An A-line gown is a form-fitting bodice that flares outward to a full skirt from the waistline. The waist of the gown is seamless.
A type of skirt that fits a woman at her waist and flares outward in a tulip shape (or A-line) at the hem.
Bodices that are form fitted and contain a seamless waist. From the waistline the bodies flare outward into a full skirt.
A term used for a foundation that includes a girdle and bra pieced together into a one-piece garment.
A term used for women’s riding clothes. The word “Amazone” was popularized in the 1800s; the word is derived from the female warriors of Greek mythology called the Amazons.
The term originally referred to a small bag used to carry alms by people during the Middle Ages. Later, women used the bag as both a practical and fashionable accessory during the 1700s. This bag was a catalyst of the reticule and eventually the handbag.
A type of dress that contains short puffed sleeves and a waistline that is not defined. The term was taken from the film Baby Doll from 1956.
A piece of material joined to the waist or shoulder to add an elegant extension over the back to the ground. Some back drapes can be removed.
A tailored section of material placed at the shoulder of clothing or at a skirt's top.
A full skirt that starts at the waist and flows into a formal length. They come in various designs.
A low neckline. Dresses that often feature this kneckline include strapless or spaghetti strapped dresses.
A bandeau (or tube top) is a circular band that is used to cover a woman’s breasts.
An indoor garment worn by men in England during the 1600s and 1700s. The garment was first worn in Inida by the Hindi.
A clothing style popularized in the 1970s that exposes the body from the waist or hips to the rip cage under the bust.
Basque waist/V-waist - This dropped waist starts at or just below the natural waistline, and dips in the center creating a "V" shape.
A bateau (or boat) neck is a wide, long neckline that follows along across the back and front of a garment and joins at the shoulders. The depth in the back and the front is the same.
A full-length trouser ensemble worn between the 1920’s and 1930’s by women as sportswear.
A big cape-like collar worn by women that was first worn in the 1800s to cover their neckline.
Besom Pockets are pockets that are placed inside a garment; a person accesses the pocket through the use of a welted opening.
A bias cut is a cut that is done diagonally across a fabric’s grain. Bias cuts are usually used to make garments designed to shape closely to the body’s curves. A woman named Madeleine Vionnet was especially well-known for bias-cut dresses.
A crescent-shaped hat worn by men during the Napoleonic period. This hat was a favorite of Napoleon 1, and worn by the Incroyables as a substitute for the tricorne.
A bike tard is a one-piece garment that extends from the hem of the shorts to the top of a figure’s torso
A type of silk fabric created with exotic and unique patterns that usually include both baroque and Oriental motifs. This type of silk was famous from the 1600s to the early 1700s.
A type of fine silk bobbin lace produced in Bayeux, Caen and Chantilly in France. This silk was first created with cream-colored unbleached China silk thread. The lace was popular between the 1750s to the 1800s.
A type of underpants that contains loose legs that gathers at the knee length. A woman named Amelia Bloomer created them to encourage dress reform for women. However, the bloomers were not received very well. Later, the bloomers became popular as bicycle riding attire in the 1880s. As time went on, girls wore them as gym clothes.
Lace created on a pillow that patterns are marked out by pins. The bones (or bobbins) are crossed back and forth over the positioned pins. There are varieties of bobbin lace, including Binche, Mechlin, Chantilly, and Brussels.
A bolero jacket is a waist-length comfortable jacket that is open at the front.
Bonding is the textile process of making two fabrics into a single piece by backing with foam or adhesive.
A boot cut is a garment design that lands under the belly button and flares a little bit from the knee to the ankle.
A term coined for Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto’s collections in 1982. In Japanese, “Boro” means “ragged.” Shabbiness became fashionable from the monochromatic, ragged and simple clothes. The fashion statement expresses a feeling of absence.
A section of a garment is said to be box-pleated when there exist two folds of fabric that are joined to form a pleat.
Boy-leg refers to swimwear, underwear or shorts that fit the legs closely and extend only half way down the thigh.
