A Defining Moment

This is a far cry from a complete fashion dictionary, but I hope it helps!


An A-Line dress or skirt is where the skirt portion of the dress, or skirt itself, is narrower at the top, flaring outward toward the bottom. The A- Line resembles the letter “A” hence its name.

Accordion Pleat-
Accordion pleats are most often used for skirts, however some dress shirts and gowns may use them below the under bust for example. The fabric has pressed in pleats that look like an accordion, or a paper fan. Much like the paper fan, there is taper and flare effect, such as a narrow waist line, and a more widespread, fuller bottom.

Almond Toe Shoes-
Almond toes resemble the shape of almonds. The toe portion of the shoe comes to a soft point and are not elongated nor do they consist of a sharp point.

Ankle Boot-
Sometimes refered to as a bootie, an ankle boot is a boot that only comes up to the ankle and they often seen with heels but may come without.

Ankle Strap-
A strap that encircles the ankle, and goes through a small loop at the back of the shoe to keep it place, typically with a buckle closure and often found on uber cute heels.

Ankle Tie-
Generally in the form of ribbon, these wrap around the ankle multiple times and can go up a bit above the ankle. These are used frequently used for pointe shoes, heels, and wedges. They do not come with a closure and are hand tied.

A term used in photography, this is a small opening which light enters when used with shutter speed you can get the desired amount of exposure.

An applique is an ornament or decoration applied to the outer side of an item, common on children’s clothing.

Usually cloth, these tie around the waist and neck and are used to protect clothing. There are some super cute kitchen aprons nowadays that you can purchase with wine glasses, or cupcake designs on them.

A multicolored knit comprised of diamond shapes, typically used for sweater.

Ascot Tie-
A mans neck scarf with a narrow band and broad pointed wings secured via pin. In modern times an ascot ties is a double scarf that is looped under the chin. You can see Al Pacinos character using an ascot tie in The Godfather. I personally think Hugh Hefner with a robe, sitting by a fire with some chicks on a bear skin rug, but that’s just me.
Asymmetrical Hem-
A hemline style in which either the front or back is lengthier, or shaped differently, than the opposite sides.

Asymmetrical Neckline-
For a nice dramatic neckline I suggest going asymmetrical. This neckline appears differently on either side of the front portion. I personally own some casual business shirts with this effect.

Aviator Glasses-
Hot in the 60s/70s Aviators have a thin metal frame, fairly large oval like lenses that angle downwards and away from the noses bridge. And, they still look great with feathered hair!


Ballet Slipper shoe-
A ballet slipper normally made of leather, pink, and small hard bar in the slipper at the ball of the foot. They also have an elastic draw string to keep them on and often have a large elastic band sewn in that goes across the top of the foot. However, in this case a ballet slipper shoe can be made of various materials. The upper portion is still soft and flexible with elastic to keep them on, but these are made to be worn with cute dresses and not to be used at a dance studio in a ballet class despite the similar shape.

Ball gown-
This is a formal dress, long with a fitted bodice, and full skirt.

Bandeau top-
Sometimes referred to as a tube top because it resembles a “tube” of fabric. It starts covers just above the bust and often stops coverage below the bust but may cover the mid drift as well.

Barrymore Collar-
A fold over collar found on button up dress shirts with long, exaggerated triangular points. In the 30’s actor John Barrymore sported them, but Al Pacino can also been seen in this style collar in The Godfather.

Basque Waist-
A waistline that looks like a “V”.

Bateau Neckline-
Also called a boat neck, this classy neckline is high and wide and runs shoulder to shoulder in both front and back. Although not the most comfortable for me, it is one of my favorites.

This hand dying technique is used to create ornate designs that are often fun and colorful. In this process a fabric is coated with wax, then dyed. The outcome is dye only on the unwaxed portion.

Batwing Sleeve-
This sleeve is also referred to as a Dolman Sleeve.  The batwing has a similar shape to a real bats wing in the sense that it is larger at the upper arm, and then tapers it goes down toward the wrist.

