Fashion in Japanese English / ファッションの和製英語


Japanese has something called wasei eigo (和製英語, literally “Japanese-made English”), which means words that seem to be English (eigo), but are not. These words came from English originally, but the meaning has been changed to a distinctly Japanese meaning.

Today’s wasei eigo theme is fashion (a topic near and dear to my heart)!

Free Size / furii saizu / フリーサイズ

Free size means one-size-fits-all. Sizes are different in Japan than in the US, and one size fits all is also slightly different. Japanese sizes run small, so Japanese free size is smaller than one size fits all in the US.


“You often hear, ‘Free size is not free‘ But from what size to what size actually is free size?” or “You often hear, ‘One-size-fits-all does not fit all.’ But what size range is one size fits all?”

*American sizes are about 5 times bigger than Japanese sizes. So, although free size may not quite be an American L, the American one-size-fits-all is probably at least bigger than a Japanese LL (equivalent of an XL).

Order Made / oodaa meido / オーダーメイド

It’s order made and not “order maid” (these can sound the same in Japanese pronunciation), and it refers to custom made or made-to-order items. This can refer to things outside the fashion world, such as furniture, but also clothing and accessories (gloves, socks, etc.)


“For my wedding, I ordered an order made suit.” or “For my wedding, I ordered a tailor made suit.”

One Piece / wan piisu / ワンピース

One piece is a woman’s dress in English. It comes from one-piece dress, or a dress consisting of a single piece (not a separate blouse and skirt).


“If you are looking for a fashionable one piece, here it is.” or “If you are looking for a fashionable women’s dress, here it is.” (From a website advertising women’s clothing)

G Pan / jii pan / ジーパン

What is a g pan? It’s short for jean pants, or jeans in English. Cute, right?


“In terms of g pan, Levi’s are good, don’t you think?” or “Levi’s are the best jeans, don’t you think?”


Try out these phrases to add a little flair to your Japanese!

Do you know any other wasei eigo words or phrases about fashion? Let me know in the comments!





英語で、フリーサイズは one size fits all と言います。大体、アメリカで one size fits all だったら、普段の洋服より大きいになります。アメリカ人の男の人は身長も体も大きいのでフリーサイズも大きく。


“You often hear, ‘One-size-fits-all does not fit all.’ But what size range is one size fits all?”

*アメリカのone size fits allは日本のLLより大きいはずです。アメリカのサイズは日本のより5倍くらい大きいらしいです。


オーダーメイドは英語で custom made か tailor made の意味です。洋服だけではなくて、家具とか色々なオーダーメイドな商品でも使えます。


“For my wedding, I ordered a tailor made suit.”


ワンピースは英語で dress と言います。ワンピースって聞いたら、ピザの一枚(one piece of pizza)とかお菓子の一個(one piece of candy)という意味に聞こえます。


“If you are looking for a fashionable women’s dress, here it is.”

G Pan / jii pan / ジーパン

英吾でもソフトスキルっていう言葉聞いたことがありますが、people skillsの言い方は普通です。


“Levi’s are the best jeans, don’t you think?”



4 thoughts on “Fashion in Japanese English / ファッションの和製英語

  1. Your list is already perfect, I can only think of パンティストッキング, which was strange for me at first because I had to learn the British English tights at school. And maybe of ワイシャツ, Japanese love to shorten words way too much, it confuses me all the time. xD

    And when I think of free-size, I always think that the clothes are “free of size”.


    • It’s been so long since I’ve heard パンティストッキング (panty stocking)… I think in high school we learned it? I’ve never used it in conversation! I always think of ワイシャツ (y-shirt) as a shirt with a collar shaped like a “Y” – although it is just a dress shirt. Thanks for reading ^^


  2. Interesting!

    You will think it’s silly but Gpan may sound old fashion today. Those who are in ‘fashion’ would say denim (デニム) or jeans (ジーンズ) etc. How do I call them? Oh please don’t ask me about fashion! (>_<)


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