It’s not enough to merely reinvent your look each season. These days, you also have to reinvent the language used to describe the clothes you wear. Fashion bloggers and ad copy writers have taken to this task with enthusiasm, coining “abbreves” and portmanteaus (the combining of two words to create a new one) for every trend they can get their ombre-manicured hands on. And this is a problem. To put it in perspective: These words ugly up the English language the way Ed Hardy tattoo-art tees muck up fashion.
Some words stack hyperbole upon hyperbole; others cutesy up language to the point that a blog post written by a grown woman can read like a text from an illiterate tween. Since many of these new fashion terms appear online, in tweets or in print ads, the words look better than they sound. (Try saying “covetable” out loud without smirking.)
“Words have always gone in and out of fashion,” says Allison Leopold, assistant professor at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. “Some slang is fleeting: ‘23 skidoo,’ ‘the bee’s knees.’ Other terms become part of the lexicon, like ‘cool’ or ‘funky.’”
In recent times, some words (“skinnies”) have already gone mainstream. Others are unlikely to ever leave the corner of the Internet relegated to discussing the re-emergence of stacked heels and moto jackets. Here’s our list of the worst offenders in the current fashion pack.
Noun: Platform shoes that are also flats, for those who crave a look that hints at the aesthetic of orthopedic shoes, minus the matching cane.
Example: Before you judge a fashionista, walk a mile in her flatforms.
Adjective: Because “fierce,” as a fashion descriptor, was starting to seem too tame. Derives from ferocious, though you might not know this from the dorky spelling.
Example: Girl, those flatforms are a ferosh new look for you.
Noun: Sunglasses, because the word “sunglasses” really needed to be cuter, and “shades” sound like something Tom Cruise sported circa 1983.
Example: What’s more ferosh – these Prada flatforms or these Ralph Lauren sunnies?
Noun: Short for collaboration, particularly when a high-end designer deigns to work with a low-end retailer. The word is a forewarning of long lines outside H&M, and, potentially, trampling deaths.
Example: These sunnies are care of the Phillip Lim collab at Target, which was so ferosh it sold out in, like, literally three minutes.
Noun: The front row of a fashion show. Add one letter and it becomes “frown,” which is what this word should make you do. Oh, come on, seriously, how hard is it to just say “front row”?
Example: I almost didn’t recognize Kim Kardashian in those ferosh flatforms and sunnies in the frow at the Givenchy show.
Adjective: Some might say “genius” is a word that should be reserved for the Gateses and Galileos of history. In fashion, the bar is considerably lower. You’ve come up with a new way to tie a scarf? Genius!
Example: From the frow, those ferosh flatforms were a GENIUS look in the collab collection.
Noun: Christian Louboutin heels can be characterized by their red soles. Folks who say “Loubs” can be characterized by their braggy Instagrams.
Example: Wearing Loubs, sitting in the frow in my sunnies – just an average day for a fashion blogger. #ferosh #genius
Noun: No, not another word for models – it’s short for skinny jeans.
Example: Skinnies & Loubs, or should I wear the genius flatforms from the Man Repeller collab? Wanna impress people with my ferosh style when I’m sitting there in the frow!
Adjective: It might not be so dazzling in real life, but add a Valencia filter on Instagram and throw it on your “swoon-worthy looks” board, and you have found something Pinteresting.
Example: Your ferosh aubergine flatforms with emerald skinnies and wood sunnies from the genius Isabel Marant collab are soooo Pinteresting.
Adjective: A concise and cohesive closet or collection. Proper usage applies to high fashion (think Met exhibits) or, duh, Picassos. Your closetful of Ann Taylor ain’t “curated.”
Example: Every curated closet includes skinnies, sunnies, flatforms and Loubs – it’s what makes your wardrobe Pinteresting, and helps you earn your place in the frow for the unveiling of the next genius collab.
Adjective: If as many things in life were as “swoon-worthy” as fashion blogs claim, it would be considered a medical epidemic and the Lincoln Center tents would be quarantined.
Example: I love this ferosh, well-edited look, worthy of being curated from the frow: swoon-worthy skinnies, Pinteresting flatforms (left foot, c/o Asos), Loubs (right food, c/o Louboutin), and sunnies from the DVF collab. I am a genius.