A-line - A dress or skirt that is narrower at the top and gradually
flares out to a wider hemline resembling the letter A. This style works well on
most figure types; good for disguising bottom heavy figures.
Acrylic - Synthetic manufactured fabric that is soft and wool-like.
Acrylic is usually found in winter garments such as sweaters and dresses.
Angel sleeves - Sleeves that are cut with lots of extra material
instead of being fitted to the arm, giving the appearance of wings. Length of the
sleeves can vary greatly.
Argyle - A diamond shaped plaid pattern on a fabric.
Appliqué - Fabric that has been cut and applied to another
fabric or garment in order to decorate the material. Most appliqués are sewn on
to the garment but may also be attached with an adhesive.
Asymmetric - A dress, top, or sweater with one shoulder strap or
sleeve. The other shoulder is bare. Hemlines are often diagonal.
Babydoll - A top or dress with an empire waist (directly under
the bust) and an A-line bodice. Can be short sleeved or sleeveless.
Bandeau - A band shaped strapless covering for the bust.
Batwing - Called a dolman sleeve. This style is cut very large
at the armhole and extends almost to the waist and then tapers at the wrist.
Bell sleeve - A long or three quarter length sleeve that flares
out at the hem.
Blazer - A long sleeved sports jacket with lapels.
Boatneck - A narrow neckline that is open shoulder to shoulder.
Bodice - The upper part of a dress or top.
Bolero jacket - A short jacket with long sleeves.
Bomber jacket - A loose waist length jacket with fitted waist and
Boot - A sturdy item of footwear covering the foot, the ankle,
and sometimes the leg below the knee.
Boot cut - Also called bootleg. A pant or jean style that is tapered
to the knee and very subtly flares out to accommodate a boot to be worn under the
Bouclé - A knitted or woven fabric with a looped or knotted
texture. Loops are usually similar in size and can range from tiny circles to large
Broomstick - A skirt or a dress that is distinguished by numerous
pleats and material that is pleated.
Burn-out - A technique of destroying a layer of fabric to create
a patterned effect and generally results in a sexy sheer look.
Bustier - A garment similar to a corset that is close-fitting,
usually strapless, and may be made from highly ornamental fabric.
Bustle - A bow or gathering of material at the back of a woman’s
skirt below the waist.
Cable knit - A knit in a raised loop stripe that resembles a twisted
cable, used in knitted sweaters.
Camisole - A top or dress with spaghetti straps that can be worn
alone or as a layering piece. Also called a cami.
Capri pants - Calf length women’s pants.
Cap sleeve - A very short sleeve that extends to just over the
shoulder to give that touch of sexy femininity.
Car coat - An overcoat with a length extending to the middle of
the thighs and a flat front placket.
Cardigan - A usually collarless sweater or jacket that opens down
Cargo style - Pants or jeans with pockets on the side of the leg.
Cashmere - A fine, soft downy wool. A luxury fiber because it’s
one of the rarest and most expensive fabrics. Cashmere is found in winter garments
such as sweaters, dresses, and coats.
Chiffon - A light, sheer fabric typically made of nylon, silk,
Cinched waist - A feature in a garment that tapers narrowly at
the mid-section, accentuating the curves of the body.
Circle skirt - A skirt that is designed by cutting a circle out
a piece of fabric, creating volume.
Cold shoulder - A top with cut out shoulders.
Color blocking - Strategically placed contrasting colors paired
together on a garment.
Corduroy - A pile fabric with vertical ridges, usually made of
Corset - A tight fitting top, often reinforced by stays, worn to
support and shape the waistline and bust.
Cowl neck - A neckline on a woman’s blouse or sweater that hangs
in draped folds.
Crochet - An open knit in which yarn is looped into a patterned
Dart - A V-shaped tuck that is sewn into a garment in order to
shape the fabric so the garment fits the rounded part of the body. Most darts are
located around the bustline, waistline, or along the hipline.
Denim - A sturdy cotton twill fabric, typically blue, used for
jeans, overalls, and other clothing.
Dolman sleeve - Also called batwing. This style is cut very large
at the armhole and extends almost to the waist and then tapers at the wrist.
Double-breasted - Having one half of the front overlapping the
other, usually with a double row of buttons and a single row of buttonholes.
