Published on September 26, 2017 — Leave a comment

thredUPedia: Your Go-To Guide to Secondhand Fashion Words

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Editor’s note: This post was initially published in October 2016. We’ve made some UPdates and are reposting it because ITS OUR BIRTHDAY!!! 


Welcome to thredUP’s fashion dictionary—our find-out-everything guide to secondhand style. Fashion terms, must-know brands, and all our thredUPisms defined.



Ankle Boots: Short boots that hit at or right above the ankle. Possibly the most versatile boot style.

Ann Taylor: An American brand known for its modern, feminine style. Find flattering dresses and skirts, perfect-fitting pants, beautiful blouses, and more.

Athleisure: Combines style elements from gym and studio workouts and applies them to everyday essentials. Although the pieces can be worn for athletic purposes, the styles are generally worn outside the gym and often seen at work, happy hours, and on the couch.

A-line: A dress or skirt that flares out slightly from the shoulders or waist. A classic silhouette, perfect for a professional setting.


#badassmoms: #badassmoms is thredUP’s series where we celebrate amazing women who are defining a new norm. Women who are making modern choices, building a supportive community, and making it happen. Their stories are worth celebrating, and we want to share them with the world.

Betsey Johnson: Best known for her feminine, whimsical styles and cartwheels on the catwalk. Many of her designs are considered eccentric and embellished, inspired by punk rock attitude.

Bomber Jacket: A short, lightweight jacket with a fitted or elastic waist and a zippered front. Also called a flight jacket. Perfect for a tomboy look, or to add playfulness to an outfit.

Blazer: The blazer is one office-to-out staple that every woman should own. Smart, chic, and extremely versatile, it can be paired with denim, black pants, or draped over the shoulders of a casual dress.


Banana Republic: Banana Republic is known for making sophisticated style easy and accessible. Clothes, shoes, and accessories offer clean lines, timeless prints, and classic shapes.

Boat neck: A wider neckline that almost runs shoulder to shoulder. An elegant closet staple, especially as a striped top or casual jersey dress.

Boyfriend jeans: A little bit tomboy, a little bit chic. Boyfriend jeans have a relaxed, loose fit and hang at the hips.

Breton stripes: In the 1800s, all French seaman in Brittany wore the stripes we refer to today as Breton Stripes. An iconic Parisian classic, the Breton-striped top is a must in every cool girl’s closet.


Cashmere: Technically a type of wool, cashmere is a softer, finer fiber that is luxurious and expensive. At thredUP, you can find secondhand cashmere styles for a steal.

Cole Haan: Cole Haan is known for designing high-quality and comfortable (yet super stylish!) shoes that last for years.

Cowl neck: A cowl neck sweater or top is characterized by a neckline that hangs in draped folds.

Consignment: Any item with an initial listing price of $60 or more is considered a consignment item at thredUP and qualifies for a consignment payout. The percentage you will earn is based on the initial listing price of the item. For example, if your dress is initially listed on thredUP for $90, you will earn 60% of the final selling price.

Conscious living: To live your life intentionally. To be aware of your impact, and make decisions that are good for others and the world around us.

Clean Out: The process of cleaning out your closet and selling your like-new items to thredUP. Ask yourself, “Does it fit you today? Do you wear it? Does it bring you joy?” If any of the answers are no, sell it to thredUP and earn a little cash or credit. Make room in your closet for items you really want and love.

Capsule wardrobe: A tight edit of clothes that work together to create multiple outfits. It includes core essentials designed to be worn all year long, supplemented by a few new items or accessories each season.

Crop top: A top cut short to reveal the midriff. Crop tops can be worn with skirts, pants, or shorts and are made in a variety of styles, from long-sleeve tops to those with halter necklines.

Culottes: Women’s trousers that hit right at or below the knee. Culottes tend to have a wide leg and loose fit.

Color collective: A celebration where thredUP honors a specific color (or print) for an entire month.

Clog: A shoe or sandal with a thick wooden sole or base. Known for their comfort and style, clogs are a stylish addition to any wardrobe.


DKNY: Donna Karan’s lower-priced line of off-duty essentials. Think sporty separates, signature jersey dresses, and must-have jeans.

Diane von Furstenberg: Diane von Furstenberg has been transforming women’s fashion since she debuted her first dress design in 1970. Today, the collection includes her signature wrap dress as well as looks for work, weekend, and the red carpet.

