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Fashion Glossary


A small accompanying item of dress, especially of women's dress in designer fahion circles. Origin: 17th Century; from Late Latin accessorius.


A long plume worn on hats or as a headdress, esp. one of long egret feathers. Origin: 19th Century: French.

a la mode

Fashionable in style; design. Origin: from French a la mod.


Attractiveness; appeal. Origin: 15th Century; from Old French alurer, from lure bait, lure.


A decoration or trimming of one material sewn or otherwise fixed onto another. Origin: 18th Century; from French, literally: applied.

baby clutch

Small size bags. Origin: the bag became popular in major cities at the end of 20th century, example: Louis Vuitton pochette in 2001.


Stick; bar, as in French bread. Origin: 18th Century; French; from Italian bacchetta a little stick, from bacchio rod; from Latin baculum walking stick.


Closely woven fine straw, used for making hats in the Philippines. Origin: 20th Century: changed from Baliuag buntal, from Baliuag in the Philippines, where such hats were made.


A narrow band of ribbon, velvet, etc., worn round the head. Origin: 18th Century: from French, from Old French bandel a little band.


A round close-fitting brimless cap of soft wool material or felt. Origin: 19th Century: from French béret, from Old Provençal berret, from Medieval Latin birrettum cap.

bespoke boutique

A boutique selling merchandise made to the customer's specifications.


To shape a hat by use of a block. Origin: 14th Century: from Old French bloc, from Dutch blok; related to Old High German bloh.


A stiff straw hat with a straight brim and flat crown, inspired by French sailors.

bolide bag

The first bag in the world to use a zipper. Origin: designed by Hermès in 1923.


A woman's bedroom or private sitting room. Origin: 18th Century; from French, literally: room for sulking in, from bouder to sulk.


Hat with upturned brim. Also French sailors hat.


A rich fabric woven with a raised design, often using gold or silver threads. Origin: 17th Century; from Spanish brocade; from Italian broccato embossed fabric, from brocco spike; from Latin brochus projecting.

cage de cartier

Sleek evening bag with interlocking handles. Origin: designed by Cartier in 2001.


Wide brimmed hat. Origin: French.


A very wide brimmed hat.

cast aluminum bag

Elegant box top bag made off aluminum. Origin: designed by Ferragamo in 1996.

chanel 2005 bag

A curvey bag with short handles. Origin: designed by Lagerfeld for Chanel in 1999.


A chain or clasp worn at the waist by women in the 16th to the 19th centuries with handkerchief, keys, etc.; attached. Origin: French.


A thick soft tufty silk or worsted velvet cord or yarn used in embroidery and for trimmings; caterpillar. Origin: 18th Century; from French, literally: hairy caterpillar.


Stylish or elegant. Origin: 19th Century; from French.


A fine transparent or almost transparent plain-weave fabric of silk, nylon, etc. Origin: 18th Century; from French, from chiffe rag.


A style of decorative or fine art based on imitations of Chinese motifs. Origin: French, from chinois Chinese.


A woman's almost brimless close-fitting hat, typical of the 1920s and 1930s.Origin: 19th Century: from French: bell, from Medieval Latin clocca.


Feather or ribbon worn on military headwear. Origin: 18th Century: changed from earlier cockard, from French cocarde.


Perfumed liquid or solid made of fragrant essential oils and alcohol. Origin: 18th Century: Cologne water, from COLOGNE, where it was first manufactured in 1709.


Conical shaped hood of felt or straw used as a base for blocking small hat shapes or crowns. Origin: 16th Century: from Latin conus, from Greek konus pine cone, geometrical cone.


Stiffened, elasticated, or laced foundation garment, worn especially by women, that usually extends from below the chest to the hips, providing support for the spine and stomach and shaping the figure. Origin: 14th Century; from Old French, literally: a little bodice.


High-fashion designing and dressmaking. Origin: from French, sewing, dressmaking, from Old French cousture seam; from Latin consuere to stitch together, from suere to sew.


A person who designs, makes, and sells fashion clothes for women; fashion designer. Origin: from French, dressmaker.


