Oh fashion, how we love and loathe you so, you gorgeously addictive cross to bear. That’s right, a cross to bear. You see, people think being born with an unhealthy addiction to all things fashion is a blessing that bears no curse. If only that was the case. Unfortunately, it isn’t. It requires having a constant finger on the pulse, keeping up with trends that come and go quicker than most Game Of Thrones characters and learning the language with the same attention to detail you had to have when learning Spanish in high school.
Yes, it has its rewards, treating every day as a fashion show and seeing the world as your catwalk, but it requires time and effort. That said, it is a responsibility much bigger than the individual. This is because about the new styles, latest innovations and which designers are doing what is what keeps the wheel of fashion spinning; it is what allows us to pick new outfits and recycle old ones; it is what allows us to climb the ranks of Instagram until thousands of unknowns double-tap our every upload, inspired by our style.
But of all the challenges that accompany the world of fashion, it is staying up to date with the glossary of terms that is the hardest to do. Oh, yes, for every new fad and every unique trend, with it comes a new word, and it is your job to know exactly what is meant. In the same way your brain can tell you that “Vamos a la fiesta” means “let’s go party,” your brain needs to know what frosting, sock boots, jorts, normcore and chicken cutlets mean before you get left behind in conversation, scrambling to decipher the context and why people are laughing in unison.
So, without further ado, here are this latest batch of nonsensical fashion jargon you need to pick up, even if it just for fun (like our -thus far – tongue in cheek blog post). Enjoy procrastinating.
Definition: This portmanteau made up of “jeans” and “shorts” has become fashion’s most marmite invention of recent years (probably since that meat dress worn on the red carpet). They are also one of the few trends that transcend genders having become a staple diet for both men and women, irrelevant of the backdrop. Now, don’t get us wrong, we believe that Daisy Dukes will always have a place in fashion. Always. However, it is the time and place that is important. As for men, choosing the right pair of jorts is an art and not an easy one at that. Nonetheless, the jort is one of the terms that every fashion-addict needs to add to their vernacular.
Term: Frost Yourself
Definition: It’s hard to describe this in any other way than to coat yourself in statement jewelry, the kind that is coated in so many diamonds it sparkles like an African night sky, the kind that you can buy from www.frostnyc.com. It could be a diamond encrusted pendant necklace that lifts your outfit, or a pair of earrings, a big and bold bracelet or just a chain so exuberant you’d see 50 Cent stop, pause, nod, smile and then phone his jeweler. For some people, bringing attention to your wealth in this manner is unneeded, for those that want to lead a life of Kardashian-level glamor, however, there is nothing that will get all eyes on you quite as effectively as, well, this kind of bling.
Term: Sock Boot
Definition: The sock boot is climbing the ranks faster than a Taylor Swift latest release and hits your halfway up the calf and features a rather delicious pointed toe. How you rock these is completely up to you. It could be that you simply roll up your jeans and wear these out to the club with a nice top, or you could just rock ‘em with a pair of Daisy Dukes (yup, the very same as the ones we mentioned above. If you still have no idea what we are talking about, then just Google Hailey Baldwin of Gigi Hadid, click the images button and start focussing on their footwear. It is still early days for this trend, but we believe it could hang around for a few years yet, which is what makes it so worth learning this term and remembering exactly what it means.
Term: Chicken Cutlets
Definition: Just to get this cleared up nice and early, when we mention chicken cutlets in a fashion context, we are not talking about a form of frozen poultry that you can pick up from Whole Foods (or wherever you do your grocery shopping). It is important you learn this for the sake of saving face. You see, in a fashion context, the term chicken cutlet means silicone pads and they are used to cover up your nipples on days that lean more toward the chilly side of proceedings. Of course, there is never just one word for something in English, so if you hear the term pasties, gel pads or even nipple covers, these all refer to the same thing. In terms of ownership, they could change your life, especially if you are quite, how do we say, weather sensitive.
Term: Ear Jacket
Definition: The ear jacket has fallen on the world of fashion in the same way you fall to sleep: slowly, and then all at once. You see, these pieces of jewelry have become a staple addition to jewelry boxes the world over in the past few years. What distinguishes these from other earrings is the three-parts to them, as you can see at Asos.com. There is the stud at the front, a middle piece that you attach – one that hangs below the stud – that hugs the earlobe, and then the fastener that goes on the back, securing it in place. These really are the must-have accessory at the moment, a subtle piece that can really make an outfit pop. So, next time you see someone wearing a set, compliment them on their ear jackets and, if they look at you with a blank expression, educate them and then walk off with a sassy strut.
Term: Bum Bag
Definition: We call them fanny packs, but the Brits call them bum bags (which is because the word fanny means something quite different over there). If you are still lost, then it is worth thinking back to all those holidays you had in the 90s because the bum bag would have been a must-have accessory that your dad wore around his waist at all times. To Disney World, on the beach and even around the city. However, this once laughable addition has made an unexpected comeback, especially within girls fashion (although there are some guys that are using them to cheat their way to a Dad Bod. Don’t ask). Pull it to the side so that it is on your hips, tuck it around the back, use it to break up an outfit, whatever suits you. Then just put all your bits inside and off you go.
Definition: If you have ever been to South Africa, then you will have come across the term, “Lekker,” which can be used to describe just about anything so long as it is positive. That is exactly same when it comes to the term “it”. You can It Girls, it Handbags, It Shoes, It Suits, It Sleeves, It Grills and just about anything else that is on trend right now. That is what it means. The word “It” in fashion simply means something that is on-point, on trend or popular right now. It just gets labeled with the word “It”. It is also worth mentioning that there is no such thing as too niche when it comes to throwing this term around. Seriously, hemlines, laces, soles, manicures, and fascinators – they can all be It.
Term: Balloon Sleeves
Definition: It was late in 2016 that the balloon sleeve started to make its presence known in the world of fashion, namely on some of the biggest catwalks and runways. We’re talking about designers like J.W. Anderson, Marni and Simone Rocha all adding these to their collections. In a world of nuances – and that is exactly what the fashion world is separated by – it is important that you don’t confuse the balloon sleeve with a power shoulder. You see, with a balloon sleeve, the bulbous shape starts just below the bicep and tends to finish at the wrist. Like all the terms on this list, it is well worth knowing what is meant by this, although, in all honesty, we don’t think it will last the test of time. Phew, right.
And there we have it, the top trends and the terminology used to describe them. We couldn’t tell you which copywriter comes up with them, or where they first get coined, but they seem to have a way of sticking and transforming the entire industry. It is beyond us, but what can one do but sit down, revise and prove they know their stuff.