Bell Bottom-
Typically jeans that become wider from the knee down. Think the shape of a bell, the leg opening fairly large. Very popular in the 60’s and 70’s but were first worn by sailors in the 1800’s.

Bell Sleeve-
Much like the bellbottom design, these sleeves are fitted at the top but flare out towards the wrist.

Bias Cut-
Big in the 30’s, this offers a great fit, a nice fabric hug of the hips and a timeless look. Actress Jean Harlow had been photographed a number of times wearing this look.

Bib Necklace-
Large necklace that generally ties shut with ribbon. Fitted at the base of the neck, the fringe, beads or chains create what looks like, to many people, a child’s bib.

A woman’s two piece swimsuit with tops and bottoms of various styles than can often be mixed and matched.

A blazer is a jacket that features long sleeves, lapels, can be open at the front. This is a common article worn by men but there are blazers designed for woman as well. Great for pairing with business attire on chilly days or for giving jeans a slightly more formal or masculine look.

Once upon a time a bodice was a garment that laced up and was worn over a woman’s blouse, however now we use this term to describe pretty much the whole upper portion of a dress.

Bolero Jacket-
Bolero Jackets are small jackets that typically come down to your waist, they can be higher though, and have open fronts.

Boning was a term originally used when talking about corsets and the boning was, well… made of bone! Now we use flexible plastic strips that are sewn inside a garment to enhance its structure.

Boot Cut-
A pant style that tapers at the knee with a slight flare at the bottom of the leg to accommodate a boot.

Box Pleat-
Generally these pleats start near the waist are often back to back. A decent example would be a schoolgirl skirt.

Breton Stripes-
Theses are horizontal stripes. They are the exact same, often seen in black and white.

A rectangular bag with a small handle and sometimes buckle closures, made primarily for papers and normally made of leather.

A lavish fabric with raised metallic designs. For me this is a timeless fabric, that has almost a very feminine look due to the quaint glamour of it.

The brogue shoe is an oxford shoe that has a low heel and is highly decorative, often seen in brown.

Broomstick Pleating-
These are smaller pleats that can have a bit of a wrinkled effect.

Bubble Hem/Dress-
With this style the bottom of the dress becomes a puff, of sorts, slightly similar to a bubble. In this case the hem is tucked back under to get the look. Though most as “go big” with the balloon effect you may find dresses that are a bit more subtle.

This a small device used for fastening. Can be seen on shoes, purses, etc.

Buffalo Plaid-
Normally found in red and black, this large checkered pattern is very rugged, rustic and can be very manly (think Paul Bunyan).

Burnout Fabric-
Burnout fabric is chemically destroyed to often create a two toned, slightly worn look. A good choice to pair with jeans and wear out with your boyfriend to a game if like myself, you just can’t wrap your head around wearing face paint and a jersey.

A seductive form fitting strapless top with sweetheart neckline and boning through the bodice, often showing cleavage and never professional work attire! Unless you work at a gentleman’s club!

Common for victorian woman to wear under their dress and now often made of mesh wires, a bustle sits lower on your hips and fills out the rear of a dress, giving your tush plenty more va-voom!

Butterfly Glasses-
Glasses resembling the shape of a butterfly wing. I have a couple pairs black diamond studded faux eye glasses like these, so they are a staple for me when it comes to accessories. I wear them when I feel like looking like a fabulous librarian.

Cable Knit-
This knit is thick, and can be found on many sweaters. I find this knit to be pleasing to the eye and resemble a braid.

Often considered an undergarment, a camisole is pretty much just a spaghetti strap tank top made of cotton, lycra or satin.

Canvas is a thick plain woven fabric. This durable material is great for mens work pants and is also used for tote bags!

Capri Pants-
Great for spring or slightly chilly summer days, capri’s are pants that are past the knee but do not cover the ankle, normally stopping on the upper/mid calf.

Cap Sleeve-
This sleeve covers the shoulder, however, it does not extend down the arm.

Often lacking a collar, these knitted sweaters are typically worn over shirts, have V necks, long sleeves and button up fronts. Fantastic for fall.

