The female fashion world is definitely one to behold, with all its exquisite and intricate details that are aesthetically pleasing with no hard and fast rules. You could even rock a meat dress *wink wink Lady Gaga*.
It’s a vast world, one with many terms and variations, and here are a few basic (like flower crown basic) female fashion terms that you’ll probably encounter at one point or another. Guys, get your notebooks and pens out so you’ll actually know what your girlfriend is talking about next time you’re out shopping.
Have you always wondered what those platform-like chunky shoes are called? Creepers, yes they’re called creepers. Often punk, mostly grungy lolita-esque, these creepers exude a gothic and sweet charm.
Think Pocahontas and you’re on the right track. Made with soft leather and completely flat without a separate heel, moccasins originate from North America’s Red Indian heritage.
With a rounded and cute front, pumps can refer to ballerina flats or pump stiletto heels. Versatile, sweet and simple.
Loafers are slip on shoes or slippers, really comfortable and chic. Add a little heel on them and a cute ribbon and you’ll always be fashion ready, even in the office.
5. Mary Janes
Mary Janes are low-cut, closed shoes that have one or more straps across the instep. Pair them with cute frilly socks and you’re kawaii-to-go.
6. Chelsea Boots
These boots are usually ankle high with an elastic side panel and a loop at the back of the boot. These types of boots were especially popular during the Mod scene in Great Britain but they actually date back to the Victorian era.
Mules are really hot right now — backless slip ons that are usually closed-toe.
Whenever I hear the word espadrilles, I think of the Chanel ones. Espadrilles are casual slip on flats and are usually made of a canvas or cotton fabric upper with a flexible sole of jute rope — the defining factor of an espadrille.
1. Peasant Blouse
I know, peasant blouse sounds like an insult. Why would anyone wear it? Except that it’s really cute with puffed sleeves and a square neckline. A peasant blouse is based on the traditional European peasant dress, hence the somewhat unfortunate name, but there’s no denying its flattering, feminine and cute cut.
2. Turtle Neck
Probably named as such because it offers one a chance to look like a turtle with the neck area all warm and wrapped up by a narrow neckline, stretching up to the chin. But it’s comfortable and is everything you could want during winter. Ah, that woolly turtle neck chic.
3. Cold Shoulder
By now you’re probably 500% done with female fashion terminology – I mean, peasant blouse!? Cold shoulder!? It can get pretty weird. But the cold shoulder top is one with cut out shoulder areas, a trend that is pretty hot right now (pun intended).
4. Off The Shoulder
Okay so this is the other variation of a cold shoulder top, one with the top sitting loosely on the shoulder, sometimes bound to the sides of the shoulder by an elastic band.
My favourite type of top to wear, the camisole is also termed as spaghetti straps sometimes because well, the straps resemble a thin strand of spaghetti.
While the primary purpose of the camisole is to function as an undergarment, variations of it has popped up and stylised it as a casual top that you can wear anytime, anywhere. Jazz it up with a tulle (I’ll get to it) skirt and voila, dinner date-ready.
It’s super popular right now, especially a lacey one worn over a plain t-shirt.
6. Kimono Sleeve
Sporting prints from the traditional Japanese costume, the kimono sleeve top is thin outerwear, usually draped over a camisole of sorts.
7. Cape Blouse
No, not a superhero cape but just a top with really long and flow-y sleeves that are split into halves, to give that cape-like look.
Like, why are we wearing bras out onto the streets? Because they’re bralettes and are cute and easy to match. In case you haven’t caught on, bralettes are basically just bra-like tops that are usually lace-y and intricate, which is why they should be worn on the outside for appreciation.
9. Crop Top
Tops are getting shorter and shorter, and the crop top is literally about half the length of a normal t-shirt and covers up to the top of the belly button.
Like a bralette but with no shoulder straps, a bandeau is usually made of stretchy material to cling unto the body tightly.
Peplum originates from the Greek word for tunic and is now a common term for a form-fitting blouse that flares out at the end.
A really long dress. Like a really, really long one.
2. Baby Doll
Originally, a baby doll dres is a type of nightgown that is sometimes sleeveless and definitely loose-fitting. It’s now left the bedroom however and women are wearing it out, with of course more cloth but keeping the general lace, ribbon ruffle night-gown structure.
A dress made of stretchy material that clings onto one’s body shape.
Think camisole but longer.
Not to be confused with sweater (in the UK, jumpers are generally just pullover sweaters), a jumper is like a pinafore dress that is a sleeveless, collarless dress that is worn over a blouse or shirt or crop top or bralette or anything really.
I love jumpsuits – think of them as a blouse and pants connected together. They’re super comfy, classy and fitting for almost everything occasion; just maybe a bit of a pain to get out off when you need the toilet.
Think jumpsuit but way shorter and more casual.
A short and cute frock that has minimum details. The shift is my go-to dress for when I’m too lazy to think of what to wear.
A shirt dress is pretty much an oversized man shirt that reaches to just above your knees. Mmhm, especially if its mandarin collar.
Sporting a narrower top, a skater dress flares out gently from the waist in a letter ‘A’. How did it get the name skater? Mainly because of the skater girls who started wearing them.
A mid length skirt that reaches over the knee, usually exuding a feminine charm with such sweetness.
A tailored cut where the skirt is flow-y and stretches outwards, a little like a tutu. Always a great choice for a casual date.
Pleated skirts have folds that are so versatile. Thinner folds on a midi skirt for that sweet side of you, or thicker folds on a tennis skirt for the street style look.
Pretty much self explanatory, the skirt is cut in the shape of an A, with a narrower top that stretches outward in a straight cut (refer to skater dress definition above).
Kim Kardashian loves her pencil skirts; form fitting wrap skirts that show off the curves without revealing too much. Add that additional slit to the side and you’re ready to turn heads.
It’s like a flared skirt, except with more poof. Fluffy, twirly and cute.
A recent surge in popularity, the mermaid skirt remains tight and form fitting all the way down to the hem, where it frills up to give that mermaid-tail appearance.
8. Scallop Hem
Look out for cute little semi circles at the hem of the skirt, which gives a clean and chic look.
Culottes are so breathable, usually flared, and just so comfortable. They’re easy to match and thus, super versatile. You can wear them to a casual hang out or jazz them up with an intricate bralette for a girls’ night out.
Like track pants, these are casual slip ons with a tight elastic bottom and yes, they look like pants you wear for when you head out for a jog.
These pants were popularised in the West as a general way of describing baggy trousers that are hemmed at the ankle.
Straight cut pants that are office-ready – splash on patterns and you’re all set to be quirky cool.
Let us know if we’ve missed out on any other terms that ought to be on this list!
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