at the current time. When you hear the phrase, “something is in vogue” it means that it is in trend at that period of time. In Vogue, means Fashion in the particular season.
15. Suede :
Among all the fabrics, most men are familiar with Velvet, or Leather, but they often miss out on the essential “suede” It is a term used in generality to describe any fabric that has a velvet-like finish to it. You will find that most loafers or formal shoes and jackets in your closet would be made with this fabric.
These are a few among many fashion terms that all men should know about. These may not apply on a day-to-day basis, but they will help you shop better, or to recognize fashion in a better way. Have we missed out on any other commonly used Fashion terms for men? Let us know in the comments below.
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