Five Fashion Phrases We Hate: feel free to add your own


The fashion world, like any other industry, is full of its own little phrases and buzzwords: in fact, there are so many of them that we had to start developing a glossary.

Of course, some of these terms are great, while others… aren’t. Some even start off sounding great, but gradually become irritating through sheer repetition. Here are five of the phrases that we currently wish we could send to jail*. Feel free to add your own in the comments box!

1. “Rocking”.  As in “I could so totally rock this” or “Rihanna was rocking a pair of leggings”. Seriously, just wear your clothes. Stop with the rocking. It sounds like the kind of thing your dad would say if he was trying to be “down with the kids”.

2. “Bang on trend”. It gets bang on our nerves when people say this. Sorry.

3. “Real woman”. Actually, ALL women are real. (Well, with the exception of Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga is actually a figment of the Fashion Police’s imagination.) Imagine that! Thin people are not imaginary! You learn something new every day!

4. Following on from the above: “She needs to eat a sandwich.” Yeah, we get it, some people are skinny. Why is always a sandwich they apparently need to eat, though? Why not a… Big Mac? Or a Chinese takeaway? Or a Cadbury’s Cream Egg?

5. “Edgy”. This is used as a catch-all excuse for everything these days. Got dressed in the dark this morning? That’s OK, just say you’re being “edgy” – everyone will be too busy pretending to ALSO be “edgy” to admit they think you just look like the madwoman from the attic.

Over to you: what are your current pet hates in terms of fashion lingo?

*The Fashion Police admit that they may have used some of these phrases themselves at times. We’re writing ourselves a citation as we speak…

For more fashion you can’t live without visit the Appletiser Blog Awards; celebrating the best fashion, beauty and entertainment blogs. 
  1. Oooh, yes, ‘bang on trend’! My fashion tutor last year was always saying that.

    I don’t much like ‘toughen up your look with…’ just because every item of clothing that either has leather, studs, chunkiness etc. seems to be advertised as such. It’s a valid enough thing to say but I’m sick of it!

    1. Oh God, yes, I hate “sporting” – it’s the kind of thing no one ACTUALLY says in real life. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever heard someome say, “I went out last night – I was sporting my new dress…!”

      Semi-relatedly, I’ve just also remembered that I dislike “teamed” as in “a dress teamed with heels”. I’ve no idea why this bothers me, but it does.

  2. I am SO with you on all those, especially 1 and 3, which I distinctly remember complaining about to myself no more than an hour ago.

  3. “Tranny” anything.
    Really, keep your thinly veiled hatred of non-gender-conforming to yourself.
    The sandwich thing has me ready to claw some eyes out, and ditto on the “real women have curves”. Then what am I, a fata morgana?

  4. “Lust have” is one that magazines use, and it always makes me want to vomit all over the page!

  5. I agree with most of these as well, but I’m ok with “real woman” when referencing women in magazines. As to the air-brushed perfection of most magazines, those women don’t really exist. The models do, but they sure don’t look like that.

  6. My “current girl crush”, referring to someone who suddenly got a new stylist, and somehow looks better than she did a month ago. How can you crush on someone because they are a bit more stylish?

  7. I agree with all of the above. Also “pop of color”. Or that color makes the outfit “pop”. Like you’re going to exploid or something.

  8. I also hate “rocking” and “real women”. Seriously, where did “rocking” come from? It’s so annoying.

    I use “edgy” when I’m being sarcastic. I mostly use it to make fun of scene kids and dark, goffik teenagers who look like they cut their hair with their eyes closed.
    .-= Katie R´s last blog ..Commissions? =-.

  9. The word ‘fierce’ really bothers me. It never used to but now that everyone and their grandmother (literally) says it, it is quite irritating.

  10. I also dislike “working”. As in “She is really working that outfit”. It makes me roll my eyes, like the person is trying too hard.

    And why are ppl referred to as fashionistas? It drives me crazy!

    1. I don’t really mind “fashionista”. To me, it denotes a very particular type of person, i.e. someone who pays a lot of attention to trends, and will wear things *because they are “in fashion”* rather than because they actually look good. All of those editorials that say things like “How are you going to work [lol!] this season’s harem pant trend?” are aimed at “fashionistas”, because they’re the kind of people who actually worry about how they’re going to wear these things, whereas the rest of us just think, “Um, no.”

      I do think fashionista is over-used, though – it tends to be used now to describe anyone who has an interest in clothes or likes to shop, which is defiitely annoying!