To make (a piece of needlework, a garment, etc.) by looping and intertwining thread with a hooked needle. Origin: 19th Century; from French crochet, diminutive of croc hook.

croissant bag

The offspring to the baguette. Origin: Fendi-croissont 2000.


Designed by and bearing the label or signature of a well-known fashion designer; or having an appearance of fashionable trendiness.

eau de cologne

Cologne water. Origin: 18th Century: Cologne water, from COLOGNE, where it was first manufactured (1709).

eau de toilette

Toilette water. Origin: French, literally: water of Toilette.


Style in clothes, accessories, handbags, cosmetics, behavior, etc., especially the latest or most admired style. Origin: from Old French faceon.


Fake. Origin: 17th Century; from French.


Matted fabric of wool, hair, etc., made by working the fibers together under pressure or by heat or chemical action. Origin: Old English; related to Old Saxon filt, Old High German filz felt, Latin pellere to beat, Greek pelas close.


An originally Turkish brimless felt or wool cap, shaped like a truncated cone, usually red and with a tassel. Origin: 19th Century: via French from Turkish, from FEZ.

football bags

Bags designed in the shape of a football. Origin: two different designs by Moschino in 1998, and Chanel in 2000.


Accessory used to decorate shoes, bags and garments. Origin: designed by Ferragamo.


Any of various head coverings, esp. one with a brim and a shaped crown. Origin: Old English hætt; related to Old Norse höttr cap, Latin cassis helmet.

hermès birkin

Handbag design. Origin: designed by Hermès for Jane Birkin in 2001.


Hair taken chiefly from the tail or mane of a horse, used in upholstery and for fabric.

indu bag

A geometrically designed bag with flower and butterfly. Origin: designed by Lulu Guinness in 1999.


Guided by. From Old French enspirer.


The name of the woven leather used by Bottega Veneta.

invisible sandals

Sandals made by nylon thread. Origin: designed by Ferragamo which won the "Neiman Marcus Award" in 1947.

jelly kelly handbags

A translucent rubber satchel or rubber sack – nicknamed the Jelly Kelly – is an imitation of the leather Kelly bag. These waterproof tote beauties are the rubber version of the Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags. The Kelly bags got its name after Grace Kelly when she purchased one and made it popular.


Objects that are worn for personal adornment, such as bracelets, rings, necklaces, etc., considered collectively. Origin: 13th Century; from Old French joule.

juliet cap

Close-fitting decorative cap, worn esp. by brides. Origin: 20th Century: after the heroine of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1594).

knock off, knockoff, knockoffs

To reduce the price of (an article) by (a stated amount).

La Fête des Catherinettes

Celebration of the traditional French on November 25th; festival of hat-makers and their patron saint, Catherine of Alexandria. Customary French salute to the patron saint of milliners/hat makers.

lady dior

An evening box bag by Dior. Origin: designed by Christian Dior in 1995, presented to Princess Diana at the Grand Palais in Paris.


A type of Italian wheat straw that is woven into hats. Origin: 19th century: named after LEGHORN.

Légion d'Honneur

An award of high distinction bestowed by the French Republic on persons having distinguished themselves by professional or military service. Origin: Chain created on 19 May, 1802 and received by famous designers such as Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix, Issey Miyake, Yves Saint Laurent, etc.


A type of ornamental work made by knotting and weaving coarse thread into a pattern. Origin: 19th Century; via French and Italian from Turkish makrama towel.

macramé bag

Intricate knots and leather fringes designed bag. Origin: designed by Carlos Falchi in 1970.


A person who makes or sells women’s hats. Origin: 16th Century: originally Milaner, a native of Milan, at that time famous for its fancy goods.


Hats, trimmings, etc., sold by a milliner.


French for milliner.


Sequin or spangle sewn onto a costume. Origin: 19th Century; from French, diminutive of paille straw.


Perfume; scent. Origin: 16th Century: from French parfum, probably from Old Provençal perfum, from perfumar to make scented, from per through (from Latin) + fumar to smoke, from Latin fumare to smoke.


