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Debenhams reveals new fashion language excludes some shoppers


Debenhams has issued a new dictionary to help shoppers understand the latest clothing terms.

The high street store has taken the unusual step because no one understands the plethora of new descriptions and phrases emerging from the fashion industry.

While newly made up words such as shacket and treggings are instantly understood by clothing industry insiders, they’re leaving the public baffled, says the store.

Debenhams spokeswoman Lizzie Singleton said: "It’s now easier to understand Sanskrit than some of the words commonly used by commentators within the fashion industry to describe garments.

The dictionary will translate fashion phrases such as:
 Shacket (Shirt/Jacket) Jacket of shirt like appearance.
Tregging (Trouser/Legging) Leggings of trouser like appearance.
Jeggings (Jean/Leggings) Leggings with jean like qualities.
Coatigan (Coat /Cardigan) Cardigan with a coat appearance.
Cardigown (Cardigan/Dressing Gown) Cardigan, usually long and belted like a cardigan.

Lizzie Singleton continued: "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 spend every day reading fashion magazines.”

“We’ve 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. However, we are also urging the fashion industry to use existing English words to describe their garments rather than made up amalgamations.”

Marie Clair, spokesperson for Plain English Campaign said: “Anything that helps to make sense of fashion is a good thing. Just like the Debenhams’ buying guides, the dictionary aims to give shoppers clear and concise information and could be a contender for one of our plain English awards in December.”

Other new words commonly used by the fashion industry include:
Skorts (skirt/short) shorts with the look of a skirt i.e. culottes.
Mandles (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.
Mace (male lace)
Mankinis (male/bikini) skimpy swimwear for men championed by Borat.
Jombats (jegging/combats) tight combats of jegging quality.
Tankini (tank/bikini) cross between a bikini and a tank top for a more modest swim option.
Skousers (skirt/trousers) trousers with an attached skirt.
Blurt (blouse/skirt) all in one blouse and skirt combo.
Jardigan (jacket/cardigan) a thick jacket like cardigan that requires no coat on top.
Whorts (winter shorts) thick, often wool based shorts, normally worn with tights in winter.
Mubes (maxi tube dress)
Watch let (watch/bracelet) a bracelet which includes a time telling decorative element.

About Debenhams:
Debenhams is a leading department stores group, and has a strong presence in key product categories including women’s fashion, handbags, women’s shoes, dresses for parties, homeware and children’s wear with a number of Debenhams deals also on offer.

PR contact:
Lizzie Singleton
Debenhams Press Office Assistant
33 Wigmore Street
0207 529 0121


 Women’s fashion
 women’s shoes
 dresses for parties

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