  11. As to #4: one of my favorite guys in the world used to endear himself by spotting really thin women and saying “Someone needs to give that woman a cookie.” This was years ago, and I think the cookie seems less hostile than a sandwich.

    1. Haha, it does seem less hostile somehow! I think my problem with “needs to eat a sandwich”, or just thin-bashing in general is that people would never DREAM of making those kind of comments about someone who is overweight. (I’m not saying they should, by the way!) For instance, if I post a picture of Beth Ditto, who probably falls into the “morbidly obese” category, there won’t be one comment saying, “Wow, she needs to eat a few less sandwiches!” or “She should think about hitting the gym!” If I post a picture of Renee Zellweger, though, there will be lots of “sandwich” comments, and general bitchiness. I just don’t understand why it’s apparently OK to bash thin people but not overweight ones (and again, I don’t think we should be bashing either of them – “real” women come in all shapes and sizes).

  12. I really hate when the press refer to clothes and accesories as ‘IT’ for instance ‘this is the current IT bag all celebs are sporting’. It just shows that the celebrities lack originality and only buy it becos they can and it will guarantee them column inches

  13. Not really a fashion thing, more beauty, but I hate it when magazines use the phrase Perfectly Coiffed Quaff, or refer to Taming Tresses. That just really bothers me.

  14. I’m not sure if this is really a ‘fashion saying’, but why did Stacey London stop saying “Shut up!” and start saying “Shut the front door!”? Is “Shut up!” too offensive or something? Because the other saying is getting on my nerves

  15. I hate the “real women” thing too! Some people are thin, naturally or though other methods, and I also hate it when people say that a size zero does not exist normally. Yes it does.

    1. I totally agree. I’m a size 0 and I hate how people constantly tell me I need to eat more, or get healthy. I eat plenty and am perfectly healthy and people always make me feel awful about being skinny, even though it’s natural.

  16. I hate most of those. A lot of fashion terms get on my nerves in general, but I can’t think of any in particular. I do hate the word edgy a lot, just because people think that throwing some random studs on a purse or a pair of shoes automatically adds “edge”. Also “bang on trend”.
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Annoying thing. =-.

  17. I haven’t heard the ‘bang on trend’ one, but it sounds odd and rather annoying.
    This phrase (‘that is the $*&^!’) can be applied to fashion and just about anything else, but when it’s applied to clothing it irks me. IDK. It’s weird. Why would you want crap? 😛
    ‘Rocking’ is like your dorky math teacher saying ‘fo’ shizzle’ or something. xD It made me laugh.
    Otherwise, nothing really comes to mind.

  18. Argh! All of these annoy me now that I think about it.
    But I am guilty of using “pop of colour” and I probably still will use it.
    I think “real woman”, “edgy”, “lust have”, and the expression “toughening up a look” are my most hated.
    I don’t see the appeal of looking tough myself.

  19. I agree with the “real woman” thing. I’m 4’9″ tall and a size 2. So I guess I’m not for real!! T.T

    1. I get tired of the word “sexy” being applied to anything and everything! It is used so much it has become nearly meaningless. Honestly, I think the masses would wear just about anything if they were told it made them “sexy.”

      1. Finally!!! someone else tired of the term ‘sexy’. It’s not just used for fashion. It’s used to describe everything.. laptops, food, TV shows…. and usually by the least sexiest people!! The other term that grates is ‘funky’ especially when people use it to describe themselves – and they ain’t funky.

      1. I agree completely about the whole ‘it’s so incorrect to comment about overweight people, but skinny people are fair game’ issue. I’m 5’6″ and I weigh 100 lbs. I can’t help it and believe me, I eat haha. :) I munch on snacks all day long because my metabolism is fast and so I get hungry all the time. But people somehow feel the need to constantly ask me “Do you eat??” “Doesn’t your boyfriend feed you enough??” “You’re so skinny, you look sick.” What?? Thanks for the rudeness! Glad to know you think I’m incapable of forming good eating habits.
        Also, apparently its totally cool for people to call me Twiggy and String Bean and Stick, but what would happen if I called someone Fatty or Chubs or Piggy?? The “Politically Correct Police” would arrest me in a heartbeat. And I’d probably hurt someone’s feelings. Do skinny people not have feelings?? The worst part is, you can’t even say “Excuse me, that’s a little rude” because people get offended and say they were just trying to compliment you. I’m sorry, but in my world, a compliment means you’re saying something nice. Not something backhanded.
        I’m sorry for the rant!! But the double standards drive me crazy.

