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    fashion glossary

    A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 

    Glossary AGo to top

    A-line:

    A style of skirt that is fitted at the waist and/or hips and gradually flares out, creating an “A” shape; flatters almost all figures and is especially good for bottom-heavy figures, smoothing out the silhouette. Click here to see an example.

    Accordion Pleat:

    A pattern of folding and pressing fabric that goes back and forth, with one pointed edge facing out and one pointed edge facing in; provides a very feminine touch to a dress and flares out beautifully when dancing. Click here to see an example.

    Appliqué:

    An embellishment that is backed with fabric and applied to the surface of a garment can be embroidered and/or embellished with beading, rhinestones or sequins. Click here to see an example.

    Asymmetrical:

    Not identical on both sides, usually used to describe necklines, however it can also apply to the hemline of skirts; because it accentuates the collarbone, neck and shoulders, it is not very flattering for broad shoulders. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary BGo to top

    Ball Gown:

    A formal style of dress, usually with a fitted bodice and a full-length, voluminous skirt. Click here to see an example.

    Basque Waist:

    Also known as a dropped-V waist; the waistline has a low U or V shape that elongates the torso; flattering on most body types, except for bottom heavy as it accentuates the hips. Click here to see an example.

    Boat Neck:

    A high, wide collar that goes above the collarbone and usually connects at the sleeve seams; also known as a Sabrina neckline or a Bateau neckline; flatters heart-shaped faces and elongates the neck; also gives the illusion of a larger bust. Click here to see an example.

    Body-Conscious:

    A style of dress that conforms to the shape of the body; good for women who want to show off their curves. Click here to see an example.

    Boning:

    The rigid part of a corset that gives it shape and keeps the fabric from wrinkling; the name derives from the fact that it used to be made using whalebone; today it is usually made from nylon, polyester, steel or plastic; can be sewn directly into a garment to give it shape. Click here to see an example.

    Box Pleat:

    Formed when 2 pleats(folds of fabric) are made facing each other; they tend to spring out from the waistline and give a stunning, voluminous effect to the skirt. Click here to see an example.

    Bracelet-Length Sleeve:

    Falls between the elbow and the wrist, so-called because it is the perfect length to display a bracelet. Click here to see an example.

    Brush Train:

    See Sweep Train.

    Bugle Beads:

    Cylindrical glass beds that are used as embellishments; can be sewn directly onto the fabric or onto an appliqué.Click here to see an example.

    Bust Line:

    In dress measurements, the fullest part of the upper body; measurement should be taken around the chest with the arms comfortably at the sides; in terms of neckline, where the fabric begins.

    Glossary 
CGo to top

    Chapel Train:

    Extends approximately 4 feet from the waist line; formal, but not too big to get in the way, this is the most popular length for trains today. Click here to see an example.

    Chiffon:

    A lightweight, sheer fabric with a slightly rough texture; often used as an overlay for more opaque fabrics, it provides dreamy, floating effect. Click here to see an example.

    Cocktail-Length:

    Falls just above to just below the knee. Click here to see an example.

    Column:

    A silhouette with a straight, narrow shape; elongates the figure but does not flatter those who are bottom-heavy; most flattering on slim women. Click here to see an example.

    Corset:

    A garment used to shape the torso, usually by narrowing the waist; for evening wear this will most commonly refer to a bodice that is tied at the back, in which the laces can be pulled tight to cinch the waist; can be eliminate the need for tailoring for women who are different sizes in the bust and waist. Click here to see an example.

    Cowl Neck:

    A loose, unstructured drape of fabric that hangs below the collarbone. Click here to see an example.

    Crepe:

    Silk, wool or polyester fabric with a gauzy texture and a smooth and crisp drape. Click here to see an example.

    Crinoline:

    Also referred to as a petticoat, underpinning or underskirt; layers of stiff, lightweight net fabric that give volume and shape to the skirt of a dress. Click here to see an example.

    Cubic Zirconia:

    Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is a synthetically created gemstone. The brilliance and crystal clarity of cubic zirconia are almost unmatched, making it one of today's most popular stones for all your jewelry must haves. Click here to see an example.

    Cutouts:

    Often strategically placed sections of fabric removed from a dress to show the skin. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary DGo to top

    Décolletage or décolleté:

    The area from the base of the neck down to the bust. Click here to see an example.

    Digital Print:

    A print that is created by applying a complete image to a fabric, giving a crisp photo-realistic image; often incorporating actual photographic images. Click here to see an example.

    Drop Waist:

    A style of dress where the waistline is moved down, usually to the top of the hips; because it elongates the torso it can make you look taller, and if the bodice is not fitted it can mask thick waistline. Click here to see an example.

