"fashionable dressmaking or design" (short for haute couture), 1908, from French couture, literally "dressmaking, sewing," from Old French costure (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *consutura, from past participle of Latin consuere "to sew together," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see com-) + suere "to sew" (from PIE root *syu- "to bind, sew"). Used as a collective term for "women's fashion designers." At first a French word in English; it came down out of italics 1940s.
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