        1. Well, I’m blessed enough to be 5’6″ and I love martial arts, so I have thin shoulders and arms. I actually cut my hair short for a play I was in (I was cast as Peter Pan), but I’m astounded by the women that treat my *not even terribly* thin frame as something to whisper at. I’m assuming my lack of hair is partially to blame, but a woman actually approached me at work one day and asked me what kind of cancer I had and told me that I was brave to come out looking like i did. It broke my heart a but. I’m seventeen, five six and one hundred and twenty pounds, but apparently that is physically impossible without having a mortal illness. It’s quite hurtful.

  20. “Boho.” I am so sick of hearing it. Especially since it’s usually used to describe anything slightly ‘hippy-ish,’ paisley, earth coloured, flowing, flowery, beaded…where does it end?!

    1. I think Sienna Miller is to blame for that one! I remember a few years ago when she first started to become famous, I used to use eBay a lot, and absolutely EVERYTHING would be described as “Boho style”, even if it was a business suit – bizarre!

    1. In defence of “inspired by”, I think a lot of the time it’s used rather than “knockoff” because publishers are scared of being sued. I know that’s why I will use “designer inspired”, although I will often put it in inverted commas. For something to truly be a “knockoff” there has to be a an attempt to pass it off as the original item, so if I call something a “fake”, but its manufacturer can prove that it is legal (I think there have to be five points of difference or something), I could get into trouble.

      It does make me smile when the person who made the item talks about how they were “inspired” by Balenciaga or Balmain, or whatever, as if there’s some kind of artistic merit to what they’ve done, or the designer should be flattered by it. We all know they’re just hoping to make some money from it :)

  21. Oh my goodness, I *hate* “bang on trend.” Good call! I’ve also never been a fan of “real woman.” Even as a somewhat rubenesque woman, I wouldn’t assert that smaller or slimmer women don’t exist or are some sort of cylons.

  22. I used to hate the “eat a sandwich” phrase and the other variations when I was very very thin. But now that I’m an average weight, it’s no less annoying, but I do understand where people are coming from. At my current weight I notice all of the comments about a celebrity “gaining weight” or “letting herself go” when really? Usually they’re MY weight. And I’m nowhere near fat at 125 pounds. And these comments come from magazines as well as people in coffee shops. Funny thing is I wasn’t aware of these comments when I wore a size 2. Lately I’ve been watching a few episodes of 90s television, and the difference between the original cast of 90210 and the current cast in weight is really appalling, as well as Eliza Dushku’s transformation from her really hot (and still thin) body from Buffy to her current weight on The Dollhouse. Anyway, all I’m saying is the coin has both sides, and commenting about weight is always uncool.

  23. I hate “sick” used to mean “cool”, as in “Those new shoes are so sick!” Even though I know it’s supposed to be a good thing, I cannot think of the word “sick” to mean anything other than “gross”.

  24. how about “ethnic”? I`m mexican, and I fell that it is a very generic/lazy term to describe stuff!
    They should be able to recognize other cultures insted of label everything as”ethnic”!
    (Excuse my poor english too)

      1. My English boyfriend finds it enormously irritating that here in New Zealand when advertisers want to make something seem sophisticated they refer to it as ‘European’. So we have ‘European inspired’ and ‘European style’. There you go all you ‘Europeans’ – apparently we aspire to be like you!

        Also, I’m hanging my head in shame because I realise I am guilty of ‘rocking’ and ‘edgy’. And although I’ve never said that someone should eat a sandwich I may have said something along those lines, but in my defence it’s normally in reference to someone who has lost a drastic amount of weight and looks unhealthy with it (Courtenay Love I’m talking to YOU!).
        .-= Selina´s last blog ..Revlon Pure Confection collection =-.

  25. I have one that no one has said yet, uber. Uber chic this and uber sick of this uber model blah blah blah.

  26. No offense to Rachel Zoe and her brilliant styling ideas. But I hate I die. Even people who have never seen the show seem to constantly be saying it. Also that’s sick, like I vomited on it. (Unless it’s in a sarcastic tone, but how can we tell that in print, someone needs to invent a sarcastic font)
    .-= Emma Lilly´s last blog ..Celebrating 20 years =-.

