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Dress King Fashion Glossary

By Jane Lu,
DressKing Inc.,
New York, NY, U.S.A.


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A -line gown - Form fitting bodices that flare out from the waistline to a full skirt. These gowns have a seamless waist.

A -line skirt/fit and flare skirt - A skirt that is fitted at the waist and flares out in an A -line or tulip shape at the hem.

back drape - A length of material attached either at the shoulder or the waist that flows over the back to floor length. In some cases it is removable.

back yoke - A fitted or shaped piece at the top of a skirt or at the shoulder of various garments.

ball gown - Characterized by a very full skirt that begins at the waist and continues to a formal length. The skirt waist is seamed and can be of various styles.

ballerina neckline - This is a low neckline that usually occurs with strapless or spaghetti strapped dresses.

bandeau/tube top - A band -shaped covering for the breasts.

Basque waist/V -waist - This dropped waist starts at or just below the natural waistline, and dips in the center creating a "V" shape.

bateau neck/boat neck - A high, wide, straight neckline that runs straight across the front and back, meeting at the shoulders; the same depth in the front and back.

besom pockets - A pocket sewn inside the garment with access through a welted slit -type opening.

bias cut - Cut diagonally across the grain of a fabric. Used to create garments that follow the body curves closely.

bike tards - A close -fitting, one -piece garment from the top of the torso to the hem of the shorts.

blazer - A long -sleeved sports jacket with lapels.

bolero jacket - A loose, waist -length jacket open at the front.

boot -cut - Cut below the belly button and slightly flares from the knee to the ankle.

box -pleated - Two folds of fabric brought together to form a pleat.

boy -leg - Shorts, undergarments, or swimwear that has a close fitting leg that reaches half way down the thigh.

broomstick - A skirt or dress that is characterized by numerous pleats and crinkled material.

camisole - A short, sleeveless garment for women.

camp pockets - Pockets that are sewn to the outside of the garment, usually squared off and characterized by seaming.

cap sleeve - A small, short sleeve which sits on the shoulder, either forming a stiff cap or falling on to the arm to provide minimal coverage.

capri pants - Fairly straight -cut pants, tapered to the mid -calf.

cardigan jacket - A usually collarless sweater or jacket that opens the full length of the center front.

cargo - Characterized by sporting a large pocket usually with a flap and a pleat.

carpenter pants/shorts - Five -pocket pants characterized by a "hammer holder," a stretch of material connecting the outside seam to the back pocket.

cathedral train - (Also known as a monarch train); a cascading train extending six to eight feet behind the gown, for the most formal weddings.

chapel train - The most popular of all train lengths, it flows from three to four feet behind the gown.

chemise/skimmer - Simply a straight unbelted dress with varying sleeves and length.

column skirt/straight skirt - Also referred to as a pencil skirt, this skirt is a straight line with no flare or fullness at the hem or waistline.

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

convertible collar - A rolled collar that can be worn open or closed. Sewn directly to the neckline.

corset top/boned bodice - A form -fitting, usually strapless bodice with boning and either laces or snap closures, styled in the fashion of the ladies undergarment of the same name.

cowl neck - A neckline featuring a piece of material attached to a garment at the neck, which may be used as a hood or draped loosely in a swag from shoulder to shoulder at the front neckline or back.

crew neck - A round neck with ribbed banding that fits close to the base of the neck.

crinoline - Petticoats stiffened with horse -hair to enable the bell -like skirts of the early nineteenth century, that was eventually replaced with the bustle.

cropped top/jacket - Hem is cut just above the waist.

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

dolman 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 from the waist to a narrowed wrist. Also called a batwing sleeve.

double -breasted - Having one -half of the front lapped over the other, and usually has a double row of buttons and a single row of buttonholes.

double -tee top - A layered look with one T -shirt over another.

draped bodice - An extra piece of material is draped over the bustline.

dropped waist/low waist - A waistline that is sewn below the body's natural waistline.

dropped shoulders - Characterized by the shoulder/sleeve seam falling off the shoulder.

empire bodice - A bodice that ends just below the bust, sometimes low -cut and gathered.

empire seams - A seam that is sewn directly below the bustline.

empire waist - This waistline begins just below the bust.

fishtail train - Fitted around the hips and flares out from the knee to the hemline.

fitted point sleeve - A long, narrow sleeve that tapers to a point which rests against the back of the hand.

flat -front pants - Straight pants, often seamless and pocketless.

form -fitting/slim -fit - Straight from waist to ankle except for a slight curve around the hip.

frog closure - Chinese closing of decorative cording or braid. A soft ball of cording or a button is used to complete the closure.

gauntlets -Dress gloves extending above the wrist.

gaucho - Wide -legged pants or divided skirt reaching mid -calf and worn with boots.

halter top - A sleeveless bodice with a high choke or wrap neck that may be backless.

hankerchief style - The hem of a blouse or skirt that is gently jagged to form flowing points.

hip pockets - Pockets which are sewn on the front of the garment at hip height.

