A-line Skirt that gradually flares out from a fitted natural waist and/or hips creating an "A" shape.
Appliqué Type of embellishment with a fabric backing that is attached to the garment surface and usually embroidered with beading, gemstones or sequins.
Asymmetrical Usually a neckline on a one-shoulder or single-sleeve dress where a gentle slope is created from shoulder to neckline; also not identical on both sides, which can refer to prints and hemlines.
Ball Gown A formal style, typically a gown with a fitted bodice and a full-length, A-line skirt.
Basque A type of drop-waist that is tapered into a V or U shape, usually part of a fitted bodice on a wedding or Quinceañera gown.
Boat Neck A high, wide collar that rises edges the collarbone and usually connects to any shoulder or sleeve seams.
Body-conscious A dress that conforms to the shape of the body.
Bolero A type of shrug that is cropped, usually to the bust or waist, with short or long sleeves, resembling a short tailored jacket; used to add demure quality to dresses.
Bubble Hem A rounded hem that give the skirt the appearance of being filled with air.
Bust or Bustline In measurements, the circumference of the fullest part of the chest; in design, the area from neckline to the underbust; also refers to the area below the bust, usually where an empire waist begins.
Bustle A type of construction that supports the volume and drapery at the back of a dress or skirt.
Chiffon A lightweight, sheer fabric generally layered over heavier opaque fabrics to create an airy effect; woven from cotton, silk and/or synthetic fibers.
Cocktail A semiformal style, usually a short dress with a hemline ending just above the knee.
Corset A garment or construction style primarily used to narrow the waist; often used to describe a bodice that is laced at the back allowing the waist to be cinched by adjusting the tightness of the strings before tying.
Cowl Neck A loose, turnover collar which allows fabric to hang below the collarbone.
Cutouts Strategically removed sections of fabric in a dress, used to show skin and add allure.
Drop Waist A style a dress where the torso is elongated by moving the waistline down, usually to the top of the hip.
Embellishment Decorative elements added to a garment, such as appliqués, beading, and/or rhinestones.
Embroidery Decorative designs created by needlework; sometimes embellished with beading and/or sequins.
Empire Waist A style of waistline beginning just below the bust.
Full Length Indicating a length below the ankles and typically to the floor.
Full Skirt A skirt with excess material resulting in a gathered waist and a skirt with wide and/or deep folds.
Gauze A lightweight, open-weave, sheer fabric.
Halter A style of neckline created by a strap (or straps) connected to the bust and wrapped around the back of the neck.
High Low A style of asymmetrical hemline where the front of the skirt is cocktail length and the back of the skirt is a significantly longer length.
Hips In measurements, the circumference of the fullest part of the hips and butt.
Iridescent A fabric quality that creates a spectrum of colors when viewed from different angles.
Jersey A knit, stretch fabric that conforms to the body; drapes well; woven from wool, cotton and/or synthetic fibers.
Lace A chemical, die, hand or laser cut openwork fabric; commonly used as an overlay.
Maxi A full-length, non-formal or casual style.
Mermaid A silhouette with a bodice fitted from bust through thigh and a skirt that dramatically flares below the knee; structured skirt using crinoline, ruffles or stiff fabric to hold the cone shape of the skirt.
Mesh or net A sheer fabric of strands loosely knotted, twisted or woven at regular intervals
Mini A hemline shorter than cocktail length, falling at or above mid-thigh.
Natural Waist In measurements, the circumference of the narrowest part of the torso, found where the waist creases when bending to the side.
Neckline The height, shape and style of the edge of a garment at or below the neck.
Off-the-shoulder A style of neckline in which the straps or sleeves begin just below the shoulders.
Ombre A fabric dying technique that creates a gradual shift from light to dark of one color or shade to another.
Organza A lightweight, luminescent, sheer fabric that holds shape well; woven from silk and/or synthetic fibers.
Overskirt An outer skirt, usually shorter, draped over another skirt; reveals a decorative underskirt.
Paillettes Flat, disc shaped embellishments hung from a garment to create movement; usually plastic or mother of pearl.
Paisley A teardrop shaped, floral patterned print originating from India and Persia.
Peek-a-boo Sections of a dress that allude to bare skin, usually covered in an ultrasheer, gauze or mesh fabric; sometimes refers to cutouts.
Pencil Skirt A style of skirt with a straight and narrow fit; falls at or just below the knee.
Peplum A short decorative flounce attached to the bodice at the waistline or as an elongated hem.
Plaid A pattern of intersecting vertical and horizontal lines forming a grid; uses two or more colors or shades.
Pleat A fabric technique in which the material is folded onto itself.
Quinceañera A celebration of a Latin American girls fifteenth birthday and introduction into womanhood; a style of dress that is decorative and brightly colored with a fitted bodice, Basque waist and a voluminous, full length skirt.
Ruching A sewing technique in which fabric is gathered to form ruffles or petals.
Ruffles A fabric manipulation created by gathering or pleating one edge of the material and resulting in decorative folds.
Scalloped Hem A pattern made from a series of curved cuts placed an equal distance apart.
Sequins Plastic, often iridescent or faceted, discs sewn onto a garment or appliqué to catch the light and sparkle.
Sheath A body-conscious silhouette with a narrow waist.
Shift A silhouette with a straight fit; not fitted to the body in any place.
Shirring A fabric manipulation created by gathering two or more rows of material using a parallel stitching technique to decorate parts of the garment.
Silhouette The shape or outline of a garment.
Straight Skirt A skirt that falls straight from a narrow waist and fitted hips.
Strapless A style of neckline that is designed without straps.
Sweetheart Neckline A heart shaped neckline that follows the curve of the bust and is notched in the center.
Taffeta A mid- to heavyweight fabric that is crisp and smooth; woven from silk and/or synthetic fibers.
Tea Length A hemline that falls within the area from mid-calf to ankle.
Three-quarter sleeve The length of the sleeve falls just above or below the elbow.
Trumpet or fishtail A silhouette that is fitted through the hips and gradually flares at or below mid-thigh; lees structured and body-conscious than the mermaid; often with a chapel train for wedding gowns.
Tulle A lightweight, often starched, fine mesh; most commonly to layer beneath a garment for volume; also used as an iridescent overlay; woven from silk and/or synthetic fibers.
V-neck A style of neckline which dips to a point at the center.