Glossary A-Z of Fashion Terms
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A-line
A dress or skirt that is narrower at the top and gradually flares out to a wider hemline, resembling the letter A. This style works well on most figure types; ideal for disguising bottom heavy figures.
Acrylic
Synthetic manufactured fabric that is soft and wool-like. Acrylic is usually found in winter garments such as sweaters and dresses.
Appliqué
Fabric that has been cut and applied to another fabric or garment in order to decorate the material usually sewn or attached with adhesive.
Asymmetric
A dress, top, or sweater with one shoulder strap or sleeve. The other shoulder is bare. Hemlines are often diagonal.
Babydoll
A top or dress with an empire waist (directly under the bust) and an A-line bodice. Can be short sleeved or sleeveless.
Bandeau
A band shaped strapless covering for the bust.
Boatneck
A narrow neckline that is open shoulder to shoulder.
Bodice
The upper part of a dress or top.
Bolero jacket
A short jacket with long sleeves.
Boot cut
Also called bootleg. A pant or jean style that is tapered to the knee and very subtly flares out to accommodate a boot to be worn under the pant.
Broomstick
A skirt or a dress that is distinguished by numerous pleats and material that is pleated.
Burn-out
A technique of destroying a layer of fabric to create a patterned effect and generally results in a sexy sheer look.
Bustier
A garment similar to a corset that is close-fitting, usually strapless, and may be made from highly ornamental fabric.
Camisole
A top or dress with spaghetti straps that can be worn alone or as a layering piece.
Capri pants
Calf length women’s pants.
Cap sleeve
A very short sleeve that extends to just over the shoulder to give that touch of sexy femininity.
Cardigan
A sweater or jacket that opens down the front.
Cargo style
Pants or jeans with pockets on the side of the leg.
Chiffon
A light, sheer fabric typically made of nylon, silk, or rayon.
Cinched waist
A feature in a garment that tapers narrowly at the mid-section, accentuating the curves of the body.
Cold shoulder
A top with cut out shoulders.
Color blocking
Strategically placed contrasting colors paired together on a garment.
Cowl neck
A neckline on a woman’s blouse or sweater that hangs in draped folds.
Crochet
An open knit in which yarn is looped into a patterned fabric.
Dolman sleeve
Also called batwing. This style is cut very large at the armhole and extends almost to the waist and then tapers at the wrist.
Draping
Hanging fabric in folds or covering the fabric in loose folds. Hemlines are often uneven.
Embellished
Ornamentation of fabric by using a wide variety of decorative pieces such as sequins or beads.
Embroidery
Ornamentation of a fabric by using any wide variety of decorative hand or machine stitches in the same or contrasting color with needlework.
Empire waist
Waist begins just below the bust which gives dresses and tops a flattering fit. This outline is especially flattering to pear shapes wishing to disguise the stomach area or emphasize the bust.
Eyelet
- A type of embroidery with small holes that are cut in the fabric.
Fabric content
The kinds of fibers represented in a particular garment.
Faux leather
Imitation leather made of materials other than animal skins. Faux leather is lighter and easier to clean than leather.
Flounce hem
A strip of decorative fabric attached to one edge to create a wide ruffle.
Funnel neck
A neckline that is high and wide. A funnel neckline is attached to the body of the garment and not sewn to the neckline.
Garment washed
Apparel that has already been washed. The garment is softer and has a worn-in look.
Georgette
A crinkled, sheer fabric that has a lightweight, flowing look.
Gingham
A medium or lightweight, plaid or checked fabric using more than two colors with a plain weave made of cotton
Grosgrain
A strong, tightly woven corded fabric that has narrow, horizontal ribs. Commonly used as a trim.
Halter
A dress or top that is tied around the neck, exposing the back and shoulders. Also called halter neck.
Handkerchief hem
The hem of a skirt or blouse that is gently jagged to form flowing points that resemble a scarf. This style works well on most figures. Also called hanky hem.
Henley
Description
Herringbone
A broken twill weave that is sewn in opposite directions to form a zigzag pattern.
High low hem
A garment with an uneven hemline varying from long to short.
Hook and eye closure
Fastening system on garments with a small hook that is inserted into an eye loop.
Jacquard
A fabric with an intricately woven pattern.
