Fashion Terms


acetate – also called acetate rayon. a synthetic filament, yarn, or fabric composed of a derivative of the acetic ester of cellulose, differing from viscose rayon in having greater strength when wet and greater sensitivity to high temperatures.

agile manufacturing – is a term applied to an organization that has created the processes, tools, and training to enable it to respond quickly to customer needs and market changes while still controlling costs and quality.

A-line dress/skirt – women’s clothing that has a fitted top and a flared skirt that is widest at the hemline; it is called the A-line because the effect resembles the capital letter “A”.

almond toe shoe – a toe shape with a tapered, rounded point that resembles the shape of an almond.

angora – a fabric made from the hair of the angora goat or rabbit.

ankle boot – a boot that reaches to or just above the ankle.

ankle strap– a single or multiple strap attached to a shoe to hold it on the foot or having a purely ornamental function and passing either above the instep near the arch or around the ankle.

ankle tie/ankle wrap – mostly ribbon like material straps that are meant to be wrapped several times and styled around the ankle and/or lower calf, and tied to fasten.

apparel price ranges – the price point category refers to where the product lies in the pricing spectrum ranging from discount to designer: discount, budget or mass market, moderate, contemporary, better, bridge, designer and haute couture.

appliqué – ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric are sewn or stuck onto a large piece of fabric to form pictures or patterns.

armscye – in sewing, the armscye is the armhole, the fabric edge to which the sleeve is sewn. The length of the armscye is the total length of this edge; the width is the distance across the hole at the widest point.

asymmetric styling – design, or apparel in which one side is not the same as the other.


back drape – a piece of material joined to the waist or shoulder to add an elegant extension over the back to the ground. Some back drapes can be removed.

backpack – a bag with shoulder straps that allow it to be carried on one’s back.

back yoke – a tailored section of material placed at the shoulder of clothing or at a skirt’s top.

baguette – a small handbag with a narrow shape, resembling a loaf of French bread.

balaclava – a close-fitting, knitted cap that covers the head, neck, and tops of the shoulders, worn especially by mountain climbers, soldiers, skiers, etc.

ballerina neckline – a low neckline. Dresses that often feature this kneckline include strapless or spaghetti strapped dresses.

ballet slipper – a light, round-toed shoe with very flat heels for women or girls, resembling the type worn by ballet dancers.

ball gown – a type of long dress that is fitted at the bodice, with a very full skirt. This is the most formal dress silhouette, usually reserved for the dressiest of occasions.

bandeau/tube top – a woman’s strapless top formed from a band of fabric fitting around the bust.

barrel bag – a cylindrical bag that resembles a barrel.

basque waist – is a low U or V silhouette. Providing an illusion of length, the basque waist is an extremely flattering dress style and good on most body types.

bateau neck/boat neck – a wide neckline that follows the line of the collarbone and is high in front and back.

batik – a technique of hand-dyeing fabrics by using wax as a dye repellent to cover parts of a design, dyeing the uncovered fabric with a color or colors, and dissolving the wax in boiling water.

batwing sleeve – Cut as an extension of the bodice, the dolman sleeve is designed without a socket for the shoulder, creating a deep, wide armhole that reaches to the waist.

beaded – ornamented with or largely composed of beads.

bengaline – a poplin-like fabric having a crosswise corded effect, woven with coarse yarn in the filling direction.

besom pocket – A flapless pocket trimmed with welting or reinforced stitching.

bias cut – (of a garment or fabric) cut obliquely or diagonally across the grain.

bishop sleeve – is a large sleeve which is fuller at the bottom than the top and gathered at the cuff portion.

bike tards – a biketard is an article of clothing that is similar to a leotard but is worn by cyclists.

blade/block heel – a wide heel, sometimes stacked.

blazer – a sports jacket often with notched collar and patch pockets.

blucher – a shoe having the vamp and tongue made of one piece and overlapped by the quarters, which lace across the instep.

body – the part of a dress that covers the trunk or the part of the trunk above the waist.

boiled wool – is shrunk in very hot water and pressed to a felt like consistency. This makes the boiled wool clothing soft to the touch and not itchy like regular wool.

bolero Jacket – a jacket ending above or at the waistline, with or without collar, lapel, and sleeves, worn open in front.

bonnet – a hat, usually tying under the chin and often framing the face, formerly much worn by women but now worn mostly by children.

