Fashion Glossary - Dress212



Bejeweled items, belts, scarfs, handbags and other trinkets used to emphasize the beauty of an outfit, or provide the functionality of carrying items.


A kind of silhouette or skirt that is designed to be fitted from the waist and flared-out at the hips to mimic the shape on an ‘A’ with a subtle slit; this style is flattering for figures with heavy derrieres, and it looks good on nearly all body shapes.

Accordion Pleat

A style of pressing and folding a fabric with a back and forth motion that makes one pointed edge facing inwards, and the other outwards; a very popular pattern to give dresses and silhouette a romantically feminine beauty while performing a dance.


A form embroidery that is supported by fabric and created on the surface of a fabric, it can be beautified with bejeweled embellishments using beads, sequins, crystals or rhinestones, or it can even be a simple floral embroidery.


The shape or outline created in dressmaking, stitching and tailoring to create an armhole.

Asymmetric Styling

A style that creates a different structure for each side of the clothing staple to make both sides distinctive, as opposed to a symmetrical design, in which both sides are identical. Asymmetrical styling can be added to any item, be it sleeves, necklines, hemlines, collars or even closings.


Baby Doll

A kind of blouse or dress that is inspired by the famous style of nightgown bearing the same name; it is usually sleeveless with a short hemline, designed to fall in a flared style against the hip with a fitted bodice and bust.

Ball Gown

A popular style of formal dresses that feature a voluminous floor-grazing skirt with a fitted bodice.


The technique of adding or forming stripes in contrasting colors.

Bar Fagoting

Bar Fagoting is a traditional embroidery technique that uses handiwork to form a ‘bar’ effect, which is basically a crisscross design made with stiches or a machine with fine ribbon. It often uses twisted embroidery thread to cover up with constantly overlapping stitches to form a buttonhole twist.

Basque Waist

A Basque waist is also referred to as a dropped-V waist; it features a low V or U-shaped waistline that is designed to give the torso an elongated effect and a heavy bottom to highlight the hips.


A very important stage in the preparation of dress making, basting is the process of tacking the long and loose stitches that serve to anchor the fabric and keep it in place until the sewing has been performed. In modern couture, basting is considered far more professional and comfortable than pinning while fitting the silhouette on a body.

Bateau Neck

Bateau is derived from the French word for “boat”, and this neckline is also called a slash-neck or boatneck as it creates the wide shape of a canoe.


An extremely popular sleeve style from the 1930s and 1980s, it is designed by creating wide triangular pieces of fabric and connecting them from the wrist to the waist and shoulder to the wrist.

Beaded Tulle

Tulle fabric embellished with colorful and intricate arrangement of beads to create formal silhouettes.


The technique of entwining beads on a fabric or applique.


Narrow stripes of fabric used to create a bow-like embellishment on dresses and suits, often used as a separate accessory.

Bias Cut

Clothing staples that have been diagonally cut out of fabric, straight from the weave of the fabric, giving the clothing a flowing appearance.

Boat Neck

A neckline that mimics that shape of a canoe; also known as bateau neck.


A small shrug or a narrow jacket, usually designed with an open-front and wrist-long sleeves.


A figure flattering silhouette that shapes up the body and emphasizes the curves.


A kind of silhouette that mirrors the shape of a body to allow women the opportunity to flaunt their curves with an emphasizing clothing staple.


The rigid feature of the corset that provides it a firm shape and makes sure the fabric doesn’t wrinkle; its name is inspired from the traditional method of making it using a whalebone; in modern day, it is created with steel, plastic, nylon and polyester and it is sewn within the garment to give it a shapely appearance.

Button Loop

A buttonhole for the buttons to pass through on a dress or shirt.

Box Pleat

A box pleat is creating by making 2 folds of fabric that are facing one another; they usually extend out from the waistline to give the skirt a beautifully free-flowing and voluminous appearance.

Bracelet-Length Sleeve

Three-quarter length sleeves without cuffs.

Bugle Beads

Embellishments carved out of cylindrical glass beads that are often added to applique and even sewn directly onto silhouettes and dresses.

