You Fugly? Well, I Die! 10 Fashion Catchphrases That (Try To) Make It Work


If you're not familiar with fashion jargon, sometimes the conversations between stylish speakers can sound like a foreign language. But it's not so hard, we promise! From reality show catchphrases to Internet memes gone viral, here are 10 fashion catchphrases that you won't find in any vocabulary book.

tyra-banks-antm-smizeSmize: v. Smiling with one's eyes.
Etymology: At Tyra's urging, the girls on America's Next Top Model must learn how to keep their smiling above the nose. We still haven't figured out exactly what "smizing" entails, but it's great fun to watch the big vein on the bug-eyed girls' foreheads pulse with effort.
Usage: "We got the photos back from the gallery event last week where I tried to smize for the camera, but it just looks like I have crazy eyes."

tim-gunn-make-it-workMake it Work: v. Meaning to push through life's difficulties with ingenuity and grace, like when you're forced to construct a garment out of toothpicks and diapers, and you realized that you've suddenly forgotten how to sew.
Etymology: The ever-dapper Tim Gunn uses this phrase as sound words of advice for the Project Runway castmembers. Hate your client because they're over a size 2? Make it work. Stuck with the weird turd-brown fabric during the wedding dress challenge? Make it work!
Usage: "So, I spilled my entire coffee on my pants this morning, and all I had was this takeout napkin from Lucky Chang's and two bobby-pins, so I made this fetching little decorative loincloth because I had to make it work, you know."

rachel-zoe-i-dieI. Die.: v. What happens when you encounter something so phenomenally stunning you feel as if you may, in fact, die.
Etymology: Rachel Zoe is known as much for her catchphrases as she is for her wide-legged pants, but "I. Die." is our favorite because...well, once Rachel thought she was actually going to die, which made for some pretty amazing TV.
Usage: "'Tay. Brad. Like, come here. Isn't this bananas? Like, seriously. Like, literally. Lit. A. Ra. Lee. I'm dying here. I die. I. Die. Died. Wait. Where am I?"

kelly-cutrone-passion-for-fashionA Passion for Fashion: n. A trite phrase found in 80% of the conversations about why one wants to work in the industry.
Etymology: Kelly Cutrone has gone on the record as saying the moment she reads this hoary coupling in any cover letter, job application, or other request, her brain starts to steam and she crumples the letter in her hand until it's a little ball the size of a pea. Or something like that.
Usage: "I, like, have had a passion for fashion since I was born and have always seen myself working at like Vogue or like, on The Hills or something because my friends all tell me I dress really cute and stuff. Do you like, like my waist belt?"

christian-siriano-hot-tranny-messHot Tranny Mess: n. Something that is very couture. Or very trashy. In a good way! Or a bad way! Either allegedly works.
Etymology: Christian Siriano (he of lesbian haircut and Payless shoe fame) threw around this phrase with such abandon and bravado that we can't be quite sure what it exactly means. The word can also be taken apart to create Franken-phrases, like "Hot Mess," "Tranny Mess," "Hot Tranny," and—our favorite, "TRANNY!"
Usage: "Wasn't it great when Theresa had to come to brunch in that taffeta minidress because she didn't make it back to her own apartment the night before? Ha! What a hot tranny mess!"

posh-victoria-beckham-majorMajor: adj. Used when something is especially attractive, grandiose, or looks like a tweed sausage-case-cum-dress that Victoria Beckham might wear.
Etymology: Posh brought the phrase to the US on her show, "Coming to America" where the word (correctly pronounced as "may-jah!") littered every other sentence to come out of her perky, Botoxed lips. Since then, the word has been appropriated by Joe Zee and has spread through the Twitterverse like a brushfire.
Usage: "Shut up, Ginger Spice. Your platform boots are vomitocious whereas these strappy, chunky heels are MAJOR. Should I get a boob job?"

andre-leon-tally-authorityAuthority: adj. Used to describe opulent caftans, aerodynamic sunglasses, and anything else your crazy grandma Nellie (or Andre Leon Talley) might wear out. Best if said with a sing-song lilt.
Etymology: In the end credits of The September Issue when Andre Leon Talley is getting prepped for his interview, Andre uses authority (pronounced: "authoritaaay!") to describe his flowing, satin ensemble. Competes with "A famine of beauty!" for most quotable from the movie.
Usage: "Someone told me that seven foot tall men shouldn't be wearing a floor-length, silk robe, but who are they kidding? I look authoritaaaay!"

fuglyFugly: adj. A fusion of "fucking" and "ugly." Used when one sees something so horrifically offensive, one is rendered the energy to utter only one word instead of two.
Etymology: We can't be sure, but the popular blog, Go Fug Yourself, sure popularied the term (as popular blogs are wont to do). The Mother Fuggers of the site, Jessica and Heather, are quick to dish out on all the fugly looks of the red carpet. Be forewarned: You will never see as much tulle, sequins, and pantsless looks as you will on that site.
Usage: "FU. G. L. Y. You're in last year's Fryes! You Fugly! Eh! Hey! You fugly!"

chic-wolf-nChic Wolf: n. When a person is dressed and posed incredibly fiercely (For girls: Fur, leather, and stilettos. For guys: Fur, leather, and stillettos).
Etymology: The livejournal community over at Fashin began using Chic Wolf to reference anything reminiscent of Shakira in her "She-Wolf" music video. In its purest form, one can only call outfits consisting of nude leotards, one-legged bodysuits, and strange cavewoman minidresses as Chic Wolf. Now, it's become anything that Rihanna might wear.
Usage: "Did you see when Lady Gaga totally upstaged Beyonce in that "Video Phone" music video? What a Chic Wolf!"

fashions-fadeFashions fade, but style is eternal.: n. An oft-quoted old-world proclamation that every style-conscious girl posts onto their Facebook and blogspot until they realize that every style-conscious girl posts it onto their facebook and blogspot.
Etymology: Yves Saint Laurent started the fire.
Usage: "Hi, my name is Chrissie and I like Audrey Hepburn and pink things. This is my blog where I'll talk about cute clothes and things I bought. If you want to know more email me! Remember, ladies: *~*~Fashions Fade, But Style is Eternal!*~*~"