Fashion Lingo in Depth

Published: 07th February 2011
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Fashion school will teach you to walk the walk and talk the talk. There are far more design terms used in the fashion industry than you could possibly imagine. As you pursue your career in the fashion world you will need to know what to say and when, in order to communicate effectively with the best of them. To help get you started, here are 25 terms that every fashion diva should know, whether you are in school or not:

A-line – Flared from the waist to create an A shape.

basque waist/V-waist – A bodice with a drop waist that dips down to a

V-shape. This is a common fashion school term for bridal wear but not too often used in today’s fashions.

bateau neck/boat neck – A neckline that is wide but rests high under the neck. This is a very retro element you will learn about in the fashion industry.

bias cut – When fabric is cut diagonally across the grain to create a curve-accentuating silhouette.

bolero jacket – An open jacket cut at the waist. Boleros are a summertime staple in the fashion industry.

boot cut – Pants with a waist that rests right below the navel and a slight flare starting from the knee.

box-pleated – When fabric is folded to create a pleat. In fashion school, you will see this technique on dresses and men’s pants.

camp pockets – Unhidden pockets created by sewing fabric to the outside of the garment , usually with very conspicuous seaming.

cap sleeve – A tiny sleeve that just barely folds over the shoulder. Today’s fashion industry loves cap sleeves on spring and summer dresses.

crew neck – A ribbed, rounded neckline that fits closely under the neck. If you land a fashion job in men’s wear, this is an important term to know.

pencil skirt – A straight skirt with no flare. A knee-length pencil skirt is a staple of today’s fashion industry in terms on women’s work wear.

skimmer – Also called a shift dress, this is a beltless dress with no discernable waistline.

cowl neck – A neckline with extra fabric attached resembling a scarf. Fashion school will show you how to use the cowl for dresses, shirts and sweaters in women’s wear.

cropped jacket – A jacket with a hemline that lies above the waist.

double breasted – When coats or jackets overlap at the closure. Double-breasted coats will usually have two columns of buttons as well. A fashion job in men’s wear will expose you to a lot of double-breasted suit coats.

dropped waist – A waistline that starts slightly lower than your natural waist

empire waist – A waistline that starts directly under the bust. Empire waists are very flattering, making them most often used in the plus-size fashion industry.

jewel neck – A neckline that is round and high

flat front pants – Pants with no pleating that have a nice, smooth front. This is a more modern look for the men’s fashion industry since pleats are said to make people look bulkier at the waist.

keyhole neck – A front-facing cut-out below the neckline of a garment

romper – A usually sleeveless or strapped top attached to shorts. A jumper will have pants as opposed to shorts. This is a daring garment not often executed in the fashion industry.

sweetheart neck – A low neckline shaped like the top of a heart. Again, this is a fashion school term used a lot in bridal wear.

tapered leg – When the leg of a pant becomes narrower at the ankle. This is a look best worn on tall and slim people.

trapeze – A dress or top that flairs from top to bottom. Fashion school will teach you that unlike the A-Line, the flare of a trapeze does not start at the waist.

wrap or surplice – A dress or top with a low neckline created by cross-wrapping

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