Denim: A sturdy, cotton-twill fabric used in jeans, jackets, vests, and dresses. The versatility of denim cannot be overstated, as it literally goes with everything in your closet.

Dot-spotted: When you find “THE ONE” and it’s 90% off retail.


Excellent condition: When a thredUP item’s condition is marked as “excellent,” you just might mistake it for brand new!

Express: Created in the ’80s, Express caters to young, professional women. Reasonably priced and on-trend, Express at thredUP is perfect for a like-new pair of jeans, a sweater, or an LBD.


Free PeopleThe original Free People boutique launched in Philadelphia, and later evolved into today’s Urban Outfitters. The label was revived in 2001 and is known for its modern boho, festival-chic styles.

Front-tuck: Getting that effortless look requires a tad bit of effort. Tuck your shirt in at the front and leave the back loose to draw attention to the waist without making it the focal point.

Flare jeans: Flared jeans are generally fitted along the hips and thighs and gradually widen to a bell shape.

Fabletics: Co-founded by iconic actress and fitness mogul Kate Hudson, Fabletics is a subscription-based, premium activewear brand. Get high-quality and stylish workout clothes on a budget (especially at thredUP—no subscription necessary!).

Fashion cycle: The idea that our wardrobes are ever-evolving. You purchase an item, wear it carefully, and when you’re done with it, you give it a second life by donating it, or selling it to a secondhand shop like thredUP. Make room in your closet for only the styles you wear and love, and that fit you today.

FOMOTB:  Fear of missing out on those $15 Tory Burch flats.


Giorgio Armani: Italian designer Giorgio Armani is known for his clean lines and expertly tailored shapes. Today, his collection includes high-end items that are classic and luxurious.

Guilt-free shopping: Shopping at thredUP, knowing that buying secondhand clothes saves you time and money, and helps the planet.


Gap: Founded in 1969, The Gap offers great denim, everyday basics, and trendy styles at an affordable price. The pieces are simple and casual, designed to be mixed and matched.


H&M: Started in Sweden in 1947 as a women’s apparel boutique, H&M now has 4,100 stores worldwide. H&M is known for producing affordable designs that cater to the latest trends, as well as offering a wide breadth of basics.

Hobo: Hobo handbags are characterized by their crescent shaped upper portion and slouchy structure. These handbags are a bohemian take on a classic leather handbag that will always be in style.


Indigo: Commonly known as a deep, bright blue. Indigo is also used to reference blue jeans.


Jumpsuit: Inspired by ultilitarian work uniforms, jumpsuits have made the leap to the top of the trend charts. Do not be initimidated—as a whole outfit in one piece, jumpsuits are so easy to wear.

Joie: Started in 2001, Joie is a designer brand that offers chic, comfortable clothes for women of all ages. Known for breezy, ultra-feminine pieces, the brand also designs sleek leather jackets and booties.

Joe’s Jeans: LA attitude meets a flawless fit to create the perfect pair of jeans. Since its founding in 2001, Joe’s Jeans has redefined premium denim through its use of high-tech materials and unique sense of style.

J Brand: Known for their flattering fits and timeless styles, J Brand is a mainstay in the premium denim market. Expect clean lines and modern silhouettes with a minimalist sensibility.

J.Crew: One of America’s favorite brands, J.Crew is known for its preppy basics with a twist. Designed by the inimitable Jenna Lyons, whose iconic, tom-girl style inspires millions of women all over the world, you will find chic blazers, classic button-ups, and done-right denim.


Kate Spade: Founded in 1993, Kate Spade is known for ultra-feminine clothing line and playful collection of handbags and accessories. The New York-based company brings together traditional styles with crisp colors and patterns for a look that is charming and witty.


Levi’s: Started in San Francisco, Levi’s pioneered denim and jeans as we know them today. The company created the first pair of Levi’s 501 jeans in the 1890s, a style that went on to become the world’s best-selling item of clothing. 501’s are seeing a resurgence again today, as jean lovers seek authenticity and originality in their denim.

liveUP: At thredUP, we’re proponents of living life with intention and enjoying every moment. To liveUP is to celebrate each day for the gift that it is!

