17 Fashion Terms to Know

Consider this your Man Repeller Fashion Glossary in Progress


I absolutely would not blame you if, upon reading a show review that Leandra or myself wrote mentioning something along the lines of, “a beaded yoke,” you thought we were referring to a decorated egg center and along the way, made typo. No one uses “yoke” colloquially. Similarly, among the cholesterol conscious, no one uses yolk, but at Man Repeller we do seem to have a thing for eggs.

Eggs and nuts.

The circle of life.

A yoke, in its most basic explanation, is a panel of fabric that goes across the shoulders. In sewing, it helps add structure to the fabric sewn below it. Though it’s not excluded to this thought process (nor is it excluded to tops alone) I most typically think of yoking when it comes to cowboy shirts. Here’s an example:


That white part broken up with the maroon piping — that’s a yoke.

To settle a debate, I texted my mom-who-knows-all, “What’s your definition of a yoke?” She more or less said the above description then goes, “You know, like an ox yoke.”


Oh. That actually makes some sense.

But fashion, as we’ve already established, can be confusing. We’ve also established that it’s kind of supposed to be. That’s what makes it exciting. But while fluency is in no way required to participate in the conversation, it’s satisfying to understand the language.

So! In the slideshow above you’ll find a list of words that we’ve been known to use which, for the sake of understanding what the hell we’re talking about when describing clothes — if you’re into that sort of thing — might be good to know. They’re not formal definitions, but you’ve seen our Dick, right? Shun-ary. Our Dick-shun-ary. Cool. Consider this the happy medium.

(And in the comments section, let us know other ones you need broken down to paillette town!)

All Runway Photos via Vogue Runway; collages by Emily Zirimis. 


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  • So when did you see my face and how did you guess I saw your dick? 🙂

  • stefanie schoen

    As usual- love the definition! But weirdly enough I created this ‘pleats’ infographic awhile ago and it’s super helpful to identify pleats if you’re interested..


    also- love your definitions but if you’re looking for a little more clarity around a jacquard think of it as a weave of an irregular pattern. So it is not a plaid or a herringbone, but can be an ornate floral or something more intricate. It requires special machinery as opposed to a regular loom which can just follow a simple repeat pattern. Anyway not to be fashion snobby just thought I would add some clarity!


    • Amelia Diamond

      a weave of an irregular pattern! that’s a very clear way to describe it, thank you!!

      • Lois Hall

        I am getting a salary of 5700 dollars each week…dg Over a year ago I was in a horrible condition , jobless and no bank credit . Thanks to one of my friends who showed me a way where I was able to gather myself and making average of 56 d/h. So it can change your life as it has changed mine.

        Look here for details

  • Alyssa

    So adore this post! Thanks for sharing. xx


  • babs

    On slide 5: it’s ‘seam’, not ‘seem’. xo

    • Amelia Diamond

      nothing’s ever as it seams 🙁

  • Lovey Fleming

    Cool. Love the blush pink top!


  • Italian Style

    Is not exactly a fashion term, anyway do you know the famous maison “Dolce & Gabbana”? Well these are two Italian surnames, but “Dolce” means sweet and “Gabbana” is a kind of cloak. So “Dolce & Gabbana” in Italian means “Sweet cloak”.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I didn’t know Gabbana meant cloak!

  • She got paillettes…if you know what I mean! (American-Italian accent and “ey” hand motion)

  • Pussy Bow! That’s going to be my new favorite topic of discussion. “That blouse would be so much better with a pussy bow!” “Do you like my pussy bow?”

    • Amelia Diamond

      Nice pussy bow!

  • Read this to test myself on how many I knew. Great refresher. http://www.styleonedge.net

  • Showcast Models

    Thanks for sharing this interesting article. This are very nice outfits!

  • Ebba
  • I feel like this awesome dictionary should scroll like the star wars opening before every episode of Project Runway! It would be sooooo helpful!!! =)

  • Tess

    Can you please please do a version of this with designer names? I try my best with the pronunciation but so frequently butcher it.

    • Amelia Diamond

      hahah yes

    • same! and I studied fashion 🙁 but hey I didn’t study languages

  • Liz

    now I want that cowboy shirt. GREAT.


  • Extra points for the pronunciation guide guys 🙂

  • Ali Peat

    What about boiled wool? Always conjures up images of a sheep fleece swimming in a dirty medieval cauldron!

  • Nives

    I love this post! There’s actually an Instagram account that posts about fashion terms and it’s amazing! https://www.instagram.com/glossaryoffashion/

  • Isla

    You should attend a class in fashion school. Textile Science, for instance. Oh the terms you would learn:)
    Also, yoke can be on a skirt too.

  • Elodie Nowinski

    In French, we would say paillettes for small ones and sequins for major ones… And as for the RUSH, we go for ruché (ruche in french means the bees’ house, the hive / beehive) because it looks like a ruche (except it doesn’t but hey… we’re french after all.) – your French boring professor.

  • Lori Massaro

    Posting this visual and very informative link to my online class at FIT