Fashion words and phrases we love to hate

Many long years ago (well, in 2009. Which is long enough to count as “vintage”, according to some eBay sellers we could mention…), we wrote a post on the five fashion phrases we hated at the time. Looking back on that post now, all we can think is, “Why did we stop at five?” There are so many annoying and over-used words and phrases in the world of fashion, and lots of new ones have been coined since 2009, so we figured it was time to update the list and give you some new fashion words to hate. In order to do this, we consulted The Oracle: or, as you might know it, “Twitter“. Here are the fashion words and phrases that are most annoying our Twitter friends right now…and we can’t promise we’ve never used any of them ourselves…

Amazeballs, totes amaze and other annoying fashion words and phrases

Real Woman

We put this one at the top of the list, not just because it came up a few times on Twitter, but because it’s our own number one pet peeve. This isn’t solely a “fashion” thing, but in the media/world in general for a few years now, the phrase “real woman” has been used to refer to anyone with “curves”. (Which is actually annoying in its own right: not all larger figures are “curvy”….) Listen up, people: large women are not any more REAL than small women. WE ARE ALL REAL WOMEN.This could – and quite possibly SHOULD – be a post in itself, so we’ll stop there for now, but please, we beg of you: stop insulting everyone’s intelligence with the implication that there is only one “right” weight/bodyshape out there, and that anyone who doesn’t meet this implied standard is somehow not REAL.

Amazeballs/ Totes Amaze

We lumped these two together because we figured out that really any usage of the non-word “amaze” would annoy us just a little. We mostly hear “amazeballs” used ironically (although not always), but “totes amazes” has plagued the fashion world for a while now. It’s totes annoying.

Bang on Trend

This was on our previous list, but it’s still being used, and it still gets “bang” on our nerves, so it made it onto this one, too. Congratulations, “bang on trend”: an oldie, but a baddie!

From the amazeballs @dolly_clackett come the following additions to our annoying fashion words and phrases list…

Twitter conversation about annoying fashion words and phrases

Pop of Colour

So overused is this phrase that it sometimes feels there must be no other possible way to describe the addition of a brightly coloured accessory to an otherwise monochrome outfit. It’s a pop of annoyance in an otherwise inoffensive article.


For some people, shopping is like hunting. “I went to J. Crew and totes managed to snag the last one in my size!” they’ll say. Those brave, intrepid souls. And when they return from the hunt, they often return with a…


You’ve all seen “haul” videos, haven’t you? They’re when girls go to Primark and return with bags full of stuff, which they then parade in front on the Internet in the form of a You Tube video. Some people find these “hauls” an interesting insight into other people’s lives and shopping habits, in the same way that a glance inside someone’s handbag or fridge can tell you something about their personality. Others find them to be nauseating displays of conspicuous consumption. Would it be any better if they just called it “shopping”, rather than describing it as a “haul”? We’ll leave that up to you to decide.

On the subject of Primark, however:

awesomesauce, and other fashion phrases people hate


We’ve never really been sure whether people call Primark “Primarni” because they think it’s funny, or because they think it makes it sound “posher”. Possibly a bit of both. We’d dwell on this for longer, but…


Awesomesauce. Awesome. Sauce. Awesome. Sauce. The more you say it, the stranger it sounds…


In order to get the full impact of this one, it really has to be written as OBSESSED, and used in relation to an item of clothing. “Do you like my new dress?” “OMG OBSESSED.” Look, punks, you’re not “obsessed” with a dress. “Obsessed” is when you think about something all day, every day, pin posters of it to your wall, join its fan club, and maybe indulge in a bit of gentle stalking of it at the weekend. It’s also when you find yourself on the wrong end of a restraining order. If you feel all that over a dress/shoe/top/whatever, then… you probably didn’t even read this far, did you? You’re probably thinking about that dress again…


Everyone’s a geek these days, aren’t they? “Oh, lookit me, checking my iPhone again: I’m such a nerd!” “I was totally geeking out over that TV show that everybody and their cat watches: tee hee, I’m such a dork!” Listen. You are not a “geek” just because you have a pair of Warby Parker glasses. You’re not a nerd because you play a lot of Candy Crush Saga, or watch the same mainstream TV show that everyone else is currently “obsessed” (see above) with. And you’re definitely not a “dork” just because it says so on your shirt:

man in dork t-shirt

Not a dork.

 Ironically, identifying yourself as a nerd/geek/dork has become so trendy over the past few years, that the original meanings of those words has been completely changed. Everyone wants to tell you how much of a “geek” they are. The fact is, though, that if you go around constantly declaring yourself to be “OMG such a nerd!”… you’re probably not a nerd. If you have to say it, you ain’t it. So stop telling us you’re nerds, you bunch of dorks. Seriously.

But seriously… we don’t really “hate” fashion words

In closing, we should probably make it clear at this point that we don’t actually HATE words. That would be silly. And if you happen to use any of these words or phrases, then please rest assured that we don’t hate you either, because that would be even sillier (especially given that we’ve almost certainly used some of them here at some point). You are totes amaze, you see, and we’re, like, OBSESSED with how much of a nerd you are. Also, have you been working out? And did we mention how GORGE your hair looks today? No, seriously: as always, our tongues are firmly inserted in our cheeks with this list, and no offence is intended, so please don’t take it personally. And before you go, tell us:

Which fashion words and phrases do YOU hate?

(Thanks to everyone on Twitter who made suggestions for this post!)

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