    Duchess Satin:

    Seepeau de soie

    Dupioni:

    A fabric characterized by its nubbed surface, iridescence and stiff drape; similar to Shantung, but thicker and more irregular; its crispness lends itself well to structured garments such as jackets and A-line skirts.Click here to see an example.

    Glossary EGo to top

    Embellishments:

    Any decorative element added to a garment, such as beading, rhinestones or appliqués. Click here to see an example.

    Embroidery:

    Decorative designs stitched into a garment, sometimes using metallic thread; can be further embellished with beading and/or sequins. Click here to see an example.

    Empire:

    A high waistline that is just below the bust; has lengthening effect and emphasizes the bust; good for women who would rather not draw attention to their mid-section or hips; also good for pregnant women, so long as the lining is not fitted.Click here to see an example.

    Glossary FGo to top

    Faille:

    A slightly ribbed fabric with a crisp drape.

    Flounce:

    A large ruffle often used over a slim-fitting skirt. Click here to see an example.

    Fishtail:

    A style of dress that is similar to a mermaid, but not as structured; often used with a light, flowy fabric like charmeuse. Click here to see an example.

    Full Length:

    Falls below the ankles, usually worn all the way to the floor.

    Glossary GGo to top

    Gauze:

    A light, open-weave, flowing, sheer fabric with a rough texture.

    Georgette:

    A sheer ribbed fabric that is slightly heavier than chiffon, yet provides a similar floaty effect.

    Godet:

    A triangular piece of fabric sewn into a skirt to add volume. Click here to see an example.

    Grosgrain:

    A ribbed ribbon with a dull luster. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary HGo to top

    Halter:

    A neckline in which straps join behind the base of the neck; shows off the shoulders and upper back; unflattering for broad shoulders. Click here to see an example.

    Hand Pleating:

    Small, irregular gathers of fabric that give texture to a design. Click here to see an example.

    Hips:

    In dress measurements, the length around the fullest part of the hip and over the bottom.

    Glossary IGo to top

    Illusion:

    Using a sheer, skin-toned fabric to create the appearance of bare skin; can be beaded or otherwise embellished. Click here to see an example.

    Iridescence:

    The property of certain materials that give them the appearance of being more than one color when viewed from different angles. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary JGo to top

    Jersey:

    A knit fabric with a moderate to heavy stretch that drapes well and conforms to the shape of the body; a good choice for maternity wear as it has the most stretch of any evening wear fabric. Click here to see an example.

    Jewel Neckline:

    A high circular neckline close to the base of the neck, similar to a t-shirt; so named because it offers an excellent backdrop to display a necklace; especially flattering for long faces. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary KGo to top

    Glossary LGo to top

    Lace:

    A web-like patterned fabric that can be used as an appliqué or an overlay on other fabric; gives a delicate and sophisticated look to any garment. Click here to see an example.

    Lamé:

    A fabric in which metallic thread is used or metallic finish is achieved. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary MGo to top

    Matte Satin:

    Seepeau de soie

    Mermaid:

    A silhouette that is fitted throughout the bodice, hips and thighs and flares out below the knee; similar to a fishtail, however, Mermaid skirts will be structured, using crinoline, stiff fabric or ruffles to hold the flared shape; very flattering on an hourglass figure. Click here to see an example.

    Mini:

    Shorter than Cocktail Length, it falls mid-thigh or above. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary NGo to top

    Natural Waist Line:

    The smallest part of the torso, or where the waist creases when one bends to the side.

    Glossary OGo to top

    Obi:

    A wide sash originating in Japanese kimono; emphasizes the waist and can give the illusion of a more defined waist. Click here to see an example.

    Off-the-Shoulder:

    A neck line in which the straps go around the outside of the shoulders; emphasizes the shoulders and collarbone. Click here to see an example.

    Ombre:

    A fabric, either printed or dyed, with a gradual progression from light to dark or from one color to another; because fabric is made on large rolls the combination of shades and/or colors can vary from garment to garment. Click here to see an example.

    Organza:

    A stiff, sheer fabric often with a metallic sheen; fine wiry feel and crisp drape; holds shape well; can be used as an overlay or to create volume in a design; formal and romantic look. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary PGo to top

    Paillettes:

    Flat, most often disk-like, embellishments that hang from a hole at the top; create a lovely eye-catching movement in a garment; can be made from a variety of materials, the most common being plastic and mother of pearl. Click here to see an example.

    Paisley:

    A teardrop shaped floral pattern that originated in India and Persia; evokes a bohemian feel. Click here to see an example.

