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Fashion Glossary

Should you encounter a word or term that you're unfamiliar with, chances are you'll find it in our mini fashion glossary that is intended to clarify the descriptions made at D`Milikah.com.

A-Line Dress: Form-fitting bodice that flares out from the waistline to a full skirt.

Appliqué: Stitching in which a design is created by sewing pieces of fabric (or other materials) together onto a fabric background.

Basque Waist/V-Waist: A dropped waist that 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; it has the same depth in the front and back.

Bikini: A brief, close-fitting two-piece bathing suit.

Bodice: The torso area of a woman’s dress.

Boning: Used to give a garment support and body contouring. Once actually constructed of whalebone, today's boning is usually made of plastic strips slipped into sheaths sewn into the garment.

Burnout: Fabric with an alternating solid and sheer design, often in a floral or animal print.

Bustier: A sleeveless, strapless top or dress held in place by boning, elastic or stretch fabrics. It is designed to help shape and enhance the bust line.

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 that sits on the shoulder, either forming a stiff cap or falling on to the arm to provide minimal coverage.

Chiffon: A lightweight, plain-weave, sheer fabric made with very fine, tightly twisted yarns. It is very strong, despite its filmy look.

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.

Crepe: A fabric characterized by a crinkled, puckered surface or soft mossy finish. Comes in different weights and degrees of sheerness.

Crepe de Chine: Fine, lightweight silk fabric made with highly twisted yarns in the filling, yielding a slightly pebbly texture.

Crew Neck: A round neck with ribbed banding that fits close to the base of the neck.

Crinkle Cotton: Cotton that is treated to give it a rich, plissé texture in the warp that requires no ironing.

Crochet: A technique for making a garment or shoe with lacelike effect, involving a hook and yarn.

Décolleté: When a garment is cut very low at the neckline, revealing shoulders, back and bosom.

Diamond Neck: A diamond-shaped cutout that fastens at the front or back neckline.

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.

Drape: The hang or fall of fabric when made into a garment.

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 – also called a low-slung waistline; intended to visually help lengthen the torso.

Empire: A style that is designed with a high waist to create a flattering sweep.

Empire Bodice: A bodice that ends just below the bust, sometimes gathered.

Empire Seams: Seams that are sewn directly below the bustline.

Empire Waist: This waistline begins just below the bust.

Epaulette: Any shoulder ornament, usually a button strap; often seen with braiding or other trim.

Faux: A French word meaning imitation or fake. Used most often in connection with gems, pearls, leathers, and furs.

Florentine Neck: A wide, square-cut neckline extending to the

Georgette: Characterized by its crispness, body and outstanding durability, georgette is a sheer fabric of silk or synthetic material with a dull, slightly crinkled surface.

Godet: A triangular piece of fabric sewn in to a skirt or sleeve for extra fullness.

Grommet: An eyelet that is reinforced with metal or plastic; used as a durable closure or decoration.

Halter Top: A sleeveless bodice with a high choke or wrap-neck that is usually backless.

Hemstitching: Decorative border in which some threads have been removed and some bundled to create an evenly spaced openwork.

High-Low Hem: A hemline higher in the front or on one side for a dramatic flounce effect.

Hook-and-Eye Closure: A 2-part fastening device consisting of a metal hook that catches over a bar or into a loop.

Jewel Neck: A high round neckline resting simply at the base of the neck.

Kimono: A long robe with wide sleeves traditionally worn with a broad sash. Japanese influence.

Linen: Fabric that is cooler, stronger and more absorbent than cotton; woven from threads made from the flax plant.

Lycra® Spandex: The Du Pont® Corporation’s name for their trademarked brand of spandex stretch material.

Maillot: (Pronounced “my-yo”). A 1-pc. Swimsuit with sewn-on straps and scoop, squared or sweetheart neckline; designed to flatter most figure-types.

Merrow Stitching: The type and name of machine to stitch overlock edges of emblems. Microfiber: A silky synthetic material, usually woven polyester.

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 rib-cage.

Nylon/Lycra® Spandex: With the combined strength of nylon and the supple elasticity of spandex, this fabric is ideal for foundation garments and shape-giving lingerie.

Padded Bra: A bra with padded lower cups for a fuller bustline.

Paillette: Small glittering disk, similar to a sequin, sewn together with others on fabric to create a fishscale effect.

Peasant Top: Romantic style often characterized with a low neckline, ruffles, or free flowing material.

Placket: Slit at neckline in a dress, blouse or skirt, usually reinforced with a fold of fabric.

Plissé: Fabric with a puckered surface. French word meaning gathering, folding, pleating.

Pointelle: An open-hole stitch usually in the shape of a V, flower or diamond.

Polyester: A wrinkle resistant fabric made from synthetic resin.

Puff Sleeve/Pouf Sleeve: A full sleeve of varying lengths, created by generous gathering around the armhole.

Raffia: A fine palm leaf used for decorative effects. Can be woven into shoes or hats.

Rayon: Silky, lustrous material manmade from natural fibers, with excellent drape and dyeability.

Ruffle: Strip of cloth, lace or ribbon at the edge of a garment that creates a rippled effect.

Safari Style: Safari Style Garments adapted from bush jackets worn by hunters on African safaris; including such features as bellows pockets, belting and epaulettes.

Scoop Neck/Round Neck: A low, U-shaped or round neckline.

Shirt Dress: A dress cut similar to a man’s shirt with buttons down the front.

Soft-Cup: With light support and a sleek, smooth appearance, soft cups give just the right amount of support for small to average-busted women.

Spaghetti Strap: A thin tubular strap that attaches to the bodice, named for its likeness to a strand of spaghetti.

Spandex: An elastic fabric made from a polymer containing polyurethane.

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.

Tankini: A two-piece bathing suit with the upper portion resembling a tank top. A tankini provides the coverage of a maillot and the freedom of a bikini.

Tulle: A fine sheer net fabric.

Tunic: A simple slip-on top that usually falls below the hips or longer.

V-Neck/V-Back: An open yoke coming to a "V" shape midway down the bodice.

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