boot cut – this style of pant has a wider leg opening at the bottom and usually features a tighter or straight leg fit from waist to knee.

bootie – also known as ankle Boot is a boot that reaches to or just above the ankle.

boucle – a curled or looped yarn or fabric giving a thick knobbly effect.

box-pleated – a pleat made by forming two folded edges one facing right and the other left.

boxy – squarish or chunky in style or appearance: a boxy square-cut jacket.

bretelles – one of a pair of ornamental suspenderlike shoulder straps that attach to the waistband at the front and back of a garment.

brocade – fabric woven with an elaborate design, especially one having a raised overall pattern or floral design.

broomstick – a full, gathered or pleated skirt that has characteristic tiny creases obtained by wetting the skirt and winding it around a broomstick to dry.

bucket bag – A bucket bag has a round or oval bottom and a drawstring closure, resulting in a shape similar to a bucket.

bugle beads – tubular glass beads used for ornamenting dresses.

bustier – a woman’s close-fitting, sleeveless, strapless top, often elasticized, usually having boning or facing to give it shape, and worn as a blouse.

bustle – a pad, cushion, or framework formerly worn under the back of a woman’s skirt to expand, support, and display the full cut and drape of a dress.

buttonholes – the hole, slit, or loop through which a button is passed and by which it is secured.


cambric – a thin, plain cotton or linen fabric of fine close weave, usually white.

camisole – a woman’s loose-fitting undergarment for the upper body, typically held up by shoulder straps and having decorative trimming.

camp pockets – are pockets positioned on the exterior of a garment and are frequently seamed and squared-off.

canvas – any fabric of linen, cotton, or hemp of a coarse loose weave used as a foundation for embroidery stitches, interlining, etc.

cap – a close-fitting covering for the head, usually of soft supple material and having no visor or brim. a brimless head covering with a visor, as a baseball cap.

cap sleeve – a short sleeve designed to cover the shoulder and the top of the arm, with little or no extension under the arm.

capri pants – close-fitting calf-length tapered trousers.

cardigan jacket – a sweater or jacket, usually knitted, that opens down the front and is usually collarless and long-sleeved.

cargo pants – loose-fitting casual trousers with large flap pockets on the thighs.

carpenter pants/shorts – loose-fitting pants with many pockets of various sizes and loops for tools at the tops or sides of the legs.

cashmere – fine soft wool, originally that from the Kashmir goat. Most commonly used in sweaters, shawls, suits, coats, and dresses.

cathedral train – also known as a monarch train, can measure up to eight feet. A royal cathedral train is considered the longest, most formal train, measuring up to ten feet or more.

chalk stripe – a pattern of thin white lines on a dark background.

chambray – A lightweight plain-woven fabric woven with white threads across a colored warp.

chantilly lace – a delicate silk, linen, or synthetic lace having a 6-sided mesh ground and a floral or scrolled design.

charmeuse – a soft, lightweight, drapable fabric of silk or synthetic fibers, having a semilustrous satin face and a dull back.

chapel train – extends approximately 4 feet behind the gown (measured from the back of the natural waist to the very end of the train).

chemise – a loosely fitting dress that hangs straight; a shift.

chenille – a wool, cotton, silk, or rayon yarn with protruding pile; also: a pile-face fabric with a filling of this yarn.

cheongsam– a straight, close-fitting silk dress with a high neck, short sleeves, and a slit skirt, worn traditionally by Chinese and Indonesian women.

chiffon – a light, sheer fabric typically made of silk or nylon.

chintz – a printed and glazed cotton fabric, usually of bright colors.

chunky heel – a solid thick heel, sometimes stacked.

cloche hat – a woman’s close-fitting, bell-shaped hat.

clog – slip-on shoe, heel is generally made of wood.

coat dress – a dress styled like a coat usually with a front buttoning from neckline to hemline.

colorblock – It combines the use of two or more blocks of solid color in an ensemble.

column skirt/straight skirt – also referred to as a pencil skirt, is a straight line with no flare or fullness at the hem or waistline. It is a slim-fitting skirt with a straight, narrow cut.

concealed snap/velcro/button placket – a slit in a garment where closures are hidden.

cone heel – is wider at the sole of the foot and narrower at the base.

convertible collar – is a notched collar that can have a button hole in the lower lapel, therefore can be worn unbuttoned or buttoned across the chest.