A weave of sisal fiber used to make hats. Origin: 19th Century: sisal from Mexican Spanish, named after Sisal, a port in Yucatán, Mexico.


The underfur of Capra-Hircus goat, it is the most luxurious, softest, warmest and lightest natural fiber. Origin: from Persian, literally: wool.


A decorative trimming of gimp, cord, beads, braid, etc. Origin: 16th Century: from Old French passement, from passer to trim, PASS.


Fragrant; Origin: 16th Century: from French parfum, probably from Old Provençal perfume.


A thick corded ribbon used as the sweatband inside hats or to stiffen belts, button bands, etc. Origin: 19th Century: named after Viscount Petersham (died 1851), English army officer.


Small brimless round hat, now worn by women. It became popular when Jackie Kennedy wore them.


A small flexible baglike container. Origin: 14th Century; from Old Norman French pouche; from Old French poche bag.

quelle idole

Handbag design; the transformation into a doll. Origin: designed by Luis Dumas in a limited edition to celebrate the year 2000.


Reproduction especially on a smaller scale. Origin: 19th Century; from Italian, literally: a reply, from replicare to repeat, from Latin: to bend back, repeat.


A strip of pleated or frilled ribbon, lace, etc., used as a hat trim, or worn around the neck like a small ruff as in the 16th century. Origin: 19th Century: from French, literally: beehive, from Medieval Latin rusca bark of a tree, of Celtic origin.


A pouch, bag. Origin: 18th Century; from French.


A small soft bag containing perfumed powder, placed in drawers to scent clothing. Origin: 19th Century; from Old French, a little bag, from sac bag.


A rectangular bag, usually made of leather or cloth and provided with a shoulder strap. Origin: 14th Century; from Old French sachel a little bag.


A rectangular, triangular, or long narrow piece of cloth worn around the head, neck, or shoulders for warmth or decoration. Origin: 16th Century: of uncertain origin; compare Old Norman French escarpe, Medieval Latin scrippum pilgrim's pack.


A piece of fabric or knitted or crocheted material worn around the shoulders by women or wrapped around a baby. Origin: 17th Century; from Persian shal.


The outline of a solid figure as cast by its shadow. Origin: 18th Century; named after Étienne de Silhouette (1709--67), French politician, perhaps referring to silhouettes as partial portraits.


Full of turns or curves; intricate. Origin: 16th Century; from Latin sinuosus winding, from sinus a curve.


A pouchlike hat, often of net, loosely holding a woman's hair at the back. Origin: Old English snod; of obscure origin.


A very high heel on a woman's shoe, tapering to a very narrow tip. Origin: 17th Century; from Italian, from stilo a dagger, from Latin stilus a stake, pen.


A hat with a small brim and a pouched crown, popular in the 16th century, French for a chef’s tall white hat. Origin: 16th Century: from French, from Old Spanish toca headdress.


Having a heavy dome-shaped shell and clawed limbs. Origin: 15th Century; probably from Old French tortue.


To carry; used for shopping type bags. Origin: 17th Century; of obscure origin.

trailer bag

Handbag resembling a trailer with a wheel and license plate. Origin: designed by John Galliano for Christian Dior in 2001.


Fashion; mode. Origin: old English trendan to turn; related to Middle Low German trenden.


Consciously fashionable.

trim bag

Bag designed based on a horse feed bag. Origin: designed by Hermès in 1958.


A fine net fabric of silk, rayon, etc., used as a trimming for hats, etc. Origin: 19th Century: from French, from Tulle, city in S central France, where it was first manufactured.

uptown girl's tote

Tote bag designed with printed flowers. Origin: desgined by Kate Spade in 2002.

vara shoe

Shoes with grosgrain bow. Origin: designed by Fiamma Ferragamo in 1978 and still in production.


spray used in designer perfumes and fashion fragrances.


The popular style at a specified time. Origin: 16th Century, from French, a rowing, fashion.


Yarn spun from the coat of sheep, etc., used in weaving, knitting, etc. Origin: Old English wull; related to Old Frisian, Middle Dutch wulle, Old High German wolla(German Wolle), Old Norse ull, Latin lana and vellus fleece.

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