Bust Line

Usually measured while taking body measurements for dressmaking, it is fullest area of the upper body, and it denotes the neckline, the area where the fabric starts; measurements must be obtained from around the chest while keeping the arms at the sides.



Cap Sleeves

A tiny sleeve that sits atop the shoulder and tends to be shorter than a normal short sleeve.

Cascading Ruffles

A romantic arrangement of ruffles that fall atop each other to give a dress a feminine effect.

Chapel Train

A chapel train tends to fall 4 feet long from the waistline, and it is usually added to formal dresses to give a contemporary train length that is long enough to look graceful and small enough to avoid getting in the way.


A sheer and lightweight fabric that features a subtly rough texture and casts a free-flowing and dreamy effect when added to clothing staples; it is usually added as a stylish cover for opaque fabrics.


A traditional technique of weaving and knitting used to create sweaters and cardigans.


A length that ranges from just above to barely below the knees.

Cold Shoulder

Stylish cut-outs that leave the shoulders bare; these cutouts can be added to any silhouette, be it a shirt or a dress.


A dress that features a narrow and sleekly straight design to give the figures of slim women an elongated effect; least likely to look good on women with heavy bottoms.

Crossed Straps

Narrow straps that are crossed across the shoulders to emphasize the neck and shoulders.


A clothing staple that is designed to give the torso a slim and shapely appearance by cinching up the waist; usually worn with formal and evening wear, known as a bodice that is tied up from the back by pulling up the laces as tightly as need to give the waist a slimmed-down appearance; leaves little need for tailoring; used by women who have different measurements from the waist and bust.

Covered Button

Button covered with embellished fabric, ornaments or beads.

Cowl Neck

A technique of giving the fabric subtle draping and cuts to make it hang and fall down in soft folds, usually added to backs and necklines.


A smooth draping fabric created with silk, polyester and wool, features a gauzy and crisp texture.

Crew Neck

A round close-fitting neckline, usually added to t-shirts and sweaters.


Also known as a petticoat, an underskirt or an underpinning; it features lightweight layer of stiff net fabric to give the skirt or dress a voluminous flair and flowy appearance.

Crystal Brooch

Beautiful arrangements of crystals that are added to dresses and gowns, can be easily pinned up and removed.

Cutout Shoulder

Shoulders featuring stylish cut-outs that leave the skin sensually exposed.




A V-shaped cut that is sewn within the clothing staple to give the fabric a shapely appearance to make sure it perfectly fits all the heavier and curvier areas of the figure. Usually, darts are added to the back shoulder, bustline, hipline, and waistline.


The area that runs down from the base of the neckline, all the way to the bust.

Drop Waist

A kind of design that moves down the waistline to the top of the hips to cast an elongated effect to the torso in order to make you appear much taller; it used to shroud the thickness of a waistline by making the bodice loose.

Double Breasted

A jacket or coat designed with ample overlapping fabric on the front to reveal two neatly structured rows of buttons after fastening.

Duchesse satin

Duchesse satin is a heavyweight fabric created with synthetic fibers and silk to create lingerie and formal dresses.




Ornamentation added to dresses and silhouettes in the form of beads, rhinestones, sequins, jewelry and much more.


Ornamentation of a fabric by using any of a wide variety of decorative hand or machine stitches in the same or a contrasting color. Different styles of embroidery are often associated with particular geographic regions or ethnic groups.

Empire waist

Location of the waistline just under the bustline. The name of this style comes from the high-waisted styles popular during the reign of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1804-1814).


Epaulettes take their inspiration from military uniforms and they refer to the embellishment and ornamental shoulder accessories. They tend to fancy with beads and fringe detailing, or they can simple and graceful, such as most shoulder straps added to trenches and coats.



Fit and Flare

A design that provides the body a curve-emphasizing fitting that hugs the figure from the bodice and cascades down the hip to give the flare a lovely flare, drawing the fabric away from the figure. This is usually added to dresses and skirts.


A mermaid-style train that is fitted from the bodice and hips, and gradually cascades into a romantic flair.

Floor Length

A long trail or bodice length that tends to extend beyond the feet and trails the floor.