corset top/boned bodice – a woman’s close-fitting boned supporting undergarment that is often hooked and laced and that extends from above or beneath the bust or from the waist to below the hips and has garters attached.

cotton – a natural fiber that grows in the seed pod of the cotton plant. Fibers are typically 1/2 inch to 2 inches long. The longest staple fibers, longer than 1-1/2 inch, including the Pima and Egyptian varieties, produce the highest quality cotton fabrics.

covered heel – is any heel shape that is wrapped in the same material as the upper portion of the shoe.  Most high-end shoes have a covered heel.

cowl neck – a neckline on a woman’s garment that hangs in draped folds.

crepe – a light soft thin fabric of silk, cotton, wool, or another fiber, with a crinkled surface.

crepe back satin – a two faced fabric in which one side is crepe and the other satin. Also called satin-back crepe.

crew neck – a close-fitting, round neckline, especially on a sweater or T-shirt.

crochet – needlework done with a needle having a small hook at one end for drawing the thread or yarn through intertwined loops.

cropped pants – short pants, generally around ankle length.

cropped top/jacket – casual garment, undergarment, jacket or sweater for the upper body, cut short so that it reveals the stomach.

cuban heel – a broad heel of medium height, straight in front and slightly tapered toward the bottom in the rear.


darts – are folds sewn into fabric to take in ease and provide shape to a garment. They are used frequently in all sorts of clothing to tailor the garment to the wearer’s shape.

denim – a coarse, twilled cotton fabric, often blue, traditionally used for overalls and work clothes and now used for jeans and casual wear.

diamond neck – a diamond-shaped cutout that fastens at the front or back neckline.

dirndl skirt – a full, wide skirt with a tight waistband.

dolman sleeve – a loose sleeve cut in one piece with the body of a garment. Also called a batwing sleeve.

d’orsay shoe – any shoe that reveals the arch of your foot can be characterized as d’orsay. Traditionally, the sides of the shoe are cut away, and the vamp of the shoe is cut close to the toes.

drop tail hem – is longer in back than front.

double-breasted – (of a jacket or coat) having a substantial overlap of material at the front and showing two rows of buttons when fastened.

draped bodice – an extra piece of material is draped over the bustline.

dropped waist/low waist – a style of waistline on a dress cut so that the seam is positioned at the hips rather than the waist, falls below the natural waistline.

dropped shoulders – a style of shoulder on a garment cut so that the seam is positioned on the upper arm rather than the shoulder.

dupioni – a rough slubbed silk fabric woven from the threads of double cocoons.


ease – wearing ease: is the minimum amount of extra room added to a pattern to allow for comfortable, non-restricted movement. design ease: in design of a garment ease refers to fullness incorporated into a design so that it will fit comfortably.

embroidery – is the handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn

empire bodice – empire silhouette, empire line, empire waist or just empire is a style in women’s clothing in which the dress has a fitted bodice ending just below the bust, giving a high-waisted appearance, and a gathered skirt.

empire seam – a seam that is sewn directly below the bustline.

empire waist – sits just below the bust of the dress. This is the highest waistline found in dresses.

epaulets – something that ornaments or protects the shoulder: as. a : an ornamental fringed shoulder pad formerly worn as part of a military uniform. b : an ornamental strip or loop sewn across the shoulder of a dress or coat.

espadrilles – a light shoe with a canvas upper, and a rope sole.


fagoting – 1: an embroidery produced by pulling out horizontal threads from a fabric and tying the remaining cross threads into groups of an hourglass shape. 2: an openwork stitch joining hemmed edges. 

faille – a somewhat shiny closely woven silk, rayon, or cotton fabric characterized by slight ribs in the weft.

fanny pack – a small pouch on a belt, for money and small articles, worn around the waist or hips.

faux fur – artificial fur made from synthetic material.

fashion – 1: a popular way of dressing during a particular time or among a particular group of people. 2: the business of creating and selling clothes in new styles.

fashion tribes – a style tribe or fashion tribe is a group of people that dress in a distinctive style to show their membership in this group. Examples include pinups, punks, goths, hippies, emos, hip-hop devotees, and ravers.

filigree – delicate ornamental work of fine silver, gold, or other metal wires, especially lacy jewelers’ work of scrolls and arabesques.

flats – shoes with very little or almost no heel at all.

