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Western Fashion Glossary

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Western Fashion Glossary by TheHeer.com, Asian's Favorite Online Fashion Store.

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