The Glossy Glossary: Fashion Journalism A to Z
By: Taylor Davies

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Blog for SaksBlog for Saks! Enter here  for your chance to win a spot on Saks Fifth Avenue’s freelance writing team. This is the first in a series of four posts brought to you by SaksPOV , designed to give bloggers the information, tools and opportunity to explore the journalistic potential of fashion blogging.

As fashion bloggers, we are all, in a way, journalists. Though we may not always be breaking news or sniffing out juicy stories – we’re reporting on fashion from our perspective. We discuss trends, talk about personal style, give advice, and direct our readers to information we want them to know.

No matter what format your blog takes on, if you’re using words to describe anything, it’s important to use them correctly. In the blogosphere and in fashion, there are a lot of terms that get thrown around and sometimes, perhaps without even knowing it, we realize we have no clue what they mean. We’ve put together a quick cheat-sheet of fashion, tech, and journalism terms every fashion blogger should know:

A

  • A-line: a garment, usually dress or skirt that is slightly flared from a narrow waist
  • Affiliate links or networks: a form of online monetization that earns you commission from online retailers you link out to (see our guide here)
  • App: short for application, usually refers to a program or tool downloaded and used on your smartphone or tablet
  • Androgynous: having a look that is neither strongly feminine or masculine
  • Aspirational: describing something that is meant to inspire a higher level of achievement, status or success, like dressing
  • Avatar: the square image that represents you on your social media channels

B

  • Bespoke: a made-to-order garment, usually a suit, could also apply to shoes or a wedding dress; tailored specifically to the customer’s measurements and specifications
  • Brick-and-Mortar: The term for a physical location of a store in a real place, not online

C

  • Cable-knit: usually refers to a sweater, knit with a type of stitch that produces a twist that resembles a two-ply cable
  • Care of / gifted: Used to signify if an item has been given to a blogger free of charge, followed by the name of the brand or retailer who supplied the item(s)
  • CFDA: The Council of Fashion Designers of America
  • Color-blocking: originally a technique where blocks of fabric are sewn together in one garment to create clothing with a few different solid colors; has now come to encompass an outfit that applies the same technique to a combination of pieces (ie shirt, pants, shoes)
  • Curate: to thoughtfully gather a collection of something (images, links, content, shopping items) and present them in a streamlined format that is easily understandable


D

  • Diffusion Line: a modestly-priced line of merchandise created by a high-end designer that retails at more moderate prices
  • DIY: acronym for “do it yourself,” referring to creating something yourself and making a blog post (tutorial) instructing others on how to make it, step-by-step


E

  • E-tailer: an exclusively online retail shop, as opposed to an e-commerce site that may coincide with a brick-and-mortar store
  • Editrix: A powerful female editor, most especially used to refer to Anna Wintour or Carine Roitfeld
  • Editing: re-reading, rewriting, and making grammar and spelling changes to your blog post, one of the most important steps in self-publishing (See our guide here)
  • Empire Line: also known as an empire waist or empire silhouette, this cut is fitted to the body until just below the bust, and the rest of the garment falls loosely

F

  • Fair-Use: some material protected by copyright may be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder if it meets certain qualifications (editorial, educational, etc.); for example if an image is being used in a creative context, to illustrate a point,  show a trend or something you like (and it’s credited)
  • Fashionality: used to describe a person in the fashion industry with a lot of personality and sometimes celebrity status
  • Faux Pas: A term borrowed from the French, meaning a miss-step or major no-no
  • Flou: short for fluorescent, which is a color that seems to emit it’s own light; similar to but exactly the same as neon
  • FTC Guidelines: Updated by the Federal Trade Commission in 2009, Every blogger should know them, and how they pertain to endorsements and sponsorships (read more here)

G

  • GIF: short for “graphics interchange format,” this is an animated image created specifically for the web
  • Google+: a social media channel created by Google (see our thoughts on how what it can do for bloggers here and here)
  • Glamazon: Originally used to describe supermodels in the 1980s – a combination of glamorous and Amazon

H

  • Handle: in social media, your handle is your name; Twitter and Instagram handles are indicated with the “@” symbol
  • Hashtag: word for using “#” in front of a word, phrase or acronym to make it searchable on Twitter or Instagram, often used for events or trends to create a followable conversation online
  • Haute Couture: a French term, mean exclusive, custom-fitted high fashion clothing as produced in Paris, and imitated in other fashion capitals such as New York, London, and Milan – made for individual customers from high quality, expensive fabrics

I

  • Insights: on Facebook, these are the statistics you can follow to keep track of your blog’s fan page growth, traffic and engagement
  • Influencer: a broad and fairly new term, used to describe a person, perhaps a blogger, celebrity or social media personality who has the power to inspire trends or purchases
  • Intellectual property: a broad legal term that describes “products of the mind” and what ownership and rights apply to these products. (See more important legal terms for bloggers here)

J

  • Jargon: a set of words that applies to a particular topic; in social media these are popular terms bloggers should know
  • Jump: as in “after the jump,” used to signify that a post continues when you click through the link

K

  • Keywords: used in SEO tactics, these are words used in post titles and headers that are easily picked up by search engines and can help your growth and traffic (See SEO, below)
  • Kitten heel: a short slender heel, usually just 1.5 or 2 inches high

L


  • Libel: the written form of defamation, which is to make a false statement about someone to a third party; this applies to blogging if you publish something untrue about another person
  • Live-pinning: to pin images to Pinterest instantaneously as they are created; recently done by @OscarPRGirl during Oscar de la Renta’s Resort 2013 show