flip flop – flat thong-type of sandal.

flounce hemline (dress/skirt) – a flounce hem has a large ruffle at the hem. The ruffle is most commonly created by a separate piece of fabric sewn at the hem.

form-fitting/slim-fit – fitting the body snugly, so that its shape is clearly visible: said of clothing.

frog closure – frog closures are an ornamental, Chinese-inspired alternative to traditional button closures on clothing. The ornamental braiding consists of a button and a loop through which it passes.


gabardine – is a tough, tightly woven, man-made fabric used to make suits, overcoats, trousers, uniforms, windbreakers, and other garments.

gaiter – a cloth or leather covering worn over the lower part of the leg especially to keep the legs and ankles dry when hiking.

galloon – a braid or trimming of worsted, silk or r.ayon tinsel, gold or silver, etc., usually having scalloping along both edges.

gathers – to draw into small folds or puckers, as by pulling a thread through cloth.

gauchos – calf-length wide-legged pants or divided skirt reaching mid-calf.

gauntlets – a dress glove cuffed above the wrist.

gauze – thin, transparent fabric with a loose open weave, used for curtains and clothing.

georgette – a sheer silk or rayon crepe of dull texture.

gimp – a flat trimming of silk, wool, or other cord, sometimes stiffened with wire, for garments, curtains, etc.

gingham – yarn-dyed, plain-weave cotton fabric, usually striped or checked.

glitterati – wealthy or famous people who conspicuously or ostentatiously attend fashionable events.

godet – an inset of cloth placed in a seam to give fullness (as at the bottom of a skirt)

gore – a tapering or triangular piece (as of cloth in a skirt).

gusset – a usually diamond-shaped or triangular insert in a seam (as of a sleeve, pocketbook, or shoe upper) to provide expansion or reinforcement.


halter top – a piece of clothing worn on a woman’s upper body that is held in place by straps around the neck and back and that leaves the back, arms, and shoulders bare.

hankerchief style – hem of dress or top falls in graceful points resembling a scarf.

hat – a covering for the head that often has a brim and a rounded or flat top.

haute couture– the houses or designers that create exclusive and often trend-setting fashions for women.

havelock – a covering attached to a cap to protect the neck from the sun or bad weather.

hem – the edge or border of a garment, drape, etc., especially at the bottom.

herringbone – a pattern consisting of adjoining vertical rows of slanting lines, any two contiguous lines forming either a V or an inverted V, used in masonry, textiles, embroidery, etc.

henley – a short- or long-sleeved pullover sport shirt, usually of cotton, with a round neckband and an often covered neckline placket.

hidden platform- shoes with material wrapped over platform bed, making it appear as if the shoe is one entire piece of material.

high heels – shoes that are over 2 1/2 inches in height.

hip pocket – pocket in the back of a pair of pants.

hollywood waistband – pants above the natural waistline but have no waistband. Instead, darts are used to fit the pants snugly to the waist area.

hook & eye closure – a two-piece clothes fastener, usually of metal, consisting of a hook that catches onto a loop or bar.

hoop/crinoline – a petticoat of haircloth or other stiff material, worn under a full skirt to keep it belled out.


illusion – sheer netting-type material that forms a see-through sleeve yet offers ‘the illusion’ of coverage.

intermission length – also cocktail length, this one reaches to anywhere between the knees and the ankles, with the most common length being mid-calf.

intarsia – a colored design knitted on both sides of a fabric.

item du jour – item of the day.  pPpular, fashionable, or prominent at a particular time.


jacquard – Woven fabrics manufactured by using the Jacquard attachment on the loom. This attachment provides versatility in designs and permits individual control of each of the warp yarns. Thus, fabrics of almost any type or complexity can be made. Brocade and damask are types of jacquard woven fabrics.

jersey – The consistent interlooping of yarns in the jersey stitch to produce a fabric with a smooth, flat face, and a more textured, but uniform back. Jersey fabrics may be produced on either circular or flat weft knitting machines.

jewel neck – A high round neckline resting simply at the base of the neck.

jouy print – cotton or linen printed with designs of landscapes and figures for which the 18th-century factory of Jouy-en-Josas, near Versailles, Fr., was famous.


kangaroo pocket – is a type of pocket, usually featured on hoodies and sweatshirts, that is large enough to fit both hands into. The pocket is open on either side.

