A fashion Dictionary

A fashion Dictionary

This blog page is where we will be sharing fashion industry terms, words and phrases. It may seem like useless information to some because you already know some of the terminology but it’s all just meant to be fun…you won’t be tested on it..!

First up is something that is asked by many of you – What is the difference between Prêt-à-Porter and Haute-Couture?


The term ‘haute-couture’ comes from the French words ‘high sewing’ or ‘high dressmaking’. Haute-Couture is of highest quality and highest prices, these garments are made to measure for an individual client both in size and style. In Paris these exclusive ‘pieces of art’ have to have the approval of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture according to French law because there are certain standards to meet. There are as few as 15 Haute-Couture famous designers in Paris. They will ensure that their private clients are wearing impeccably tailored, made-to-order dresses and evening gowns. Dior and Chanel meet the criteria for the Parisian Chamber of Commerce.

The term Haute-Couture is often used generally to describe custom-made high end fashion items and occasion wear.


‘Prêt-à-Porter’ is a French term for Ready-to-Wear. These garments are of high quality and factory made fashion. The pieces are not made by a tailor and not necessarily mass produced but are made in a wide variety of sizes. The ready to wear collections are available to a broader customer base, you will find these high-end pieces in shops and boutiques.

Haute Couture inspires designers of ready to wear collections, who create a couture look which is more suitable to larger production and at a more affordable price. You may also often hear the more casual term ‘Off-the-Rack’, still meaning that the pieces are readily available and not made to an individuals specific requirements.

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