Phraseology after a fashion

Our maven examines terminology from the runway and wonders: Is "banana heel" such a good combination of words?
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Clockwise from top left: trapeze top, banana heel, shelf bra, kitten heel, skort, and bubble skirt.

Our maven examines terminology from the runway and wonders: Is "banana heel" such a good combination of words?

Occasionally, while doing research for my business (aka reading fashion rags), I come across fashion terms that make me laugh/snort/chuckle. I love fashion and have spent a lifetime appreciating and deprecating trends accordingly, but even I can find the humor in it. Not only is it fun to see the outrageous fashions that come down the runway, it's also entertaining to see the fashion industry try to coin terminology that is descriptive yet enticing to the consumer.

Here are some of my favorite current fashion terms that fell a little short in the enticement area:

Banana Heel: The heel of a women's shoe that angles from the back forward. If the Marx Brothers are any indication, it seems like a generally bad idea to incorporate anything banana into footwear.

Bubble Skirt: A voluminous skirt the hem of which is tucked back under to create a "bubble effect" at the bottom. Question: Do women really want to wear a piece of clothing that covers their derrière and has the word "bubble" in the name? Answer: Not so much.

Flip Flop: A beach sandal with a thong between the big and second toe. Also, the actual sound you hear if someone tries to run down the stairs while wearing a pair of these; usually followed by a thud.

Kitten Heels: Women's shoes with a small, approximately one-inch heel made popular by style icon Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s. It just sounds mean. Poor kitty.

Shelf Bra: A piece of material with elastic along the bottom sewn inside a top to add (mostly theoretical) support. "So that's where I left my breasts! I never would have thought to look on that shelf down there."

Skort: This is a short skirt that has shorts "hidden" underneath. Perfect for the playground, but it sounds too much like its dorky cousin, the "spork," to be taken seriously.

Trapeze Top: A top that is fitted at the shoulders and much fuller at the bottom. I would say that the low probability of this being a flattering style leaves most people swinging in the fashion circus without a net – splat.


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