At the end of the day, fashion is an industry. There is no “summing up” fashion. It’s not something you can learn overnight. So those who have paved the way in this industry have left a legacy, a network and words and phrases used to talk about everything from designs to dresses. And even then, no one article can describe them all. So upon searching high and low to find some of the lesser known terms that can shed some light on the “item descriptions”, we’ve put together our own form of a top 8 line-up.


8: Appliqué

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First up is a very fun to pronounce word of French origin. It’s a popular term that is used to describe designs in which pieces or shapes of the intended design are cut from one fabric and used to decorate the fabric of the actual item.


7. Blazers

This term has been thrown about a lot in the fashion world, and it’s important that people know how to distinguish a Blazer from other items. While not a suit jacket, it shares its unbuttoned front and solid color appearance as a sports coat. They usually have long sleeves as well.


6: Cap Sleeve

If you’ve worn a long sleeve shirt, a short sleeve shirt, and you’ve worn a tank top, this term is not that difficult to infer. A cap sleeve is a midway between short sleeve and “no-sleeve” that caps off slightly higher along the shoulder.


5: Embroidery

A term used to describe designs where the primary method of color change and pattern is sewing. Along the seams, different color strands of fabric may be used, enabling the intended design to be “woven” into the original fabric.


4: Empire Waist

A dress where the waistline of the item is fitted higher above the actual waistline. In some cases, it is fitted right below the bust.


3: French Cuff

A term that refers to a format where the end of a sleeve on a dress shirt is folded back on itself, usually where the sleeve has holes for buttons or cufflinks to fasten the cuff.


2: Kangaroo Pocket

A name for a specific type of pocket, like those on hooded jackets, which are stitched to the item in the shape of an “A”. They are usually found on the front of the item, towards the bottom.


1: Quarter

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The portion of a shoe that covers the heel, wraps around it, and is attached to the sides. This term may be used in discussing the height of a shoe. Along with the height of the heel itself, how high the shoe itself extends along the leg.


You might have known some of these terms already. Or you might not have even known they existed. But the lesson to be learned here is that fashion is all about knowledge. The more you know, the more you can use fashion to your advantage. Knowing the terminology helps you find the right items to complete your favorite styles. And for another basic guide, check out our Warm or Cool Skin Tone info resource!