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Your A-Z Guide To Fashion Terms Whose Meanings You May Not Be Sure Of!

Do you know what’s the fashion term for asymmetrical skirts? And can you really get through a conversation about culottes, gaucho pants or dirndl skirts without secretly wondering what they actually mean? So if you want to earn some serious style stripes (maybe even claim fashion-reporter-like knowledge), then this A-Z guide to fashion terms is the only dictionary you need! (Also, don’t forget to check out the first edition.)



Angarakha: Not to be used interchangeably with an anarkali, this is a kurta style that is tied in front with an inner flap covering the chest.


Bandeau: A band-like covering for the breast for a tube top.



Culottes: Women’s trousers that are usually knee length or calf length. Though they have a full cut to resemble a skirt, they are actually pants. Chanderi: Finely textured hand woven fabric from Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh. The term has been particularly popularised by award winning designer Rahul Mishra.

Chambray: A fine lightweight fabric woven with white threads across a coloured warp.


Dirndl skirt: A full, wide skirt with a tight waistband. Very ’50s chic, if you ask us.

D’Orsay Heels: A shoe where the upper portion is cut away on either or both sides. It can be in the form of pumps or peep toes.


Epaulettes: A shoulder adornment, like the decorations that adorn the shoulder of military uniforms or trench coats.

Espadrille: Casual shoes normally made of cotton or canvas with a jute rope sole. TOMS are a popular example.


Fedora: A soft felt hat with a fairly low crown creased lengthwise and a brim that can be turned up or down.


Fluted skirt : It’s like a pencil skirt with a vintage flare at the bottom.


Gaucho Pants: Wide, calf-length trousers fashioned after trousers worn by South American gauchos (cowboys). They are usually high waist and loosely taper from the thigh until a few inches below the knee.


Herringbone: A V-shaped weave that mimics the skeleton of a herringbone fish as is popularly seen in tweed and wool outerwear.


Ikat: An Indonesian fabric decorative technique in which warp or weft threads, or both, are tie-dyed before weaving.

limeroad ikatJ

Jamdani: A silk fabric, with a woven pattern of sprigs of flowers.


Knife Pleats: Very sharp and narrow pleats often spotted on skirts and dresses. Not unlike those seen on school uniforms.


Lamé: This is a type of fabric woven or knit with thin ribbons of metallic yarns


Mandarin Collar: Oriental in origin, this a short unfolded stand-up collar style and is commonly known as the Chinese collar.


Image courtesy: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

Maillot: It is a woman’s one-piece swimsuit, also known as a tank suit.

Mullet: An asymmetrical hemline where the hem that is higher in the front, or side, than in the back.


Nautical Stripes: Also known as Breton stripes, they were introduced by Coco Chanel after being inspired by the uniform of the French navy.


Ombré: A gradual change of one colour from dark to light or vice versa.

Shehla  Khan Ombre Anarkali


Pleather: A fabric that imitates leather but is made from polyurethane.


Quilt: To sew several layers of fabric together with diamond or decorative stitching to articulate sections or designs. This stitch is usually used for jackets and vests.


Raglan sleeves: A sleeve style where a continuous piece of fabric continues to the neck without a shoulder seam. This is commonly found in sporty luxe clothing.

Romper: A short one-piece garment with the lower part shaped like bloomers.



Sheath dress: A well-fitted, figure hugging dress with a defined waist.

Skort: Shorts whose front resembles a skirt.


Image courtesy: bebopclothing.com


Tankini: A two-piece bathing suit with the top resembling a tank top.


Unitard: A skin-tight garment that starts at the neck and ends at the ankle.


Vent: A slash in back of garments, as seen in blazers. Typically in the centre or paired at the sides.

Velveteen: Velveteen is essentially “faux velvet” usually made from cotton

Vamp: In shoes, the front of the upper section, which covers the toe and instep.

Valise: An over-night-sized piece of luggage, carried by hand.



Wristlet: A small clutch bag with an attached loop of fabric which can be worn around the carrier’s wrist.


X-Ray Fabrics: Sheer fabrics with a translucent effect.


Yoke: A fitted area of fabric along the front and back of the shoulders or at the top of a skirt.


Zardozi: A type of embroidery work that involves making elaborate designs using gold and silver threads.


Image courtesy: pinterest.com

MUST-READ: High Fashion 101: How to Pronounce the Names of Famous Fashion Brands MUST-READ: How to Pronounce the Names of Famous Beauty Brands

06 May 2016

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