What I Wore: A Fashion and Personal Style Blog

WhatIWore: I’m a sucker for word origins and etymology. And you can count Costume History I & II among my favorite classes from college. Almost everything we wear today has a story behind it. Hence - Fashion Facts!

A lot of every day items get their names from the person who invented them or popularized their use. Wellies are no exception.  We now use the term to describe rubber rain boots, but initially the boots were a leather, low heel, mid calf style that the Duke of Wellington (supposedly also the man behind our favorite red meat dish - Beef Wellington) had custom made.  Eventually they were made in rubber and the rest is history!

Read more at: Wikipedia (main source), WellingtonBoots.org, BBC.org, Wellie-Boots.com

25 Jan 2011

What I Wore:

I’m a sucker for word origins and etymology. And you can count Costume History I & II among my favorite classes from college. Almost everything we wear today has a story behind it. Hence - Fashion Facts!

Of all the fashion words I hear mentioned, nothing seems more misused than couture.  I’ve always thought it implied custom made women’s clothing, but there’s actually a lot more to it than that.

First, let’s look at the word originwhich has it’s first documented use in 1908. It comes from the Old French word cousture, meaning to sew, which trickled down from the Latin consutus/consuere - suere also meaning sew. 

So what?  I kept reading and found that couture isn’t just about sewing, it’s actually a sanctioned part of the French government and has the following guidelines:

  1. Must be shown as a collection, twice a year.
  2. The atelier (or workroom) must employ at least 15 people
  3. There must be at least two fittings with the client. 

Even though I’d love to believe the custom dresses my mom made for me as a little girl were classified as couture, sadly, they are not.

Custom fitted garments made exclusively for the client, in an atelier, by highly skilled designers and seamstresses, from a House that shows at least twice a year and has received the distinction of the French government?  Definitely couture.

Sources: Merriam-Webster, Wikipedia
Images: Dior Couture, Spring 2010, Style.com


Fashion Fact, denim, Serge de Nimes, origin of Denim

WhatIWore:

I’m a sucker for word origins and etymology. And you can count Costume History I & II among my favorite classes from college. Almost everything we wear today has a story behind it. Hence - Fashion Facts!

Today’s fashion fact was tipped off to me by my friend Meg.  Many of us consider denim and jeans to be very American, but denim actually gets it’s name from Nîmes, France where it was originally made. 

More Information: Wikipedia, Trivia Library, Discovery News

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