Layering: The art of finding which wardrobe items work best over and under one another—key when you live in a climate where the weather changes on a dime. Some classic layered looks? A button-up under a cable-knit sweater, or a cropped sweater over a slim-fitting maxi dress.

Linen: A material woven from flax. Light and breathable, linen is best for warm weather and is a vacation staple.

Like-new: A secondhand item with little to no signs of usage. Could be mistaken for brand new.

Lilly Pulitzer: It’s always brighter with Lilly Pulitzer. In addition to her signature shift, the Florida designer is known for bringing tropics and bold prints to everyday essentials.

Leather jacket: With its roots dating back to the military, today’s leather jacket is a stylish alternative to standard winter outerwear. Whether it’s a vintage bomber or a moto style, a leather jacket offers warmth and instantly adds a little edge to your look.


Maxi: A skirt or dress that skims the ankles, fully covering the legs. Maxis keep you warm when it’s cool, and let in a breeze when it’s hot.

Madewell: Established in 1937, Madewell was relaunched in 2006 with a collection heavy in denim. Its tomboy-leaning aesthetic also offers a cute range of accessories, tops, bottoms, and shoes.

Mini: A short skirt that hits mid-thigh. To help balance, cover up on top with a cozy sweater or cheeky graphic sweatshirt.

Monochrome: Mono = one. Chrome = color. A color scheme or outfit in black and white, or in varying tones of only one color.

Midi: A skirt or dress with a hem that hits at the calf, between the knee and ankle. Midis are a great alternative to maxi dresses.

Mock neck: A shirt or blouse with a high neck that does not need to be folded down all the way.

Mom jeans: Slightly baggy, high-waisted jeans, usually in a light blue wash. Worn ironically today, worn by our mother’s in the ’70s and ’80s.


New with tags (NWT): Like-new doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been worn. At thredUP, we carry hundreds of styles that are brand new with the tags still on. These items are priced slightly higher than our secondhand styles but they are still a total steal at up to 70% off retail price.


#ootd: Stands for “outfit of the day.” This hashtag is used at the end of a photo caption on social media when mentioning the outfit worn in the image.


Pea coat: A short, double-breasted coat originally made popular by sailors. Usually made from wool or a wool blend, this classic silhouette is a must-own closet staple.

Pencil skirt: A form-fitting skirt that is straight and narrow. Usually with a high waist and a hem that falls just below the knee. Pair with a button-up for polished perfection.

Pendleton: Started by British weaver Thomas Kay, who came to Oregon in 1863, Pendleton is known for blending European weaving skills with Native American patterns. The brand’s most iconic pieces feature their indigenous-inspired designs.

Peter Pan collar: A flat collar with rounded ends that meet at the front. Popularly seen over sweaters and dresses.

Pilcro and The Letterpress: This brand is one of Anthropologie’s most beloved private labels. Even if you don’t recognize the name, you’ll instantly recognize the modern boho style their pieces are know for. Embellished jeans, everyday chinos, and denim jackets.

Pilling: Small bobbles that form on the surface of clothing, usually sweaters. Pilling is a sign of wear. To eliminate, take a razor and gently scrape the top layer of the fabric.

Polka-dotitis: A condition in which loose green polka dots impair vision when attempting to buy brand names at retail price.


Polka-dots: Traditionally, the cyclist in the Tour De France who first reaches the mountain summit is awarded a white jersey with red polka dots. You’ll find polka dots on thredUP Clean Out bags, boxes and envelopes, and all over our HQ because they remind us to strive for excellence while never forgetting the importance of having fun. September 25th is Polka Dot Day, a.k.a. thredUP’s birthday!

Post-thriftism: A new era of thrifting marked by the sudden disappearance of messy racks (a.k.a. Thrifting 2.0).



Quality: The durability of a garment. The higher the quality, the likelier the piece is to last and become a mainstay in your wardobe. Quality is just one of the things we look for when determining if a garment is good enough for us to sell.


Roll-scrunch: To roll your sleeves and then scrunch them up, so you appear effortlessly casual and cool.

Resale: As opposed to retail, resale items are secondhand or used. The act of selling an item again, usually to a new party. All items on thredUP are resale.

Rebecca Minkoff: Rebecca Minkoff is an award-winning New York-based designer known for handbags, accessories, and apparel. Her aesthetic makes luxury accessible and blends downtown edge with romantic whim.


