A-line Describing a dress or skirt, this style fits at the waist and flares gradually out from waist down to hem, resembling the letter A
Applique is a technique in which pieces of fabric are sewn onto the foundation fabric in order to create a design.
Armscye is the armhole of a garment; the fabric edge to which the sleeve is sewn.
Avant Garde means ahead of trend
Ballerina Neckline: Low, scooping neckline usually paired with spaghetti straps
Basque Waist/V-Waist: Starting at or just below the waist, and dipping toward center to create a V-shape
Bell Sleeve: Long or ¾ length sleeve that flares out to hem
Bias refers to the thread line that is diagonal to the grain-line and the cross grain of the fabric. If fabric is pulled along the bias it will stretch. A garment will hang differently depending on the direction it has been cut.
Boat Neck: Wide neckline that runs horizontally from shoulder to shoulder both in the front and back of a garment.
Bodice: Part of a women’s garment that covers from the neck to the waist.
Bolero Jacket: Waist-length jacket that is loose and usually open at front
Boot-Cut: Style of pants that is straight throughout hip and knee and then slightly flares from knee to ankle.
Broomstick: Type of dress or skirt characterized by crinkled material and numerous pleats
Buti: Small embroidered motif, usually floral, but can be others
Camisole: Waist-length, snug-fitting garment that is sleeveless
Cap Sleeve: Short sleeve that covers shoulder but does not extend further down the arm.
Capri Pant: Style of pants that is cropped at mid-shin.
Cardigan: Collarless sweater that is open all the way up the front of the garment. Can be crew neck or v-neck with buttons or zippers or open with no closure mechanism.
Cargo: A style that is characterized by a large pocket that is sewn on outside of garment, usually with a pleat.
Carpenter Pants: 5-pocket pants characterized by a loop of fabric on side used to hold a hammer.
Cigarette cut: A very skinny, slim-cut style of trousers that is form fitting and usually cropped at the ankle.
Cinched Waist: A way to accentuate the waist by bringing in fabric on an otherwise loose-fitting garment. Can be gathered using tie, belt, or sewing technique
Couture is a garment made all by hand
Cowl Neck: An extra piece of fabric that drapes loosely from shoulder to shoulder either on the front or back neckline.
Crew Neck: Neckline with ribbed banding that fits closely to the base of neck.
Crotch is a location on the trousers where the legs meet, at the point where the seams intersect with front and back.
Dart is a ‘v’ shaped, tapered adjustment to a pattern to allow for more fullness in one area or less fullness in other areas.
Decollete is bare neck and shoulders with a plunging neckline
Dolman Sleeve: Sleeve without a socket for shoulder, creating wide armhole that extends from waist to narrowed sleeve.
Double Breasted: Having half of the front of a garment overlap the other half, usually with two vertical rows of buttons and only one vertical row of button closure openings.
Drape: Describes the way fabric hangs when made into a garment. Draping is a type of design that consists of flowing fabric hanging loosely off garment
Dropped Waist: Waistline of a garment that sits below the natural waistline
Duster: Long, open, and lightweight jacket, with or without a button closure.
Ease is the fullness of a garment above and beyond body measurements. Wearing ease is the minimum fullness for mobility and comfort.
Empire Line: A shirt, dress, or jacket that is fitted through area just under bust line and drops. This shape is great for those that carry weight around the tummy
Eyelet: Small, decorative holes that create a pattern on a garment.
Flounce is a gathered strip of fabric applied to a skirt, usually at the hem.
French Cuff: Shirt cuff made with extra fabric that is turned back and fastened with a cufflink.
Godet is a three cornered piece of fabric inserted into a garment to add flare or room.
Grain: Used to describe direction of wefts/yarn.
Grain-line (sometimes referred to as the straight line) of fabric is the threads running parallel to the selvage. The crosswise grain is the threads that run selvage to selvage. Designers aim to cut with the grain-line where possible.
Gusset is a square or diamond shaped piece of fabric inserted into the garment at the crotch.
Halter Neck: Sleeveless top or dress that has strap that goes around neck.
Handkerchief Style: Hem of a blouse, skirt, or dress that drops into a flowing point.
Haute couture means high fashion
Hem: The lower edge of a garment that is sewn in a variety of ways to cover the raw edge. It can be modified to make a garment longer or shorter.
Hook and Eye Closure: A way to fasten a garment using a hook that latches onto a hoop or bar.
Inseam is the seam inside the leg of the trousers/pants that runs from the crotch to the hem
Kimono: A Japanese-style, collarless robe that has wide sleeves and is usually worn with a sash, called an obi belt.
Kitsch literally means trash, or bad taste. In fashion terms it usually refers to an extreme mix of prints and colours
Lapel: Folded flap on collar of jacket or blazer.
Mermaid: Skirt or dress that hugs the body and then dramatically flares out at knee down to hem
The nap of the fabric refers to the way the pile lays. It is a soft raised surface commonly found on wool fabrics. Similar to fur, if you run your hand on it one way it feels smooth, and against the nap, it will feel rough. Designers ensure that the nap runs in the same direction on a garment.
