Confessions of a Fashion Nerd

You know how grammar nerds get all uppity at people using the wrong word or mis-using apostrophes? You know how sci-fi geeks delight in pointing out that the quote you’ve just uttered is inaccurate? Well, I’m a new kind of pedant. I’m a garment nerd.

I hate it when talentless hacks describe Lady Gaga’s latest outfit as PVC when it’s clearly made of latex. I despise people who describe a skirt or trousers as high-waisted when they actually mean that the garment has a deep waistband. I can’t stand that Topshop claims to be selling corsets! I hate seeing belts that are clearly meant to sit on the natural waist, being worn too high or too low. I don’t understand why, to find a strapless dress these days, you have to search for the word bandeau. Is there not some kind of style guide that people can refer to when talking about garments in order to avoid confusion? Here are my top tips:

  • A woman’s waist is the narrowest part of her torso. Therefore, low-waisted garments should sit below this line, and high-waisted garments above it. They should also be labelled as such.
  • A corset is supposed to support and shape the body. Plastic boning does neither of these things and so high street stores should not label their strapless tops of fail as corsets. Corset top is an adequate clarification.
  • And, journalists: if you don’t know what fabric it’s made out of, don’t guess… ASK!

Montage image via Gaga Fashionland.

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