Draping - Hanging fabric in folds or covering the fabric in loose
folds. Hemlines are often uneven
Embellished - Ornamentation of fabric by using a wide variety of
decorative pieces such as sequins, beads or decorative pieces
Embroidery - Ornamentation of a fabric by using any wide variety
of decorative hand or machine stitches in the same or contrasting color with needlework.
Empire waist - Waist begins just below the bust which gives dresses
and tops a flattering fit. This outline is especially flattering to pear shapes
wishing to disguise the stomach area or emphasize the bust.
Eyelet - A type of embroidery with small holes that are cut in
Fabric content - The kinds of fibers represented in a particular
Faux leather - Imitation leather made of materials other than animal
skins. Faux leather is lighter and easier to clean than leather.
Fishtail - A style of skirt or blouse that is shorter in the front
than the back.
Fleur de lis - A stylized lily or iris that is used as a decorative
Flounce hem - A strip of decorative fabric attached to one edge
to create a wide ruffle.
Funnel neck - A neckline that is high and wide. A funnel neckline
is attached to the body of the garment and not sewn to the neckline.
Garment washed - Apparel that has already been washed. The garment
is softer and has a worn-in look.
Georgette - A crinkled, sheer fabric that has a lightweight, flowing
Gingham - A medium or lightweight, plaid or checked fabric using
more than two colors with a plain weave made of cotton.
Grosgrain - A strong, tightly woven corded fabric that has narrow,
horizontal ribs. Commonly used as a trim.
Gusset - A rectangular piece of fabric sewn into the crotch area
of shorts or pants to allow for a better fit where the center back and center front
seam meet the inside leg seam.
Halter - A dress or top that is tied around the neck, exposing
the back and shoulders. Also called halter neck.
Handkerchief hem - The hem of a skirt or blouse that is gently
jagged to form flowing points that resemble a scarf. This style works well on most
figures. Also called hanky hem.
Henley - A collarless top with a closure that stops midway down
Herringbone - A broken twill weave that is sewn in opposite directions
to form a zigzag pattern.
High low hem - A garment with an uneven hemline varying from long
Hook and eye closure - Fastening system on garments with a small
hook that is inserted into an eye loop.
Hounds tooth - A small broken check pattern woven into a fabric.
Jacquard - A fabric with an intricately woven pattern.
Jersey - A stretchy fine knitted fabric used in t-shirts, sportswear,
and figure hugging clothes. This fabric is great for draping.
Johnny collar - An open split neckline with a pointed collar.
Jumpsuit - A garment that incorporates a top and bottom in one
Keyhole neckline - A teardrop or round shaped cutout that fastens
at the front or back neckline.
Kimono sleeve - Cut as part of the bodice, a kimono sleeve has
a wide, sloping shape.
Legging - Tight form fitting pants. Sometimes referred to as tights.
Linen - Cloth woven from flax.
Lycra® - Lycra® is a trademark name for spandex.
Maxi - A skirt or dress with a long full length, usually to the
Mesh - A knit, woven, or knotted fabric of net-like open texture.
Mesh is lightweight and breathable.
Metallic - A yarn or fiber made partially or entirely of metal
and having a metallic appearance.
Mini skirt - A skirt with a hemline well above the knees.
Mini dress - A dress with a hemline well above the knees.
Mitered - A striped pattern sewn into a "V" design that slenderizes
and flatters your figure.
Natural waist - A seam or waistband that secures or falls at the
natural curve of the body. The indentation between the hips and the ribcage.
Nylon - A synthetic fiber known for its strength and stain resilience.
Oversized - Enlarged garments that alter the natural shape of the
Oxford heel - A low shoe laced over the instep.
Paillette - Small shiny disks, sequins, or spangles sewn on garments
Paisley - A swirled pattern curved with teardrop shapes.
Patch pockets - A small pocket found on pants or shorts which look
like a piece of material sewn on to resemble a patch.
Patent - A high gloss finish to leather and nylon.
Peacoat - A heavy coat which features a double breasted style and
notched collar which is generally a wool blend.
Peasant - A romantic style top or dress commonly distinguished
by a low neckline, ruffles, or free flowing material.
Peek-a-boo - A part of a garment that has been cut out to reveal
Peep toe - A shoe style where the front section is cut away to
reveal the toes.
