Word of the day: D’orsay Pump

While shoes are a pivotal part of our look, sometimes we forget the exact name of each style. Without knowing the correct name, it could be difficult to tell a sales associate just what you’re looking for. Which brings us to today’s word: D’orsay pump.

d’orsay  \(ˈ)dȯr¦sā, -¦zā\: French word for a pump-type shoe or slipper made with a circular vamp and a quarter that curves to meet the vamp at the shank line; reveals arch of foot.

Usually reserved for more formal styles, the cutout center of a D’orsay shows off just enough of your foot and can help elongate your leg and give you a fresh look that’s just distincitve enough from the classic pump or peep-toe.

Images via neimanmarcus.com

Word of the Day: Ready-to-Wear

If you’ve worked in retail, you’re probably familiar with the term “ready-to-wear” and maybe even the French “prêt-à-porter.” And if not, chances are you find the term self explanatory. But why do we use this term? Isn’t everything we buy ready to wear?

prêt–à–por·ter \ˌpret-ä-pȯr-ˈtā\: French for ready-made clothing; clothing intended for wear with little or no alterations; first known use 1959

Fast, fabulous mass-produced fashions from Forever21

Until the 1920s, most women’s clothing was custom-made at home or by professional tailors and dressmakers. (The U.S. Department of Agriculture didn’t even began collecting women’s body measurements for standard sizing until 1937.) But the improvement of industrial production techniques, the rise of the advertising industry, the growth of the urban professional class, and the development of national markets through chain stores and mail order catalogs caused the ready-to-wear industry to grow and flourish. Ready-to-wear clothing became easier to obtain and replace than custom-made garments. As a result, ready-to-wear clothing became the modern, fashionable choice.

While most of us buy ready-to-wear (RTW) clothing that is mass-produced in factories, the term still contrasts customized haute couture and bespoke clothing. Many of fashion’s most famous houses  produce both RTW and haute couture collections each season, and bespoke men’s suiting remains a respected craft.

Do you have any custom-made clothing, or is your wardrobe strictly ready-to-wear?

Info Source: National Institue of Standards & Technology
Image Source: Forever 21 Blog

Word of the Day: Haute Couture

Haute couture is a term that gets tossed around a lot in the fashion world. Even well-known brands and Web sites, like Juicy Couture and HauteLook, borrow their names from the words. But what is the true meaning of haute couture?

haute cou·ture \ˌōt-ku̇-ˈtu̇r\: the houses or designers that create exclusive and often trend-setting fashions for women

Haute couture is a French word that translates to “high fashion” or “high sewing.” Haute couture is specially made for an individual and typically involves lavish materials and countless hours of work. The  birthplace of haute couture, France protects the term under law and requires designers or houses meet several criteria to qualify as couture. But since the rest of the world doesn’t police the term, you’ll frequently see it used to describe garments and brands that are mass produced. A handful of designers (the likes of Chanel, Valentino, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Givenchy) hold couture shows in Paris each Spring and Fall season. And while the couture industry has struggled over the years, more and more people are working to preserve and promote the craft and its stunning creations.

Image source: Style.com