A broomstick is a dress or skirt that contains several pleats and crinkly fabric.
A bustle is a pattern of steel springs placed under a skirt to make a projecting derriere. Bustles were fashionable in several forms during the second part of the nineteenth century.
Cambre in ballet refers to the bending of one’s wait either to the back or to the side.
Camp Pockets are pockets positioned on the exterior of a garment and are frequently seamed and squared-off.
A cap sleeve is a sleeve that is short and small that rests on the shoulder; it creates a stiff cap or covering on the arm to allow for only a small amount of coverage.
A cardigan is a knit jacket that opens in the front. The term “cardigan” comes from Great Britain’s Earl of Cardigan (also known as James Thomas Brudenell).
A cardigan jacket is a jacket or sweater not containing a collar; it is open at the garment’s front.
Cargo refers to a garment’s design that includes a large pocket with a pleat and flap.
A carmagnole is a type of jacket containing gold buttons and wide lapels that was worn by French Revolutionaries. Workers originally from Carmagnola, Italy introduced the jacket to France.
Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne is an organization centered on promoting Parisian high fashion. The organization is involved with press relations, defending copyrights, operating vocational schools and arranges collections of work. It was founded in 1910.
A style of dress worn by Marie-Antoinette, queen of Louis XVI of France during the 1780s. The style originated from the chemise dress.
The chemise dress is a muslin dress originating from the Empire period. It was designed with a slim skirt and high waistline and was worn without a corset.
China silk is a type of lightweight plain-weave shiny silk created in either Japan or China.
A cloche is a hat worn in the 1920s. The name is derived from the French word for “bell,” because of the deep-crown shape of the hat.
A rosette created with pleated ribbon. It was used originally for military insignia.
Compères - two cloth panels used in during the middle of the eighteenth century for women’s open robes. The panels were joined to the inside front bodice and positioned with buttons or hooks. They were an improvement in functionality from the stomacher (it needed to be pinned to the dress every time it was put on).
Confection is a French word for the affordable, mass-produced clothing that started during the middle of the nineteenth century.
A corset is a fitted inner bodice stiffened with wood, metal or whalebone that was positioned with lacing. The actual term “corset” was used later after the invention had been around for some time. Until then, the corset was referred to as an undergarment (called stays in English).
Costume jewelry is jewelry created from imitation stones or gemstones that look like precious stones. Costume jewelry became popular when Gabrielle Chanel displayed imitation jewels during the 1920s. The idea gradually grew so that costume jewelry became an indispensable accessory.
A firm, long-lasting linen or cotton that contains a herringbone twill weave. Coutil is used for undergarments.
A cravat is a tie or neckcloth. This was the first men’s neckwear used in the 1660s. Over time, the cravat became the modern necktie of today.
A petticoat designed in order to create skirts of fantastic volume popular during the middle of the nineteenth century. The term crinoline is the word for petticoat made of woven fabric from horsehair (crin) and linen (lin). The cage frame crinoline originated in the 1850s from whalebones/steel hoops.
“Dandy” is a descriptive term used for men self-conscious about their appearance and looking smart in their choice of clothes.
A particular women’s fashion between the 1870s and1880s. The dolly varden style was coined after Charles Dickens’ novel Barnaby Rudge published in 1841. The style was a revival of the Robe A La Polonaise style.
Drawn work is openwork embroidery created by taking out some threads in either direction of the fabric and interlacing the leftover yarns with decorative stitches.
A fancy silk fabric created with detailed, complicated patterns from the eighteenth century.
A dust ruffle was a ruffle placed on the inside of the hem of a full-length petticoat or dress during the nineteenth and early twentieth century in order to guard the dress from getting dirty when a woman was outdoors.
A decorative ribbon lacing positioned on the front of a stomacher; it was fashionable from the later part of the seventeenth through the eighteenth century. The term originated from the French word for “ladder,” because the ribbon pattern looked like one.
A dress characterized by a high waistline, puffy sleeves and a straight skirt. The style was worn during the First Empire in France, 1804-1815.
