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Plus Size Fashion Glossary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | V | W

TermDefinition
A (index)
A-line skirt/fit and flare skirt A style line which gradually flares out to a wider hemline, causing it to resemble the letter A. Items with a swing shape are also often called a-line.
Asymmetrical The principal of informal balance, rather than formal balance, with each side of the garment offering a different silhouette. Garments may be draped to one side, have uneven hemlines, side closings, or cover only one shoulder.
B (index)
Back Yoke A fitted or shaped piece at the top of a skirt, or at the shoulder of various garments.
Ball Gown Characterized by a very full skirt that begins at the waist and continues to a formal length. The skirt waist is seamed and can be of various styles.
Ballerina Neckline This is a low neckline that usually occurs with strapless or spaghetti strapped dresses.
Bandeau/Tube Top A band-shaped covering for the breasts.
Basque waist/V-waist This dropped waist starts at or just below the natural waistline, and dips in the center creating a "V" shape.
Bateau Neck/Boat Neck A high, wide, straight neckline that runs straight across the front and back, meeting at the shoulders; the same depth in the front and back.
Bell Sleeve A long sleeve that flares at the bottom like a bell.
Besom Pockets A pocket sewn inside the garment with access through a welted slit-type opening.
Bias Cut Cut diagonally across the grain of a fabric. Cutting on the bias also causes garments to drape into soft folds.
Bishop Sleeve A full sleeve gathered at the wrist.
Bolero Jacket A loose, waist-length jacket open at the front.
Boot-Cut Cut below the belly button and slightly flares from the knee to the ankle.
Box-Pleated Two folds of fabric brought together to form a pleat.
Broomstick A skirt or dress that is characterized by numerous pleats and crinkled material.
C (index)
Camisole/Cami A short, sleeveless top, or with spaghetti straps that can be worn alone or as a layering piece.
Camp Pockets Pockets that are sewn to the outside of the garment usually squared off and characterized by seaming.
Cap Sleeve A small, short sleeve which sits on the shoulder, either forming a stiff cap or falling on to the arm to provide minimal coverage.
Capri Pants Fairly straight-cut pants, tapered to the mid-calf.
Cardigan Jacket A usually collarless sweater or jacket that opens the full length of the center.
Cargo Characterized by sporting a large pocket usually with a flap and a pleat.
Chapel Train The most popular of all train lengths, it flows from three to four feet behind the gown.
Chemise/Skimmer Simply a straight unbelted dress with varying sleeves and length.
Column Skirt/Straight Skirt Also referred to as a pencil skirt, this skirt is a straight line with no flare or fullness at the hem or waistline.
Concealed Snap/Velcro/Button Placket A slit in a garment where closures are hidden.
Convertible Collar A rolled collar that can be worn open or closed. Sewn directly to the neckline.
Corset Top/Boned Bodice A form-fitting, usually strapless bodice with boning and either laces or snap closures, styled in the fashion of the ladies undergarment of the same name.
Cowl Neck A neckline featuring a piece of material attached to a garment at the neck, which may be used as a hood or draped loosely in a swag from shoulder to shoulder at the front neckline or back.
Crew Neck A round neck with ribbed banding that fits close to the base of the neck.
Crinoline Petticoats stiffened with horse-hair to enable the bell-like skirts of the early nineteenth century that was eventually replaced with the bustle.
Cropped Pants Pants cut to a length just above the ankles.
Cropped Top/Jacket Hem is cut just above the waist.
D (index)
Dolman Sleeve Cut as an extension of the bodice, the dolman sleeve is designed without a socket for the shoulder, creating a deep, wide armhole that reaches from the waist to a narrowed wrist. Also called a batwing sleeve.
Double-Breasted A style of closure in which one edge of a garment overlaps the another with a double row of buttons or other fasteners.
Double-Tee Top A layered look with one T-shirt over another.
Draped Bodice An extra piece of material is draped over the bustline.
Dropped Shoulders Characterized by the shoulder/sleeve seam falling off the shoulder.
Dropped Waist/Low Waist A waistline that is sewn below the body's natural waistline.
Duster A long, open coat, with or without button closure.
E (index)
Empire Bodice A bodice that ends just below the bust, sometimes low-cut and gathered.
Empire Seams A seam that is sewn directly below the bustline.
Empire Waist This waistline begins just below the bust.
F (index)
Fishtail Train Fitted around the hips and flares out from the knee to the hemline.
Fitted Point Sleeve A long, narrow sleeve that tapers to a point which rests against the back of the hand.
Flat-Front Pants Straight pants, often seamless and pocketless.
Form-Fitting/Slim-Fit Straight from waist to ankle except for a slight curve around the hip.
Frog Closure Chinese closing of decorative cording or braid. A soft ball of cording or a button is used to complete the closure.
G (index)
Gaucho Wide-legged pants or divided skirt reaching mid-calf and worn with boots.
Gauntlets Dress gloves extending above the wrist.
H (index)
Halter Top A sleeveless bodice with a high choke or wrap neck that may be backless.
Handkerchief Style The hem of a blouse or skirt that is gently jagged to form flowing points.
Hip Pockets Pockets which are sewn on the front of the garment at hip height.
Hollywood Waistband Characterized by a full elasticized back and a side zipper/button closure.
Hook & Eye Closure A 2-part fastening device (as on a garment or a door) consisting of a metal hook that catches over a bar or into a loop.
I (index)
Illusion Bodice A bodice made of sheer material giving the illusion of no bodice.
Illusion Sleeve A sleeve made of sheer material giving the illusion of no sleeve.
Intermission Length/Hi-Lo An intermission-length gown features a hem falling between the knees and ankle; the Hi-Lo variation is a gown of intermission length on the front and floor length or longer in the back.