  27. My big one is “work back” or “work it back”, as in, “Work back your sequin mini with a man-style blazer”. I cannot express how this irritates me.

  28. For some reason, I really hate the word ‘luxe’. It might be because I’m not sure it’s a word, and it might be because I’m tired of being told to make my ‘look go luxe’ or ‘luxe up my look’ by pairing a £900 silk shirt with some leather trousers. I also object to the phrase ‘fashion-forward’, mainly because I think it is grammatically suspect (as is much of this comment, admittedly!)
    .-= Roisin´s last blog ..Hey, Lieutenant. It’s no good. It’s not gonna work out. I just met this new guy…His attitude is all wrong. "How you doing?" That type of thing. =-.

  29. God, I hate all these words on here, and more! And I’m so pleased I’ve found this thread! Haha! OK, here’s my twopennyworth – I hate it when words such as “trousers” have been turned into the singular… like when they say “a nice heel would go with that trouser” or “she would look great in a size 10 jean”. I’m probably on my own on this one, but I feel better now I’ve vented my little frustration! haha!

    1. No, you’re not alone–I definitely feel you on this one! I hadn’t even thought of that, but that bothers me too. Yech. “Trouser.” Should not be a word. Ever.

  30. the words “chic,” “celebs,” “deets,” or any kind of “abbrev.”

    All I know is most of the time the models in magazines really do look like they need to eat a sandwich or a cookie because they’ve been airbrushed down to a size -50. That’s just not realistic for anybody.
    And nothing makes me angrier when a celebrity gets a tiny bit of a pooch on the belly and the tabloids are screaming PREGNANT?!?!?! as if it’s impossible for a woman to gain any weight ever without being pregnant.

  31. Finally! Someone else who hates the term “edgy”. I hate how everyone is now considered edgy, whether they crop their hair, wear studded heels, or even wear a plaid flannel shirt and harem pants and ballet flats together. And yes, I’ve seen people wearing that combination, describing themselves as “edgy”.

  32. “toughen up the look with…”

    and then it always says something borderline ridiculous and ‘edgy’

  33. I’ve been watching a lot of Project Runway recently and basically 90% of what the terms they use really irritates me. Especially ‘fashion forward’ and making something more ‘edgy’ as well as things that probably shouldnt irritate me but really do like ‘keeping true to my point of view as a designer’ and my ‘aesthetic as a designer’ it’s like they take any excuse to use the word designer and run with it. But in normal fashion terms it’s mainly ‘Bang on trend’ (I’m guess Gok is watched, he’s King of Bang-on-Trend land) ‘Rocking’ ‘working’ and ‘sporting’ are really annoying too. I guess I’m easily irritable.

  34. For me there is a couple of them, first of all “the rocking if is not in a band it should’t be done”, and I’m a big hater of the “IT” frase.
    But my personal number 1 is “VINTAGE”, and don’t get me wrong I love things are diferent and with history, what bother me is the concept: why if something is second hand, or old is cheap, but if you add the damn “VINTAGE” word sudenly it cost a fortune.
    And my other one is more generic, I’m from Spain and it really bother me when people use therms that they really don’t understand just because their read it in a magazine.
    PS:Sorry if my english is not very good.Love your blogs.

  35. My most hated…….FASHION FORWARD. The wankiest phrase ever invented. Followed by ON TREND.that is all.

  36. edgy! lol , it’s just a word to justify horrible outfits! when someone is wearing a weird thing , fashion folks always say ” it’s edgy” or “avant-garde!”. Well it’s not, the right word is ugly. And I agree a leather jacket doesn’t automatically make something edgy.
    Bang on trend : no comment

  37. I hate that some trends these days have the same name as children’s clothing, like booties and rompers, which shouldn’t refer to women’s clothing. And then there’s brogues. Since when are men’s and school marn shoes, fashionable for ladies? I also hate when they say that something was too girly so it needed to be toughened up. We’re girls so there’s nothing wrong with being girly. I also want clogs removed from the fashion list. I am horrified to see them in Chanel’s collection. Coco wouldn’t approve. I may be 1/4 Swedish but I still don’t like them.

  38. I really hate “edgy” as it normally applies to something which isn’t ie an x factor contestant with a daft haircut or shouts when they sing.

  39. I dislike ‘pouring their curves into…’ , its like someone slightly curvy cannot wear a dress they have to pour themselves into it.

This site uses affiliate links which may generate income for the site owner as a result of actions taken when clicked.