Category Archives: Glossary

Glossary – Blue Monday

Bluing is a laundry additive that makes whites appear whiter – an optical illusion that has been employed since at least the 17th century and can still be found as little blue specs in many modern laundry detergent powders. The … Continue reading

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Glossary – Pussycat bow

It took me a while to figure out what all the recent hubbub was regarding pussycat bows. Suffice it to say that Donald Trump was caught on film years ago referring to grabbing a woman by an anatomical synonym that also … Continue reading

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Glossary – Parfilage (drizzling)

As Rococo taste became ever more fantastic in the late 18th century, the cost of brocaded silks and metallic embellishments became prohibitive. And so it became the fashion in France for wealthy women, equipped with tools including a stiletto, knife, … Continue reading

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Glossary – Koumpounophobia

Koumpounophobia is the fear of buttons. From the modern Greek koumpi ‘to button up’. About 1 in every 75,000 people have it. It’s not a dreaded fear that leaves people incapacitated in their presence but it does cause those inflicted with … Continue reading

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Glossary – Jigger button

Double-breasted jackets and coats have an overlapping front that close with an arrangement of two or more buttons sewn in parallel. To strengthen the fastening, an inner-button, called a jigger (or anchor), is usually added to fasten the under-lapped side of … Continue reading

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Glossary – Size Zero

For such a recent term, there are already apocryphal stories about its origin including that it was invented for Twiggy. The truth is that it first appeared in about 2000. American designer Nicole Miller is credited with its first use by … Continue reading

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Glossary – Canadian Tuxedo?

I don’t think most Canadians have ever heard of this reference but apparently Americans call an outfit consisting of denim jacket and jeans a ‘Canadian Tuxedo’ — I think we are being insulted! There is a story that may be … Continue reading

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Glossary – Brand Generics

Fashion often borrows brand names for generic use: A ‘Onesie’ is an infant bodysuit made by Gerber; ‘Chucks’ are basketball sneakers first made by Converse in 1932; A ‘Windbreaker’ is a summer-weight jacket made by the Rissman company of Chicago; A … Continue reading

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Glossary – Mukluk

The term ‘mukluk’ is derived from the Inupiat word ‘maklak’ which means ‘Bearded Seal’ – a type of seal with thick skin that has been traditionally hunted for its hide to make hard soles with turned up sides (to keep out … Continue reading

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Glossary – Daggle-tail

DAGGLE-TAIL As a verb, to daggle means “to befoul” or “dirty”, specifically with dust and mud. The adjective daggle-tail describes someone with their skirt’s hem defiled with dirt. As a noun, a daggle-tail is a slovenly woman. Websters dictionary, 1913

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