Fashion 101, Part 2

Installment Part 2 of my fashion glossary for those of us who think that the plural of ‘sequin’ is ‘sequences’. And, no, that is not a joke.

They walk among us.

Fanny pack

The fannypack – emblem of stubborn-jawed utilitarians and tourists the world over. Never will convenience alone be a reason for me to wear something, as is the case with phenomenons like Crocs and Uggs (cases in point!)


A gilet is a sleeveless over-jacket, often made of fur, faux fur, and sometimes quilted. I’m not a huge fan of the quilted variety, but there are lots of people that are. To me, quilted gilet puffer says soccer mom with boob job and True Religion jeans’.

Harlow Pants

Wide from the hips to the hem, Harlow pants were popularised in the late 1960’s, but based on the trousers worn in the 1930’s by screen legend, Jean Harlow. Making a comeback in our time, too, on hip girls spotted by Scott Schuman and other street style stalkers.

Harris Tweed

A soft thick tweed woven from hand dyed woolen yarns. Harris Tweed is a popular fabric for coats and suits for both men and women. Blogger extraordinaire, Susie Bubble, recently took a trip to the home of Harris Tweed, the Island of Harris off the coast of Scotland, to trace its production process from yarn to coat.


A popular zigzag weave in men’s winter caps and hats, the pattern consists of short slanted parallel lines running lengthwise and crosswise in the fabric. Also known as Chevron, Herringbone is still popular in coats today.


Always reminds me of Gwen Stefani! Named for the distinctive black and white pattern that resembles rows of jagged teeth. Reinvented in many forms today (as in the Moschino heels pictured above), Houndstooth lends a rock ‘n roll edge.


To me, jeggings are like words that have wormed their way into the graces of the Oxford English Dictionary simply because, like a rash, they persisted and were too obscene to go ignored. I’m thinking of words like ‘chillax’, or ‘Booya!’, which is always followed by an exclamation mark, as should jeggings be! They don’t warrant a definition or an accompanying image.

Juliet sleeve

Inspired by Renaissance sleeves – puffed at the shoulder and fitted on the forearm. Tres romantique.

Kelly Bag

The name given to the Hermes crocodile skin bag favoured by Grace Kelly. The Kelly Bag is reminiscent of a briefcase or document case and has a sophisticated, structured style. It was first produced in the 1920’s and was inspired by bags used to transport saddle items.


A personal favourite of mine, the keyhole is an opening in a garment usually around the cleavage area or upper back. Often teardrop in shape and in conjunction with a high neck or Mandarin collar, the keyhole is subtly sexy when done right. I have a Two keyhole dress that I wear often in Summer, which always receives compliments because of the unusual cut.

Mandarin Collar

Also called a Chinese or a Nehru collar, the Mandarin consists of a standing band that wraps about the neck and is slightly open in the front. The Mandarin can go one of two ways:

1)     Stylish Country Road / Trenery man who also favours yachting shoes and/or shirts with shorts

2)     Matric dance circa 1994, complete with matching bottle green high shine trousers, gelled hair and accompanying partner in coordinated floor length halterneck creation.


A minaudiere is a small, heavily ornamented evening bag, often bedazzled with sequins, crystals or beads. In the Sex in the City movie Charlotte’s little girl carries a glistening, cupcake-shaped minaudiere that had me crying into my mom’s shoulder.

Minx Nails

I first saw these on Miss Anthea Poulos of Don’t Party and Instant Grass fame – she had American flag minx’s on and they looked so hip. Minx nails are coverings that are applied to the real nail with heat, featuring just about any design. Applied almost like a sticker, they are a mess free, green alternative to nail polish and fake tips.


The classic backless, closed-toe, which has seen some horrifying incarnations over the years, from Diesel athletic-inspired slip-ons, to Adidas and Skechers alternatives and those men’s suede slip-on loafers, much-beloved in Knysna in the late 90’s. They make my eyes bleed. Fortunately, the mule is a diverse style, as Louboutin demonstrates in the picture above.


These loose, brightly coloured dresses orginated in Hawaii. Shapeless and unbelted, the muu-muu gets a bad rap for being the house dress of choice for plus size and pregnant gals alike. I actually quite like the muu-muu, and it’s not just because the name sounds like that of a glossy-eyed Japanese cartoon character. I will find a cool muu-muu!

Opera length

Opera length refers to a single strand necklace that hangs to the breastbone, worn on its own, in a double strand, or knotted at the neckline or bust.


Pailletes are those extra large sequins used on evening bags and dresses. Paillettes are used as trimming on evening clothes or handbags. Sewn together, they create a fishscale effect.

Peter Pan collar

Trendy at the moment, the Peter Pan collar has sweet rounded edges, with a scalloped look. Typically found on children’s clothes, Peter Pan collars lend an air of girlishness – of carefree, hopscotch happiness!


One response to “Fashion 101, Part 2

  1. Hi! Could you tell me which designer the black and white peter pan collared dress is? I love it!

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