Natural Waist: A seam or waistband that lies at natural curve of the body, or the area between the hip and bottom of ribcage.
The pencil skirt is usually worn either as a separate piece of clothing or as part of a suit. The slim, narrow shape of a pencil skirt can restrict the movement of the wearer so pencil skirts often have a slit at the back, or less commonly at the sides. Sometimes a pleat, which exposes less skin, is used instead of a slit. The classic shoes for wearing with a pencil skirt are high heels, with sheer stockings or tights. Back-seamed hosiery matches well, recalling the classic pencil-skirt era of the 1950s. Pencil skirts can also be worn with flats for a more casual, youthful vibe that echoes the 1960s. Pencil skirts and loafers are classic "Prep."
Peplum is a small flounce around the hips, usually as an extension of the bodice
Pin-Tuck: Narrow, sewn down pleats.
Piping: Decorative trimming given to garment on seams
Placket: A slit/opening in a garment that allows for extra room to put on and remove a garment. Usually found at wrist, neck, or waist. Often used with zips, hooks, and closures.
Pleat: A fold in fabric used to manipulate fullness. Multiple pleats are usually grouped together. There are many different types of pleats. Some of the most common are “ knife pleats, which are pressed to keep an edge, and face in the same direction; box pleats, the edges of which face in opposite directions; inverted pleats with edges brought to face each other at a center line; sunburst or accordian pleats that are narrower at the top and wider at the bottom, and kick pleats, generally a single pleat placed at the bottom of a narrow skirt.”
Plissé: French word describing garment with puckered surface
Pointelle: Open-hole stitch usually in shape of V, flower, or diamond.
Prêt-a-Porter: French term describing ready-to-wear collection, often associated with lower-priced garments.
Princess line is a bodice or skirt that has been split into two pieces for each quarter of the body and fitted with seams.
Princess Seams: Long, rounded seams at side of garment used to create narrow, tailored fit. Only found in women’s clothing. Usually starts at shoulder or underarm and extends to bottom hemline.
Purl Stitch: Type of stitch used in knits to create ribbed effect.
Rise is trouser/pants measurement from crotch to waist
Ruching: Garment with large areas of fullness gathered in to form a rippling effect.
Scallop: Decorative finish used on hems created by a repetition of curves.
Scoop Neck: A low, U-shaped neckline.
Seam: The area where two pieces of fabric are joined. Many different types of seams. Some of the most common are “Plain seam, made by placing the right sides of two garment pieces together and sewing the seam on the under side of the fabric. Flat felled seam or a simulated flat felled seam, used in sturdy blue jeans. A very durable seam, it has a double row of stitching that holds the seam down. French seams, used on very sheer and delicate fabrics and require several steps in which a seam is sewn on the right side of the fabric, then the right sides of the fabric are placed together and another row of stitching is made that encloses the original seam.”
Selvage is the finished edge of a woven material. Sometimes the manufactures name and fabric style may be printed along this edge. The purpose of a selvage edge is to keep the material from fraying or unraveling.
Selvedge: Known as “self edge,” this is a type of denim made on vintage looms that has clean edge on out seam. Won’t fray as easily because of clean edge.
Shawl Collar: Type of collar with one piece of fabric folded over to create continuous line around neck.
Sheath is a close fitting garment with a straight skirt
Shrug: A small, waist-length or shorter jacket usually open in the front
Slim Fit: Type of fit characterized by fabric that is cut closer to the body, creating a snugger fit. Usually used to describe trousers and shirts
Smocking: Tightly-gathered fabric that is often elasticised and stitched decoratively.
Spaghetti Strap: A thin piece of fabric that attaches the front and back of a shirt. Named after its resemblance to a piece of spaghetti.
Sportswear: Casual wear that can be worn anytime of day for a number of different activities. Usually includes separates that can be paired together or worn individually
Square Neck: Neckline that resembles half a square
Stance: Where the highest button on a jacket hits the chest.
Straight Leg: Style of trouser leg cut the same width from waist to ankle.
Sweetheart Neck: Neckline resembling the top half of a heart.
Tank Top: Snug-fitting bodice without sleeves.
Teardrop neckline: A round, tear-shaped cutout that clasps at front or back of neckline.
Tiers: layers of fabric that overlap each other one above the other.
Toile is a copy of the original garment made in cotton fabric such as muslin
Topstitching: Stitching sewn on outside of garment at seams.
Tuck: A fold in fabric that is stitched parallel to the fold. Used to manipulate fullness, and like pleats, usually many tucks are used in a group on a garment.
Tunic: Slip-on garment made without without sleeves that is sometimes cinched at waist.
Turtle Neck: Neckline that covers most of neck and usually fold over onto itself.
V-Neck: Neckline that slopes down into a V-shape.
Whiskers: Fabric creases at hip and upper thigh.
Wide Leg: Style of trousers cut extra full from waist to hem.
Wing Collar: Collar with protruding fabric that goes over shoulders seams.
Wrap Top: Shirt created by cross-wrapping fabric and usually typing it on side.