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Fashion Dictionary !!


Every year, every season, fashion evolves from one style to the other and from one colour palate to another influenced by various events – social, political, cultural, intellectual, ethical and spiritual – and this year too the same influences have been given to the fashion fraternity to coin new terms and concepts adding to every designers delight. While some terms emerged from reasons that have affected lifestyle, some emerged from trends that made it big in the apparel industry in the previous seasons. A raging trend this year was the comeback of leggings, which amazed and even filtered into the mass market; the concept of leggings drifted into the category of jeans giving rise to a new term called Jeggings, an adaptation of extremely skinny jeans that look like leggings and are also worn like leggings, under tunics or long tops. The term is so widely used that it has found its way into the Oxford Dictionary along with another item of clothing recently introduced for men and popularized amongst the male fans known as the Mankini, bikini’s made for men.

While some terms commonly used in 2011 have already become a part of everyday language, there still remains a bunch of emerging terms that are still relatively unheard of, and are slowly being accepted by retailers. These new words have every chance to become popular concepts in the year 2012 becoming global terminologies of modern fashion, and who knows, it may take a pride position in the dictionaries of the world…

Changing economic climate…

With the recession hitting hard, and people becoming conscious of their needs leading to careful spending, one cannot deny that there is still a desire to dress up fashionably even in times as low as these. For those few who cannot resist fashion even in this economic downturn, are being called as –

  • Chiconomics: Someone who manages to live fashionably despite the economic crisis or restricted funds; can also apply to an item of clothing, or a
  • Recessionista: A fashionable person or trendsetter who aims to weather the economic crisis without sacrificing their style.

The spark of social media…

With the use of more and more technology, growth of internet retailing and the sudden spark of social media as a medium of advertising, promotion, interaction and connecting with a vast network of consumers in different parts of the world, fashion brands are making fashion adapt to the digital age terming the whole concept as:

  • Fashion 2.0: From brands on social networks like Twitter and Facebook, to streaming techniques that bring designer showcases and shows to buyers and shoppers in real time through YouTube and other similar websites, the term is used almost everywhere associating fashion and social media together.

Menswear getting fashionable…

Moving on from the era where fashion evolution was restricted to women’s wear and men wore their basics, i.e. shirts, pants and blazers, the design world this year explored new styles and possibilities for men as well, adapting women categories into the male wardrobe. By prefixing “man” to twist and turn a lot of terms which were initially used for women, we have new terms that were globally recognized as –

  • Mandals: Sandals which initially were only made for women are now made for men in more masculine styles;
  • Mangrows: With the growing need and habit of comfort and ease amongst men, the flap pajamas for men were named mangrows, the garment nurturing the kid in a man;
  • Murses: Men’s purses to carry stuff which cannot fit their pockets;
  • Mewelry: Jewelry more customized and masculine;
  • Meggings: Leggings for men.

The year of shorts…

As skirts and dresses took a back seat this year and lowers became the new hot commodity, shorts in varied lengths, fits and looks emerged as ‘must haves’ for both men and women. With so many styles available as standard items in retail stores, every style now has a new name to it –

  • Short suits: Combining the traditional look of “suit” with cropped lengths as shorts; this new category of clothing has created an unexpected combination of crisp polish and playful sportiness that can be worn anywhere from the office to casual daywear and formal eveningwear;
  • Shinos: Menswear got another variation in their wardrobes; short chinos which are also termed as shinos;
  • Jorts: An official term for jean shorts;
  • Whorts: The thick wool based shorts that are often paired with tights forming a strong position in the winter closet;
  • Skort: A smart adaptation of a skirt into shorts which enables one to move freely.



Babies getting fashion conscious…

Fashion has finally reached and touched the little ones all over the world, with some creations that left the shoppers in shock; some fell in love with the idea of dressing up their kids like dolls. One such term and garment that has come across is –

  • Babykini: Bikinis created especially for the kids.

Leggings reach the mass market…

Just like jeggings, what we have in the category of trousers are a pair of –

  • Treggings: Look like trousers but with a fit and shape of leggings. Sleek and tailored can be worn as formal pairs in offices as well.

Outerwear comes in focus…

Changing climate conditions throughout the globe, have given rise to a growing need for new forms of outerwear for both summers and winters, either in different fabric styles that did not exist before, or in shapes and silhouettes that are adopted for the male wardrobes for the contemporary women. Some terms that didn’t exist before and are now making their regular rounds in the fashion lingo are –

  • Boyfriend blazer/shirt: Normally a term associated with male, the prefix ‘boyfriend’ is an abbreviation of the term ‘borrowed-from-the-boyfriend’, and can be applied to pieces or cuts of clothing that are traditionally for males, now adapted for females;
  • Summer Cardigan: Evolving from the concept of sweaters, traditionally worn to keep users warm during the cold season, this is a cardigan for the breezy summer season, in thin and comfortable fabrics, essentially in cotton flat knits;
  • Swaket: A combination of a sweater and a jacket, that falls below the hips and is used as a cover up, much like a jacket and also holds a hood;
  • Jardigan: A hybrid term for a jacket and a cardigan.

Increased influence of sheer and fluidity in garments…


With fluctuating cotton prices, sheer and polyester fabrics saw a rise in demand as a solution for product development, bringing new silhouettes and designs into picture which suits the quality of these fabrics in terms of drape, femininity and movement. Clothes have become more flowy, transparent/translucent in lightweight fabrics, leading to the emergence of some terms and products that are particularly associated with this trend –


  • Spants: Pants which are wide legged in light weight sheer fabrics almost appearing like flowy skirts;
  • Mube: Combining the popularity of the maxi dress and the off-shoulder neckline in one garment, this is a tube maxi dress;
  • Peek-a-Boo: Sheer fabrics or cutout details in dresses and gowns which reveal small sections of the body.

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