Spants, swackets and shooties, oh my!
Debenhams forced to add new words to ‘fashion glossary’ to help staff and shoppers
A pair of skorts, part shorts, part skirts
It may seem like a foreign language but ‘spants’ and ‘swackets’ are flying off the hangers in a High Street store chain.
Department store Debenhams has been forced to add new words to a fashion dictionary it gives to personal shoppers, due to an influx of terms that have emerged from the fashion press.
Terms such as ‘jardigan’ (jacket + cardigan) and ‘treggings’ (trousers + leggigns) are now only understood by shoppers thanks to the glossary.
Debenhams decided to produce the dictionary so that every shopper, both fashion expert and non expert alike, can shop easily and clearly in all of our stores.
The unusual ways of describing clothing have even made the Oxford English Dictionary, include terms such as ‘jeggings’ (jeans + leggings) and ‘mankini’ (man’s bikini) for 2011.
Debenhams spokesperson Ed Watson said: ‘The addition of jeggings and mankini to the Oxford English Dictionary shows our glossary informed the masses and we now need to take it upon ourselves to create clarification once more.’
‘We are still aiming to strip away as much of this new language as possible and use plain English to describe everything we sell.’
‘We believe that these words are only properly understood by approximately five per cent of the population – yet they are commonly used throughout the fashion industry.
‘It’s virtually a secret language, designed solely for fashion experts and people who read fashion magazines on a daily basis.’
A cardigown, (cardigan + dressing gown), left, and shace
The store is encouraging the fashion industry to use existing English words to describe garments rather than these made up amalgamations.
Mr Watson added: ‘Ideally we would like to drop all these amalgamations, but our hands are tied due to the terms being used on search engines.
‘We are committed to keeping their use to a minimum. Hopefully the dictionary will go some way to cleaning up the confusion.’
New fashion dictionary
- Mangrow: Baby grow for men
- Shinos: Short/chinos
- Trogues: Trainer/brogues
- Jorts: Jean/shorts
- Athleisure: Clothes to take you from work to gym
- Spants: Skirt/pants
- Swacket: Sweater/jacket
- Glittens: Mittens that roll back to reveal gloved fingers
Previous fashion dictionary
- Skorts: Skirt/short, shorts with the look of a skirt i.e. culottes
- Mandals: Man/sandals, sandals for men.
- Mackets: Mac/jacket, a cross between a mac and a jacket.
- Shoots: Shoe/boots, not quite a shoe nor a boot but something in between
- Meggings: Male/leggings, very tight jersey trousers for men
‘It is now easier to understand complex calculus than some of the words commonly used by commentators within the fashion industry to describe garments’
Marie Clair, spokesperson for Plain English Campaign said: ‘The world of fashion is reliant on these changing trends, which are often based on little more than classic foundations with clever twists.
These latest words are just existing, familiar words that have been cut and stitched to make nothing more than the ‘Emperor’s new clothes’.
By MAYSA RAWI – 21st September 2011