Hollywood waistband - Characterized by a full elasticized back and a side zipper/button closure.

hook & eye closure - A 2 -part fastening device (as on a garment or a door) consisting of a metal hook that catches over a bar or into a loop.

illusion bodice - A bodice made of sheer material giving the illusion of no bodice.

illusion sleeve - A sleeve made of sheer material giving the illusion of no sleeve.

intermission length/Hi -Lo - An intermission -length gown features a hem falling between the knees and ankle; the Hi -Lo variation is a gown of intermission length on the front and floor length or longer in the back.

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

kangaroo pocket - A pocket formed by sewing a piece of cloth over the garment leaving two open ends.

keyhole neck - A tear shaped or round cutout that fastens at the front or back neckline.

kimono - A long robe with wide sleeves traditionally worn with a broad sash.

leg -of -mutton sleeve - (Also known as a gigot sleeve) a loose, full sleeve, rounded from the shoulder to just below the elbow, then shaped to the arm, often ending in a point at the wrist.

maillot - A woman's one -piece bathing suit.

mandarin collar - A short, stand -up collar, adopted from the close -fitting Asian collar.

mermaid - This skirt hugs the body until it reaches the knees or just below and then ends in a dramatic flare.

natural waist - A seam or waistband that secures or falls at the natural curve of the body, which is the indentation between the hips and the ribcage.

notched collar - A two -piece collar that can be only worn open.

off -the -shoulder neck - A neckline that lies gently hovering across the top of the bustline with the shoulders uncovered or able to be seen through the sheer yoke of net or organza attached to a high collar.

overskirt - A skirt worn over another skirt.

peasant top - Romantic style often characterized with a low neckline, ruffles, or free flowing material.

peek -a -boo - Any part of the garment which has been cut out to reveal skin.

petticoat - An underskirt usually a little shorter than outer clothing and often made with a ruffled, pleated, or lace edge.

pieced - A look created by sewing several pieces of material together to form the garment, much like a quilt.

pinafore - Originally used to protect dresses from dirt, it was adopted as a fashion piece and worn as a sleeveless dress or over a blouse.

placket - The piece of cloth that reinforces a split or opening in a garment; that usually also serves as the closure.

point collar - A collar with ties used to attach women's sleeves to their gowns.

princess seams - Seams that can be found in the front or the back of a garment that create a form -fitting shape.

puckered bodice - Usually associated with tube tops, it provides a scrunchy look.

puff sleeve/pouf sleeve - A full sleeve of varying lengths, created by generous gathering around the armhole.

push -up jeans - Spandex in the jeans helps to lift and shape your rear.

romper - A one -piece garment with the lower part shaped like bloomers.

sarong skirt - Long cloth which is wrapped around the entire body.

scoop neck/round neck - A low, U -shaped or round neckline.

shawl collar - A one -piece collar which is turned down to form a continuous line around the back of the neck to the front.

sheaths - Usually have straight or close fitting skirts, accompanied by a form fitting bodice. The skirt is often ankle length and sometimes has a slit in either the front, side, or back to make walking easier.

shelf bra - A bra that is built right into the garment.

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

shrug - A woman's small, waist -length or shorter jacket.

skant - Pants that have a sweater -like attachment around the waist.

skort - Shorts that have a front covering to resemble a skirt.

spaghetti strap - A thin tubular strap that attaches to the bodice, named for its likeness to a strand of spaghetti.

split neck - A round neckline that looks like it has been cut in the center to form a small "V".

square neck - An open -yoke neckline shaped in the form of a half square.

straight legs - Pant legs are cut an equal width from waist to ankle.

sweep train - The shortest train, barely sweeping the floor.

sweetheart neck - A graceful, open yoke, shaped like the top half of a heart.

tank top - A short, sleeveless top with wide armholes.

tankini - A two piece bathing suit with the upper portion resembling a tank top.

tapered legs - Pant legs become progressively narrower toward the ankle.

tea length - A gown hemmed to end at the shin.

tear -away shorts - Features versatile side snaps that allow you to remove a top layer fast.

tie -cinched waist - The waist is pulled tight around the body with a tie.

trapeze top - Tank top style with flared bottom.

tulle skirt/bouffant gown - A sheer, puffed -out skirt often made of stiffened silk, rayon, or nylon net.

tunic style - A simple slip -on garment made with or without sleeves and usually knee -length or longer, belted at the waist, and worn as an under or outer garment.

turtle neck - A high, close -fitting, turnover collar used especially for sweaters.

unitards - A close -fitting, one -piece garment for the torso, legs, and feet, and often for the arms.

V -neck/V -back - An open yoke coming to a "V" shape midway down the bodice.

variegated - Having streaks, marks, or patches of different colors; distinguished or characterized by a variety of different colors.

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.

wide legs - Pants or jeans that are cut extra full through the legs.

wing collar - A collar with projections which cover shoulder seams of bodices and doublets.

wrap top/surplice top - A bodice created by the cross -wrapping of fabric; may be in front or back, and associated with a high or low neckline.

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