Floral arrangements or embellishments that can be in the form of digital prints, embroideries, ornamentation and more.

Full Length

A long length that covers up the feet but doesn’t trail behind on the ground.




A piece of fabric that is added into a seam to create more room, or reduce the tightened pressure that is causing the seam to open up.


A lightweight crepe-like fabric that has a sheer texture and a crinkled appearance, georgette is usually added to formal dresses, evening wear and bridal gowns.


A panel of fabric that is added to skirts and dress for making a widened flare.


A ribbed ribbon that has a dulled and muted luster.


A piece of fabric with a triangular shape that is used to give fullness to a clothing staple, such as skirts, to give the hips a closer fit and a gradual flare towards the knees.




A neckline with a strap that is wrapped around the neck, usually paired with a backless design, a halter neckline is usually added to swimwear, tank tops and dresses.

Haute Couture

French term for high sewing or dress designing, basically the arm of creating custom-fitted dress and designs.


The lower edge of any dress or silhouette.


When taking measurements, hips are the length of the fullest part of the hip and the bottom.




The use of a skin-toned or sheer fabric to cast the appearance of bare skin, illusions can be heavily embellished, ornamented or even simple.


A characteristic of certain fabrics that allows them to show more than one colors when looked at from various different angles.


An inner seam added to the legs of pants and trousers.




A luxurious knitted fabric with a stretchy texture, jersey is extremely amazing at draping, and it is usually made to create sportswear, figure-hugging silhouettes and t-shirts.

Jewel Neckline

A high neckline with a circular style, closely stitched to the base of the neck, it looks very much like that of a t-shirt, and it is most suited for those with long faces.

Juliet sleeve

A style that is inspired by designs from the Renaissance, it features a fitted forearm and puffed up from the top.




A length that covers up the knee.




A beautiful fabric with a web-like pattern that is often added as an overlay on other fabrics or even as applique to give the silhouette an elegant and feminine touch.


A shiny fabric that is created with both, silver and gold metallic threads, and it is popular for its luxurious and glamorous appearance.


A lightweight fabric that is created from the fibers obtained from the flax plant, linen is extremely popular for summer clothing.


A man-made fabric created from elasticated yarns to form a stretchy material for underwear and figure-hugging clothing staples, lycra is extremely popular in sportswear.


A publication that contains designs, creative ideas, styles and influences.



Maxi skirt

A long, flowy and full-length skirt.


A design with fitted bodice, thighs and hips, only to flare out from below the knee, much like a fishtail. These mermaid skirts are made with stiff fabrics and crinoline to give them a structured flared shape, most flattering from hourglass body types.

Mini skirt

A short skirt that has a 20cm above the knee length.




A fabric or yarn created from nylon fibers, nylon is commonly used to make stockings and tights.

Natural Waist Line

The thinnest part of the abdomen, located between the hips and ribcage.


The outline of the upper edge of a garment or clothing staple, created to highlight and frame the neck and shoulders.




A neckline created with straps that extend beyond the shoulders to highlight the collarbone, neck and shoulders.


A printed or dyed fabric that is made with large rolls and different combinations of colors and shades, and a tendency of gradual progression to become light or dark.


A sheer fabric that features a stiff and crisp texture with a metallic sheen and a wiry touch, used to create an overlay or add more volume to formal designs with its crisp drape and ability to add shape to a silhouette.






Disk-like embellishment that are usually made from mother of pearl and plastic to create a delightful movement in a clothing item, these usually hang from a hole created at the top.

Pencil skirt

A narrow and tightly fitted skirt with a just above or below the knee length.


A short embellished skirt that is added to the hemline or bodice of a dress.


A series of tiny loops made by twisted thread in embroidery or lace to decorate the border of a fabric.


A slit in a design to cover up fastening, a pocket or a to add a piece of fabric underneath an opening or pocket.


Folds and doublings of fabric that are pressed, ironed, creased into or even sewn into a silhouette or dress as a form of embellishment.


A fabric created from polyester fibers.


A lightweight plain-woven cotton fabric that features a corded texture.

