Category Archives: Glossary

Glossary – Obroni Wawu

Obroni Wawu is a phrase used in Ghana that literally translates as “dead white man’s clothes”.  Many of the clothes donated to charities are sold to Africa, and Ghana is one of the largest purchases of used clothing. However, there is … Continue reading

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Glossary – Scroop

Remember when Rhett Butler comments on Mammy’s new red taffeta petticoat when he hears it rustling? That sound is called ‘Scroop’ and is the distinct crisp, scraping sound made by silk taffeta. The sound is achieved by the silk being … Continue reading

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Glossary – Shivviness

Shivviness (SHIV•ee•ness) The uncomfortable feeling created by wearing new or rough underwear. From the old Yorkshire word ‘shive’ for coarse wool or linen.

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A Century of the Trench Coat

Before 1915 men wore overcoats or raincoats (aka Macs). Overcoats were warm but heavy, and raincoats were light but not warm. The advent of the Great War necessitated a solution to combine the advantages of both styles of coats for … Continue reading

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Glossary – Skeuomorphism

A skeuomorphism (pronounced skyoo-o-morf-izm), is a word created by archaeologist Henry March in 1890 to refer to designs or details that are no longer relevant but still exist. In fashion this can include original design features that are still made, but … Continue reading

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Glossary – Welsh Comb

According to Online Etymology Dictionary, a Welsh comb dates from 1796 and means using your thumb and four fingers to comb your hair. Considering most men had doffed their wigs by the mid 1790s and were sporting their own hair, which … Continue reading

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Glossary – Budgie Smuggler

Originally an Australian slang term for a pair of tightly-fitted briefly-cut Speedo-style men’s swimwear that highlight the male bulge – likening it to what a smuggled budgie might look like. The term appeared shortly after the turn of the millennium – the … Continue reading

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Glossary – Holoku, Muumu, Wrapper, Mother Hubbard

The holoku, as it is known in Hawaii (and its shorter version, the muumuu – which means ‘cut off’), is also known as an ahu tua (empire dress) or ahu mama (granny dress) in Tahiti. Other variations in name exist … Continue reading

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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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