keyhole neckline – an opening at the neckline in the shape of a keyhole in the front or back of a garment.

kimono – a long, loose robe with wide sleeves and traditionally tied with a sash, originally worn as a formal garment in Japan and now also used elsewhere as a robe.

kitten heel – a short, slender heel, typically between 1 and 2 inches in height.

knee-high boot – rise to the knee, or slightly below. They are generally tighter around the leg shaft and ankle than at the top.

knee-length dress/skirt – to be considered knee-length, a dress should reach within an inch or two above or below the knee. Many styles fall to the middle of the knee.

knife pleat – a sharp, narrow pleat on a skirt made in one direction and typically overlapping another.

knit fabric – made from interlocking loops of thread, which is in contrast to the lengthwise and crosswise weaving of threads found in woven fabrics. Preferred for comfort, texture, wrinkle resistance, and elasticity.

knitted – intertwined yarn or thread in a series of connected loops either by hand, with knitting needles, or on a machine.


lace – delicate fabric made of yarn or thread in an open weblike pattern. Also called lacework.

lamé – ornamental fabric in which metallic threads, as of gold or silver, are woven with silk, wool, rayon, or cotton.

lawn – a thin or sheer linen or cotton fabric, either plain or printed.

LBD – Little black dress.

leather – the skin of an animal, with the hair removed, prepared for use by tanning or a similar process designed to preserve it against decay and make it pliable or supple when dry.

leatherette – a material constructed of paper or cloth and finished to simulate thegrain, color, and texture of leather.

leg-of-mutton sleeve – (also known as a gigot sleeve) resembling a leg of mutton in shape; tapering sharply from one large end to a point or smaller end.

lettuce hem – a ruffled edging to knit fabrics or stretchy fabric.

linen – is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant.

loafer – shaped like a moccasin, with a low flat heel with no laces, often have tassels or buckles or coin holders

low heels – shoes with short, sturdy heels up to 1 inch in height.

lycra – DuPont trademark for its spandex fiber a type of synthetic elastic fabric used for tight-fitting garments.

lyocell – is a form of rayon which consists of regenerated cellulose fiber made from dissolving pulp (bleached wood pulp) using dry jet-wet spinning. It was developed beginning in 1972 by a team at the now defunct American Enka fibers facility at Enka, NC.


macrame – an elaborately patterned lacelike webbing made of hand-knotted cord, yarn, or the like, and used for wall decorations, hanging baskets, garments, accessories, etc.

maillot – a close-fitting, one-piece bathing suit for women, simply styled and usually having a scoop neck and shoulder straps.

mandarin collar – short unfolded stand-up collar style on a shirt or jacket, adopted from the close-fitting Asian collar.

marabou – a soft feathery fluffy material prepared from turkey feathers and used especially for trimming women’s hats or clothes.

Mary Jane – a shoe very similar to a “pump” with an additional strap running horizontally across the middle of the foot from one side to the other, usually closed with a buckle.

matte – dull and flat, without a shine.

maxi dress – is a type of dress that is long, usually floor-length, and made with soft, free-flowing fabric.

medium heels – shoes that range from 1 inch to 2 1/2 inches.

mermaid – a long skirt which is tight-fitting from the waist to below the knees, before flaring out at the bottom. It can give the wearer a mermaid-like appearance.

mesh – any knit, woven, knotted fabric of open texture or interlocking metal links or wires with evenly spaced, uniform small openings between, as used in jewelry.

messenger bag – is a type of sack, usually made out of some kind of cloth (natural or synthetic), that is worn over one shoulder with a strap that goes across the chest resting the bag on the lower back.

micro fiber – an extremely fine synthetic fiber that can be woven or knit into textiles with the texture and drape of natural-fiber cloth but with enhanced washability, breathability, and water repellancy.

mid-calf boot – rise midway between the ankle bone and the knee.

minaudiere – a small, decorative handbag without handles or a strap.

mini dress – a very short dress.

mixed-media – combination of two or more fabrics in a garment.

moccasin – made of one piece of leather stitched together with a leather sole.

mule – a style of shoe that is backless and often closed-toed.


natural waist – the indentation between the hips and the ribcage.

nonwovens – a fabric-like material made from long fibers, bonded together by chemical, mechanical, heat or solvent treatment. The term is used in the textile manufacturing industry to denote fabrics, such as felt, which are neither woven nor knitted.

