Nine New Fashion Catchphrases You Need To Know



As we've said before, sometimes hanging around fashion people or browsing fashion websites and forums can make you wonder if everyone involved is speaking in some strange alien language. Don't worry, only a small percentage of fashion professionals are actually from Neptune, and, more to the point, the words they're using are actually far easier to understand than you might think. Here's an updated list of fashion catchphrases to memorize and use next time you're surrounded by these extraterrestrial creatures.

Zoolander Effect: n. Shorthand for the pronounced tendency for members of fashion's elite to cross the lines of political correctness or common decency without even noticing.
Etymology: Coined, as far as we can tell, by a recent article on the Foreign Policy Magazine website, the "Zoolander Effect" has been used to describe media firestorms created by politically incorrect gestures by Rodarte, Vogue , Kenneth Cole, and many, many others.
Usage: "When the designer said she was channeling Muammar Gaddafi's personal style for her latest runway collection, we could tell she had succumbed to the Zoolander Effect."


Galliano-no: n. A slip-up resulting in a lapse of judgment or reasoning that can destroy an otherwise respected reputation.
Etymology: Bubbling up from the fashion blogs, think of this as a more extreme version of the "Zoolander Effect"—a sort of Black Swan theory of foot-in-mouth disease where a single moment poisons all that came before and after it relative to an individual's history.
Usage: "His tequila-fueled Galliano-no not only lost him his Creative Director job, it also cost him half his Facebook friends and his invitation to hang out with Prince."


Dreckitude: n. The manner or disposition of representing complete and utter dreck (dreck + attitude).
Etymology: Created by noted wordsmith André Leon Talley on that televised source of neologisms, ANTM, Dreckitude is sort of a state of being when every pose, styling cue, or decision one makes is just another warmed-over cliche that makes someone with taste (say, André Leon Talley) want to puke their guts out.
Usage: "She thinks she's the business, but look at those ripped tights, teased hair, and smudged raccoon eyes. Pure dreckitude."
NAGL: abbreviation for "Not A Good Look"
Etymology: A necessary shortening brought on by texting and online commenting, NAGL has been very popular on personal style websites where ugly-ass people with bad taste try to front like they're hot and stuff and not-so-subtle commenters have to put them in their place.
Usage: "Ugh, green tights with an orange tutu and a bra for a top? NAGL! Unsee! Unsee!"


Swag Swag: n. Swag [free stuff] that is actually swag [awesome].
Etymology: Used by fashion-show attendees to describe gift-bag offerings that are actually useful and exciting—the Karen Walker sunglasses, Momofuku cookie, Jeremy Scott watch, or free facials amidst the sea of off-brand shampoos, glossy fliers, and breath mints.
Usage: "Jesus, if I had known that the swag was going to be swag swag, I would have gotten out of bed instead of catching up on Netflix!"


Queen Bitch: n. A model or fashion figure who reigns above those around him or her.
Etymology: While we're willing to guess this term predates even David Bowie's 1971 song of the same name ("Cleopatra I was famous for her 'tude"), it is currently most popular in online model forums where "basic bitches" (normal models) are compared to "Queen Bitches"
Usage: "With her new campaign for Givenchy and those killer lips she is well on her way to Queen-Bitch status IMHO."
Man Repeller: n. A fashion look that is sure to scare away prospective mates.
Etymology: Coined late last decade and popularized by one of our favorite bloggers, The Man Repeller, this term refers to all those kooky, fashion-forward, or daring things you might love wearing but he would rather see thrown in the incinerator along with your OshKosk overalls, cork-heeled clogs, and, yes, nerdy glasses. No fair.
Usage: "Sure, those super-woolly chaps you picked up at Project No. 8 are totally awesome… man repeller status!"


T-Shirt Time: n. The last step done at the eleventh hour to perfect your presentational for the night ahead.
Etymology: After consulting the Oxford English Dictionary, we're going to side with the common wisdom in this matter and admit that—yes—this one was probably created by Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino to describe that moment where one takes off the day's dirty wifebeater (or say the dowdy outfit, stockings, earrings, or shoes you wore to the office) and switches them for the Ed Hardy t-shirt (or say awesome cocktail dress, tights, jewelry, or killer heels) in which you will rage the night away.
Usage: "Well, why don't you just bring that cute one-shoulder thing you were gonna wear to the party over to my place, then we can pre-game until T-shirt Time without having to worry about spilling cranberry-vodka on our outfits?"

Want to learn more fashion catchphrases? See 10 Fashion Catchphrases that try to make it work!