Jersey
A stretchy fine knitted fabric used in t-shirts, sportswear, and figure hugging clothes. This fabric is great for draping.
Jumpsuit
A garment that incorporates a top and bottom in one piece.
Keyhole neckline
A teardrop or round shaped cutout that fastens at the front or back neckline.
Kimono sleeve
Cut as part of the bodice, a kimono sleeve has a wide, sloping shape.
Legging
Tight form fitting pants. Sometimes referred to as tights.
Maxi
A skirt or dress with a long full length, usually to the ankles.
Mesh
A knit, woven, or knotted fabric of net-like open texture. Mesh is lightweight and breathable.
Metallic
A yarn or fiber made partially or entirely of metal and having a metallic appearance.
Mitered
- A striped pattern sewn into a "V" design that slenderizes and flatters your figure.
Natural waist
A seam or waistband that secures or falls at the natural curve of the body. The indentation between the hips and the ribcage.
Nylon
A synthetic fiber known for its strength and stain resilience.
Oversized
Enlarged garments that alter the natural shape of the wearer.
Paisley
A swirled pattern curved with teardrop shapes.
Patch pockets
A small pocket found on pants or shorts which look like a piece of material sewn on to resemble a patch.
Peasant
A romantic style top or dress commonly distinguished by a low neckline, ruffles, or free flowing material.
Pencil skirt
A skirt that is cut in a straight line from the hips to the hem and usually knee length. Can either taper in at the hem or fall straight down from the hip.
Peplum
A short full flounce or an extension of a garment below the waist, covering the hips.
Piping
A fabric trim stitched along the seams or edges of a garment. Trim color can be the same color as the garment or in a contrasting color.
Placket
An opening or slit in a blouse, skirt, or dress usually covering fastenings that facilitates putting it on or taking it off. A piece of cloth reinforcing the opening used for closure of a garment.
Pleat
A type of fold formed by doubling fabric back upon itself and securing it in place.
Poncho
A circular piece of fabric with a hole cut out for the head, usually worn as a cape or jacket.
Poplin
A heavyweight and durable tightly woven plain-weave fabric that has fine, crisscrossing ribs.
Racerback
A top where the back is cut away in a T-shape to reveal the shoulder blades.
Ribbing
A knitting method where small rows are finely knitted together to form a texture.
Romper
A loose one-piece garment combining a shirt and a short.
Rouched
A sewing technique where fabric is gathered in a repeating pattern creating a ripple appearance. Often used to create draping and texture in a garment.
Ruffle
An ornamental strip of fabric tightly gathered or pleated on one edge and applied to a garment.
Sateen
A thicker version of satin that has a thicker weave. Commonly used in eveningwear and jacket lining.
Satin
A silky, lustrous fabric with a smooth, shiny surface.
Scoop neck
A low, U-shaped or round neckline.
Shawl collar
A one-piece collar turned down to form a continuous line around the back of the neck to the front.
Sheer
A fabric that is transparently thin.
Shelf bra
A bra built into the garment.
Shift dress
A loose fitting dress with no defined waistline.
Skinny leg
A form-fitting slim fit jean or pant with snug fit through the legs and a small tapered leg opening.
Skort
Shorts that have a front covering to resemble a skirt.
Smocking
An embroidery technique that gathers a section of the material into tight pleats, holding them together with parallel stitches so that it can stretch.
Spaghetti straps
A very thin shoulder strap on a woman’s garment.
Straight leg
A pant or jean with a uniform fit from the top of the pant leg to the bottom of the leg opening.
Surplice
A garment in which the two halves of the front cross diagonally, forming a V-neck.
Tank top
A short, sleeveless top.
Terry
A pile fabric, usually of cotton, with loops on both sides.
Tie dye
A pattern created by dyeing the fabric after knotting it to create an irregular pattern.
Tulle
A very fine mesh like net fabric commonly used in eveningwear and bridal gowns. Tulle comes in loose and tight weaves, giving the fabric different texture.
Tunic
A woman´s top that is either loose or tight fitting, and extends to the hips or below. Depending on the length, can be worn as a shirt or a dress.
Turtle neck
A garment with a close fitting, round, and high collar that folds over and covers the neck.
Velvet
A fabric of closely woven thick short pile fabric that is soft to the touch.
V-neck
A neckline with a V shaped front.