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Here Are 3 Commonly Misused Fashion Terms - Ensemble, Contrast, Distressing

June 08, 2020 | by bolu | 0 Comments

Knowing the right fashion words to use as a fashion entrepreneur is very important, as it assures the client of the brand, as well as the designer. 

We have looked at some words in the fashion glossary which are commonly misused by fashion entrepreneurs, such as Mélange, Bespoke, Avant-garde, and many more. Now, what does it mean when a fashion designer creates an ensemble? Or when the elements of contrast and distressing are used in designing?

Let's take a look at those terms and how they should be used.


A fashion ensemble is regarded as the full outfit of clothes worn at the same time, especially of matching clothes. An ensemble is the pairing together of an outfit with accessories like bags, shoes, and jewelry to achieve a complete look.

Unlike when an outfit, perhaps ready-to-wear, is purchased by a client and the full look is left to the imagination of the client, an ensemble shows the right accessories that would blend with the outfits. And this gives the client an idea of the perfect accessories for the outfit, to play around with them in the future.


In fashion designing, contrast refers to the arrangement of opposite elements, such as light and dark colours; rough and smooth textures, or even large and small shapes to create a uniquely defined look. Fashion designers should be able to understand the concept of color contrast when designing to highlight a client's features and important details.

For fabrics also, a contrast fabric is a term used in sewing that refers to a fabric piece that is made from a different fabric than the main one, usually contrasting colours.


In fashion designing also, distressing is a fabric surface treatment that makes the fabric appear faded or wrinkled as if it has been in use for a long time.

It is this treatment that is applied to denim material to give ripped or rugged-looking jeans. Distressed T-shirts, sweaters, shoes are becoming quite popular in the contemporary fashion scene, so fashion designers can pair this fabric with other ones to give it a unique and trendy look.

How These Words Should Be Used

Fashion designers can present an ensemble without including the wearer to talk about how the complete outfit can be rocked by clients, depending on their body shapes, or physique. A fashion ensemble is a complete outfit that just needs to be worn by the client alone, while an outfit still had to be paired with other elements to form a complete look.

For an outfit to be regarded as a contrasting one, it needs to have contrasting colours, such as black and white, or contrasting textures, such as using thread motives and patterns on a silken gown. 

An outfit is a distressed one only if it gives the impression that it has been in use for many years.

So there you have it, some of the words that can be infused in your fashion business!


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