M

  • Metrics: measures of quantitative assessment (usually of your blog’s traffic statistics) used for measurement, comparison or to track performance
  • Monetize: to make money from your blog, through a number of methods, mainly advertising, affiliate links or sponsored content (See all our tips here)

N

  • Network: In the world of blogging, a community of publishers brought together in one place. (See our fashion blogger network post)
  • Negotiating: the art of engaging in a discussion to reach an agreed upon solution or contract; a technique often employed by bloggers working with brands (see our Essential Guide here)
  • Niche: your unique specialty as a blogger (Here’s our post on how to find your niche, and our 10 Best Niche Blogs)

O

  • Ombre: describes when a color fades in stages (usually down the length of a garment) from deeply saturated to nearly white
  • OOTD: often used as a hashtag (#OOTD) an acronym that stands for “outfit of the day,” see also WIWT

P

  • Peplum: A short flared, gathered, or pleated strip of fabric attached at the waist of a woman’s jacket, dress, blouse or skirt to create a hanging frill or flounce
  • Pinteresting: When something is worthy of being pinned to a board on Pinterest, you might say, “That’s so pinteresting!”
  • Platform: the hosting site of your blog, for example WordPress, Blogger or Typepad
  • Pop-up Shop: A temporary store, either stand-alone or within another store; could be hosted by a boutique, a brand, a gallery or an online

Q, R

  • Quantcast: an online tool that lets any website owner find out measurements regarding their audience including traffic, demographics and interests
  • Quilted: when two or more layers of material are sewn together to make a thicker padded material, often creating a diamond pattern of seams throughout the fabric; for example, the classic Chanel quilted handbag
  • Resort Collections: shown in late spring, this season was originally concepted and marketed for affluent customers who spent the post Christmas and New Years holidays in warm climates
  • Ruching: Gathers created in clothing by pulling fabric between 2 or more lines of stitching.

S

  • Sample Size: can vary by designer, but a common range is between 0-2, 4 at most
  • September Issue, The: usually the biggest and most important issue in a monthly magazine’s editorial calendar, focusing on fall fashion; also a film about the making of Vogue’s September 2007 issue and it’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour
  • SEO: stands for “search engine optimization” and is a way to make your blog posts more search-engine friendly by using keywords (See our guide here)
  • Sportswear: in fashion, a term used to describe both day and evening fashions of varying degrees of formality that have a relaxed approach while remaining appropriate wear for many business or social occasions (considered America’s greatest contribution to the history of fashion design)

T

  • Tangerine Tango: the Pantone official color of 2012
  • Trickle-up trend: Fashion trends that start “on the street” and make their way into high fashion
  • Tutorial: A video, photo or written guide, explaining step-by-step how to do something; examples include hairstyles, DIY craft projects, and make up guides

U, V

  • Upload: to add something, usually an image or file to a website or blog, from another source
  • URL: acronym for “uniform service locator,” and it is the specific string of characters that directs you to an internet source like a blog or web site
  • User-Generated Content: a website or social media channel like Facebook can allow site members, followers or visitors to contribute to the supply of information, opinions and posts
  • Vanity sizing: (also know as size inflation) when the same clothing size becomes larger over time
  • Vlog: a video blog, or video post on a blog

W

  • WIWT: often used as a hashtag, an acronym for “what I wore today’
  • WWD: short for Women’s Wear Daily, the definitive source of fashion industry and retail news both online and in a daily print newspaper; owned by Fairchild Fashion Media

X,Y, Z

  • YouTube: owned by Google, this video-sharing platform allows users to upload and watch videos on an almost endless range of topics, and can be a powerful tool for bloggers to share tutorials and other video posts

 

Blog for Saks

 What terms would you add to our Glossy Glossary? Leave your words and definitions in the comments!

Comments

  1. Virginia says:

    The rules of fair use aren’t super-well defined, but generally NONCOMMERCIAL is part of the definition, and “commercial” means getting even a tiny bit of money. Just because you’re commenting on a blog doesn’t mean you have the legal right to swipe a runway photo that someone commenting in The New York Times would have to pay for. Your definition may be what “fair use” should be, but it isn’t what copyright holders believe fair use is.

  2. Must geek out on you…

    A gif isn’t always animated.
    The file has a color palette limited to 256 slots.

  3. Regina says:

    Just wanted to note that the link for the CDFA is http://www.cdfa.gov not http://www.cdfa.com

  4. Thank you!! really usefull there where some terms I didnt know!! I love IFB

  5. So helpful, thanks much!
    Paula

  6. I was told at uni that the first designer to cotton onto and use vanity styling was Halston.

  7. Also I might have added Wiki: A website developed by a community, for a community, any users of whom can contribute by adding or editing the content.

  8. Fabiola says:

    Love it!!! but you know what you should do? A glossary with fashion terms/ designers/ brands and how to correctly pronounce it.

  9. Thanks for sharing this fashion terminology, some of them I wasn’t aware of and can definitely add to my fashion artillery.

    It would be beneficial to also add terminology PR companies use when working with bloogers.

  10. robin avidor says:

    I knew most of them thanks to IFB!

  11. Donna George says:

    love this reference! wish I had it a year ago.
    thanks
    Donna

  12. Donna George says:

    the SEO and keyword would not link, or at least I didn’t find it.
    thanks

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