notched collar – a collar forming a notch with the lapels of a garment at the seam where collar and lapels join.

nylon –  a tough, lightweight, elastic synthetic polymer with a protein-like chemical structure, able to be produced as filaments, sheets, or molded objects.

notched collar – a collar forming a notch with the lapels of a garment at the seam where collar and lapels join.

nylon –  a tough, lightweight, elastic synthetic polymer with a protein-like chemical structure, able to be produced as filaments, sheets, or molded objects.


off-the-shoulder neck – sits below the shoulders and highlights the collarbone and shoulders.

ombré – having tones of color that shade into each other, graduating from light to dark.

organza –  a sheer rayon, nylon, or silk fabric constructed in plain weave and with a crisp finish, used in the manufacture of evening dresses, trimmings, etc.

OTR – off the rack.

outrè – highly unconventional; eccentric or bizarre.

overskirt – an outer skirt, especially a shorter one worn draped over another skirt.

over-the knee boot – longboots that fully or partly cover the knee.

oxford shirt – long sleeve, button down collar, split yoke, with a pocket on the left breast, made of a basket-weave pattern that combines two yarns woven lengthwise against a heavier yarn crosswise (oftentimes in a different color to give it a distinctive pattern), or vice-versa.

oxford shoe – a type of lace-up shoe with a low heel.


pagoda sleeve – A funnel-shaped outer sleeve turned back to expose an inner sleeve and lining.

panniers – a puffed arrangement of drapery at the hips.

passé – no longer fashionable; out of date.

paperbag waist – a loose, pleated waistline that gives the impression of a scrunched bag when gathered at the waist.

party dress – a full skirt, party dresses will typically also have a tight-fitting bodice and a natural waist to emphasize the fullness of the skirt.

pearlized – resembling or made to resemble mother-of-pearl; iridescent.

peasant top – a type of shirt with wide, puffed sleeves gathered at the wrist, sometimes with embroidery along the collar.

peek-a-boo – cutouts revealing glimpses of the skin or body.

peep/open toe – shoe with a narrow opening in the front that exposes the toes.

peplum – a short flared, gathered, or pleated strip of fabric attached at the waist of a woman’s jacket, dress, or blouse to create a hanging frill or flounce.

petticoat– a woman’s light, loose undergarment hanging from the shoulders or the waist, worn under a skirt or dress.

peau de soie – a soft, satin-weave cloth of silk or rayon, grainy and having a dull luster, used to make dresses, coats, trimmings, etc.

picot – a small loop or series of small loops of twisted thread in lace or embroidery, typically decorating the border of a fabric.

pile – In looped pile the loops are uncut; in cut pile the same or similar loops are cut, either in the loom during weaving or by a special machine after the cloth leaves the loom. Velvet is a short-pile fabric and plush a long-pile fabric, both of which have pile formed by warp threads.

pinafore –  collarless sleeveless dress, tied or buttoned in the back and typically worn as a jumper, over a blouse or sweater.

placket – an opening or slit in a garment, covering fastenings or giving access to a pocket, or the flap of fabric under such an opening.

platform shoe – shoes/boots/sandals with thick soles, generally made of cork/plastic/rubber/wood.

pleat – a double or multiple fold in a garment or other item made of cloth, held by stitching the top or side.

pointed toe – a shoe that comes to a sharp point.

pointelle – a type of knitwear or woolen fabric with small eyelet holes that create a lacy effect.

polonaise – a woman’s dress with a tight bodice and a skirt open from the waist downward, looped up to show a decorative underskirt.

polyester – a man-made fiber consisting of polymer. It has an extremely wide variety of uses ranging from clothing to plastic.