Pencil skirt - A skirt that is cut in a straight line from the
hips to the hem and usually knee length. Can either taper in at the hem or fall
straight down from the hip.
Peplum - A short full flounce or an extension of a garment below
the waist, covering the hips.
Piping - A fabric trim stitched along the seams or edges of a garment.
Trim color can be the same color as the garment or in a contrasting color.
Placket - An opening or slit in a blouse, skirt, or dress usually
covering fastenings that facilitates putting it on or taking it off. A piece of
cloth reinforcing the opening used for closure of a garment.
Pleat - A type of fold formed by doubling fabric back upon itself
and securing it in place.
Pointelle - A stitch that creates a tiny, open-worked pattern that
adds a lightweight, delicate texture to clothing.
Polo shirt - A short sleeved pullover with a small, flat collar.
Poncho - A circular piece of fabric with a hole cut out for the
head, usually worn as a cape or jacket. Commonly they are knitted and have tassels.
Popcorn stitch - A stitch formed by making one stitch into for,
forming a nicely rounded compact oval that stands out from the fabric. Popcorn stitches
add texture to garments.
Poplin - A heavyweight and durable tightly woven plain-weave fabric
that has fine, crisscrossing ribs.
Puff sleeve - A sleeve created by generous gatherings around the
armhole. Sleeves can be varying lengths.
Racerback - A top where the back is cut away in a T-shape to reveal
the shoulder blades.
Ribbing - A knitting method where small rows are finely knitted
together to form a texture.
Romper - A loose one-piece garment combining a shirt and a short.
Ruched - A sewing technique where fabric is gathered in a repeating
pattern creating a ripple appearance. Often used to create draping and texture in
Ruffle - An ornamental strip of fabric tightly gathered or pleated
on one edge and applied to a garment.
Sateen - A thicker version of satin that has a thicker weave. Commonly
used in eveningwear and jacket lining.
Satin - A silky, lustrous fabric with a smooth, shiny surface.
Scoop neck - A low, U-shaped or round neckline.
Sharkbite - A type of hem that has an uneven cut with two points
in the front and two points in the back. The jagged look has the appearance of a
Shawl collar - A one-piece collar turned down to form a continuous
line around the back of the neck to the front.
Sheer - A fabric that is transparently thin.
Shelf bra - A bra built into the garment.
Shift dress - A loose fitting dress with no defined waistline.
Shirtdress - A dress that resembles a lengthened shirt, commonly
worn with a belt.
Silk - A soft, lustrous fiber made from the cocoon of a silkworm.
Skinny leg - A form-fitting slim fit jean or pant with snug fit
through the legs and a small tapered leg opening.
Skort - Shorts that have a front covering to resemble a skirt.
Smocking - An embroidery technique that gathers a section of the
material into tight pleats, holding them together with parallel stitches so that
it can stretch.
Spaghetti straps - A very thin shoulder strap on a woman’s garment.
Straight leg - A pant or jean with a uniform fit from the top of
the pant leg to the bottom of the leg opening.
Sublimation - A method of infusing an image onto the thread of
the fabric so it does not affect the surface of the garment, creating permanent
images that will not crack or fade.
Surplice - A garment in which the two halves of the front cross
diagonally, forming a V-neck.
Tank top - A short, sleeveless top.
Terry - A pile fabric, usually of cotton, with loops on both sides.
Tie dye - A pattern created by dyeing the fabric after knotting
it to create an irregular pattern.
Tiers - Layers of fabric placed one above the other.
Trumpet sleeve - A top with a sleeve falling straight to the elbow,
where it flares in the shape of a trumpet.
Tulle - A very fine mesh like net fabric commonly used in eveningwear
and bridal gowns. Tulle comes in loose and tight weaves, giving the fabric different
Tunic - A woman´s top that is either loose or tight fitting,
and extends to the hips or below. Depending on the length, can be worn as a shirt
or a dress.
Turtle neck - A garment with a close fitting, round, and high collar
that folds over and covers the neck.
Tweed - A soft, thick fabric woven from contrasting woolen yarns.
Velvet - A fabric of closely woven thick short pile fabric that
is soft to the touch.
V-neck - A neckline with a V shaped front.
Wedge - A shoe with a heel that runs from the back of the shoe
to the middle or front. The heel has a triangular or wedge shape.