    Peau de Soie:

    Also known as Duchess Satin or Matte Satin, literally “skin of silk” in French; medium to heavyweight; its soft, lustrous finish and crisp, smooth drape make this fabric universally flattering. Click here to see an example.

    Pencil Skirt:

    A skirt that is narrow and closely fitted, falling just above or just below the knee. Click here to see an example.

    Peplum:

    A short decorative skirt that attached to the bodice of a dress. Click here to see an example.

    Pick-Up:

    A piece of fabric from the skirt of a dress that is lifted and attached at point above it creating a draped fold of fabric that gives volume to the skirt; utilized with a stiff fabric, usually taffeta or organza; gives the garment a classical and romantic look. Click here to see an example.

    Plaid:

    A pattern using 2 or more colors created by intersecting vertical and horizontal line that form a grid; from the traditional costume of Ireland and Scotland, this is a crisp, classic and pattern. Click here to see an example.

    Pleat:

    A piece of fabric that has been folded onto itself; can lay flat against the body or flare out from the waist line. Click here to see an example.

    Portrait Neckline:

    A wide and low-slung V-neck, which is typically of modest depth; draws attention to the décolletage; glamorous and conservative. Click here to see an example.

    Princess Seams:

    Seams that run down the front of a garment, usually over the bust that allow the garment to be closely fitted to the wearer; the long, vertical lines elongate the figure. Click here to see an example.

    Puff Sleeve:

    A sleeve that is gathered or ruched at the seam to give it volume; a classic and romantic look. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary QGo to top

    Queen Anne Neckline:

    Diamond shaped, traditionally with a high collar in the back; emphasizes the bust and shoulders making it more flattering for those with narrow shoulders and a small to medium bust. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary RGo to top

    Racerback:

    Originating in swim suit design, the shoulder straps converge over the upper back creating a Y-shape; emphasizing the arms and shoulder blades, it does not flatter those with broad shoulders. Click here to see an example.

    Rhinestones:

    A simulated diamond or jewel made from glass, plastic or crystal; creates a sparkling, luxurious effect. Click here to see an example.

    Ruching:

    The gathering of fabric to create a tight wave-like pattern. Click here to see an example.

    Ruffles:

    A piece of fabric that is gathered at one edge and used to embellish a garment; layers of ruffles can be used to add volume to a design; a soft and feminine embellishment. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary SGo to top

    Scoop-Neck:

    A U-shaped neckline; emphasizes the décolletage and elongates the neck; especially complements round faces. Click here to see an example.

    Seed Beads:

    small, round glass beads that are used as embellishments; sewn directly onto a garment or sewn onto an appliqué.

    Sequins:

    Plastic disks, with holes in the center, that catch the light and sparkle; usually faceted to make them more reflective; either sewn directly onto the garment or onto an appliqué; gives a dramatic and glamorous look. Click here to see an example.

    Shantung:

    A fabric characterized by its nubbed surface, shine and stiff drape.Its crispness lends itself well to structured garments such as jackets and A-line skirts. Click here to see an example.

    Sheath:

    A flowing, body-conscious silhouette. Click here to see an example.

    Shift:

    A dress that hangs straight down and is not fitted to the body; best for slimmer body types. Click here to see an example.

    Silhouette:

    The shape or outline of a garment.

    Square Neckline:

    Forms at right angles on either side of the bust line; a sophisticated line that flatters wide or round faces and elongates the neck, especially flattering for busty women. Click here to see an example.

    Strapless:

    An elegant neckline that can be straight across or notched in the center; emphasizes the arms, shoulders and décolletage. Click here to see an example.

    Sweep Train:

    Also known as a Brush Train; a short trail of fabric on the back of a skirt, usually only 4-6”. Click here to see an example.

    Sweetheart Neckline:

    Heart shaped; follows the curve of the bust and indents in the center, usually at a point; when modestly cut it can draw attention to the figure while remaining conservative in appearance. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary TGo to top

    Taffeta:

    Medium to heavyweight fabric with a crisp drape; often used in ball gowns and for bows because of its ability to hold its shape. Click here to see an example.

    Tea Length:

    Falling from the middle of the calf to the ankle. Click here to see an example.

    Three-Quarter Length Sleeve:

    Falls at or just above or below the elbow. Click here to see an example.

    Tulle:

    A stiff, sheer, lightweight mesh fabric; its stiffness makes it an excellent fabric to layer underneath a garment to add volume; produces a lovely iridescent effect when used as an overlay. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary UGo to top

    Glossary VGo to top

    V-Neck:

    A neckline that dips to a point in the center; narrows broad shoulders and minimizes a large bust. Click here to see an example.

    Glossary WGo to top

    Glossary XGo to top

    Glossary YGo to top

    Glossary ZGo to top

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