Definitions to understand your favorite pieces a little better
3/2 LAPELA rolled lapel that extends below the first of three buttons, concealing the top button, giving the jacket a two-button look.
BARREL CUFFSSingle-lined cuffs with a button closure.
BENGAL STRIPEColorfully striped fabric originally produced in Bengal, India; used for sport shirts, pajamas and more.
BESOM POCKETPocket with a stitched fold on both the upper and lower sides.
BLADEThe wider front section of a necktie.
BLAZER STRIPEWide-spaced thin stripes.
BOX PLEATA two-sided fold in the garment resembling a panel, with the edges facing opposite directions. Often used at the back yoke of a sport shirt for ease of movement.
BROADCLOTHPlain, closely woven fabric, lighter than poplin and finely textured.
CALFSKINHigh-grade calfskin is a fine-grained leather that withstands scuffing, wears well and polishes to a high, clear finish.
CANDY STRIPEEqual-width stripes of a color and white; used for shirts and sportswear.
CANVASA jacket interlining comprised of multiple layers of flexible material that provides shape, structure and resiliency.
CAPTOEA plaintoe with a leather “cap” stitched in place over the toe box. The edge of the cap that is closest to the lace area usually has a straight cut edge and two or three rows of stitching to hold it in place. Also known as a straight captoe.
CENTER VENTA split in the center lower part of a garment.
CHESTERFIELDA plain-back, slightly shaped overcoat, in either a single- breasted fly front or a double-breasted style. Named for the sixth Earl of Chesterfield and considered by many to be the most formal and classic coat.
COLLAR STAYSThin brass or plastic strips that run down the inside of the collar to the points to give it a flat appearance; can be permanent or removable.
CREWNECKA high, round collarless neckline with a rib finishing. Popularized by crew racers, this neckline is popular in T-shirts and sweaters.
DARTSA fold of fabric stitched to a point at one or both ends, giving shape to a garment.
DOBBYFabric with small figures woven in, such as dots, geometric designs, floral patterns, etc. They are found in shirt and tie fabrics.
DOUBLE BREASTEDTerm applied to a jacket or coat in which the fabric overlaps by a few inches in the front. There are two vertical rows of buttons and a single row of buttonholes with a single button on the underside to secure the fabric on the inside.
DUFFLE COATA heavy, usually woolen medium-length coat with toggle fasteners and a hood.
EGYPTIAN COTTONUsually a better-quality cotton fiber produced in Egypt that is stronger and more lustrous than other grades of cotton.
EMBOSSED LEATHERLeather treated with heat and pressure in a hydraulic press to give it a grained look.
END-ON-ENDBroadcloth, chambray, madras or other fabric having alternating warp yarn, usually one in color and one in white.
EXOTIC LEATHERSExotic leathers include shark, fish, alligator or other unusual animal skins.
EXTENDED WAISTBANDA waistband with an extended inner edge, usually with a button or hook to fasten on the inside. This provides for a smoother look.
FLANNELA loosely woven fabric with a napped surface to conceal the weave.
FLAP POCKETSA pocket with an extended flap forming the closure, as on an envelope.
FRENCH CUFFSShirt cuffs with square or round edges that turn back and are worn with cuff links.
FULL CANVASCanvasing that extends past the exterior pockets to the bottom of the garment. A full canvas is a hallmark of the finest jacket that is made.
GABARDINEA distinctive diagonal warp twill; tightly woven fabric.
GARMENT DYEDFabric dyed after the garment is sewn. Results in deeper colors and a softer feel.
GOODYEAR® WELT CONSTRUCTIONShoe anatomy term. A welt is stitched to the upper and the insole rib at the point where the upper curves under the last. The hollow between the upper and the sole is filled with granulated cork for support, cushioning and breathability. The sole is then sewn to the welt with a chain stitch through a channel in the sole leather.
HALF CANVASCanvasing that extends from the top of the shoulder to the top of the pocket and through the lapel.
HERRINGBONEA broken-twill weave giving a zigzag effect produced by alternating the direction of the twill.
HOUNDSTOOTHA check with jagged edges resembling a dog’s tooth.
JACQUARDA fabric of intricate variegated weave or pattern.
JERSEYA knit fabric with a slight rib on one side, used for sport shirts, sportswear and underwear.
KEEPEROn a belt, leather or metal device for holding the end of a belt in place. On a tie, the loop at the back of the blade that keeps the tail in place.
LAMBSWOOLThe first fleece sheared from a lamb aged 6 to 8 months old. It is a very fine quality, softly textured, but not as strong as fully developed wool of the same sheep later in life.
LINENA crisp, breathable fabric made of fibers removed from the stem of the flax plant.
LININGIn footwear, the layer of leather used to cover the inside of the shoe.
MADRASA cloth created by overlapping weaves of alternating colors. The weave is looser but similar to broadcloth. It is named for Madras, India, an early source of textiles.
MEDALLION CAPTOEA style of shoe with a perforated design at the toe cap.
MERINO WOOLFrom the Merino sheep. A strong, fine fiber with superior warmth, and is considered the best wool.
MOLESKINBrushed heavy durable cotton that produces a suede-like effect. So called because it is said to resemble the fur of a mole.
MONK STRAPA style in which a strap comes over the instep of the vamp, and is closed with a buckle on the outstep side of the shoe.
