Tuesday, February 22, 2011

[TOP 10 TUESDAY] Overused & Hijacked Fashion Words in Lifestyle and Non-Fashion Marketing

We seem to throw around a lot of words to describe our style and other people's but does that necessarily give us a big vocabulary. There are words that I'm getting tired of hearing, especially when they come out of my mouth or keyboard. Lately, I think the fashion thesaurus could use an update.

But it's not just fashionistas who overuse them, there's a recent trend I've noticed where promoters hijack fashion words for non-fashion related events. The nightlife events sometimes have a "fashionable" dress code (where less is still more) and one of the sponsors is a retail boutique. Cocktail waitresses/models might walk around in the sponsors clothing but, other than that, I don't know if it deserves words like "fierce" and "classy" and I don't know if I'd call the models "trendsetters".

Join me in using some of these words less and hitting the books, namely the thesaurus... because that would be the upscale, modern thing to do. (Thesaurus.com - Stylish)

    My number one suspect is Tyra Banks but I have a theory that this word became overused once Christian Siriano hit Project Runway. Don't get me wrong, I like Christian as a designer, his winning collection was breathtaking, but I dare you to play a drinking game with that season of Project runway, a bottle of tequila and that word. FYI It's not my fault if you get alcohol poisoning.
  2. DIVA
    This word didn't get popular until the movie 5th Element came out, and even then, it was used to refer to women in the music industry. I don't know when it crossed over to the fashion and lifestyle industries but now it refers to any woman who thinks she's all that and deserves the best. The attitude that goes along with this word has gone from haughty to downright annoying.
    I don't know when promoters hichjacked this word from the fashion industry but it's finally gotten on my nerves. In my mind, "Classy" use to refer to women of elegance, Chanel suits, and timeless pearls. Now every event that features shoes and semi-clothed women thinks it's "Classy".
  4. CHIC
    This is probably the most overused fashion word ever. Maybe we should bring it full circle and loop back to to the word "stylish".
  5. CUTE
    I am guilty of overusing this word, mainly because of my obsession with the Japanese Kawaii Culture. Here are some words I'm trying on for size: Adorable, Dainty, Perky and Charming.
    I wonder if there is anything original left in this world. Everything is inspired by something else, whether directly or indirectly, but so many claim that their work is ORIGINAL without trying to explain what makes their work so different, so new. Even this list isn't completely original.

    After I started compiling it, I Googled similar topics and found OMGee Online Magazine had done a similar blog last year. It's a bit shorter and we agree on some words, but she does have professionals giving their two cents.
    I don't even know where to begin here! Not only is this word overused but it is misused. Via Fashion-Era, we know that couture comes from haute couture, which refers to made-to-measure exclusive clothes are virtually made by hand, carefully interlined, stay taped and fitted to perfection for each client. I think this hardly describes every brand that uses the word couture.

    I posted this topic on my Facebook in the morning and designer Natalie Harris had this to say about COUTURE, "The entire bridal industry has taken "couture" and redefined it to mean simply the more expensive collection. I ACTUALLY create couture, by definition (except that I'm not french), and I have to use the word "custom" now to convey that so that prospective clients don't think I'm automatically as expensive as a car."
    It rolls right off the tongue and that's probably why we use it so much. While I don't doubt that those who use it really do love fashion, I have to agree with Hilary Moss, Style Editor at The Huffington Post, there is something Dr. Seuss-ish about the phrase. Maybe the next step is note what we love so much about fashion. I have passion for anything shiny, for the way the right dress can make a girl feel like a princess, and how fashion can be a culture representation.
    While trends do go beyond just fashion, this word is a lot to refer to stylish people. I think this word should go beyond Red Carpet or random street fashion, a trendsetter should be someone who constantly inspires people to try something new. This is also one of those words used by promoters to make girls go to clubs where guys will follow with money.
    It's overused but what else are we suppose to call people with a passion for fashion - that's why I'm torn on this one. It's also a very broadly-defined word. What is a fashionista? Does she or he have to like all aspects of fashion or does only a love for shoes or accessories suffice?

Pics via WeHeartIt.com and Flickr


Nicole said...

I love that you are so opinionated! But I have to agree with you the words fierce and diva are definitely over used and thankfully RARELY come out of my mouth!

Mattie said...

Love this list. So true I don't even know where to start. I am guilty of chic, but I promise you I'm on my way to shooting people who misuse "couture" and overuse "passion for fashion". Just call me Cat in the Hat why don't you?

Great read, lady. Incredibly charming.