Glossary of Terms
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.
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.
A fitted or shaped piece at the top of a skirt or at the shoulder of various garments.
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.
This is a low neckline that usually occurs with strapless or spaghetti strapped dresses.
A band-shaped covering for the breasts.
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.
A pocket sewn inside the garment with access through a welted slit-type opening.
Cut diagonally across the grain of a fabric. Used to create garments that follow the body curves closely.
A close-fitting, one-piece garment from the top of the torso to the hem of the shorts.
A long-sleeved sports jacket with lapels.
A loose, waist-length jacket open at the front.
Cut below the belly button and slightly flares from the knee to the ankle.
Two folds of fabric brought together to form a pleat.
Shorts, undergarments, or swimwear that has a close fitting leg that reaches half way down the thigh.
A skirt or dress that is characterized by numerous pleats and crinkled material.
A short, sleeveless garment for women.
Pockets that are sewn to the outside of the garment, usually squared off and characterized by seaming.
A small, short sleeve which sits on the shoulder, either forming a stiff cap or falling on to the arm to provide minimal coverage.
Fairly straight-cut pants, tapered to the mid-calf.
A usually collarless sweater or jacket that opens the full length of the center front.
Characterized by sporting a large pocket usually with a flap and a pleat.
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)
Cascading train extending six to eight feet behind the gown, for the most formal weddings.
The most popular of all train lengths, it flows from three to four feet behind the gown.
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.
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.
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.
A round neck with ribbed banding that fits close to the base of the neck.
Petticoats stiffened with horse-hair to enable the bell-like skirts of the early nineteenth century, that was eventually replaced with the bustle.
Hem is cut just above the waist.
A diamond-shaped cutout that fastens at the front or back neckline.
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.
Having one-half of the front lapped over the other, and usually has a double row of buttons and a single row of buttonholes.
A layered look with one T-shirt over another.
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.
Characterized by the shoulder/sleeve seam falling off the shoulder.
A bodice that ends just below the bust, sometimes low-cut and gathered.
A seam that is sewn directly below the bustline.
This waistline begins just below the bust.
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.
Straight pants, often seamless and pocketless.
Straight from waist to ankle except for a slight curve around the hip.
Chinese closing of decorative cording or braid. A soft ball of cording or a button is used to complete the closure.
Dress gloves extending above the wrist.
Wide-legged pants or divided skirt reaching mid-calf and worn with boots.
A sleeveless bodice with a high choke or wrap neck that may be backless.
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.
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.
A bodice made of sheer material giving the illusion of no bodice.
A sleeve made of sheer material giving the illusion of no sleeve.
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.
A high round neckline resting simply at the base of the neck.
A pocket formed by sewing a piece of cloth over the garment leaving two open ends.
A tear shaped or round cutout that fastens at the front or back neckline.
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.
A woman's one-piece bathing suit.
A short, stand-up collar, adopted from the close-fitting Asian collar.
This skirt hugs the body until it reaches the knees or just below and then ends in a dramatic flare.
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.
A two-piece collar that can be only worn open.
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.
A skirt worn over another skirt.
Romantic style often characterized with a low neckline, ruffles, or free flowing material.
Any part of the garment which has been cut out to reveal skin.
An underskirt usually a little shorter than outer clothing and often made with a ruffled, pleated, or lace edge.
A look created by sewing several pieces of material together to form the garment, much like a quilt.
Originally used to protect dresses from dirt, it was adopted as a fashion piece and worn as a sleeveless dress or over a blouse.
The piece of cloth that reinforces a split or opening in a garment; that usually also serves as the closure.
A collar with ties used to attach women's sleeves to their gowns.
Seams that can be found in the front or the back of a garment that create a form-fitting shape.
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.
Spandex in the jeans helps to lift and shape your rear.
A one-piece garment with the lower part shaped like bloomers.
Long cloth which is wrapped around the entire body.
Scoop Neck/Round Neck
A low, U-shaped or round neckline.
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.
A bra that is built right into the garment.
A decorative gathering (as of cloth) made by drawing up the material along two or more parallel lines of stitching.
A woman's small, waist-length or shorter jacket.
Pants that have a sweater-like attachment around the waist.
Shorts that have a front covering to resemble a skirt.
A thin tubular strap that attaches to the bodice, named for its likeness to a strand of spaghetti.
A round neckline that looks like it has been cut in the center to form a small "V".
An open-yoke neckline shaped in the form of a half square.
Pant legs are cut an equal width from waist to ankle.
The shortest train, barely sweeping the floor.
A graceful, open yoke, shaped like the top half of a heart.
A short, sleeveless top with wide armholes.
A two piece bathing suit with the upper portion resembling a tank top.
Pant legs become progressively narrower toward the ankle.
A gown hemmed to end at the shin.
Features versatile side snaps that allow you to remove a top layer fast.
The waist is pulled tight around the body with a tie.
Tank top style with flared bottom.
Tulle Skirt/Bouffant Gown
A sheer, puffed-out skirt often made of stiffened silk, rayon, or nylon net.
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.
A high, close-fitting, turnover collar used especially for sweaters.
A close-fitting, one-piece garment for the torso, legs, and feet, and often for the arms.
An open yoke coming to a "V" shape midway down the bodice.
Having streaks, marks, or patches of different colors; distinguished or characterized by a variety of different colors.
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.
Pants or jeans that are cut extra full through the legs.
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.