Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dressology Slangology: Fashion Jargon Basics

Although slang typically starts off specific to an industry or group of people, there are times when jargon makes it into common parlance. 
The fashion media has given the general public a number of 
well-known and often-used phrases specific to the trade that have become part
of our everyday vocabulary.

Check out some of those that have stood the test of time:

Fashion Victim
 Perhaps an all-time favourite, "Fashion Victim" is a term that has been in use 
for about 10 years. It is reported to have first been said in 2001 by 
John Fairchild (Publisher of Women's Wear Daily 1960-1996) after spotting 
a group of ridiculously overdressed ladies at lunch. 

Jackie O
 We can thank the media again for originating "Jackie O"  
which became the common moniker for former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sometime after her marriage to Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis in 1968.

Geek Chic
A term for the unique duds donned by computer nerds and IT junkies recently 
glamourized by Justin Timberlake and the film The Social Network 
as well as TV series The Big Bang Theory. 

Although heavy black-rimmed glasses are 
a key element...there are other ways to embrace the geek 
including T-shirts with slogans and short sleeve shirts with ties.

Photo: The Big Bang Theory

The Delebrity
I first heard this term a few months ago, and since then I have seen it pop up here and there.

I wonder is anyone else out there is familiar with it?

 "Delebrity" is defined as a celebrity who wants to be a designer—and designers 
who want to be celebrities. 

This word is increasingly on-trend with the likes of Victoria Beckham, the Olsen twins 
and countless other celebs braving the fashion world.

There is some confusion in that the word is also used to describe the less popular
 or pseudo-celebrity set possibly bolstered by 
TV show Kathy Griffin My Life on the D List (as in Delebrity...)

The Beautiful People
Hand-in-hand with "Fashion Victim," this expression has a 40+ year history, 
although the origins for the phrase are up for debate. 

Reportedly, Vogue first coined the term in 1962 to describe the circle of friends around President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. It was two years later 
that a Vogue editorial titled, "What The Beautiful People are Doing to Keep Fit" 
pushed the phrase further into the public eye. 

However, Women's Wear Daily claim they said it first—and who am I 
to argue with 100+ years of fashion reporting?

Photo: People Magazine

Being one of The Beautiful People remains a goal for many celebs, socialites and the like. 

I say, put an effort into yourself, be kind, don a smile—and really—you are 
one of The Beautiful People.

_________________________________ Why not look your best every day?


  1. Haven't heard of Delebrity yet, but am loving which is my fave gossip site.

    Fashion Oracle - what say you to Chloe Sevigny? Me, I just don't see the appeal, but she's held up as a fashion icon. Meh.

  2. loving geek chic right now!

  3. HA, I love that Kristy referred to you as the "Fashion Oracle"! So true! Great post. I hadn't heard of "delebrity" either, but I'll be using it now! And fashion victim is a favorite, along with the fashion police.