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Style Simplified - 10 Fashion Terms & What They Actually Mean

All industries have their own unique set of terms and from the outside it can sound like an entirely different language. Here is a quick cheat sheet if you want to know what some of those fassshun words actually mean!


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1. Capsule Wardrobe

This means a bunch of classic, staple items which all go together and can be rotated together to make a series of outfits. A capsule wardrobe is considered, cohesive and timeless.


2. Tonal Style

This means creating an outfit based off one colour. The colour can be anything but is worn head to toe in varying shades and depths. This is a chic, modern and stylish way to make an impact and streamline a shape by drawing the eye up and down.


3. Colour Season

Every person has their own unique of natural tones - hair colour, eye colour, skin tone, warm and cool, depth of tone etc. These come together to create what is known as a "Colour Season" and the umbrellas of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and this helps define which colours suit you best. From here it can be come more detailed as each season has variations within in, for example you can be a bright summer or a muted summer depending on the depth of your individual colouring. A stylist can break this down for you.


4. Bias Cut

A bias cut is a technique used by clothing makers to cut fabric at a diagonal angle across the weave of the fabric (the grain) to give the material more softness and elasticity. All woven fabric is constructed by weaving warp and weft threads.


5. Trans-Seasonal

This means an item or outfit which can be worn year around, or between seasons.


6. Hardwear

This refers to the detail on an accessory - it can mean straps, gold or silver embellishments, a buckle, a chain etc


7. High Street

This literally means the clothes that you could buy from an average store, or "high street". These are affordable, ready-to-wear garments which change season to season.


8. Couture

Haute couture is a French word which translates into dressmaking or high sewing. This is high-end fashion which is extremely high quality, custom fitted, cost specific and bespoke. Since the early, glorious years of fashion, haute couture clothing has been made by hand from start to finish and requires extreme skills to achieve. The fabric and detailing that goes into making a couture piece is expensive, rare and crafted by the most skilled designers in fashion.


9. Fashion Forward

A bold, ahead of it's time style or trend. Fashion forward refers to an outfit or garment which pushes the envelope and stands out from what is currently trending.


10. Vintage Clothing

Clothing from a previous era, usually between 20-100 years old, anything prior to this is referred to as Antique.


Of course there are dozens if not hundreds of fashion terms thrown around by retailers, designers and stylists alike but these are some of the most commonly referred to. To find out more about colour seasons click here or read up on how to maximise your vintage shopping experience here. If you're curious to up your fashion game, say tuned! Subscribe to The Style Side and you'll be the first to hear about my brand new Style School Masterclass launching this Summer!

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