Peau de Soie

French word for “skin of silk”, it refers to a heavy fabric with a soft and crisp finish and a lustrous sheen that makes it ideal for draping.

Portrait Neckline

A modest neckline with a wide and low V-neck to emphasize the décolletage with a modest yet glamorous appearance.

Princess Seams

Seams that cover the front of the clothing apparel to give the garment a loose fitting with long, vertical lines running down the front.

Puff Sleeve

A sleeve that is ruched up from the seams to create a classic and voluminous look.

Princess Line

Named after the graceful and elegant Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the princess line is designed with long panels that don’t feature any separation from the waist or horizontal joining seams, but instead, they use long seams and dart to give the figure a shapely appearance.





Queen Anne Neckline

A diamond-shaped neckline with a high collar to emphasize the shoulders and bust.




A design that forms a Y-shape with shoulder straps on the upper back to highlight the shoulder blades and arms.

Raglan sleeve

A sleeve that stretches up all the way to the neckline, making a long diagonal seam that extends from the neck towards the armpit.


The measurement of a women’s pants from the crotch to the waistband.


Gathering up pieces of fabric to give a wave-like effect.


A diamond-like jewel created from crystal, glass and plastic to create a shiny sparkling effect.


Layers of fabric that are gathered to give the dress an embellished feminine effect.




A woven fabric that features a lustrous and glossy texture; made using silk and synthetics.


Decorative borders created in semi-circular shapes.


A U-shaped neckline that highlights the décolletage and gives the neck an elongated effect, particularly flattering for round-shaped faces.


Seam refers to the place where the fabric is joined while stitching.

Self-belt or tie

A belt or tie that is created from the same fabric is as the remaining dress to tighten up the waist.

Seed Beads

Tiny round glass beads that are sewn onto the clothing staples or added to applique as an embellishment.


Tiny plastic disk-shaped beads with little holes in the center to capture the light and sparkle that are sewn onto clothing and added to applique; they give a glamorous and shiny look with their reflective abilities.


A fabric that features a stiff and shiny drape with a crispy texture that is used to make structured clothing staples, such as A-line skirts and jackets.


A flowy figure-hugging dress.


A dress that is not fitted and hangs down straight, ideal for slim figures.


The outline or shape of a clothing staple or dress.

Square Neckline

A flattering neckline that gives the neck an elongated effect.


A neckline that highlights the décolletage, shoulders, arms and neck.

Sweep Train

A short fabric trail on the back of a dress or skirt.

Sweetheart Neckline

A heart-shaped neckline that highlights the bust with a conservative modesty.


A decorative design that features gathered up rows of fabric.


A natural fiber with a luxurious and glossy texture obtained from various kinds of silk worms.


A technique to make the fabric stretchy.


A dress with a short flared skirt and a fitted bodice, much like the dresses that skaters wear.

Spaghetti strap

A shoulder strap created from a thin strip of fabric.


A stretchy and flexible fabric, made with elastic fabrics, usually used in athleisure and fitness apparel.


A neckline with two diagonal pieces of fabric that cross-over to form a V-neck.




Taffeta is a smooth fabric that is woven from silk or synthetic fibers and added to formal dresses.

Tea Length

A silhouette or gown that has a shin-grazing length.

Three-Quarter Length Sleeve

Sleeves that don’t extend beyond three-quarters.


A luxurious net fabric that has a mesh-like appearance and is added to eveningwear and formal gowns.


An acronym for the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act, a legislation that required textile products to be labeled according to their fiber products.


A dress that features an A-line shape, a mid-thigh length, round neckline and a wide flare.

Trumpet skirt

A skirt that flares at the hemline and gives the hips a slim fit.




A neckline that creates the shape of a ‘V’ by dipping in the center.


A split added to the lower back of blazers and jackets for women.


Clothing styles that have been introduced on inspired by previous years or eras.


The latest fashion trends and style.



Watteau back

The back of a clothing staple where box pleats are added to release the fabric with a loosely falling cascade of pleats.




The yoke is added at the back of the shoulders to connect the front and back pieces together, along with the sleeves and collar.


A large and continuous stretch of entwined fibers to create knits or textiles.