J (index)
Jewel Neck A high round neckline resting simply at the base of the neck.
K (index)
Kangaroo Pocket A pocket formed by sewing a piece of cloth over the garment leaving two open ends.
Keyhole Neck A tear shaped or round cutout that fastens at the front or back neckline.
Kimono A long robe with wide sleeves traditionally worn with a broad sash.
L (index)
Leg-Of-Mutton Sleeve a loose, full sleeve, rounded from the shoulder to just below the elbow, then shaped to the arm, often ending in a point at the wrist.
M (index)
Maillot A woman's one-piece bathing suit.
Mandarin Collar A short, stand-up collar, adopted from the close-fitting Asian collar.
Mermaid This skirt hugs the body until it reaches the knees or just below and then ends in a dramatic flare.
Metallic A fabric made with metallic fiber, namely a fiber or yarn made of or coated with metal for the sake of embellishment. The glint of gold or silver is woven into the fabric, creating highlights throughout the garment or drawing attention just too special details.
N (index)
Natural Waist A seam or waistband that secures or falls at the natural curve of the body, which is the indentation between the hips and the ribcage.
Notched Collar A two-piece collar that can be only worn open.
O (index)
Off-The-Shoulder Neck A neckline that lies gently hovering across the top of the bustline with the shoulders uncovered or able to be seen through the sheer yoke of net or organza attached to a high collar.
Overskirt A skirt worn over another skirt.
P (index)
Peasant Top Romantic style often characterized with a low neckline, ruffles, or free flowing material.
Peek-A-Boo Any part of the garment which has been cut out to reveal skin.
Petticoat An underskirt usually a little shorter than outer clothing and often made with a ruffled, pleated, or lace edge.
Pieced A look created by sewing several pieces of material together to form the garment, much like a quilt.
Pinafore Originally used to protect dresses from dirt, it was adopted as a fashion piece and worn as a sleeveless dress or over a blouse.
Placket The piece of cloth that reinforces a split or opening in a garment; that usually also serves as the closure.
Point Collar A collar with ties used to attach women's sleeves to their gowns.
Princess Seams Seams that can be found in the front or the back of a garment that create a form-fitting shape.
Puckered Bodice Usually associated with tube tops, it provides a scrunchy look.
Push-Up Jeans Spandex in the jeans helps to lift and shape your rear.
R (index)
Rayon A lustrous, man-made fabric that drapes beautifully, resist wrinkles and is easy to care for. In addition, it takes and holds color exceptionally well. This fabric is often blended with other fibers. This fabric has excellent breathability.
Rushing Shirring, or pleating for a textured effect, or an applied border of pleated ribbon for a ruffled effect.
S (index)
Sarong Skirt Long cloth which is wrapped around the entire body.
Scalloped Edge Edges either cut, knit, or crocheted in a tight wave pattern.
Scoop Neck/Round Neck A low, U-shaped or round neckline.
Shawl Collar A one-piece collar which is turned down to form a continuous line around the back of the neck to the front.
Sheaths Usually have straight or close fitting skirts, accompanied by a form fitting bodice. The skirt is often ankle length and sometimes has a slit in either the front, side, or back to make walking easier.
Shelf Bra A bra that is built right into the garment.
Shirred Waist A decorative gathering (as of cloth) made by drawing up the material along two or more parallel lines of stitching.
Shirring Gathering of material usually used for visual figure enhancement.
Shrug A woman's short jacket, usually above the waist, under the bustline.
Skant Pants that have a sweater-like attachment around the waist.
Skort Shorts that have a front covering to resemble a skirt.
Spaghetti Strap A thin tubular strap that attaches to the bodice, named for its likeness to a strand of spaghetti.
Split Neck A round neckline that looks like it has been cut in the center to form a small "V".
Square Neck An open-yoke neckline shaped in the form of a half square.
Straight Legs Pant legs are cut an equal width from waist to ankle.
Sweep Train The shortest train, barely sweeping the floor.
Sweetheart Neck A graceful, open yoke, shaped like the top half of a heart.
T (index)
Tank Top A short, sleeveless top with wide armholes.
Tankini A two piece bathing suit with the upper portion resembling a tank top.
Tapered Legs Pant legs become progressively narrower toward the ankle.
Tea Length A gown hemmed to end at the shin.
Tear-Away Shorts Features versatile side snaps that allow you to remove a top layer fast.
Tencel It is 100% natural fibers made from wood pulp. It has ten times the strength of cotton and is extremely breathable and comfortable with an exceptionally soft hand.
Tie-Cinched Waist The waist is pulled tight around the body with a tie.
Trapeze Top A trapeze top is a top that's fitted at the bust and gradually flares out into an A-line shape as it extends toward the hemline.
Tulle Skirt/Bouffant Gown A sheer, puffed-out skirt often made of stiffened silk, rayon, or nylon net.
Tunic A simple slip-on garment (or with buttons) made with or without sleeves and usually mid-thigh length, or longer.
Turtle Neck A high, close-fitting, turnover collar used especially for sweaters.
Twin set A cardigan sweater, or other fabric over a matching sleeveless or short-sleeve cami.
V (index)
Variegated Having streaks, marks, or patches of different colors; distinguished or characterized by a variety of different colors.
V-Neck/V-Back An open yoke coming to a "V" shape midway down the bodice.
W (index)
Wedding-Band Collar A collar featuring a yoke that is either open or of sheer net with an ornate band fitting snugly on the neck, creating a choker effect.
Wide Leg Pants or jeans that are cut extra full through the legs.
Wing Collar A collar with projections which cover shoulder seams of bodices and doublets.
Wrap Top/Surplice Top A bodice created by the cross-wrapping of fabric; may be in front or back, and associated with a high or low neckline.