Chichi – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a term to describe a person who’s always on top of the latest fashion trends? You could say they are “chichi” to explain how they stay ahead of trends. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression “chichi” refers to a very trendy person and up to date on developments in the fashion industry. They dress like influencers on social media, and they read the latest fashion magazines and websites to stay up to date on current trends.

Being “chichi” can also refer to an air of sophistication around someone. They may act like they are of a higher class than everyone else and treat other people like they are beneath them. It’s similar to snobbish but without arrogance.

If a person is chichi, they are fussy about what they wear and eat. They may only like dressing in leading brands like Gucci, or they may only want to dine at the latest, trendiest restaurants in the city. If you have a chichi friend, she has expensive tastes, and she always looks perfect wherever she goes.

It describes someone as a trendsetter and someone that other people look up to when making cultural decisions.

Example Usage

“Look at Mia. She’s so chichi. She follows all the European trends, and she knows how to dress. I wish I had the same fashion sense like her.”

“Tell me, how do you manage to be so chichi? You’re always ahead of the trends, and you have such a unique look.”

“I’d say that she’s very chichi. She does her best to look great every day, and she’s always onto the latest design trends.”

“That Gucci bag is so chichi. I wish I had the money to afford it, but things are tight financially right now. Maybe I’ll check out something else.”

“This event is so chichi. It’s got amazing lighting, the table dressings are fantastic, and the decorations are perfectly contemporary.”

“Is there any way you could be more chichi? I mean, you follow all the magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair, and you constantly flip through social looking for the next trend.”

“That’s so chichi, Cindy. I love how you can mix and match your wardrobe to make every outfit look unique. I wish I had your creativity.”


The expression "chichi" originates from the French word "chichi," meaning "a rustling. The word's first use appeared in 1870, possibly mimicking the rustling of a woman's dress.

The expression received widespread use from a French play of the same name. The earliest use of the phrase in English appeared in 1876, which means "fussy details."

Language experts are unsure how the term spread into everyday use in popular culture. However, the Urban Dictionary first defined the word in 2003 as a slang term for a Latin woman's breasts.

Phrases Similar to Chichi

  • Dressed to the nines.
  • Looking like a million bucks.
  • Trendy and hip.
  • In the know.

Phrases Opposite to Chichi

  • Derelict.
  • Boomer.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Chichi.

Ways People May Say Chichi Incorrectly

Chichi can also refer to an anime character from the “DragonBall Z” franchise. Chichi is one of Goku’s girlfriends and the subject of many memes online. While Chichi is a popular character and DBZ is a well-known anime franchise, using it to define someone as trendy or chic is the more common use of the term.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Chichi

You can use the term “Chichi” when you’re referring to someone that’s chic. They look like they follow the latest fashion trends, and they use the current buzzwords and slang in language that makes them look hip and cool.

The phrase suits professional and social use. You could use it at work to describe a well-dressed employee that takes care of herself and follows fashion trends. Or you could use it to describe one of your friends with similar values.

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