French Fashion Terms You Should Know

The French not only gave us Coco Chanel who revolutionized the face of fashion, as well as some of our fave luxurious brands (Louis Vuitton and Hermes to name a few), but also allowed us to steal some fashionable terms from their romantic language. Update your style lingo with some trendy terms and phrases coined from the French language.



(Pronounced: sheek)

One of the most commonly used words to describe style and elegance, this term dominates our style vocabulary like no other. After all, who doesn’t want to look très chic?


Haute couture

(Pronounced: oht ko-too r)

It literally means high sewing or design and refers to custom-made clothes. You’ve probably seen the most haute couture gowns on the red carpet worn by starlets specially designed and tailored for them with unimaginable price tags.



(Pronounced: der-ri-ere)


If it weren’t for the French, how else would we describe JLo’s enviable bottom? Trust them to come up with a classy word for one’s behind!


Femme Fatale

(Pronounced: fem fuh-tahl)

The French gave us a word to describe those women to fall for at your own risk. If it weren’t for them, how else would we describe a gorgeous, mysterious seductress who leads you to danger?


Au Naturel

(Pronounced: Oh nach-ah-rel)

Going natural is always in. Au naturel is that look when you have minimum makeup on and still look pretty fantastic. There are some people though, who put on loads of makeup to try and achieve that perfect ‘natural’ look.


Faux Pas

(Pronounced: fo-pa)

You know those disastrous, sometimes tacky fashion blunders people make? We have the French to thank for coining the phrase for it. We probably wouldn’t have a name for all the entertainment caused by celebrity fashion faux pas.


A La Mode

(Pronounced: a la mohd)

Nothing short of fabulous, this term basically means oh so fashionable! What every style seeker aims to be, is what the French define as a la mode.


-Priyanka Ghura

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