10 Fashion Terms to Know


Time for my monthly installment of 10 fashion terms to know.  Happy reading!

Aiguillette: A shoulder decoration made of cord, usually braided, used on military dress uniforms.

Alice Blue: A medium pale blue with a gray or green tint. Given the name Alice Blue due to Alice Roosevelt, daughter of Teddy Roosevelt.

Decolletage: French meaning bare shoulders or a low cut neckline.

Decollete: French for a item of clothing that is very low cut, and revealing of shoulders, back and sometimes the breast.

Fob Pocket: A small pocket near the waistband of a man’s pants used for holding a pocket watch.

Gauge: A term in knitting for the number of stitches per unit of width and length of the fabric.

Suede: Leather that has been buffed on the flesh side to raise a small nap.

Nautical: Clothing and symbols taken from navel or sailor’s clothing.  It is often found in the popular color schemes of red, white, and blue.

Paste: Reflective type of glass, faceted or made to imitate gemstones.

Patchwork: A method of sewing small pieces of fabric together in various shapes and colors to make a new fabric or quilt.





10 Fashion Terms to know


Here are ten quick fashion terms to know.

1. Action Back: Term used to describe the extra fullness at the back of a jacket, shirt or dress from the shoulder to the waist. Normally a pleat, that helps with movement.

2. Bolero: A waist length open jacket worn by women.

3. Cashmere: a luxurious fabric made from the hair of a goat that is native to Northern India’s Kashmir region as well as several other Asian nations. The wool for the fabric is taken by combing the animals.

4. Felt: Non-woven fabric made by compressing wool and hair fibers in a flat form by heat and steam.

5. Flannel: A soft, delicate fabric tightly woven into a twill or plain weave and has a soft nape.  It can be made of woolen, worsted or some combination of.

6. Mittens: Hand covering with a thumb compartment and another area for the fingers.

7. Parasol: An umbrella used for sun protection that can be made of cloth to match clothing. A popular accessory during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

8. Parka: A hooded fur jacket worn of Native Americans in the Arctic regions.

9. Taffeta: A type of crisp fabric with a smooth surface. At one time made of silk, currently made in man made fibers.

10. Ultramarine: A deep shade of purple blue.






What is a Capsule Wardrobe?


Everywhere you go in the blogsphere you see ideas for capsule wardrobes. In my Pinterest I have a section on wardrobe that is full of writings on capsule wardrobes. The capsule wardrobe is a concept that had is origins in minimalism.  It is a great way to access and live with what you have.  More importantly it is to use what you normally wear and get rid of what you don’t. That pink polka dot dress you have “just in case” you go somewhere that you could wear it?  Gone!

Many different blogs and magazines have different definitions of what a capsule wardrobe is.  I’m not going to get that specific. I just am going to include the basics in it.  I personally decided to try a capsule wardrobe when I gained a lot of weight due to a medication change.  It was very hard for me to find clothes that fit much less ones that I like to wear that are plus size.

I often read that a capsule wardrobe includes up to 37 pieces of clothing.  It a stress free way to manage what to wear.  It’s also a great way to save money.

Some of the basic items in a Capsule Wardrobe include:  A white t-shirt,  a white tank, a classic button up t-shirt, denim jeans, cardigan, blazer, wrap dress, shorts, flats, boots, and sandals.  The great thing about the capsule wardrobe is you can add anything you want after a basic stage.

In future I will be posting photos and lists of how my capsule wardrobe is coming along.  Stay tuned for that.

Another focal point of a capsule wardrobe is color.  Usually you choose one prominent as your base.  Then another as a secondary base.  Finally, two to three other colors for accents.  For me, I would like to have had charcoal as the base of my wardrobe.  However, it is very difficult to find that exact color.  So I went with Navy.  My secondary base color is black.  For my accent colors I am going to use: charcoal, kelly green, and teal.

Have you tried a capsule wardrobe yet?  What is your wardrobe like? Did you find it easier to use?  More fashionable?  I’d love to hear your results!



10 Fashion Terms

charisse-kenion-229492Here are ten more fashion terms to add to your repertoire.

A-line: A skirt that is fitted at the hips and gradually widens toward the hem giving the impression of the letter A.

Applique: Ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric are cut in different shapes stuck onto other fabric to form a picture or pattern.

Basque: An items of women’s clothing which is a closely fitted bodice or jacket estending past the waistline over hips.  In modern use basque can refer to clothing details reminiscent of lingerie detail.

Batik: An eastern resist method of dyeing fabric that results in patterns or images.

Bias Cut: A garment cut on the diagonal.

Bustle: A framework used to expand or support the drapery of the back of a woman’s dress.  Worn under the skirt and just below the waist.  Popular until late 19th century.

Cheongsam: A body hugging Chinese dress for women. Literally means long gown.

Ease: A sewing term used in pattern instructors to draw the fibers of the fabric closer together.  Usually achieved by basting.

Embroidery: Decorating fabric or other material using a needle to apply thread or yarn.

Empire Waist: One of the most common waistlines in fashion.  The dress or shirt has fitted bodice just ending below the bust giving a high waist appearance.



10 Fashion Terms and Their Meaning


Fashion magazines and online blogs about fashion are hugely popular.  Oftentimes they use language or terms that are unknown to others outside the industry.  I thought it would be a fun feature to start to explain what some of the fashion vocabulary means.  Each month I will produce a list of ten words commonly used in clothing and fashion.  Enjoy!

  1. Je Ne Sais Quoi- We have all heard this phrase before, but what does it mean?  It means “I don’t know what.” So basically when someone says a person has a certain Je Ne Sais Quoi it means that special something that can’t quite be named or defined.
  2. Sartorial -Means relating to clothing.
  3. Denier- Is the measure of a thickness of spun fiber.  Most often used in hosiery.  The higher the denier that thicker the fiber.
  4. French Cuffs- Turned up cuffs sometimes fashioned with cuff links, sometimes fashioned with a contrasting color.
  5. Melange-yarn spun fibers printed in many tones and hues.
  6. Merino-High quality wool from Merino sheep.
  7. Modal- Manufactured fiber that is soft, shape retentive and durable.
  8. Neoprene- Durable synthetic rubber that is lightweight and buoyant.
  9. Olefin- A man made lightweight material, exceptional strength, resists stains, mildew, abrasions, and sunlight.
  10. Pima Cotton- Best grade of cotton in the world.