Sale-chosis: When your secondhand obsession goes a little too far. Always splurge responsibly.

Splurge vs. save: The concept of splurge vs. save is knowing when it’s a good time to invest in a classic item that will stand the test of time, and when to spend a little less on a fun and trendy item.

Shift: Not to be confused with a sheath, a shift is a short, sleeveless dress that hangs straight down from the shoulders without a defining waist.

saveUP: Living life to the fullest on a budget. Being conscious of time and money, and knowing when to splurge and when to save.

#secondhandfirst: Tagline or catch-phrase for thredUP, supporting the idea of shopping secondhand over buying new retail items.

Splendid: Splendid offers luxurious, soft, and colorful basics perfect for everyday living. Think layerable tees, cozy knitwear, and casual dresses.

Secondhand: Clothes or other items that have been used by at least one previous owner. At thredUP, all of the secondhand styles we carry are in like-new condition.

Secondhand Syndrome: What you catch after scoring your first secondhand find at thredUP.


styleUP: Look good, feel good. thredUP gives you the opportunity to styleUP, a place a “Gap girl” can become a “J.Crew girl.” It also means all the ways you can fashion one item and get the most out of its wear.

Socially conscious: Defined as consciousness shared by individuals within a society. As it relates to thredUP, we think of it as being aware that our shopping choices and actions as consumers can make a significant impact on society and the world we live in.

Sheath dress: A close-fitting dress that skims the body and typically falls to the knee or just below.


Trench coat: Made iconic by the hardboiled detectives and mysterious leading ladies of Film Noir, the trench coat is a versatile and flattering classic. This wardrobe must goes with skirts and jeans alike, and works in weather both dry and wet.

Thrill of thrifting: A release of dopamine into the brain upon realizing you’ve just landed a serious sartorial steal. Think Prada flats for way, way less than retail. Score.


Tote: A large handbag that can fit a shockingly large amount of items (a “Mary Poppins” bag, if you will). Perfect for the office or a weekend outting.

Theory: The work uniform earns a makeover thanks to Theory’s modern take on tailoring. Innovative fit and attention to detail transform everyday essentials into pieces that are trendy yet timeless.

Thrift-o-phrenia: When you can’t decide between the $23 Kate Spade handbag and the $15 Tory Burch flats so you buy them both.

Thrifty: Staying mindful of your shopping habits by purchasing secondhand or finding a great deal on like-new clothing.

Think secondhand first: We are inspiring a generation to use less, live consciously, and discover the magic of shopping secondhand.

Trend: Trends are new styles or fashion directions introduced each season by designers or influencers. Although they often come and go, some trends live longer or cycle back after a few years.

Treasures: All the amazing steals you find at thredUP. They feel like treasures because when you find one-of-kind styles from your favorite brand (in your size!), it feels like you’ve hit the jackpot.

Top-handle: A compact-sized, ladylike handbag with just enough room for the necessities. With an elegant top handle carry and structured shape, this style is perfect for confident women on-the-go.


Unboxing: The process of opening a thredUP box and the amazing sensation you feel after you unwrap each item in your order.

#UPwithlove: This hashtag represents all the love we receive from our customers about their positive experiences with thredUP. We love to post our customer’s stories and thoughts on our social channels. Send yours today!


Vince: Created in 2002 in Los Angeles, Vince is known for sophisicated basics. Made to last, Vince sweaters, dresses, and pants are life-long, wardrobe staples.


Wool: Material made from the coat of a sheep, goat, or similar animal. Heavy and warm, wool is perfect for cold temperatures to keep you warm and cozy.

Wide-leg pants: A relaxed silhouette that fits loose through the thigh and leg. Best worn with a slim, tucked-in top to define the waist.


XXI: Forever 21 is a Los Angeles-based, fast-fashion retailer that stocks new styles every week. Look for trendy pieces, low-price basics, and affordable accessories. Shop Forever 21 secondhand (and guilt-free) at thredUP!


Yoga pantsDesigned to be worn during an excercise class, these athlesiure pants have become a weekend staple thanks to the popularity of brands like Lululemon, Nike, and Athleta.


Zara: Founded in Spain in 1975, Zara has become a leader in trend-driven clothing for women and kids. The one-stop shop is known for making edgy designs at an accessible price.