Pompadour heel – with a concave curve and outward taper at the bottom similar to those worn by Madame de Pompadour, mistress to King Louis XV .

poplin – a plain-woven fabric, typically a lightweight cotton, with a corded surface.

princess line – fitted dress or other garment cut in long panels without a horizontal join or separation at the waist. Instead of relying on darts to shape the garment, its fit is achieved with long seams and shaped pattern pieces.

prism heel – three flat sides that form a triangle at the point of contact with the ground.

puckered bodice – usually associated with tube tops, it provides a scrunchy look.

puff sleeve/pouf sleeve – a short sleeve gathered at the top and cuff and full in the middle.

pump – a shoewith a low-cut front and usually without a fastening. However, some have an ankle strap.




raglan – having or denoting sleeves that continue in one piece up to the neck of a garment, without a shoulder seam.

ramie – one of the oldest fiber crops, having been used for at least six thousand years, and is principally used for fabric production. It is a bast fiber, and the part used is the bark (phloem) of the vegetative stalks..

rayon – a manufactured fabric that is soft and silk-like, composed of regenerated cellulose, derived from wood pulp, cotton linters, or other vegetable matter.

ribbed – a raised ridge or wale in knitted material or in cloth.

ribboned – a narrow strip or band of fabric, especially a fine fabric such as satin or velvet, finished at the edges and used for trimming, tying, or finishing.

romper – a combination of shorts and a shirt.

ruched – Fabric that has been gathered into tight ruffles or folds.


saddle shoe – an oxford shoe with a contrasting colored strip of leather across the middle of the shoe

sandal – exposed shoe style that includes an open toe and open back. Slips on and is held in place with leather or fabric straps across the foot.over the foot and is more open in design than other shoes.

sarong – a garment consisting of a long piece of cloth worn wrapped around the body and tucked at the waist or under the armpits.

satin – a smooth, glossy fabric, typically of silk, produced by a weave in which the threads of the warp are caught and looped by the weft only at certain intervals.

scoop neck – a deeply curved wide neckline on a garment.

seam – a line along which two pieces of fabric are sewn together in a garment or other article

seersucker – a printed cotton or synthetic fabric that has a surface consisting of puckered and flat sections, typically in a striped pattern.

sequined – embellished with ornamental discs or spangles.

shantung – a dress fabric spun from tussore silk with random irregularities in the surface texture.

shawl collar – a rounded turned-down collar, without lapel notches, that extends down the front of a garment.

sheath dress  – fit close to the body, relatively unadorned.

shibori – is the Japanese word for a variety of ways of embellishing textiles by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing.

shift dress – is a short dress that lacks detailed shaping. Usually sleeveless, these dresses can be plain or feature A-line skirts or empire waists.

shirred waist – a decorative gathering (as of cloth) made by drawing up the material along two or more parallel lines of stitching.

shirt dress – a dress with a collar and buttons in the style of a shirt, typically cut without a seam at the waist.

shrug – a woman’s close-fitting cardigan or jacket, cut short at the front and back so that only the arms and shoulders are covered.

silk – a fine, strong, soft, lustrous fiber produced by silkworms in making cocoons and collected to make thread and fabric

skort – a pair of shorts with a flap across the front (and sometimes also the back) to give the appearance of a skirt.

soutache – a narrow, flat, ornamental braid used to trim garments.

spangles – small thin pieces of glittering material, typically used in quantity to ornament a dress; a sequin.

sportswear – clothes worn for casual outdoor use or for such sports activities as jogging, cycling, tennis, sailing, etc.

slingback– a shoe held in place by a strap around the back of the ankle.

spaghetti strap – a thin shoulder strap on an item of women’s clothing.

spandex – a type of stretchy polyurethane fabric.

split neck – a type of neckline that consists of a round neckline with a split in the center that creates a V.

spool heel –  heel is thicker at the sole of the foot, narrow in the middle, and then comes back out at the base.

square neck – is a type of neckline that forms a square-shaped frame around the collarbone.

stacked heel – A heel comprised of many layers of leather, laid one on top of another, in order to resemble a wood-grain appearance.

stiletto heel – a long thin heel very high heeled shoe, that looks like a stiletto knife.

straight leg – straight narrow leg that does not flare at the ankles. They are normally the same circumference from the knees to the hem.

suede – leather with the flesh side rubbed to make a velvety nap.

surplice top/dress – is a faux wrap, style that differs from authentic wrap styles in that the diagonal front seam is sewn up.

sweetheart neck – a heart-shaped cut on the neck of a dress or blouse.


taffeta – a fine lustrous silk or similar synthetic fabric with a crisp texture..

tank top – a close-fitting sleeveless top.

tankini – a two-piece bathing suit consisting of a tank top and a bikini bottom.

tapered legs – refers to a pant style that is tight-fitting, or tapered, around the ankle.

tea length dress – denoting a dress or skirt of a length that falls above the ankle and below the knee.