Cargo pants-
Primarily seen for men, these pants consist of large “cargo” pockets on the legs. There’s pockets have flaps with velcro, snaps or buttons used as closures. Cargo’s can also been in shorts, normally in a khaki color.

Carpenter Pants-
Pants that have pockets to hold various tools and a strap on the leg to “hold a hammer”. Often loose, and made of denim or canvas, these are primarily made for men.

Chain Link
Metal links that are interconnected and commonly used in jewelry such as necklaces and also purse straps.

Chalk Stripe-
Vertical stripes, similar to pin stripes only broader and more textured. The chalk strip is common in mens suits.

Chandelier Earrings-
Dangling earrings that resemble chandeliers. Often constructed of metal and made with diamonds or gems.

Chantilly Lace-
A type of bobbin lace, this fine lace is often black and made of silk. It was named for a city in France and is often found in flower patterns and practically seamless. I find chantilly to be one of the more beautiful laces.

Close fitting, thin and often sheer woman’s wear, this short “dress” often has spaghetti straps and is used for romantic encounters behind closed doors. Satin, and lace are typical materials for a chemise.

Chunky Heel-
This is just a thicker heel. Some woman prefer them to say, stilettos. Due to their width they can have a more secure, and balanced feel.

A very lightweight, plain woven, sheer fabric, often used for layering.

A choker is a necklace that fits snugly around the neck.

A cape of sorts that is open in the front and drapes over the back and shoulders, often fastens around the neck with hand tied ribbon. Can be made of satin, crushed velvet, etc.

Cloche hat-
A deep hat that conforms to head with little to no brim though it extends down covering the eyebrows. Very fashionable in the 20’s.

A smaller sized bag lacking a handle or shoulder strap.

Clutch Coats-
A coat worn open or hand held together due to its lack of buttons/fasteners.

Coat Dress-
A dress designed much like a coat, featuring buttons, toggle’s and tie closures in the front. Wool is frequently used material for the coat dress. Sleeve length varies but overall length is generally right below the knee.

Cone Heel-
A heel that resembles an upside-down ice-cream cone (I’m talking sugar here)! This heel significantly narrows are it goes from sole to ground, though there are some variations out there.
Durable, textured, woven fibers that lay parallel to one another. Often used for jackets and pants.

Lightweight and flexible, this porous material can be used for shoes for example, it is most common for wine bottles though.

A form-fitting, strapless bodice that generally laces up the back but there are many that use various closures. Boning is normal, along with a flattering bust.

Covered Heel-
A covered heel is simply any heel that is wrapped in fabric.

Dressmaking, designers, clothing.

Cowl Neck-
This neckline features material draping loosely from shoulder to shoulder at the front of the neckline and/or back of it.

Crew Neck-
A smaller round neckline with banding, very commonly seen on sweatshirts. Personally I am not a fan, I prefer to have a neckline that allows for more freedom.

Crisscross Straps-
Straps forming an “X”. With shoes these cross across the tops of the foot, while with dresses it is more common to see these straps in the back.

Cropped Pants-
Pants that have a shorter hem, they stop just above the ankle. May also be referred to as “high waters” jokingly.

Crop Top- A shirt that shows some mid drift. May also be called a belly shirt. Whenever I see one I think of cringe worthy 90s trends.

A sketch used in fashion designing

Crushed velvet-
This velvet is made by pressing down or twisting while wet, leaving a unique and texture and look. Crushed is one of my personal picks for velvet.

Cuban Heel- A cuban heel is short thick heel with a slight taper at the back from top to bottom. Pretty commonly seen on boots such as ankle, cowboy, etc.

Extra layer of fabric found at the end of the sleeve or pant leg and may be folded back.

Cuff Bracelet-
This stiff bracelet has a slit in the back allowing for one to slip their wrist in. Made of metals and may be either solid, ornate or have decorative carvings.

A cummerbund is wide belt fastened at the back and worn by men for formal occasions.


One thought on “A Defining Moment

  1. Pingback: Spring 2014 In A Nutshell. | Couture Vogue

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