NIGHTSHIRTPullover sleeping garment of woven cotton extending to above ankle length.
NOTCH LAPELType of lapel on which the top line slants down in line with the collar seam.
NUBUCKA velvety leather produced by produced by buffing the exterior of the hide.
OXFORD CLOTHA plain weave fabric of medium or heavy weight. The majority of oxfords are of combed yarns, and are given a silk-like luster finish. It has a characteristic pebbly basketweave construction.
PATENT LEATHERPatent leather is finished to a hard, glossy surface and coated with varnish or enamel.
PEACOATA heavy, double-breasted dark blue woolen jacket, originally worn by sailors.
PEAK LAPELA type of lapel on which the top line slants up from the horizontal, coming to a point and leaving only a narrow space between the collar and lapel.
PENNY LOAFERA slip-on shoe with a slotted strap in which a penny can be placed.
PERFORATED CAPTOEA captoe in which the edge closest to the lace area has perforations in the leather. Also known as perf captoe.
PICK STITCHA stitch with spaces in between each stitch.
PINPOINTA tightly woven fabric with a high thread count per inch, making the fabric very soft, like a silk or broadcloth.
PINSTRIPEFine stripes resulting from the use of white, gray or other yarns in series in the warp of a worsted fabric.
PIPINGNarrow fold, braid or cord used to decorate or finish the edges or pockets of a garment.
PIQUÉA dobby weave fabric with a diamond design.
PLACKETA finished opening in a garment section. On the front of a shirt, it is used for placement of buttonholes.
PLAINTOEA shoe that has an unadorned toe area.
POLO COATA single- or double- breasted outercoat of heavy or light camel hair with set-in or raglan sleeves, patch pockets with flaps, and a half-belt or all-around belt.
POLO SHIRTA close-fitting pullover with a button placket and a knit collar.
POPLINTightly woven, durable cotton made with a plain weave and a more pronounced rib than broadcloth.
QUARTER-TOP POCKETAlso known as slash pockets, the opening edge forms a diagonal from the waistband to the side seam.
RAGLAN SLEEVEA sleeve with a seam extending at an angle from the armhole to the collar.
SEA ISLAND COTTONGrown primarily in the West Indies. One of the longest cotton fibers in the world. Sea Island cotton has the softness of cashmere and the luster of silk, providing unrivaled comfort and luxury.
SEERSUCKERWashable fabric with crinkled stripes made by altering the tension of the warp threads. It comes in stripes, plaids, checks or prints, and is used for sportswear, pajamas and robes.
SHAWL COLLARA turned-over collar of a garment that combines with the lapel, forming an unbroken curving line.
SHIRRINGA gathering of fabric made by drawing up the material along two or more parallel lines of stitching.
SHIRT STUDSA set of solid buttons with a shank or eye on the back inserted through a buttonhole; primarily used on formal shirts.
SINGLE-BREASTEDClosing with a narrow overlap and fastened down the front with a single row of buttons.
SLUBa thick, unevenly twisted place in yarn. May be deliberately inserted in a fancy yarn, or may be a flaw in yarn that is supposed to be of uniform diameter.
SUEDESuede has a napped surface and is made from the buffed inner surface of hides.
SUPIMA®American-grown extra-long staple (ELS) cotton that combines luxurious properties like softness and luster with practical advantages such as sturdiness and resistance to pilling.
TAILThe narrower back section of a necktie.
TARTANA plaid design of Scottish origin consisting of stripes of varying widths and colors usually patterned to designate a distinctive regional clan.
TASSEL LOAFERSlip-ons with tassels attached over the vamp.
TATTERSALLA uniformly square pattern of lines of two or more colors forming squares on a solid background.
TICKET POCKETA small pocket on the right-hand side of a jacket or coat just above the regular pocket. It provides a conveniently accessible place for tickets or coins.
TIPPINGA band or strip of fabric or other material at the edge (neck, sleeve, hem, etc.) of a garment.
TOGGLEA crosspiece of wood, metal or other material attached to a rope, cord or chain and designed to be inserted in the loop of a cord as a closure on a garment.
TROPICAL WOOLLightweight suiting weighing from 6 to 11 ounces per yard, made in a variety of weaves; it is used for suits and sportswear.
TWEEDRough-twilled fabric made with several different shades of wool to give it a distinctive flecked appearance.
TWILLBasic weave characterized by diagonal lines on the surface of the fabric.
UPPERRefers to all parts or sections of the shoe above the insole that are stitched or otherwise joined together to become a unit. The upper consists of the vamp (the “front” of the shoe), the quarter (the sides and back) and the lining.
WAISTCOATA vest usually worn under a tuxedo jacket.
WELT POCKETA set-in pocket with one wide band at the opening; often found as the chest pocket on a sport coat.
WELTIn shoe construction: a strip of leather that joins the upper to the sole. Welts give added flexibility to a shoe. A quality shoemaker can resole a shoe many times by removing an old sole from the welt and then stitching a new one in place, using the older stitch holes as a guide.
WINDOWPANEDesign formed by stripes running vertically and horizontally in an arrangement resembling the framework of a window.
WING COLLARA collar style resembling a wing in appearance, win which the tips of the collar extend out like wings.
YOKEA fitted or shaped piece at the shoulders of a shirt.