tencel – a cellulosic fiber obtained from wood pulp using recyclable solvents; a fabric made from this.

terry – a fabric with raised uncut loops of thread covering both surfaces, used especially for towels.

thongs – open toe sandals where the big toe is separated from the rest of the foot.

tie dye – a method of producing textile patterns by tying parts of the fabric to shield it from the dye.

trapeze top – is a tank top that’s fitted at the bust and gradually flares out into an A-line shape as it extends towards the hem.

tres chic – very fashionable or stylish.

t-strap – a strap on the upper of a shoe that extends backward from the vamp and joins with a strap that crosses the upper part of the instep, forming a T.

tuck – make a flattened, stitched fold in (a garment or material), typically so as to shorten or tighten it, or for decoration.

tulle skirt – a fluffy skirt that’s made with a netting-like fabric.

tunic style – A loose-fitting garment, sleeved or sleeveless, usually simple in style, reaching from the shoulders to a length somewhere between the hips and the ankles.

turtle neck – a high close-fitting turnover collar used especially for sweaters.

twill – a fabric so woven as to have a surface of diagonal parallel, tricotine).


u or v-shaped waistlines – are not straight, instead forming a U or V shape either in the front or back of the dress or, oftentimes, in both places.

unitards – a tight-fitting one-piece garment of stretchable fabric that covers the body from the neck to the knees or feet..

upper– all parts of a shoe above the sole that are stitched together.


vent – a slit in the back or side of a coat, jacket, or other garment, at the bottom part of a seam.

variegated – exhibiting different colors, especially as irregular patches or streaks.

velour – a plush woven fabric resembling velvet, chiefly used for soft furnishings, casual clothing, and hats.

Venice lace – or Point de Venise is a needlepoint lace that’s firm and has no net background, it was first made in Italy in the 17th century.

velvet – a closely woven fabric of silk, cotton, or nylon, that has a thick short pile on one side.

v-neck – a neckline of a garment, having straight sides meeting at a point to form a V-shape.

v or u-shaped waistlines – are not straight, instead forming a V or U shape either in the front or back of the dress or, oftentimes, in both places.

viscose – the first man made natural filament yarn and staple fiber for versatile end uses such as apparel, domestic textiles, is both a semi-synthetic fabric formerly called viscose rayon or rayon and a solution of cellulose xanthate produced by treating dissolving pulp with aqueous sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide used to spin the viscose rayon fiber.

voile – a thin, plain-weave, semitransparent fabric of cotton, wool, or silk.


warp knits – is a family of knitting methods in which the yarn zigzags along the length of the fabric, i.e., following adjacent columns (“wales”) of knitting, rather than a single row (“course”).

warp print – a fabric with shadowy indistinct patterns produced by printing the warp threads before weaving.

watteau back – a section at the back of a woman’s dress that is caught in pleats or gathers at the neck and falls unbelted to the floor.

weave types – are the patterns for manufacturing a fabric. The yarns are used in different ways to produce various effects or weaves. These weaves can be plain and simple as well as artistic and decorative.

wedding-band collar – a collar featuring a yoke that is either open or of sheer net with an ornate band fitting snugly on the neck, creating a choker effect.

wedge heel – heel that extends from the back to the ball of the shoe, laying flat on the ground.

welt pocket – is a small, flat inset pocket with the lower lip finished by an upstanding welt that may be from 3/8” to 1” wide. It can have one or two lips finishing the opening edges. Used mostly in classic wear.

weft knits – (in weaving) the crosswise threads on a loom over and under which other threads (the warp) are passed to make cloth.

wide legs – are trousers that are as wide at the hem as they are throughout the rest of the leg.

wing collar – a high stiff shirt collar with turned-down corners.

wool – is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, angora from rabbits, and other types of wool from camelids.

wrap top/dress – is a type of garment that is wrapped around the body and is secured in place using knots.




yarn – spun thread used for knitting, weaving, or sewing

yoke – is a design element which located at the top of a shirt, skirt, pants or shorts, and is cut separately to create a pieced illusion.


zori – a traditional Japanese style of sandal, much like a flip-flop, originally made with a straw sole.






2 thoughts on “Fashion Terms

  1. Thank you. I thought it might help my readers in understanding some of the terminology used throughout the blog. I still have a ways to go on the vision terminology but I’ll get there eventually.

    1. Indeed it’s a great help 🙂

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