Engageantes are sleeve ruffles created from either drawn work or fine lace in both double and triple layers. This type of ruffle was popular during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Scarves designed for women that were worn in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The scarves were generally created from muslin.
A silk fringe made up of small tassels or tufts. The fringe was generally used to trim women’s gowns in the eighteenth century.
A single or double-breasted coat designed for men containing fold-back lapels. The coat was fashionable during the late eighteenth century and nineteenth century.
A lining projecting from the hem and sleeve openings in the Japanese kimono. Usually it is in a contrasting color and sometimes it is padded.
A term used after WWI to describe women who both looked like and dressed like boys. The term originated from the title of a novel published in 1922 by Victor Margueritte.
Silk gauze created by a textile manufactory founded in Switzerland called Abraham. Gazar has a smooth, crisp feeling to it.
A character made up by Charles Dana Gibson, an American illustrator. The character was first seen by viewers in his artwork in 1895.
A sleeve in the shape of a leg of mutton – the sleeve is rounded and full starting from the shoulder and extending to the elbow. It then narrows at the wrist. In the 1830s very full sleeves were fashionable, and they again came into fashion during the 1890s.
A man’s sleeveless garment the length of the waist; the garment was worn over a shirt and under a jacket.
A flexible undergarment worn (usually) by women over the waist and hips to give the body a slimmer appearance.
Glass beads - beads made of glass since ancient times all over the world. Glass beads from Venice are especially well-known. Mariano Fortuny used glass beads frequently in his designs.
Men’s formal attire that included knee-breeches, a waistcoat and a jacket during the 18th century.
The term “habit” replaced the word justaucorps during the 18th century when referring to a man’s jacket.
A plain-weave, soft silk fabric of Japan that is lightweight. In Japanese, the fabric is often called hiraginu.
Bouffant pants that originated from the Middle Eastern style of pants. The pants gather into bands at the wearer’s ankles.
Charles Frederick Worth started the industry of haute couture in the late nineteenth century that developed into this Parisian high-quality clothing and its special system of creation.
A skirt that is rounded over a woman’s hips and narrows together as it reaches the ankles. The skirt impedes walking because it is so narrow at the bottom. The skirt was introduced to society in 1910 by Paul Poiret.
An entertainment gown worn at home by the lady in charge of the festivities.
“Hot pants” is slant for women’s short pants. The term was coined by the fashion industry in 1971 from the newspaper Women’s Wear Daily.
The French army’s light cavalry. The soldiers’ uniforms originated from the cavalry unites of Hungary. The Hussar style gradually became fashionable starting from the end of the 18th century.
Another term for “fop” or “dandy” for men self-conscious about their fashionable appearance during the Directoire period (1795-1799).
A French word for printed or painted muslin from India. In England the term is chintz.
Handmade lace created with the chain stitch. The lace repeats the needlepoint lace style developed in Ireland. The Irish crochet lace was fashionable from the late 19th century to early 20th century.
A lace or cloth ornament hung over the chest. Although the jabot was originally intended for men, it became a fashionable accessory for women during the middle of the 19th century.
A Dutch term for the Japanese kimono with cotton padding. The garment was worn indoors by European men during the 17th and 18th centuries. The kimonos were imported by the East India Company. However, since there was a shortage of the number of imported Japanese kimonos, gowns created with indienne were made to meet the need. In Holland, both these gowns were called “Japonsche rocken.”
Fabrics printed by Christophe P. Oberkampf. He founded a factory in Jouy, France. Jouy gradually grew into a big center for the printing industry in France once the ban on importing or producing indienne was taken away in 1759.
A soft bodice for women to wear at home without the stiffening bones of a corset during the 18th century.
A traditional costume designed in Japan. It became fashionable for Western women to wear the Japanese gown as a special at-home gown in the late 19th century, and thus the term kimono was used to refer to a dressing gown. In the early 20th century, the kimono sleeve and kimono coat were changed from the traditional Japanese kimono to Western style.